After four years of waiting, U.S. fans of the hit U.K. comedy “The IT Crowd” finally got their wish: a proper final episode.
When we last left the gang from Reynholm Industries, its sex-crazed and somewhat brainless CEO Douglas Reynholm found himself in the midst of a rather nasty divorce when his second wife, Victoria (who disappeared two weeks after their wedding) returns and decides she’s gonna bankrupt him and the company in retaliation for the divorce. Luckily Jen saves the day with an impassioned plea to Victoria, who agrees to a lesser amount, thereby saving the company.
Titled “The Internet Is Coming,” we fast forward to 2013 (when the finale originally aired) and see things are still the same in the basement-located IT Department of Reynholm Industries but this time around, Roy (Chris O’Dowd) actually has a girlfriend who knows the Marvel universe so well, even Moss (Richard Ayoade) adores her. Elsewhere, the barista at Jen’s (Katherine Parkinson) favorite coffee shop adores her and every time he makes her coffee, it takes on a rather sensual tone – which of course, she LOVES – and Moss is working on his new table-top gaming themed internet show, “Game Board.”
Things sound pretty normal, right? Well, it is for a hot minute, but then goes completely pear-shaped.
When Moss makes Jen watch the second episode of his show “Game Board” (which is just as awful as it was when she saw the first one three months prior), Roy sees the coffee made by Jen’s barista and decides he needs to hit the coffee shop in order to escape the sound of Moss’s awful show while Jen breaks down how awful the show is and how Moss can fix it (which he doesn’t take to very well).
Meanwhile, the company’s brainless and disgustingly rich CEO Douglas Reynholm (Matt Berry) invests in a lap-dancing bar (whose brilliant advertising idea is to have 500 minivans with breasts on the headlights driving around London) and decides to have Jen – who keeps reminding him she is NOT his assistant – get him out of his appearance on “Secret Millionaire” (think “Undercover Boss”) in order to attend the bar’s lap-dancing party.
When Roy arrives to the coffee shop, he doesn’t get Jen’s amazing barista but rather a little person (whom he refers to as “Teeny Tiny Coffee Man”) who stumbles through making a rather sloppy coffee, which he accepts because he doesn’t want to look like an insensitive jerk.
In true fashion, Reynholm has never learned the gang’s names (calling Moss “Ross”) so when an upset Moss mistakenly runs into Reynholm’s office (which USED to be the men’s bathroom), he and Moss bond and in that bonding, he tells Moss the secret to his confidence…which actually works and no, I won’t spoil it here. All I can say is it’s got a superhero feel to it.
Roy and his girlfriend hit a rough patch when we find out that during a fight, she makes a comment about him being “emotionally autistic,” which he mistakes as “artistic” until corrected by Jen. When his girlfriend asks him to attend her grandfather’s funeral, he agrees, and the results are hilarious; I won’t spoil those, either.
But the real meat of the episode happens when Roy returns with his sloppy coffee, saying that little people shouldn’t be baristas and begs Jen to come with him back to the shop so that her barista can make one of his artistic coffee creations for him. On the way, Jen tells Roy he’s kind of being a butt and should be more pleasant. While doing so, she walks over to drop coins in what she believes to be a sleeping homeless person’s begging cup but is filled with coffee…causing said homeless woman to rant in an unintelligible language. Once at the shop, her barista DOES make Roy and Jen coffees but because Roy is there, the sensual is more like fumbling for air – causing Jen to toss out her coffee during the walk back to the office.
When Jen tosses out her coffee, guess who she douses? You guessed it, the very same homeless woman. And while THAT’s happening, “Teeny Tiny Coffee Man” runs up to them and confronts Roy about his prejudice of little people and in a series of HILARIOUS events, the guy is hit by one of the aforementioned breast-laden strip club ad vans…all caught on a camera phone (of course, annoyingly shot in the vertical position) which goes viral overnight, making the news and causing the ire of people worldwide (INCLUDING the infamous hacker group Anonymous). Reynholm is angered because now he is forced to miss the lap-dance party and do “Secret Millionaire” instead, but not before warning Roy and Jen to “stay out of trouble as there are places LOWER than the basement.”
There’s a couple of other welcome surprises for fans well-versed in the show’s universe: one in particular made me laugh so loud, I startled the dog.
Writer/director Graham Linehan has been a favorite of mine for ages with his sitcoms “Father Ted” and “Black Books,” and I’d always hoped that “The IT Crowd” would get a final sendoff but I’m guessing due to the EXTREMELY busy schedules of O’Dowd, Ayoade, Parkinson and Berry, it took a while to “get the band back together,” so to speak. And as usual, everyone involved took his words and made them comedy gold.
For some, the show’s final moments will have you wondering why Linehan chose this way to end the series but I found myself sadly smiling because while happy with the ending, I knew the adventure was over. Farewell, Reynholm Industries – I truly enjoyed my time.
I HATE giving ratings but I’ll happily give this finale a 4.5 out of 5 terabytes.
After you’ve seen the finale with your own eyeballs, be sure to drop Graham a line on Twitter!
“The IT Crowd” finale, “The Internet Is Coming,” is airing now on Hulu.
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