The Office” works best when it alternates between story-lines that focus on the never-ending drama the characters must endure, and story-lines that are amusing and more or less unrelated to the overall arc of the show. Last week, Michael went through the ringer when he confronted all of his ex girlfriends, so this week, we’ve got a funny episode about a rival salesman.

Read the review to find out what worked and what fell flat…

The Players:

Episode Title: “The Sting”

Jim and Dwight go to make a sale, but have to call Michael for back-up when Danny, a rival salesman who has stolen clients from Dunder Mifflin in the past, seems to have arrived first. Unable to compete with Danny’s skills, Michael sets up a sting operation in the Scranton Business Park to spy on him and observe his technique. In the meantime, Andy, upset that a former classmate of his composed and performed a jingle for a state milk organization, forms a band with Kevin and Darryl.

The Good:

  • Dwight: Is it any surprise anymore that Dwight gets the best laughs in an episode? Sure, his character is ridiculous, and fans of the original UK version of “The Office” cite the unrealistic characters as a major flaw in the American adaptation, but if you’re going to be over-the-top, might as well go all the way. His trademark “Dwight Moment” comes when he tries to intimidate Danny by telling Jim that he brought a woman to an expensive and exclusive, ahem, “penis museum.”
  • Timothy Olyphant: Not a bad guest star for this show, and he does his job well. He’s not supposed to be the funny guy in this episode and he’s professional enough to know that. He doesn’t try to steal any laughs he just reacts to the antics of everyone else, which is the right move for his character.
  • Jim gets jealous: Viewers either swoon for Jim or kind of dislike him specifically because everyone swoons for him. At times he comes off as a little smarmy in his subtle sense of superiority, so seeing him get jealous when he learns that Danny took Pam out on a couple of dates a few years earlier is a nice reminder that he’s human.
  • Michael can’t ride a bike: The pre-credits scene, which is always completely unrelated to the rest of the plot, was pretty funny this week, as we learn that Michael can’t ride a bike that doesn’t have “those two little wheels in the back supporting you.”

The So-So:

  • The Sting: The operation starts out funny, with Meredith posing as a client that Danny must win over, and for a little while, it stays funny, with Oscar trying to take over before she quickly refers to him as Manuel, the cleaning man. However, the gag goes on for too long, and we all knew that Meredith was going to try to seduce Danny, so that punchline fell flat.

The Bad:

  • Andy’s band: Maybe this will go somewhere in the future, but last night, the subplot involving Andy’s band wasn’t all that funny or interesting, even when Andy sang in a falsetto voice to mimic the sound of a young girl.

Overall:

It wasn’t a classic, that’s for sure, and most of the jokes were predictable, but this was still an entertaining episode. After the drama of last week, it was nice to balance things out with a lighter plot. We still want to see what’s going to happen with Michael and Holly, but it wasn’t essential that we get to that this week.

Rating: 7.5/10

“The Office” airs every Thursday night on NBC!

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Did last night’s episode work for you, or was it forgettable? Tell us in the comments…