Halloween is one of the holidays where you can truly have too much of a good thing. It’s tempting to tear through that sack of candy in one night, but if you eat too many of those fun-sized sweets at once, you’ll wind up with an uncomfortable sugar high or worse, a case of the pukes. It’s a lesson The Office could have taken note of this week, as four or five entertaining, fun-sized storylines combined for an episode that left us with a teensy bit of a stomachache.
This week we saw Dwight hunting down the “office psychopath” after he finds an anti-anxiety pill on the ground. Nellie—who reveals to the camera that the pill is hers—assists Dwight with his quest to deflect his attention. Meanwhile, at the office Halloween party, Andy butts heads with the members of Here Comes Treble (his old a capella group we’ve heard so much about). Stephen Colbert pops up as Broccoli Rob, a former Here Comes Treble member who has led the younger Treblers to believe that Andy’s “Boner Champ” nickname and George Michael solo were actually his. Jim takes a break from the Halloween festivities this year to have a business lunch with his future partners, where he learns they’re already “done with the investing” but offers to contribute $10,000 (most of his and Pam’s savings) to “look like a team player.” Pam is, of course, furious when she finds this out. While all this is happening, Angela’s husband/Oscar’s lover the Senator stops by the party.
In other words, it was kind of a lot. The problem wasn’t that these plots were dull or unfunny—they weren’t. Each thread provided some interesting character development or set up future storylines, but, crammed together in the same 21 minutes, they made for a slightly disjointed-feeling episode.
The final minutes threw us a few more curveballs. Toby gets tossed into some bizarre psychosexual crisis when he finds himself attracted to Nellie (who is dressed up as “Sexy Toby” for Halloween). He goes to bring her flowers, but as soon as she takes off her Toby wig, he’s not interested. He’s not the only one with some mental issues to sort through, either: Dwight reveals to Nellie that he’s been feeling down lately and decides to get a prescription for anti-anxiety medication as well. While the Senator and Oscar make out in the parking lot, Andy calls his mom to ask her to make a donation to Here Comes Treble and finds out that his parents are now broke. It’s all compelling stuff—if a little random—but it felt like the writers’ eyes were bigger than their stomachs. You don’t have to eat all that candy at once, kids. Slow down.
-Pam’s “Dr. Cinderella” costume was pretty good, but the fact that Jim—whose clever minimalist costumes have always been a highlight of the show—decided to sit out of Halloween this year is a huge bummer.
-”When I got the nickname Boner Champ, that is when I became me.”
-”But…” “Butts are for pooping.”
-Is it just me, or is the Cornell alma mater song the same as the Kellerman’s anthem from the end of Dirty Dancing?