This week’s episode of “The Office” had enough laughs to keep audiences entertained. It was fairly Dwight-centric, so by default, it’s funny. As an added bonus, Pam, who has had little to do since her baby was born, is given some real motivation in this episode. It’s definitely not as good as some of the classics, but there was a lot to like this week.

Read the review to see what we mean…

The Players:

Episode Title: “China”

As landlord of Scranton Business Park, Dwight has been cutting costs at the office by keeping temperatures uncomfortably low, making the lights motion sensitive, and “cutting corners” with the bathroom supplies. It’s Pam’s goal this week to negotiate a deal with him. Michael’s fear that China will take over the world leads him into a debate with Oscar, but it’s mainly a “let’s see which one of us is smarter” situation. In the meantime, Andy can’t stop texting Darryl.

The Good:

  • Aw, Dwight: After nearly seven seasons, Dwight shocks us all by proving that he has a heart when he covertly lends Pam a hand at his own expense. It was satisfying to see him be a good guy for once. The writers, luckily, were smart enough to not make it too sappy. As Dwight says: “I have no compassion. Make sure you got that.”
  • Erin’s suspicions: Erin isn’t a realistic character, but anyone who has been a fan of “The Office” all these years knows that it’s never been nearly as realistic as its UK counterpart, so we might as well just run with it. For example: this week, we learn that Erin suspects that everyone in the office may be conspiring to kill her for their own benefit. It’s a joke that comes out of nowhere (Michael even says as much), but it works.
  • Actually: This week, we learn that Oscar has always had the nickname of “Actually” around the office because he is the kind of smug intellectual who will go around correcting everyone’s ignorance. Never mind the fact that we’ve never heard him being called by this name before; we all know someone like that.
  • Pam: Pam shows some of that classic vulnerability that makes her so irrestible to guys when she confides in Jim that she feels like a failure because of her inability to complete art school or be a success in the sales department. The two share a hug, and for a moment there, it’s just like old times.

The Weird:

  • Pre-credits: The pre-credits scenes have been generally fantastic throughout most of this season, but this week’s, while still funny, was a little gross. Does anyone really want to see Dwight give Jim a high-five with his foot?

The So-So:

  • The final text: Darryl gives Andy an ultimatum: if he sends one more bad text message, he’s getting blocked. Andy makes up for it with a “good” tect message, but the build up to that moment doesn’t pay off the way we were hoping it might.

The Bad:

  • The debate: When Michael and Oscar finally match wits and it looks as though Oscar has emerged the victor, Michael tries to twist the situation in his favor. It doesn’t quite work for the audience at home, which is a shame, since the other characters in the scene have to pretend that it does work for them.


It hasn’t been a great season–in fact, it may be the worst one so far–but the last couple of episodes represent a slight return to form. Last night’s may not have been as good as the episode from two weeks ago, but it’s a lot better than some of the others we’ve seen lately.

Rating: 7.5/10

“The Office” airs every Thursday night on NBC!

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