THE OFFICE “The Incentive” Review

THE OFFICE “The Incentive” Season 8, Episode 2 – Following in the footsteps of last week’s season premiere, this week’s episode of The Office showed us how the folks at the Scranton office have all continued to function as that same dysfunctional unit that we love.

To me, it’s important that Andy not morph into Michael Scott as he transitions from being just one among the group to being the boss. When he sat on Jim’s desk to have a little pow-wow with the group, it didn’t seem like something Andy would have normally done and I was immediately reminded of Michael.

Although Andy has had great moments of physical comedy before, he’s not normally a very physically clumsy character and I don’t think I need Andy to be as much of a physical comedian as Michael Scott was. Thankfully, there were only a couple brief moments when that thought crossed my mind so I’m not sure if those moments were written in intentionally, or if it was just coincidence.

Andy is an insecure stress case with a heart of gold that puts up a facade of confidence only to have it shattered in almost every circumstance. Andy’s scenes with Sabre CEO, Robert California, are some of his most wonderfully awkward moments and in general I love any of the situations that result from his social anxiety.

Andy is a smart guy and his incentive points idea was something that might work in a real office. Of course with coworkers like the ones in The Office, there is no such thing as a simple incentive. Before he knows it, Andy almost literally has his ass on the line. I absolutely loved how the prospect of being able to tattoo something on Andy’s backside was the perfect motivation to meet the new goals in one day. Their leg graph tracking their incentive points earned was brilliant and the cutaways showing an animated Stanley and Kevin calculating with two hands was just perfect.

As usual, Jim ends up being both the instigator and the voice of sanity. Ultimately Andy opts to ink his stink and go ahead with the tattoo as promised. I really liked that Andy seemed to want to go through with the tattoo because he made a promise to his staff and not because he was trying to earn their friendship or impress them. It was like a much more extreme version of when your boss promises gets into the dunk tank at the company picnic. No one would be upset if the boss changed his mind at the last minute, but when the boss actually gets into that dunk tank, you respect them more for it.

There was a wonderful warmth to this episode of The Office. I’m really enjoying Andy in his new role and if the ensemble continues to be worked into these story lines like they have been so far, this season of The Office has the potential to be really special.