"You guys are the only thing about this company that works. So congratulations." -David Wallace"Secret Santa" wasn't up to the standards of the previous "Office" Christmas episodes, mainly because it leaned too much on Michael as a pouting little boy, a note that works better in small doses. But it did plausibly resolve the bankruptcy storyline and how our characters might all keep working together, and it did a splendid job of giving everyone in the cast a good moment, and of showing that most of these people do like each other to some degree, in addition to being happy that they still get a paycheck.
So we got to see everyone's delight at Phyllis finally being cast as Santa, and Phyllis threatening to invoke the wrath of Bob Vance (Vance Refrigeration) on Jim if he didn't get Michael out of the other Santa suit. We got to see Michael get an inspired Christmas present for Dwight, and Andy get a present for Erin that was a little too inspired (leading to the first angry moment Ellie Kemper has had to play on the show), only to have the 12 Drummers Drumming save things. We got Meredith acknowledging Michael's point about her uselessness compared to David Wallace, Creed's fear of having been a really naughty ("more evil") boy for Santa, Kevin's surprise and delight at getting to sit in someone's lap, Dwight admitting he's too tired in December to continue his evil plot, Pam trying to help Oscar with Gay Warehouse Matt (and Oscar turning out to be just fine at landing the guy himself), Kelly's delight at the "Twilight" poster Jim got for her, etc., etc., etc. And we got another glimpse of the always-wonderful concept of Jim and Dwight as reluctant, incompetent heads of the Party Planning Committee.
And while the dueling Santas sequence went on a little too long (and was trumped by the later kissing Santas scene with Phyllis and Bob), Michael as a bitter, heckling Jesus was inspired. "His last name is Christ. He has the power of flight. He can heal leopards" still has me chuckling this morning.
I'll be curious to see how the new corporate overlords fit into things when we get new episodes in January. The show has already gone to the well a few times of a new boss coming in and being alarmed by Michael's management style, only to be trumped by the bottom line that Scranton produces. So I don't want to see that again, but I'm also not sure how else they can integrate the new owners. We'll see.
What did everybody else think?