This season of “The Office” has been a disappointment, to say the least. But you wouldn’t know it watching last night’s episode. Packed with clever jokes and some of our favorite characters reminding us why we’ve watched this show religiously for years, last night’s episode was an extremely pleasant surprise. Check out the review to see why…

The Players:

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Ryan channels Sean Parker on this week’s episode when he starts a social networking tool that allows Facebook messages to be sent directly to your cell phone, home phone, e-mail account and fax machine. His co-workers are eager to invest in the idea but start to panic when they realize the company could go bankrupt in nine days. In the meantime, Dwight runs a small, hay-themed amusement park in the parking lot, and Jim looks for ways to amuse himself around the office when he discovers that Sabre has imposed a commission cap that deprives him of any incentive to make sales.

The Good:

  • Michael: Michael’s been pretty obnoxious this season, but he’s had some moments that make us hate him a little less. Ryan manipulates the friendship Michael thinks that they share to keep him invested in the company, but Michael is finally able to admit that Ryan is a lazy, image-obsessed employee. Just that realization alone would have been impressive enough but Michael goes on to say that he won’t make Ryan sell, despite everyone else in the office urging him to do so, because he isn’t the kind of boss who gives up on hiw own people. This is followed by a nice scene where he comments on everyone’s role in the office, and it makes us a little sad to know he’ll be leaving.
  • Kevin: Kevin’s man-child qualities aren’t always realistic, but sometimes they score some major laughs. (Remember when Holly thought he was mentally challenged?) This episode finds him getting severely lost in a hay maze designed by Dwight. A hay maze that small children were able to successfully navigate in minutes.
  • Dwight’s business: Speaking of Dwight, it’s a little bizarre that he’s able to run his little amusement park all day, considering he has a full-time job at Dunder-Mifflin, but we’ll overlook that minor plot hole in favor of praising this subplot because it is often very funny. When a little girl runs up to him because she won the “find the needle in the haystack” competition, he responds, “Do you know what you win? Nothing. Life lesson: some tasks aren’t worth doing.” That is a classic Dwight moment.
  • Hey, that’s just a good idea. Kudos to the writer for not copping out with a half-assed excuse for an Internet company that Ryan could start up. We could actually believe that people would want to invest in this.

The So-So:

  • Jim’s boredom: Jim is pretty bored in this episode, and as a result, we get a little bored ourselves. The elaborate prank that he pulls on Gabe is clever, sure, but it seems a little far-fetched.

The Bad:

  • Angela’s new man: It’s not clear where the various romantic subplots are all headed this season, and the introduction of a new potential love interested in Angela’s life is a complication we could probably do without.


Wow. Now that is more like it. In a season that may be the worst one so far for this show, this episode stands out as an instant classic. The characters are in top form, the comedy is consistent, and there’s a touch of genuine emotion. Looks like there may still be reason to stay tuned.

Rating: 9/10

“The Office” airs every Thursday night on NBC!

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Were you as happy with last night’s episode as we were? Tell us in the comments!