Stevecarell_theoffice_s2_240How nice to have The Office back — seven weeks is a long time to go without lines like "What did I tell you about ‘yeppers’?" and "It’s not totally a women’s suit … it’s at least bisexual."

And with Thursday’s super-sized edition, well, there was just more to love, wasn’t there? Things like Angela getting increasingly hot and bothered over the various accounts of Dwight’s takedown of Roy, and a heavy dose of high-quality Toby, even some soapiness on the Jim-Pam-Karen-Roy front.

It continues to make me scratch my head, though, at the way NBC periodically tries to play up that angle, telling us this week to make extra-certain to by gosh you really better not miss the first two minutes of the show. I mean, sure, we would have missed Dwight pepper-spraying Roy, then talking about how he’s not a hero, because the real heroes are the guys who leave their everyday jobs to don capes and fight crime (and you can’t argue with that, I guess).

But the Roy-Pam-Jim plot wasn’t the main story of the night, because when you’ve got Michael wearing lady clothes and not knowing it, trying to negotiate with Darryl and then taking both him and Toby to New York to ask for his own raise, how can you not go with that?

Or, as Toby put it, "This may be the first time a male subordinate has attempted to get a modest, scheduled raise by threatening to withhold sex from a female superior [Jan]. It’s going to be a ground-breaking case when it inevitably goes to trial."

I’ve been a fan of Craig Robinson’s since he co-starred in the criminally overlooked Lucky on FX a few years ago, so it was great to see him get some extra screen time. Steve Carell is clearly a pretty generous actor given how well he plays off the rest of the cast, but the scenes with him and Robinson seem to have an extra little pop. Darryl is sort of Jim to Michael’s Dwight, unable to stop poking the guy even when he knows he shouldn’t (see: "Don’t forget the new black-man phrase I taught you").

On the relationship front, it was interesting to see a prickly side to Jim and Karen, with her mocking him for his fixation on evening the scales with Dwight and him calling out Pam on her inability (or unwillingness, however you want to put it) to break old habits. I also like that the show made Roy properly remorseful, and I have to say, I sort of agree with the guy when he says "I just don’t get you, Pam." Someone needs to shake the girl out of her rut, ’cause it’s a deep one.

So much more went on in the episode, but I’ll let you discuss the possible genius behind sticking Ryan and Kelly right next to Toby, Wikipedia negotiation tactics, the return of Andy ("I graduated from anger management classes the same way I graduated from Cornell: on time") and Dwight’s further examination of real heroes: "You know who’s a real hero? Hiro from ‘Heroes.’ That’s a real hero. Also Bono."

And one more thing: What is so stupid about naming your baby Usher Jenniferhudson Kapoor?

Posted by:Rick Porter