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The Office recap: Farm Aid

After Jim and Pam go to learn where Schrute beets come from, Jim helps Dwight get over Angela; plus, Michael literally declares bankruptcy

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Ron Tom

The Office

TV Show
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This week’s episode of The Office was filled with tenderhearted moments between Pam and Jim, Jim and Dwight, Angela and Andy, Oscar and Michael, Michael and Jan, and maybe even Dwight and his farmhand, Mose, who (or is it whom?) I would have enjoyed seeing more of. I know you Office fans don’t dig negativity, but I have to be honest: I’ll be glad when we’re back to the 30-minute episodes next week. I felt there were a ton of interesting little moments tonight, lots of things with expansion potential that were shot past in an effort to try to keep things moving. I found Michael’s moonlighting subplot distracting, even though it provided the lead-up for the bankruptcy reveal. (Speaking of which, Michael’s literal declaration of bankruptcy by shouting it in the office deserved to be rewatched a couple times.) I’ll admit there were some pretty humorous little bits at Michael’s telemarketing job (like the awkward and insulting conversation with his coworker Vikram, during which Michael wondered what career he would have had ”back home,” one-upping Vikram of course), but overall it slowed the action down.

The episode started out with a comic bang, as Michael threw his coat at Pam in an hommageto The Devil Wears Prada. (Michael likes to watch DVDs during downtime at the office. Who doesn’t?) Pam guesses Michael’s latest disc by his references to her, which seems like a running joke that could last all season. But I get the feeling that these crafty writers have a million ideas like that, and maybe it’s something we won’t see or hear again.

I do hope we see a lot more of Schrute Farms, Dwight’s beet-generation agrotourist trap. Talk about potential! Jim and Pam seemed to have had a totally okay time, what with the table-making demonstrations, beet mashing, field work, manure flinging, etc. Not to mention their charming irrigation-themed room. And how sweet that Dwight honored their request for a bedtime story! (Not that they expected Mose to join them….)

Dwight continued his quest to get over Angela. He claimed to be interested in sowing his wild oats, but the Schrute family has a very literal definition of that, involving oatmeal, bread, ”whatever you want — they’re your oats.” We witnessed his true feelings when the sounds of ghostly mourning led Jim to find Dwight holding a cherub statue that Angela had left behind (because Dwight intentionally kept it). He hit rock bottom later on when Andy finally won over Angela with a stray cat and a note about destiny. (Guess Dwight should have used poetry when he offered her Garbage.) I can’t believe I had to wait more than half the episode for the Andy-Angela story line to pick up! That cat’s awkward stance in Angela’s arms as she accepted a date with Andy was priceless (a tightly wound cat for a tightly wound girl). And if Andy moonwalked 10 times past accounting to try to get Angela’s attention, why didn’t we get to see any of that?

Instead, we got an appearance by Ryan, hopped up on Red Bull, who told Michael he had to quit his telemarketing job (which had left him unprepared for his PowerPoint demonstration) or he’d be fired. This opened the floor for Kelly to get in a few good Ryan digs by laying a big kiss on Darryl and then throwing in a totally random, wonderfully bitter ”Ryan used me as an object” during the conference room discussion of whoever versus whomever. (It has to do with subjects and objects, and Pam got it right!) Darryl’s going to be good for high-maintenance Kelly, I think. He tells it like it is, which had Kelly calling him ”complicated.”

NEXT: Oscar and Jim to the rescue