The Office Season 9 Review “The Target”

The Office Season 9 Episode 8 The Target

Though “The Office” has been pretty hit-or-miss this season, it has been better overall than last season, and one thing is certain, when in doubt, they lean hard on Dwight. Such was the case with “The Target” and, as with the other more Dwight-centric episodes this season, it paid off in dividends, this time even leading to some surprisingly touching moments- and at least one hilariously awkward one.

Last week, Oscar accidentally let the cat out of the bag about his secret relationship with Angela’s man, the Senator. However, it wasn’t entirely clearly whether or not Angela had realized what was up, and it seemed as if he was in the clear, given that she was still being civil to him. Alas, as it turned out, she was indeed aware and was plotting something nefarious. She recruited Dwight to help, leading to the aforementioned hilarity, when Dwight mistook Angela’s wanting to meet up clandestinely with him for a come-on and was waiting for her sans clothes! Hello!

As it turned out, Angela wanted him to hire a hit man to take out Oscar, which could have led to a pretty dark place, but fortunately Rainn Wilson was able to temper the situation with his dead-on comedic timing. Ultimately, he was able to convince Angela to aim a bit lower, and suggested that they instead take the cheater out at the knees. The two met with Dwight’s sketchy friend, Trevor, who staked out the office with a lead pipe hidden in a sandwich! This almost led to Kevin getting popped when he tried to intercept said foodstuffs, but thankfully Trevor was alerted in time to stop him from making the mistake.

Eventually, Dwight figured out what was really going on and stopped Trevor from attacking Oscar in the parking lot, leading to a tense, emotional showdown between Oscar and Angela. It may well have been the most intense scene in the history of “The Office” and it was nice to see that the show was able to balance out the seriousness of what happened with humor that was legitimately earned, leading to a genuinely touching moment between Angela and Dwight as he comforted her post-confrontation.

The subplots were decent, with the Jim one only moderately amusing, but the Pam one faring a bit better as she tried to fit in by stepping outside the comforts of her usual staid boundaries and be a little naughty, trying to incur a complaint from a customer. Naturally, the results were mixed, but still funny, with Pam’s reaction to the revelation that she’d just had fun at the expense of someone’s recently dead mother pretty priceless.

Here are some of my favorite lines this week:

Pete: Don’t give me a pointless office chore because I will build a little paper house. Fight the power.

Dwight (buck-naked, coming on to Angela): Come on in, the water’s fine.

Dwight, again to Angela: If I’m not in your panties, I don’t go vigilantes.

Trevor: Is it safe to talk?
Dwight: Well, this documentary crew has been following our every move for the past nine years but I don’t see them, so I think we’re good.

Pam: I can get us a complaint!
Meredith: You? Little Miss Priss? You wouldn’t fart on a butterfly.
Pam: No, I wouldn’t. I can’t even relate to that impulse.

Dwight: The target- it’s Oscar, isn’t it? He and the Senator are gaying each other.
Angela: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Dwight: Your nostrils tell a different story. They flare like that every time you’re engaging in deception. Hello again, naughty nostrils.

Nellie: Come on Pam, you can fail. I see failure in you.
Creed: Remember- You’re a scumbag. You think scummy thoughts like this. (Gives a hilariously creepy look, shades of the blood gag on the Halloween ep.)

Angela: I feel so stupid.
Dwight: You’re not stupid. Jazz is stupid.
Angela: Jazz is stupid. I mean, just play the right notes!

And finally, the best for last, literally, as it was the last exchange on the show:
Dwight, to Toby (of all people!): Where does gayness come from, and how is it transmitted?
Angela: My pastor says it can come from breast-feeding.
Toby: Your pastor told you that?
Angela: What is it called when 2 men intertwine their penises, like the snakes on the medic-alert bracelets?
Dwight: Is it called red-vining? Where are gay men’s vaginas? When 2 gay men have sex, how do they know whose penis will open up to accept the other person’s penis?
Toby: Wow.

I really liked this episode of “The Office” all around. It had the perfect mix of humor and pathos. It reminded me how great this show can be when it’s really on top of its game. What did you think? Do you hope Dwight and Angela will end up together? Did you get a kick out of Pam’s rebellious side- and the unfortunate aftermath? Let me know in the comments!