Something very fishy has been going on at Dunder Mifflin paper company… For the past few weeks, the writers of The Office have been cleverly weaving in a sinister subplot: The Scranton Strangler . *cue dramatic music*
He (or she) was first mentioned in The Delivery , when Andy buys a copy of the the daily newspaper to commemorate the birth of Jim and Pam’s baby girl, Cecilia Halpert. It’s unfortunate headline: “SCRANTON STRANGLER STRIKES AGAIN.”
I of course laughed and didn’t think much of it at the time, but The Scranton Strangler has been mentioned several times in subsequent episodes. Is this just a running gag or the early workings of a much bigger plot reveal?
Regardless, the question remains—who is the Scranton Strangler? I give you my Top 3 Suspects :
- Gabe Louis —Sabre’s mulish but mild-mannered corporate drone is, aside from being a complete tool, a newcomer to The Office and to Scranton, which instantly raises my hinky-meter. Is it just a coincidence that The Scranton Strangler’s reign of terror seems to coincide with his arrival to Dunder Mifflin?
- Ryan Howard —From lowly temp to Vice President to unemployed to lowly temp again (with an arrest and attempt to flee the country along the way), it’s no secret that Ryan’s past is a shady one. In a recent episode he teams up with Dwight to wreak havoc against Jim, but Ryan seems to take it all a bit too seriously, going so far as to imply that he would kill Jim, Saw-style–could this be an indicator that he’s finally snapped?
- Toby Flenderson —Poor Toby; nothing ever goes right for him. Dunder Mifflin’s milquetoast HR rep and Michael’s favorite punching bag doesn’t seem to have much going for him. But have you noticed that he hasn’t been around much lately? Could Michael’s constant badgering (and perhaps Toby’s unrequited love for Pam) have pushed him off the deep end? You know what they say; it’s always the quiet ones…
Or could The Scranton Strangler be a new character yet to be introduced? It’s a mystery to me, my dear Watson.
Update 11/11/10: The Scranton Strangler is on the run from the cops! Tonight’s episode started out with everyone at Dunder Mifflin watching a news report on TV that said cops had found the Scranton Strangler, and had his apartment complex surrounded. But during the report, the Strangler evaded the cops and drove away, with the police on his (or her?) tail–right past the offices of Dunder Mifflin! We still don’t know who the Scranton Strangler is, but did anyone else notice that Toby was absent while all this was going on? Also, doesn’t Toby live in an apartment?!
What do you think? Is Toby the Scranton Strangler?
Update 11/18/10: What was up with Creed asking Jim how far he could stretch his arms out and how long he could hold his breath? And then Michael saying “I have no idea where Creed came from.” I still don’t think it’s Creed, but amused they keep injecting these red herrings.
Update 12/9/10: In the Christmas episode tonight, Toby revealed that he’ll need to take a leave of absence because he’s been selected for jury duty on the Scranton Strangler case! Meanwhile, new guy Danny is still mysteriously absent…
Update 4/21/10: Toby, a juror on The Scranton Strangler trial, made a rare appearance this season at Michael Scott’s last Dundees awards ceremony where he admitted that he feels the wrong man is on trial. Could it be because he’s guilty himself?