On the latest episode of “The Office” and the first of the New Year, the gang got things off to a nice start with the excellent “Lice.” In it, while Jim was having the best day ever-cooling with none other than famed basketballer Dr. J.- Pam was having the worst…day…evah! (Okay, I’d say Meredith, but she clearly owned that new do, or lack thereof, like a BOSS!)
As if handling household chores alone wasn’t bad enough, baby Cece had head lice, which Pam promptly and unwittingly set loose in the office, setting off instant panic- and blame for poor Meredith, who Sinead O’Connor-ed herself in protest, though she didn’t blame the office for blaming her, which only served to make Pam feel extra worse. Not that she needed the extra help, after Erin confused her with Meredith! (Well, that won’t be the case for a while with that new look she’s sporting.)
Not that Jim wasn’t somewhat sympathetic, which is why he downplayed how much fun he was having, pointing out “how I would feel if I was stuck at home with the kids while she was out go-karting with John Stamos,” LOL. (What a hilariously random joke- and it was the mental image of the go-kart, not the Stamos that made it so funny, IMHO. Still, nice going “Office” scribes.)
Meanwhile, Darryl was suffering- not- from the self-induced break-up with girlfriend and co-worker Valerie, which he brought upon by gaining weight excessively, which was also hilarious. Alas, he milked it a little too hard, earning sympathy from Nellie: “Break-ups are the worst. The only thing that got me through mine was large amounts of Sheppard’s Pie and Brandy- the singer, not the drink.” (Another random celeb joke that made me laugh.) Her other comments about break-ups were equally priceless. In the end, she teamed up with Phyllis and Kevin to talk Valerie back into Darryl’s good graces. That’s what happens when you milk a faux break-up for sympathy. Lesson learned.
Back up in the office, Dwight naturally went 5150 almost immediately, donning a Hazmat suit, which he noted, “stands for hazardous material men’s suit wearing.” Naturally, it was Dwight’s suit, because “if you rent it more than four times a year, it just makes sense to buy.” In no time, he was ranting and raving about how lice were “scalp leeches, skull vampires, follicle gypsies, hair lawyers” and how “one thing is clear: kill or be killed.”
Another thing was also clear-that Dwight wasn’t kidding when he said that “of all the vermin in God’s great Kingdom, lice are the ones that I detest most,” which led to hands-down one of my favorite bits of the night when he inadvertently set off a bug bomb in the back room. Inhaling all manner of toxins- twice!- he thought he would be okay even though some of them had “a mild hallucinogenic effect” which he didn’t think had time to kick in yet. Testing his theory, he decided to “count down from ten…nine…yellow, cold sad…purple.” With that he was out like a light. Funny stuff, made all the sweeter by the button in the car.
As the rest of the infected gang sought solace in covering their infected heads with mayonnaise (is that a thing?), Meredith took a trip to crazy town and shaved her head bald. She was not pleased when she discovered via a phone call from Pam’s mom informing the entire office that it was actually her doings, not Pam’s. Calls of “shave her head!” arose while the wronged Meredith proclaimed: “Yeah! Princess Fancy-Pants letting Jane 12-Pack over her take the fall!” Pam apologized profusely, but the damage was done, as Angela drove home: “Well, a lot of good your sorries are doing her now, Pam! She’s a monster!” LOL. Great stuff. Way to start the New Year off right, “Office.”
Other fun moments: Jim’s frustration with his busted lip; the revelation that one of Dwight’s nicknames in school was “girl puncher” (of course it was); Erin & Pete’s fun with mayo (“Eiffel Tower!”); the look on Darryl’s face when his long-con scheme backfired; and Pam & Meredith’s epically-off rendition of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (though Sinead would have been perfect, too- at least if she had a hit that wasn’t such a bummer).
Best lines not mentioned:
Angela after finding out about the lice and Meredith’s role in it: “Meredith, you know, this is an office, not one of your beanbag orgies.”
Pam, trying to avoid Meredith by teaming with Creed: “Hey Creed, you want to be my buddy?”
Creed: “Oh God, stuck with the weirdo.”
Meredith, macking on someone at The Bog (what a bar name!) who likes her new look: “I’m gonna take that freak to bone town before the night is over.”
And- of all people- Erin FTW describing Meredith’s new look: “You look like a baby who suddenly aged 50 years, a cute baby…but something sucked the life force out of it.” (If that was an actual reference to the underrated sci-fi/horror mash-up “Lifeforce,” give that writer a raise!)
Classic “Office.” ‘Nuff said.
What did you think? What was your fave part? Did you dig Meredith’s new look? Did Dwight’s antics have you on the floor laughing? Are you as surprised as I was that Erin got one of the best, if not THE best joke of the night? (Okay, I might just be a sucker for redheads…)
Let me know in the comments!