That was another five star cold open from The Office last night. First of all, kudos to the writers for finally acknowledging that Pam’s not around … I think it’s the first time they’ve done so since she was training her replacement. Not that it wasn’t obvious, but you’d think that Jim having a newborn at home might come up once or twice. Just a thought.
Anyway, because of Pam’s absence Jim apparently needed a replacement audience for his Dwight pranks. Color me surprised that he found his audience in Stanley, and it’s interesting to think that Jim would tailor his humor to Stanley’s preferences. Does that mean that Pam was in favor of all the things that Jim’s done to Dwight over the years?
Be that as it may, Stanley seems to be partial to meatball pranks. Did not know that that was a thing, but as it turns out, it was all a set-up between Dwight and Stanley to get Jim to keep them flush with meatballs for their eating pleasure. Um, gross? Think about where some of those meatballs have been … can you imagine popping one of those bad boys into your mouth after it sat in Dwight’s dirty desk drawer? Still, I loved the concept.
In fact, it was the only part of the episode that really had a cohesive concept. Well, I suppose Erin’s story did too, but it didn’t interest me too much. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed watching Erin and Dwight fake-flirt in an attempt to get Andy jealous, but I’m not an Erin fan, so I’m never rooting for her to be at the center of any story. She did make a great observation after talking to Andy — “I guess Andy isn’t totally over his current girlfriend” — but I find that her odd combination of crazy and naive comes across poorly.
While I wasn’t a big fan of the mishmash that was the pool party, what I did find hilarious was the end of the party, or rather what ended the party: when Robert mistakenly observed that one of those orgy-filled nights he so longed for was happening right before his very eyes, leading him to strip down and jump into the pool. I do not like Gabe or Ryan, and I couldn’t stand their sycophantic kissing up all episode long, but the fact that they ended up like puppets being manipulated on strings was awesome. I watched the final scene a number of times, and the looks on their faces … that resigned and broken expression that resonated from their very essences. And when Ryan started dancing again after Robert had fallen asleep and Gabe had refused to leave….
The best of the rest?