There was no Robert California anywhere to be found in the latest installment of “The Office,” but that doesn’t mean the NBC comedy lacked any humorous moments in the episode titled “Lotto.” Directed by John Krasinski, Thursday night’s show wasn’t without its flaws, but we were delivered enough high-quality laughs to keep us smiling throughout. Check below for a closer look at last night’s episode of “The Office”.

The Players:

  • Director: John Krasinski
  • Writers: Charlie Gandy
  • Cast: Rainn Wilson, James Spader, John Krasinski, B.J. Novak, Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Creed Bratton, Mindy Kaling, Ellie Kemper, Angela Kinsey, Paul Lieberstein, Oscar Nuñez, Craig Robinson, Phyllis Smith

Episode: “The Incentive”

The warehouse guys win the lotto and quit en masse. This big event allows everyone in the office to reveal their dreams of life after a lotto win, while Darryl arrives at a career crossroads. Andy is on the search for new warehouse employees while Jim, Erin, Dwight and Kevin are called into duty to keep the warehouse running.

The Good:

  • 10:30: The brief dialogue between Ryan and Pam was a highlight for sure. After Ryan proclaims how everyone wants the money, but no one wants to work for it, Pam’s retort of reminding Ryan that he arrived to work at 10:30am was all that needed to be said. The scene was played perfectly between B.J Novak and Jenna Fischer.
  • Newhart: You drop a “Newhart” reference into any show, and I am applauding like mad.
  • Andy: Andy’s in-your-face scene with Darryl worked rather well. Darryl needed a dose of the truth – to stop all his whining! – and Andy delivered it strongly, but not without some warmth, which is hat you’d expect.
  • Erin: Erin’s performance in the warehouse, trying to help load all the boxes, was damn funny.
  • Job Opportunity: The few scenes featuring Andy and Darryl interviewing potential new warehouse workers actually delivered some solid laughs. A few words from Robert California wouldn’t have hurt, but the guest actors were given some funny lines in the episode.
  • Kelly: Kelly talking about what would happen if she won the lotto was funny, as was the back and forth between Jim and Pam as they worked to merge both their dream scenarios should they win the lotto.
  • Toby: It was brief, but Toby’s ‘Flenderson Files’ comment at the end was very funny. Theme music included.

The Bad (but not that bad):

  • Cold Open: Just so-so tonight. However it was nice to see Oscar smash that car window!
  • Unhappy Darryl: I totally can see how Darryl would be bummed that his former warehouse buddies all just won the lotto – the same lotto he played with them when he was working for years in the warehouse. And I can relate to his career woes. And though the storyline was not totally void of laughs, watching unhappy Darryl started to get a little tiresome.
  • Warehouse: Jim-Erin-Dwight-Kevin in the warehouse was just okay. It never reached a comic high-point, just kind of meandered along. Erin shined, but the storyline was just ok.
  • No Robert California: There. I said it.

Overall:

Did anyone notice the website Pam was looking at while briefly back at the receptionist table? NYC Loft Living. Now was that part of the ongoing storyline of Pam researching her lotto fantasy, or are the writers setting something up? Just wondering….

Was it an a-plus episode? No. But the show still delivered some kick-ass dialogue that had me laughing out loud. The Jim-Erin-Dwight-Kevin in the warehouse storyline faltered somewhat in the end, but Andy and Darryl’s search for new warehouse employees, plus some funny scenes featuring Pam, Ryan, Oscar and Andy helped the latest episode succeed overall. Of the first three episodes it’s the weakest of the bunch so far, but still far better than most of the nonsense out there in TV universe – that’s right, I am speaking directly to you “Whitney.”

Rating: 6/10

“The Office” airs on NBC at 9pm (ET/PT) on Thursday nights.

What did you think of last night’s episode?