'The Office': In one ear...

Mindykaling_theoffice_s2_240Oh ... my ... goodness. I was already all the way in with Thursday's Office, and then Kelly tried to escape being punished for submitting fake customer surveys, and I darn near fell off the bed.

Spoilers will be served in the Shangri-La Tent.

Great stuff all around tonight, from Jim and Dwight fretting over their negative customer reviews to Pam and Jim staying connected via the world's smallest Bluetooth headset to the continued cluelessness by Andy Bernard, fool in love. British Office co-creator Stephen Merchant directed the episode, which fit together seamlessly and had a comedic momentum that never really let up. All of which was capped off by a pretty emotional moment for Jim and Pam.

You sort of knew, as soon as Jim and Pam explained that they were staying in constant contact via their tiny Bluetooths (Blueteeth?), that something was going to happen that made them both really uncomfortable. That something came in the form of Harry Crane Pam's art-school buddy Alex and his speech about how if Pam really wants to know if she has what it takes to be a successful artist, then she needs to stay in New York.

Jennafischer_theoffice_240 What worked so well was the fact that Alex's big speech didn't just vindicate Jim's contention that Alex has a thing for Pam. I mean, he probably does, and her remaining in New York does mean that he gets to keep seeing her. But ulterior motives aside, he's not wrong: Pam has limited herself in the past, and her willingness to go to New York was a huge step. And you could tell that Jim realized Alex was right too, which made for a really nice, melancholy moment.

Now, onto the funny:

Kelly hasn't had too many moments to shine this season, but her deviousness with Dwight and Jim's customer reviews gave her a couple of fantastic moments. Seems Kelly was upset that Jim and Dwight didn't attend Kelly's America's Got Talent finale party, at which Andy, Ryan, Angela, Meredith and everyone else in the office received coffee mugs emblazoned with their faces on a star background.

It leads first to Michael giving Jim and Dwight a remedial sales seminar and a vintage Jim-Dwight windup, followed by a burst of hilarious Dwight paranoia (the scene in the car was particularly strong), Pam sniffing out that something was up with Kelly after she went all monosyllabic on Jim and, finally, the confrontation where Dwight accused her of juking the stats (wouldn't have pegged him as a Wire fan, but there you go) and she finally broke down.

But not before -- oh my god, do I feel bad about myself for laughing so hard at this -- she blurts out, "I was raped." To which Michael answers, "You can't say 'I was raped' and expect all your problems to go away -- not again. You can't keep doing that, Kelly." Just -- man. Oh my. I think what really sold the bit was Michael's disappointed-but-not-angry response, as if he's more upset that she'd try to sell the same line again.

Almost as good was the next scene, where Michael commiserates about all the trouble he has getting people to come to his place -- "I can't tell you how much leftover guacamole I've ended up eating over the years. I don't know why I make it in such great quantities."

Rainnwilson_theoffice_240 At least Dwight got to end the episode on a happy note, as he took over the, uh, servicing of bride-to-be Angela as she and Andy plan their wedding. Andy has secured the services of the top "tentist" on the Eastern seaboard -- "He tented Giuliani's first and third weddings" -- and is itching to put a deposit down on the Shangri-La, a two-story, heated tent that comes complete "with a bridal suite -- for my bridal sweet."

Angela finally agrees to the tent, provided they can place it on top of a hand-plowed field that's near an old barn that's filled with antique tools and where you can see the stars through the gaps in the roof slats. Hmm ... that sounds a little bit like Schrute Farms, doesn't it?

OK, I know I said last week that Andy's a giant tool, and he is, but after tonight, I'm on Team Bernard. Dwight I can almost excuse -- he just wants Angela back by whatever means he can get her. But Angela, really, is just being mean at this point. (By the way, you can check out the, uh, happy couple's wedding registry online if you're so inclined.) The anti-chemistry between Ed Helms and Angela Kinsey is such fun to watch, though, that I probably wouldn't mind Andy being cuckolded for a while longer.

More good stuff from "Customer Survey":

  • The episode's opening, with Dwight, Kelly and others congratulating Michael on his "engagement," felt a little odd to me -- like, did I miss something last week? The post-credits payoff, though, with Kelly trying to get Michael to pay for her (white!) bridesmaid's dress, was worth any initial confusion.
  • Emotional ending aside, the Bluetooth bit was a nice way of having Pam be more involved in the episode. I absolutely loved her manic "That's what she said! That's what she said!" after Kelly told Dwight to get out of her nook.
  • Dwight's initial reaction to his bad evalauation: "Is this a joke? I'm getting that queasy feeling that sometimes accompanies jokes." Michael: "Do I look like I'm joking?" Dwight: "No, but sometimes that's part of it." Michael: "If I were joking, you'd be laughing. Do you look like you're laughing." Dwight: "Impossible to say. I can't see myself."
  • "What color mustard is Dwight's shirt -- yellow or Dijon?" "It's actually more spicy brown."

Did you think Kelly had it in her to be so underhanded? And really -- why doesn't Angela just put poor Andy out of his misery?