It’s a race against the clock on the latest episode of “The Office.“ Dwight’s attempt to help the office cut down on mistakes just might get the whole staff fired. Arguably the best episode thus far of the young season, the strength of the top-notch ensemble cast was on full display Thursday night.

Check out the complete review below…

The Players:

  • Director: Troy Miller
  • Writers: Daniel Chun
  • 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: “Doomsday”

In a sincere attempt to boost productivity, Dwight creates a device, very much like a doomsday device, that just might get the entire staff fired. Oh, and Gabe falls in love with a female worker in the warehouse.

The Good:

  • Closing Time: Best cold open of the season so far, even if it did require using Supersonic’s annoying-as-hell anthem “Closing Time.” Andy’s attempts at creating new office traditions for the staff might have received a lukewarm response, but Stanley killed it with his crooning of a few verses of the song.
  • Robert C.: James Spader’s Robert California character appeared in only a few scenes, but the first one with Andy was nails. The bit about having a favorite Iron Chef was hilarious. I’m now thinking that Robert California has a bit of a grown-up Steph in there, Spader’s awesome, ‘smoking cigarettes in the high school hallway in between classes’ character from Pretty In Pink.
  • Dwight, Bond Villain: Dwight was on full ‘f-you’ tonight, prepared to let his fellow office mates suffer being fired for lacking his ultra-strong work ethic. I like that Dwight is still pissed as hell he is not Regional Manager. Obviously he is the best qualified, and to watch Andy make a mess of it just destroys him. Of course in the end he spares the staff. Deep down he ares for these people, but it was fun to watch him make them sweat it out until the very end.
  • Man Tree: I would very much like to hear Kevin finish his story about how trees are made. “Man tree puts his penis in….” is one of the better snippets of dialogue you’re going to hear all season – on any show!

The Bad (but not that bad):

  • Darryl, Dick: Darryl is acting like such a pain in the ass these days and that was such a dick move to pull on Gabe. Let the man do his thing! Making up a fake rule about interoffice dating is not cool, dude!
  • And In The End: The wrap-up to the ‘we need to stop the doomsday device before we all lose our jobs’ fell kind of flat for me. I wasn’t expecting the finale to Casino Royale, but still. I actually wasn’t sure how the writers were going to close it out, but having Dwight stop the madness only after dragging it out until the final minutes was a nice touch.

Overall:

I’d say it was the strongest of the six episodes so far this season. There was a crispness to the show’s rhythm, everything flowing nicely. The ensemble cast was aces and everyone had a moment, even if brief, to shine. It might have been a tad less zany without a Michael Scott around to really screw things up, but there were no slow parts to drag the show down.

It’s not a top ten of all-timer, but in a season of trying to fix leaks and look for fresh angles, “Doomsday” delivered that classic, “Office” formula where everything just works – and it feels so right.

Rating: 8/10

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

What did you think of last night’s episode?