At the end of last season, Dwight’s decision to invest in real estate led to his acquisition of the Scranton Business Park, and with it, the office in which he works. It was suggested that Michael may be reunited with his old flame Holly, although, as anyone who is a fan of this series knows, that storyline will likely be milked for all its worth over the course of this season.
- Director: Jeffrey Blitz
- Writer: Daniel Chun
- Cast: Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson, Ed Helms, Oscar Nunez, Kathy Bates, Creed Bratton, B.J. Novak, Mindy Kaling, Kate Flannery, Ellie Kemper, Brian Baumgartner, Angela Kinsey, Paul Lieberstein, Zach Wood, Craig Robinson
Over the summer, Gabe began dating Erin, much to the dismay of Andy. Michael’s nephew, Luke, has been hired as a new assistant, but his slacker attitude and rude demeanor doesn’t make him any friends in the office. In the meantime, Pam accidentally ruins a prank that Jim planned to pull on Dwight, and in an attempt to make up for it, finds herself stuck in an elevator with Dwight.
- Rainn Wilson: Wilson is an actor who knows that you can’t have an ego if you want to get laughs from an audience. You’ve got to be willing to be the most outrageous guy in the room, and his performance as Dwight consistently exemplifies this. The character’s delusions of grandeur are taken to new heights, now that he owns the building he’s working in. And, when trapped in an elevator with Pam, his spontaneous decision to “establish a pee corner” is one of the true laugh out loud moments in a relatively lackluster episode.
- Opening Scene: The pre-credits sequence of this episode involved the office workers performing a highly choreographed lip synch to “Nobody But Me” by The Human Beinz (that song that was playing when Leonardo Dicaprio beat up the Italian mobsters in The Departed). Here’s a universal truth: no matter how funny a show is, nine times out of ten, its audience has no desire to watch a musical sequence. It’s rarely entertaining, and seems to merely suggest that the writers couldn’t think of any jokes and were trying to pad the length of the episode. This is especially sad in this case, as the sequence is all one take; it must have been a director’s nightmare.
- What’s the Point? For a season-starter, nothing too important actually happened. The topic of Holly was never brought up. Gabe’s relationship with Erin, which should spark some drama among the characters, instead seemed to be an afterthought. Although Dwight’s role as owner of Scraton Business Park allows him to be even more of a dictator, it has no tangible consequences on anyone else.
- Not Funny: Well, it can’t be made much clearer than that. For a show that used to earn some raucous belly laughs, there weren’t too many moments of genuinely effective humor in this episode. A couple clever gags here and there, but nothing memorable. The script seemed like the skeleton of a sitcom episode; the situation was there, but not much comedy.
Not a good way to start the season, folks. A forgettable episode, at best. It had its laughs, but nothing worth talking about at work the next day.
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