On ''The Office,'' love is in the air: Andy makes an unsuccessful play for Angela, and even Meredith and Darryl are feeling frisky; meanwhile, Michael gets snubbed by Ryan

By Erin E. Stevenson
Updated October 15, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
Credit: Chris Haston

”The Office”: Andy makes a play for Angela

Let me start, my Office mates, by asking: How could Angela leave Andy hanging like that? I had become so accustomed to the warm-and-fuzzy, romance-addled Angela that I forgot she could be such a cold hard beyotch. Don’t get me wrong, I still have mad love for Booster Seat, and I know she’s in mourning for Sprinkles (and maybe D himself), but how could she have not agreed to go out with Andy after that heartfelt, hysterical, and eminently rewindable rendition of ABBA’s ”Take a Chance on Me” with the speaker-phone backup singers? Instead, we got just a little smirk as she scurried away, leaving us with a hint of the future perhaps, or at least revealing that her ice-sculpture exterior may be melting due to Andy warming.

I have already fallen victim to Andy (and have been an Ed Helms booster from the start). What he lacks in fashion sense he makes up for in earnest, if sometimes overwhelming, charm. This week’s other rewindable moment belongs to him and his ”bear horn” celebration jig in response to Dwight’s victory over the website in the Great Paper Race.

Love seemed to be all around the Scranton office this week as everyone prepared for the official launch of Dunder-Mifflinfinity — not the official name of Ryan’s Internet brainchild (or Michael’s ”grand-brainchild”). Now that Ryan and Kelly seem kaput, our man from the warehouse Darryl looks like he’s stepping up for a shot, valiantly defending her from Dwight’s wrath when he discovered she was ordering paper from the website because it was fun to watch it fly into the basket on her computer monitor.

The Office has always been an ensemble show, but it’s great that we’re continuing to see new sides of all of the staffers and that the show’s producers continue to appreciate subtlety. Sure, some jokes are obvious (as in Michael’s oft-used ”That’s what she said”), but others develop slowly, like the opening of this week’s episode. Michael was giving some kind of talk about spicing up their quarterly reports, and it appeared the staff was captivated until Jim explained that they were all just watching the screen saver on the TV next to Michael bounce around like a Pong game, waiting for it to perfectly hit a corner. Other laughs you might not get until a second viewing — or until you read the TV Watch posts. I totally missed last week that Creed had used the printer ink to color his hair until I read it here. (Thanks, TV Watchers! I’m your temp writer this week and next, by the way, and you’re a tough crowd, I’ve read already. But I’m not afraid to admit it when I’ve missed a joke.)

Anyway, another example that something is in the Scranton water is that Meredith returned to work and asked Jim to sign her cast. (Her hospital stay had left her in the dark about PB&J.) He agreed because he’s nice that way, and then, in one of the night’s most cringe-worthy moments, she hoisted up her skirt to reveal plaster granny panties. Jim looked appropriately disturbed afterward, while Creed looked appropriately creepy and, of course, intrigued.

NEXT: Dwight rages against the machine

Poor Dwight was so distraught over Angela that he stopped shaving. I applaud his continued efforts to win her back with his paper-selling prowess. While he tried to outsell the website, PB&J were back to their old prank-playing selves as they pretended to be the website and taunted Dwight with IMs. (One of my favorite lines of the night came from Dwight in response to the documentary crew: ”It appears that the website has become alive, as happens to computers and robots sometimes.” I flashed back to last season and a vague memory of Dwight’s suggestion to Michael that they make a robot but that they’d have to restrain it with a chain.) Anyway, after Dwight beat the website in paper sales, and Angela refused to be impressed, I half expected Pam to IM the dejected Dwight with some advice on how to win Angela back (from a girl’s perspective). But she didn’t. Still, I’m happy to see that PB&J can still have some fun.

And speaking of good times, we got a smile out of Stanley this week, I think. At the very least it was a grin as he boogied for a brief moment to the sounds of the new Dunder-Mifflinfinity website. Phyllis noticed, too, which sadly led Stanley to quash his groove. Props to Phyllis for standing up to Angela’s insults. And Kevin continued to make me laugh, as did Oscar and Stanley, as they tried to figure out the penalties for their role in the kidnapping of the pizza delivery guy. This story line dragged a little, but it allowed Dwight to blow off some steam by unleashing his inner interrogator, and it helped Michael come to terms with his anger at Ryan (and his lack of ”respect, accountability, and follow-through” after he so rudely didn’t invite Michael to the big New York shindig). Both Dwight and Michael got to bond and regroup afterward with some real ”New York-style” sushi in the parking lot of the Dunder-Mifflinfinity launch (where Michael even got congratulated for schooling Ryan during his branch satellite introduction, leaving our faith intact that he — at least sometimes — knows what he’s talking about).

So what do you think? Who’s going to couple up next? How long before Ryan is demoted or fired? Where was Toby? And what moments did you want to rewind?

Episode Recaps

Michael Scott, The Office (Steve Carell)

The Office

The mockumentary-style sitcom chronicles a group of typical office employees working 9-5 at the Scranton branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.

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