Thoughts on tonight's "The Office" coming up just as soon as the Yakuza visits the Lackawanna Trolley Museum...
We've seen variations on this basic story outline - Michael does something that Jim thinks is stupid, but which turns out to represent the height of Michael's peculiar managerial genius - before, particularly since the co-managers idea was set up earlier this year. But it was executed fairly well, and John Krasinski again got to nail a great dramatic moment, as Jim reacted to the terrifying phone call from David Wallace, then composed himself for the good of the staff.
And what I'm really curious about is how the show handles the fiscal crisis at Dunder-Mifflin. That's also in many ways a variation on something they've done before - the company has been through multiple financial crises since the series began, most notably with the branch closing/merger in the middle of season three - and while it would be silly for this down-to-earth show to ignore what's going on in our economy, I hope the writers have something unique in mind for how this new problem is going to play out.
One thing that gives me hope about that is how the Andy and Erin story is going so far. In many ways it's like a funhouse mirror version of the PB&J romance: goofy salesman pining after cute receptionist, only both parties are far weirder and more oblivious than the original models. The combination of these two characters, and of Ed Helms and Ellie Kemper, allows the writers to push a similar scenario in a more overtly comic direction, while still getting some pathos out of it. It's goofy that the two of them can't figure out whether they're asking each other out as characters in the game or as themselves, but at the same time I do feel bad for both of them about the miscommunication.
And in the end, the murder game provided an opportunity for some silly fun for both the characters and the actors. You could tell how much Helms, Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson and even Jenna Fischer were enjoying that Mexican stand-off at the end, and how much the three guys got a kick out of being kids again to do those exaggerated death scenes. Moments like that are infectious, and are part of why I love "The Office."
What did everybody else think?