A bus plays a key part in the aptly titled “Work Bus”, the latest episode from The Office, which returns following a week off the NBC schedule to make room for politicians dressed in suits arguing with one another. This is better.

Check below for the full review…

The Players:

  • Director: Bryan Cranston
  • Writers: Brent Forrester
  • Cast: Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Creed Bratton, Ellie Kemper, Angela Kinsey, Paul Lieberstein, Oscar Nuñez, Craig Robinson, Phyllis Smith, Clark Duke, Jake Lacy, B.J. Novak

Episode Title: “Work Bus”

When Dwight closes the building for repairs, the office team takes to the road on a bus in search of — pies! And Nellie is trying to adopt a baby.

The Good:

  • Kevin, Unleashed: The writers did Office viewers a big favor this week and uncorked the funny stuff for Kevin in “Work Bus”. The whole bit about how he excels at math when pies are involved is so good. He also had some very funny dialogue throughout the episode.
  • Dwight: In a night filled with great lines, he delivers with: “My trouser hives are void of honey.”
  • Jim/Pam: I guess she’s come around. The duo shared a nice moment at the end – amongst the pies.
  • Work Bus: The storyline succeeds nicely – trapping the ensemble on the bus and delivering a bunch of funny moments once the episode got rolling – so to speak. “Roll into the future – with work bus!”
  • Clark & Darryl: A funny moment when the twosome watch the bus drive away.
  • Toby: Had to like Andy’s evil smack-down to Toby: “How are you not murdered every hour?”
  • Walter White!: Not sure how the Bryan Cranston/The Office connection was made, but just knowing the fine actor was steering the ship on “Work Bus” makes one like the episode even more!
  • Roll Call: Slightly cheesy, but still offered a few chuckles.
  • Jump Shot: The Jim jump shot – after thinking he had scored a week off for the staff – was nicely done. Very Jim-like.
  • Best Line: Tough to call. A strong night for witty one-liners. Still, Meredith yelling “Lose weight!” at Erin on the cramped bus gets the nod. Erin’s reaction included!

The Bad:

  • Open: Just didn’t click. And having Andy quarterback the whole scene did not help. This is not a pro-Andy zone these days.
  • Mean Andy: Only Andy can make viewers actually feel bad for Nellie. Yes, he did come around – as expected – but his jerk routine was slightly over-the-top, but no less effective as being a massive a-hole. Anyone notice
  • Babies: The Nellie/adoption storyline felt a little shoehorned into the episode, but perhaps it succeeded in softening the Nellie character up a tad.
  • Pie To The Face: Sad to say it, but the Kevin-Oscar-Pie in Face scene didn’t work.

Overall:

Two things stand out about the humorous “Work Bus” episode: it’s cool that actor Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) directed, and there were a lot of funny one-liners peppered throughout the episode. The Nellie/Andy stuff slowed things down, but overall it was a good episode – especially Kevin. Lately it’s been hit or miss when the staff leaves the office, but this time, trapped on a bus on the way to get some pies, really clicked. Just watching Angela’s uncomfortable facial expressions for almost the entirety of the bus ride alone was worth the bus plot.

 

Rating: 7/10

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

What did you think of tonight’s episode?