Spoilers for "The Office" just as soon as I collapse in on myself like a dying star...
Ho'od win: Joss Whedon or J.J. Abrams? Last week, Whedon stepped in to helm one of the best episodes of the season. This week, Abrams was behind the camera for one I didn't like that much.
I don't know that I can lay too much of the blame at J.J.'s feet, though, as most of my problems came in the script stage. I realize that tolerance levels for Michael's idiocy is a taste thing, that there are people who loved "Phyllis' Wedding" while I had to watch it from behind my couch, that some found Prison Mike to be hilarious when I cringed, etc. It's rarely a question of Michael being out of character (because I believe he would do all these things), so much as it is my discomfort overwhelming any impulse to laugh.
I love the idea of Jan, going through a self-destructive streak and getting bad advice from her shrink, trying to have a relationship with this oblivious man-child, but outside of her brilliant Talking Head (including the Upside/Downside list and "That's what she said") and the revelation that Dwight was in the backseat for the entire fight (which had me laughing so hard I began to cough), I felt like this one missed the mark. Too much of Michael being an idiot, not enough of Jan trying to use her executive smarts to make him behave.
The staff going out for drinks was better, though how do you spend an entire subplot at a bar without a single Meredith joke? (There better be a good deleted scene.) I enjoyed watching Pam ("Don't call me Pammy") asserting herself as mildly as possible and loved Oscar's reaction to Creed's celebrity among underage drinkers. Roy going berserk about the Jim news could have been uncomfortably dark, but the presence of "Carry On Wayward Son" on the jukebox and Roy's brother getting a little too into trashing the bar made it work as both comedy and tragedy. Roy spends half a season telling us he took Pam for granted and is a changed man, and then the second they're together again, he goes back to treating her like garbage again.
So now Pam is free of Roy, and Jim could not possibly be less into Karen, evidence by his non-reaction to the sort of prank that he would have loved coming from Ms. Beesly. What now?
What did everybody else think?