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The Office recap: The Dual (Nothing fancy, just a great episode. I said nothing fancy!)

January
16

For the record, I once ran 47 mph, and I was in front of that car so it was all me.

Besides being really, really fast, Michael’s big picture looks pretty good. In tough times, corporate types can’t be choosy. If ineptitude reels in big numbers, run with it. Besides, ineptitude beats whatever management strategies Jim was using to quell an office civil war between the preppie and the beetnik.

That’s a fight you can buy into. I mean, is it me or Angela turning up the schwiiiing this season? Being a trollop certainly becomes her. Her forms, alas, are decidedly whorish. She’ll have plenty chance to tidy up that pristine image now that she’s no longer the office mattress.

She dropped that title faster than Dwight dropped that bobble head. Talk about crushing symbolism, though canceling that sailboat wedding cake also drove home the point like a slow-moving Prius.

The Office warmed a cold winter night for me. The laughs were plenty, though muted by melodrama. Is Jim just a really bad manager, and not in Michael’s idiot savant way? Would Dwight leave Andy bare-handless? Would Angela find away to keep stringing things along? Would Pam ever get another line after sharing her Hot Tamales?

“The Duel” might well have been titled “The Dual” because the comparisons were pretty apparent last night: Jim is no Michael just like the Overkill Killer is no match for the Silent Kiler.

The cold open was nice and self-contained, which sometimes bugs me when they have plot to cover. In this case, it was a good choice. It reminded me of The Rookie, where Dennis Quaid is hurling fastballs past the driver feedback sign. (That’s what those portable radar signs are called, for the record.)

The best part was that everybody was out there to give it a try. It wasn’t just Michael. That was a nice setup for Michael’s trip to New York. No wonder Michael was worried what the “big picture” might mean. (I loved that he had no idea what it meant.) Apparently the secret to topping all other branches in sales is to take everyone outside to clock their top speed. I’m going to suggest that to my boss.

And an extended David Wallace appearance is always welcome. The guy is just likeable, and his reactions are like the viewer’s reactions, like he’s always an outsider, which makes him funnier.

So the love triangle finally blew up in Angela’s face. I really like Andy, or at least I really feel for him. I feel worse for Meredith’s neighbor, mind you. But when Andy confronted the entire office for lying to him, only Creed’s “You’re welcome” saved the scene from getting too dark. Was Michael wrong to tell him? Well, no one else was going to, certainly not Angela, which was everyone else’s excuse for keeping silent.

It was great watching Jim keep Michael from blabbing. But it was too late. Well, it wasn’t too late because Michael hadn’t left yet. But he was walking.

But Andy didn’t explode, so I guess anger management really paid off. He’s still an idiot, no doubt. Besides a land war in Asia, things to avoid include office duels with a man who keeps mace, a cross-bow and throwing stars at work.

Dwight is the worst, by the way, and he still has a beatdown coming. I’ll admit, I felt for him when he tossed out that doll collectible Angela bought him way back on Valentine’s Day 2006. Does this mean I have to throw out the one I have at home?

And while she totally doesn’t deserve it, I feel awful for Angela. I could tell you why, but Anque, the pride of Cor-not, said it best over at NorthernAttack.com.

It looks to me like she really felt all the “right things” for Andy, the way she’d always dreamed about it growing up. However, she has an unreasonable (to her) passion for Dwight that she can’t seem to quench. When she was with whatever person she was with at the time, it always seemed like the right thing. Until she was with the other person. I think she really did love them both in some way. So I’m sure she slept with Andy right after Moroccan Christmas out of pure guilt with a little love thrown in. Because she still loves him in her way. So she was frozen with indecision. Incapable of making a move either way because the war was so great within her between the ‘good’ Angela and the ‘bad’ one. That’s why she was so pleased to have them fight. The decision would be taken out of her hands. It never occurred to her that both of them would dump her. Which, by the way, was the awesomest outcome of all.

Yep. I think Angela started coming around back when Oscar returned in Season 3. So it’s nice to see the writers keep up that development rather than let her revert to her shallower (in terms of personality and writing) ways.

I loved when Angela told Dwight she’d already admitted she loved him so why does he keep making her repeat it. And the way she pulled on those headphones when Kevin took full advantage of her sudden moral low ground cracked me up, especially when Oscar helped him with the wording.

Lastly, there’s Jim. We’ve seen before that he doesn’t fare well in Michael’s absence. Survivorman demonstrated that. Seriously, one party for all the birthdays? Well he can’t break up a fight between subordinates either, though he is good at collecting weapons. You know who else was good at that? Toby. That does not reflect well on Jim.

As Daoust, another NorthernAttack’er from the Canadian frontier, points out, the Michael-Jim contrast seemed very intentional. Jim’s a powerless leader while Michael, despite being completely incompetent, was garnering kudos from the CFO. Of course, Jim’s probably the top reason sales are still strong in Scranton, so paradox.

A few favorite lines/moments of the night…

• Oscar’s face as Dwight hinted at where he and Angela had, you know, boogied.

• More Schrute family nursery rhymes. Learn your rules. Learn your rules. Chomp!

• Michael didn’t have much time. His car was right over there.

• When men fight over Meredith, it’s usually over who gets to hold the camcorder.

• Improversation. Haven’t had a new Michael-ism in a while, have we?

• “Nothing fancy.” “Missionary?” “I said nothing fancy.”

• I’m really impressed with the potential that you see in me.

• Kelly saying she guesses people have fewer choices when they get older sounded to me like something Cerie from 30 Rock would say.

And here’s some links you’ll want to pore over…

Placeholder site for the Office non-spinoff

Video: ET Goes Behind the Scenes of ‘The Office’

Ausiello spoiler: ‘Shocking news’ for Jim and Pam

Ausiello scoop: Holly’s coming back!

NBC rolls out its spring schedule

OfficeTally’s got all the deets on the non-spinoff

E!’s take on the non-spinoff

Sepinwall’s take on the non-spinoff

This entry was posted on Friday, January 16th, 2009 at 12:36 pm by Brian Howard. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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2 Responses to “The Office recap: The Dual (Nothing fancy, just a great episode. I said nothing fancy!)”

  1. YourMom

    That Anque sure does seem like she knows what she’s talking about.

  2. Anque

    Seriously, thanks for the shout out B!

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