Continuing its run of two-word episode titles, the latest installment of The Office is titled “The Whale,” which features the return of a rather dysfunctional, but no less funny cast member.

Check below for the full review…

The Players:

  • Director: Rodman Flender
  • Writers: Carrie Kemper
  • 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: “The Whale”

Dwight faces a female challenge with a familiar face: Jan; Angela enlists Oscar to spy on the Senator.

The Good:

  • The End: The look on Angela’s face when she figures out it’s Oscar who is having the affair with the senator is awesome. The storyline was funny, but the big reveal inside the fitness club was nicely unexpected (thought maybe they’d drag it out longer), plus it included a touch of sadness. Will be interesting to see what happens next.
  • Dwight, Nodding: The storyline with Dwight and Pam featured some quality moments, but the best might have been Dwight practicing his nodding. His reaction to being called best salesman by David Wallace over the phone was also good.
  • New Jim/Erin: The romance between Erin and Pete moves another step closer to reality.
  • Jan, The Return: Nice to see Jan back in action, along with her revealing white blouse. The entire sequence with kooky Jan was fun to watch. Jan and Pam watching the Astrid video was a terrific scene. And Pam realizing it’s Jan they are meeting (the candles, the wall art) was also a highlight. Clark being thrust into the personal liaison position was a nice touch.
  • Toby!: In a kick-ass mustache! All the fellas were looking good in their mustaches to celebrate Movember. As Clark says, “hope you like being turned on all the time. Good line.
  • Meredith: “Remember that week in the ’90s when we got bagels?”
  • Andy: Aside from the crap cold open, he was nowhere to be found all episode.
  • Start-Up Jim: The few scenes with Jim trying to be on a conference call while at work were not necessarily funny, but still interesting to see how the writers are setting the stage for Jim (and Pam, yes?) to bid farewell to Dunder-Mifflin and make the move to Philadelphia. How soon all this happens is really the only big question.
  • Best Moment: Has to be the moment Angela realizes it’s Oscar. Good stuff.
  • Best Line: Jan: “Molly is crap.”

The Bad:

  • The Cold Open: “Ack!”, as Bill the Cat from Bloom County would say. Not funny from the moment it started to the moment it ended.

Overall:

“The Whale” had a nice rhythm going all episode, with the Oscar/Angela and Dwight/Pam/Jan plots both delivering the comedy goods. Of course the big news is Angela finding out about Oscar and the affair; the duo shined all episode long. Viewers were presented with an episode that definitely featured a spark in the writing, which was handled expertly by the stellar ensemble. Lots of good vibes all throughout “The Whale” – so much “sweet blubber” to enjoy, as Dwight would say.

Best episode so far of the young season.

 

Rating: 8/10

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

What did you think of tonight’s episode?