It’s field trip time for the latest episode of “The Office” as Andy takes some of the office gang on an afternoon getaway to historic Gettysburg. There’s enough laughs and strong cast ensemble work to keep the fan base happy, but no one is likely choosing ‘manual erase’ on the DVR for future viewings after an otherwise so-so episode.
Check below for the complete review…
- Director: Jeffrey Blitz
- Writers: Robert Padnick
- 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
Andy plans a field trip to Gettysburg to inspire the staff. The lucky ones who stay behind get to chill with Robert California and try to come up with the company’s next big idea.
- “Cookie Placement”: Of course cookie placement is important! I though the Robert California subplot with the free thinkers of the office – those who wisely chose not to go to Gettysburg – delivered some funny content. And we were dealt a big portion of Kevin, and his big ideas, who was funny as usual. Stanley and Ryan also stood out. But the look on Robert California’s face when he realizes Kevin’s big ideas about cookies are not symbolic of business at all but actually just cookies is downright hilarious.
- “Battle of Schrute Farms”: The field trip storyline felt stiff throughout, but Dwight’s subplot worked and resulted in a decent payoff at the end.
- Cold Open: Jim and Pam’s fake labor routine to get out of company meetings and unwanted conversations was funny. They definitely go to the extreme.
- Gabe Lincoln: As it started, I immediately thought I’d dislike it, but watching Gabe get mistaken for an Abraham Lincoln impersonator – and then playing the part to a group of history-starved tourists – actually made me laugh. Sure, the whole thing was somewhat bizarre, but I thought it was funny and well-played.
- Ryan: It was nice to have Ryan chew some scenery with Robert California. His part about the origami and sushi was funny, as was his ploy to show Robert that Kevin really isn’t a man of great ideas. If anything, we needed more Ryan and Robert.
The Bad (but not that bad):
- Gettysburg: I did not love the Andy-inspired field trip to Gettysburg. It did yield some laughs and a decent conclusion with Jim setting Andy straight about his standing in the office, but overall it just meandered along, nothing in the script to make it special.
- Andy: Andy’s constant worry about his standing in the office as manager is getting tiresome. He seems to be in a state of panic at all times. But hey, a trip to Gettysburg should cure that!
I look at the “Gettysburg” episode as needing a little more this, a little less that. Perhaps more James Spader/B.J. Novak in the ‘game changers’ storyline, and less…field trips. Some choice lines of dialogue and a solid outing from the cast keeps the episode afloat. But it was rather lackluster throughout.
And yes, the Gettysburg scenes were definitely Southern California, but I give credit to the writers for getting around their location problems by having Andy ditch the real tour for a ‘special tour’ of the sacred grounds. Nothing was terrible, but nothing stood out either. It certainly will not be one of the more fondly remembered episodes.
“The Office” airs on NBC at 9pm (ET/PT) on Thursday nights.
What did you think of last night’s episode?