The Office” continues to get the comedy boost it needs from the Florida storyline. And this week it’s time to open the brand new Sabre store, with Dwight piloting the action. While the gang in Scranton is stuck with a so-so story, the ensemble in Tallahassee gives “Test the Store” plenty of funny moments to carry the episode.

Check below for the complete review…

The Players:

  • Director: Brent Forrester
  • Writers: Mindy Kaling
  • 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: “Test the Store”

Dwight prepares a theatrical presentation to impress Nellie at the Sabre Store opening. In Scranton, Andy shows up to work with an embarrassing injury.

The Good:

  • Erin: Ellie Kemper had some solid moments in the episode. The mispronunciation of Coachella and Zooey Deschanel was funny. And she looked way hot in the hat and glasses.
  • Dwight: He took control of the Sabre store opening storyline and delivered quite well. His reaction to being named vice president was fun to see.
  • Kathy the Temp-tress: Thank God we don’t have to watch her trying to bang Jim anymore. She was actually funny as she tried to act sexy for the visiting Blogger.
  • Ryan-Dwight-Jim: Their role-playing scene, as Ryan succumbs to the pressure, was a highlight for me. Dwight as Kelly, brief as it was, is one of my favorite moments of the season so far.
  • Nellie: Catherine Tate scored some funny points with me in the episode. The opening about her accent and Spice Girls comment was well played.
  • Rape Flute: It was a quick remark from Angela, but it was funny – especially when she pulled the damn thing out.
  • Creed: The whack Meredith-scream-run out of conference room moment was good stuff.
  • Jim: At times this season Krasinski has seemed like a guy not too excited about returning for another season. But in “Test the Store” he kicked it up a notch and did a terrific job – especially when he is asked to fill-in for Ryan at the last minute. And yeah, he does kinda look like Chuck from “Chuck.”

The Bad:

  • Andy Gets Beat Up: There were a few funny moments – specifically the sassy back-and-forth between Pam and the bully young girl -, but overall the story was blah. It felt slow and just killing time before we could jump back to the store opening story.
  • Andy: I’m not even sure why he annoyed me in the episode, but he did, which made the entire plot about him getting punched by a young girl all the more useless.

Overall:

The half of the show about the store opening was fun to watch. The other half, at the office, was ho-hum. Yes, there was the rape flute, the tub of electricity, Toby the self-defense instructor, and some sass between Pam and a young girl, but the storyline was uninteresting and just kept getting in the way of the hijinks down at the store opening.

So not a bad episode, just uneven. There was lots of funny stuff happening with the store opening, from Ryan losing it and Stanley’s pizza, to Dwight’s disgust of Bloggers and Erin’s stroll with an elderly woman. And that’s not even mentioning Jim handling Ryan’s presentation and Dwight acting like Kelly talking to Ryan. That was funny!

Maybe an entire episode set at the store opening would have been overkill, but considering how blah the Scranton storyline turned out perhaps they should have tried.

It’s been an up and down season for “The Office”, but the Florida arc of episodes have been great – a real blast of humor that the show severely needs. Things are setting up for a solid close to season 8. And with so much unknown about which cast members are returning and who are walking, let’s hope these last few episodes are great ones.

Rating: 7/10

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

What did you think of last night’s episode?