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The Office recap: Opposing Counsel

Pam climbs the corporate ladder, Michael lays down on the couch, and Dwight goes ‘Pretty Woman

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Office Counseling Toby
Chris Haston/NBC

The Office

TV Show
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Dwight Schrute: Gentelman. Toby Flenderson: Therapist. Pam Halpert: Office Administrator. It was a night of role-shifting on The Office, and everyone was the very model of a modern major fake-it-till-you-make-it. Punch my card, Dwight K. Schrute!

We were treated to a brief Mose sighting, as Dwight gave Pam and Jim a tour of his hellacious would-be daycare center. “There’s no good laugh for a regular idea,” Dwight lamented, and it’s sad but true. There’s a small part of me that sort of believes every time someone does an evil, maniacal laugh, Monty Burns gets a penny.

Toby was all ready to administer Michael’s required therapy sessions, and his social work degree didn’t go to waste: Despite many of Michael’s comical efforts to thwart Toby’s counseling, up to and including pretending to be a werewolf, eventually the World’s Best Boss couldn’t resist a few rounds of Connect Four. (“It’s working! I’m doing it!” Toby beamed.) As Phyllis acutely put it, Michael “has a lot of issues, and he’s stupid,” plus he hates Toby, so the healing process barely got off the ground.

Poor Pam was terrible at sales — “Is price something that’s important to you?” — so she seized on the chance to become the “office administrator” instead of her for-commission gig. Sure, she had to stare down Gabe, but that poor dude folded like a cheap card table.

And then there was Dwight. After being turned away from a swanky store in the mall, he was determined to get revenge — and Kelly’s suggestion to “Pretty Woman” the place quickly emerged as the best plan. “I talk a lot, so I’ve learned to just tune myself out,” Kelly admitted, but she was dead-on with her assessment of Dwight’s outfit as “disgusto barfo.” Oh, Kelly. Never change.

With Andy and Jim’s help, plus a few pro-tips from the Dunder-Mifflinites, Dwight was easily disguised as a dapper gentleman, complete with sweater vest and ascot. But the great plan to shame the store clerk backfired when Dwight couldn’t resist the lure of a pewter wizard holding a crystal. Oh, and when the clerk said the reason Dwight hadn’t been let in the store the day before wasn’t that he seemed poor — it was that he’d seemed threatening, what with his “blood-stained hands” and menacing demeanor. Beet farming is a tough road to hoe.

Other Highlights

++ Andy earnestly telling Dwight, “It would help to get some context so we can get on board.”

++ Andy gently combing Dwight’s ridiculous hair

++ Dwight believing Pretty Woman is called Beautiful Girl

++ Erin just throwing out her disposable camera

++ Ryan telling the camera that “therapists are whores,” and running through a list of therapy-is-garbage comments before saying “I don’t know, just use the best one.” Heh.

Overall, “Counseling” was a solid outing, with some funny moments from Creed and Oscar. I dug it. What about you?

DON’T MISS: Embedded below, listen to the first edition of EW.com’s TV Insiders podcast. Dalton Ross, Michael Slezak, Annie Barrett, Michael Ausiello (who also gives his picks for best and worst new show of the new season), and Jeff “Doc” Jensen break down the week in television and present it to you in an easily digestible audio format. Or click here to download TV Insiders to your MP3 player!