October 29, 2010

The Office Recap: The Costume Contest

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The Office returns this week and, like many other shows, it’s focus was on the auspicious holiday that brings thousands of kids out for candy and brings college students out for certain drinks and all else that I won’t mention. The episode starts off with a little déjà vu, with Stanley being oblivious to change (remember Creed and the potato and apple incident?). Stanley’s lack of attention to detail is brought up as he sips orange juice from Jim’s cup and doesn’t realize that it’s not his hot coffee. Like many of us, Jim wonders, “ Is there no limit to what he might not notice?” So the colleagues test out Jim’s theory. Kevin dresses up as Phyllis and answers Stanley’s question. Andy sits there with no shirt on and just a tie. Best of all Jim places a cardboard on Stanley’s computer with the wallpaper pasted on. Stanley doesn’t realize, which begs the question… does this man even work? As everyone goes in the room for a meeting, Michael brings up that sales in Jupiter are wonderful; Stanley as usual is busy with his crossword puzzle. Michael has big teeth and Dwight has a pony! The only thing Stanley realizes is the time he has to leave from work. Stanley is the worker I aspire to be. Lazy but conscientious of the time he has to leave from work.

Once the episode starts, the costumes start coming out.   Oscar comes in with an afro and Kevin Malone ( in my opinion the best costume) comes in dressed as the controversial Michael Moore…Sanjay Gupta were you watching? Angela is a penguin and Erin has by far the weirdest mask. Michael comes in as MacGruber, very fitting considering they both are annoying as hell (in a good way). Creed is dressed around as a mummy and Dwight is the Scranton Strangler. Well, to his chickens Dwight is the strangler, to everyone else he just has the weirdest costume known. Pam dresses up as Olive Oyl and expects Jim to dress up as Popeye, but he only brings he cigar. From what we remember Jim never has been a costume person, I mean Facebook (favorite one) or when he pretended to be a random guy named Dave. In reaction to Pam’s costume, Dwight mentions how she’s only 1/3 as pretty as Mama Schrute. Umm..ok Dwight, I’ll take you word for it. Todd Packer comes back as a pregnant nun but I could care less, never really liked the guy. Gabe dresses up as Lady Gaga and on that note, a Lady Gaga costume is by no means creative. Especially since half the world will be dressed up as her. Moving on Daryl is dressed as Dracula or Blackula according to Michael.

Speaking of Michael and Daryl, much of the episode focuses on their power struggle, which indeed was very nail biting to watch.  The issue begins when a certain idea that Daryl proposed goes to corporate. Corporate makes that decision but according to Michael, makes it without giving Daryl the credit he deserves. However, Michael later finds out that Daryl in fact had told Gabe about his idea and gotten credit for his idea. This upsets Michael who feels that now his employers are going over his head and making decisions. Michael becomes so paranoid that when Kevin and Gabe are talking he thinks that it’s about a decisions that Kevin is sharing with Gabe when in fact Kevin is telling Gabe what Lady Gaga moves are the best. Regardless it is clear that Michael is scared about the control he has over the office.   In the meantime Andy (who is dressed up as Sookie’s boyfriend Bill from True Blood) is discussing with Kevin about Danny’s Halloween Party. Since these two have no friends outside of the office, they find it imperative that they go to Danny’s party. However there is a mild conflict between Danny and Jim over the whole Pam issue. So Andy and Kevin feel it’s weird to Danny’s party if Jim is not friends with Danny.  However Andy and Kevin just really want to go to a party, especially since Danny is actually kind of cool (everyone has a crush on him).

While Daryl and Michael have their conflict everyone is fighting over having the best Halloween costume since the prize is a coupon book that has over $15,000 worth of coupons. The only person that finds it kind of stupid is Oscar, who feels that at maximum a person will be getting at the most $40 worth of coupons. Regardless, they all participate in the office Halloween catwalk. The person that wins is Oscar! He dresses up as the rational consumer. Bravo Oscar.

In terms of the Daryl and Michael situation, both men can’t seem to make the final decision on who was right. Was it Michael who was trying to exercise control or Daryl who was trying to break free of authority and offer his good ideas? In a meeting with Andy, Daryl realizes something very important. Thanks to Andy he realizes what he must do. Andy mentions how as a freshman he used to write for his college newspaper. You know, the Cornell Daily Sun!!!!!!!! OH MY GOD WE WERE MENTIONED ON THE OFFICE!!! WE BE IMPORTANT!!!!! Andy mentions that he could have been editor,but instead, he walked out and found his calling singing.Um, he should have just stayed with the best college newspaper staff. In any case the scene ends with Daryl wondering about his future as in a more authoritative role, he wants to actually be the CEO of something.

This is further reflected when Daryl who while talking to Michael mentions how the only thing that Michael has ever done for him is hold him back. This allows Michael to realize his mistake. Could Daryl step in as the new office manager? Could the office actually be controlled by Daryl? In a weird way, I can see that happening. I know that won’t settle well with Dwight, which will make for some great problems in the future episodes and seasons.

In relation to Pam and Danny, Jim really wonders what happened between them. Danny tells Jim that Pam could not stop talking about him but in reality Danny never called Pam because he though she was dorky. This was definitely and awkward moment but also a moment where you realize how much Pam and Jim are really meant for each other.  So much so that he dresses up as Pop Eye and brings Cici as the spinach.

This episode was of particular interest. It wasn’t necessarily the funniest but it shed light on what could happen in The Office. Daryl was put in a role that we have never seen in him before. We have all known Daryl as the calm warehouse guy who was able to tame Kelly, but in this episode, he is shown as an even more intelligent person who is cunning, outgoing, creative and all out normal. He has qualities that could make him a very good candidate for an office manager. Moreover, he is funny and not a funny that is in your face but a sarcastic bitter funny that I personally love. The best part of this episode was the fact that the Cornell Daily Sun was mentioned. I literally got shivers as Andy described himself as a freshman writing for the Sun (story of my life). So kudos to the Sun for being mentioned in one of the most watched shows! Overall this episode hit me in all the right places but wasn’t as funny as usual. I want to see more wit and sass. The Office always keeps doing better so I know I’ll be seeing that wittiness and sassiness soon!

Quotes: Michael: “ Gabe looks like lady gaga and that’s not Halloween. Halloween should be a day when we honor monsters and not be mad at each other”.

Kelly to Michael: “ Could you for once let us enjoy our parties instead of making it about your issues?”

Andy: “ When I was a freshman I worked at the student newspaper The Cornell Daily Sun, this was at Cornell. I had to write an op-ed column everyday called Bernard’s Regards”

Original Author: Aishini Thiyagarajan