A smattering of laughs and a Dwight-Angela plot twist highlight a rather uneven episode of “The Office“. Not even the brief return of cute and loveable Pam could jazz things up Thursday night. Nice work from some of the cast aside, “Jury Duty” failed to keep the momentum going from the previous episode.

Check below for the complete review…

The Players:

  • Director: Dean Holland
  • Writers: Owen Ellickson
  • 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: “Jury Duty”

After Jim returns from jury duty, Dwight questions him on every detail of his case. Meanwhile, Angela and the senator welcome their new baby.

The Good:

  • Kevin and Oscar: The duo had the bulk of the funny lines – and there were not many. This was one of the better Oscar episodes.
  • Dwight: He was funny in a mostly not funny episode. The ‘Dwight’s Rights’ moment was great, as was his time in the hospital discovering Angela’s baby is – we think – his. His line about teaching Mose sex was a good one.
  • Angela: Her few scenes in the hospital with Dwight, Oscar and Kevin were acceptable. Nothing superb, but charming enough to mention.

The Bad:

  • Jim: Krasinski looks like he has one foot out the door. He looks so done with being Jim. I thought the jury duty story line was boring – save for Dwight thinking he had Jim fired. And the appearance of Pam, with two kids alongside, helped zero.
  • Cold: The opener with Andy doing his best angry dance to “Footloose” felt like something that was thrown together at the last minute. I did not crack a smile.
  • Robert: If an episode is going to be mediocre, they might as well have Robert California along for the ride. Not sure where he would have fit in with “Jury Duty”, but I would have enjoyed seeing him.

Overall:

As much as I loved the “Pool Party” episode from a few weeks back, I was deeply saddened with “Jury Duty.” Yes, I laughed and chuckled at some bright spots featuring Oscar and Dwight and Toby, but it was a maddeningly uneven episode.

The baby twist was fine, but the scenes were not that enjoyable – other than watching Oscar, who has his finger all over the conspiracy.

Pam showed up. And it actually started to get worse. The last six or seven minutes was slow and disjointed. There was a moment when CeCe was crying and Jim and Pam were trying to console her; it was so peculiar and not funny that I was actually quite riveted at what was happening. I don’t think anyone knew what was happening – the cameras were rolling and stuff happened.

Pam’s return to the office was a bomb.

It wasn’t the worst half-hour of TV I’ve seen lately, not by a long shot, but it was sub-par ‘Office.’ And just when things were revved up after a delightful previous episode.

A frustratingly uneven season 8 continues…

Rating: 6/10

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

What did you think of last night’s episode?