A review of "The Office" coming up just as soon as the baby experiences a strong male presence...
In many ways, "St. Patrick's Day" felt like a throwback episode. Not only did Dave Koechner make his first appearance in three seasons as Michael's odious buddy Todd Packer, but we had a fairly vintage Dwight/Jim prank war, a story about Michael struggling to bond with his new boss, and a very low-key vibe that felt very reminiscent of the early seasons.
"St. Patrick's Day" wasn't all that funny, with most of the comedy coming out of Dwight's quest for Mega-Desk(*), but I'll take an episode light on laughs if it feels like the show I know (which hasn't always been the case this season). I liked watching the progression of Michael's relationship with Jo, to the point where he was finally able to set aside his usual neediness and social idiocy so he could stand up for his staff - and that, in turn, finally won Jo's respect.
(*) Where a lot of Dwight's activity lately (like every scene of him at Jim and Pam's house last week) has been too over-the-top, the Mega-Desk story worked for a couple of reasons. First, it was entirely based around the office, and the best Dwight and Jim conflicts have revolved around small things like desk encroachment, Dwight's annoying exercise ball, etc. Second, now that Jim's no longer co-manager (or in any position of authority over Dwight, which he technically was ever since he came back from Stamford), the two are on equal footing and it removes some of the weird power dynamic we got from either end the last few years. Third, Jim knew exactly what Dwight was up to, yet was at times powerless to resist; again, these little fights don't work if they're one-sided. Fourth, Jim's creation of the mis-named Quad Desk, and Dwight having to crawl under it to answer his phone, was a nice reminder of another great desk-related prank, where Jim put Dwight's desk in the men's room back in season two.
So far, Dunder-Mifflin/Sabre doesn't feel that different from Dunder-Mifflin regular, but I'm very pleased with the idea of Daryl moving out of his warehouse office. Michael/Daryl is one of the show's more underrated dynamics, and I have to assume this means Craig Robinson's going to be around more for the rest of this season than he has been to date.
After the big leap forward last week, Andy and Erin are back to taking baby steps again, with her cold getting in the way of their first date. Andy's panic over this (and concern over her overly-physical interaction with her foster brother) felt a little overdone, but I'm amused every time we get a new piece of Erin's tragic backstory, here with the news about her being hospitalized from ages three to six. (She should totally bond with Lux from "Life Unexpected," shouldn't she?)
So, not a great episode, but one that felt "Office"-y enough.
What did everybody else think?