Welcome to a shaggy dog episode of "The Office," one with a bunch of plots that never really go anywhere but have some amusing digressions along the way.
In particular, the main story of what to do about the pornographic watermark had no real resolution. Yes, Creed got poor Debbie Brown fired -- And at what point do the writers take his behavior too far? Or did they accomplish that last night? -- but all we really got was Pam's suggestion that this would blow over in a few weeks, followed by Michael recording the pointless apology video. (Bonus feature: skim down to the bullet points for a transcript of the one cue card we didn't hear Michael read. Ahh, the wonders of HDTV.) No problems with corporate (this would have been a fine excuse to include Jan, even if just on the phone), nothing about the article the Scranton Times columnist was going to write, nothing.
Now, this isn't a plot of great importance within the grand scheme of the show -- it's certainly no "What's Roy gonna do to Jim?" -- but too many of the branches of the story were set-up without pay-off. Kelly gets put in charge of the accountants and Angela proves to have difficulty with customer service, and... what? Andy's girlfriend turns out to be jailbait, and all that comes of it is Jim making a kind gesture by indulging Andy's a cappella jones.
Sure, there was some very funny material -- Kelly singing her own version of that Gwen Stefani bananas song, Jim-as-Dwight (and, especially, Dwight-as-Jim), the brief callback to "Threat Level Midnight" (Michael's spy screenplay) -- but "The Office" is usually more than a collection of random jokes, and that's all that "Product Recall" felt like.
Some other random thoughts:
- So, the transcript: "I need this job. My mortgage is hundreds of dollars a month. With this job I can barely cover that. I have a company car, but I still have to pay for the gas. Gas prices are high and I have no savings whatsoever. And it wasn't even me. It's so not fair that they want me to resign."
- I think I have to give Dwight-as-Jim the nod over Jim-as-Dwight. It wasn't as accurate, but it displayed a keen knowledge of Jim's camera-mugging ways.
- Ryan still hasn't made a sale.
- What exactly does Meredith do? She seemed to be the only staffer not involved in any way with the damage control.
- How cheap are calculator watches in Scranton? I can buy the shirt and the tie running Jim less than 7 bucks, but the watch (even if it was used) makes me question his accounting.
- "I need two men on this... That's what she said... NO TIME... But she did... NO TIME."
- Which was worse: Kelly's Bridget Jones impression or Kevin's Aussie accent?