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The Office recap: Crime Aid is a silly way to recoup losses, but otherwise this episode was perfect

October
23

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten sucked into the sappy storylines of The Office.

Once upon a time, Jim’s crush on Pam was a peripheral distraction that you couldn’t ignore anymore. And once you stopped trying, you could totally relate to it. Then they went and overdid it, leaning too heavy on that aspect of the show and throwing things off balance. And they brought in Karen.

crime-aid-michael-holly.jpg

Well, “Crime Aid” looked like it was going to be one of those loopy, stupid episodes where Michael gets way too goofy, the laughs are plenty but the story is sitcom-ish. It looked like another “Safety Training.” Instead, it was a frenetic thing of beauty.

So much went on in 21-plus minutes, so many parallel stories and odd character pairings. The overarching plot was almost secondary to the episodic events within.

It was so satisfying (and smile-inducing) to see Michael and Holly trade dorky jokes and TMI comments about their budding affair. No, Michael, the third date is no gimme. Well, unless it’s with Holly, who seems incapable of not going with the flow no matter what bizarre comment her new beau throws out. Yup, twice.

The Roy-makes-Jim-uncomfortable-then-jealous story got the perfect emphasis. It was the kind of angsty story that drove past episodes, a la “Cocktails.” But it was the C story at best this time, and it was resolved on a perfect note. Jim and Pam are not Roy and Pam, not even close. Roy planted a seed of doubt in Jim’s head, but it was gone before the I-80 East entrance ramp.

Poor Pam, broke in the big city and working at corporate. Nice to see her, though, all 37 seconds of her.

crime-aid-roy.jpgI was amazed at the chemistry between Phyllis and Dwight, if that’s the right word. Their interactions, their huge personalities so apt to clash, jibed on their own plane apart from all else. And he was decent to her in the end. Everybody bidding for a Phyllis hug was nice, and Dwight driving up the bidding was the perfect gesture. She was only trying to help, after all.

But why couldnt’ he just say he was letting the air out of her tires?

The CRIME AID benefit was ridiculous. Again, it would have been the main plot in a Season 3 episode. This time around, it was just a vehicle for jokes. No one wanting Kevin to be their tax man was funny. Hank playing horrid blues guitar was funnier. And $300 for a Holly yoga class was just painful. I don’t think Michael understands what an auctioneer is supposed to do, by the way.

crime-aid-jim.jpgIt was great to see the CFO, though clearly Ryan didn’t think so. But it was silly for Wallace to show up and participate. Even Jan had to be convinced to come to Casino Night. But Wallace’s one-liner at the end, after spotting Michael and Holly canoodling, was excruciating.

It explains well what’s to come, as sour as that prospect is. We know Holly is leaving because we know Amy Ryan is leaving, and there’s been no word to contradict that. It’s a shame. She gives the show needed ballast.

By the way, was Kelly in this one at all? And poor Kev, now susceptible to surges!

Season 5 is the new Season 2 (almost).

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 23rd, 2008 at 11:16 pm by Brian Howard. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Amy Ryan, Crime Aid, The Office

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