November 6th, 2008
My complaint about The Office recently was that it felt inorganic: that between the concerns over Pam and Jim’s future, and the sad departure of Amy Ryan, and the battle between Dwight and Andy feeling like something we’ve dealt with too often in the past, last week’s episode just felt “off.” This week, things are less momentous but, to be honest, more consistent with what I come to expect from the show.
And on all of the fronts involved, we just got a more full-featured storyline: while removing the focus from Michael is rough when Holly brought such a great new dynamic to his character, we got to see Jim and Pam move to the center of the narrative even while entirely apart. The episode’s gimmick seemed like it could be quite lame, but it was used in a couple of charming ways and proved a potent device for the conclusion. Combine with some smart use of Michael and Kelly Kapoor, and you have an episode that just felt more natural to me, even with a bug in its ear.