Tonight’s episode of The Office, kicked off with one of the best cold opens since the planking open of the season premiere, “The List”. I was laughing out loud as Dwight went from room to room with Erin to wake the sleeping staff with an early morning heart attack, promise of pretzels or seductive whisper.
Although Dwight failed to plan for Jim’s adjusted sleep schedule, Jim was two steps ahead and perfectly anticipated Dwight’s wake up call with a hilarious crime scene set up that shocked both Dwight and Erin. Before Dwight made his morning rounds, we had the pleasure of watching him pack up and prepare for the day. I don’t know many people that cram their entire duffle bag into the hotel safe and vacuum before heading out, but I have no doubt that what we saw is the standard hotel routine for Dwight. Simply fantastic.
“Tallahassee” featured the return of two old friends from The Office. The ever menacing Todd Packer returned to haunt Dwight and Jim and he explained that they would never be able to keep him down. If there was any chance that we had forgotten what Packer was like in the time that he was away, he helped refresh our memories by explaining, “this cat’s got 9 lives…” and before he could explain what other “9 inch” item he also had, the camera cut away from his interview.
The brilliant Catharine Tate returned to reprise her role as Nellie Bertram. Now in the new position of “President of Special Projects” she is responsible for running the set up of the special Sabre stores. From what I gathered in her introduction, the biggest reason Nellie was put in this position was because of her connection to the CEO. She spent a good portion of the seminar aggressively explaining how she very much deserved to run these special projects despite being turned down from the Scranton branch manager position. Whatever the reason for her involvement, I’m hoping that this special project lasts a very long time so we get much more Nellie Bertram in the future.
Dwight’s appendicitis was painfully comical. I felt terrible for him, but I was laughing at his every ache and groan. As he was rolled out of the stretcher, he left a dying message for Phillip leaving everything to him and telling him to kill Mose. Of course, his next call was to issue a warning to Mose. I didn’t expect Dwight to return less than 3 hours after his appendectomy, but thank goodness he did. His sweat and blood filled PowerPoint presentation on seasonal shoppers, menstrual cycles and the killing of royals was some of the funniest stuff I’ve seen on The Office in a very long time.
In Stanley’s mind, he had been on a Florida vacation since they arrived in Tallahassee. He had planned ahead to enjoy his days as if he were at a resort. He had no problem drinking during the meetings, driving a convertible and listening to music during presentations. Jim was taking unexpected inspiration from Stanley as well and I loved Jim’s occasional looks of admiration as he realized how much Stanley just didn’t care about anything.
Meanwhile, the staff back in Scranton were coping without a receptionist. Andy temporarily filled in and discovered that he absolutely loved working as a receptionist. I enjoyed seeing Andy giddy about answering phones and baking treats for the office staff, but I was a little put off by the final moment when he admitted to a caller that he missed Erin. I don’t know how I feel about the Erin and Andy match up. I adore Erin and there was a time when I would have been thrilled about the two of them pairing up. I’m not sure I’m interested in seeing her get with Andy anymore. I liked the two of them when they were the naive office weirdos gravitating towards one another, but now Andy is always anxious about being the boss and he just isn’t quite his old self.
Finally, “Wally Amos” of Famous Amos Cookies came in to give a motivational speech to the special projects team, but the moment those cookies were wheeled in on a cart, everyone lost their ability to concentrate. Erin’s attempted request for oatmeal cookies with no raisins struck a chord with this raisin-hating, cookie-loving girl, but Wally had obviously heard the same request many times before and brushed Erin off before she had a chance to plead her case. I admire her for trying though.
In my opinion, “Tallahassee” was one of the best episodes of The Office this season and it might even be one of the better episodes from the last couple of seasons. There were multiple plot lines running throughout, but they were all paced really well and loaded with laughs from start to finish. Overall, it was well done and I would happily watch this episode of The Office again.