Back from their Thanksgiving Day break, the gang from “The Office” returns, with a guest appearance by an actress very familiar to the NBC network starring as Robert California’s job-seeking wife. The episode proves the show can rebound after a lackluster showing, providing plenty of funny one-liners and strong ensemble work to get the show back on the right track.

Check below for the complete review…

The Players:

  • Director: Charlie Grandy
  • Writers: Dan Graeny
  • 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: “Mrs. California”

Robert California brings his wife into the office to find her a job, which means Andy is going to be involved, and that cannot be good. Meanwhile, Dwight decides a good way to make more money is to open a gym in the building.

The Good:

  • “Bitch”: It was one word and delivered flawlessly by Ryan (B.J. Novak).
  • “Maura Tierney”: Always good to see Maura Tierney in action. I have always like her, especially her work as Abby Lockhart on “ER” and the funny “Newsradio.” She is a fine choice to play Mrs. California – and it looks as though she might be back for future episodes.
  • Saw V: You could see the Darryl joke coming a mile away once he walked into Dwight’s new gym, but it was still delivered very nicely.
  • Jim: It’s a been a low-key season thus far for Jim Halpert, but I thought John Krasinski did quite well in the latest episode. His efforts to ‘escape’ from the office was funny.
  • Creed: Creed on the roof playing with his remote control helicopter is, was and will always be very funny.

The Bad (but not that bad):

  • Mr. and Mrs. California: The main story line this week with Mrs. California seeking employment at Dunder Mifflin was actually my least favorite. It’s not the actors, or the writing, I just felt the story dragged on. Only the last moment between Andy and Mrs. California saved it.
  • Andy: The Andy character just annoys me. Maybe less so in some episodes, but lately I am over it!


Prior to the Thanksgiving Day break, we had the “Gettysburg” episode, which I thought very little of. So “Mrs. California” – thankfully  – delivered a comedy palate cleanser, if you will, offering up funny one-liners and nice work from the cast – and guest star Maura Tierney. I felt she was A-plus as Robert California’s job-seeking wife. Tierney and Spader worked well together. And unless I am mistaken, it looks as though the way in which the writers left things between Mrs. California and Andy in the final scene, we might be seeing more of Maura Tierney on The Office.

I thought Spader was in fine form, as well as Rainn Wilson, Krasinski, Craig Robinson and B.J. Novak, who delivered a killer one-liner. Best moment of the episode, I think. I watched the scene at least five times.

So perhaps “Mrs. California” is not a filet mignon episode of The Office, but it was still a definite rebound from “Gettysburg.” Tonight’s episode had the feel at times like an episode you might see during the show’s golden era – and I realize everyone has their own opinion on when, exactly, that era in the show’s existence starts and stops.

Rating: 8/10

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

What did you think of last night’s episode?