The Office: “Christening” (Episode 7.07)

TV Reviews
The Office: “Christening” (Episode 7.07)

Just last week we were praising The Office for choosing character development over cheesy gimmicks. The show’s had a string of great episodes lately, which is why something like “Christening” is a little hard to swallow.

Part of the reason why this episode fell flat is because nothing really happened that we haven’t seen before. Michael and the rest of the office show up uninvited to Jim and Pam’s daughter’s christening, and Michael tries to sit up front with the family because he assumes he’s the godfather. Later he feels welcomed by the church’s youth group (who, for some reason, are at the christening of a baby they don’t know wearing matching t-shirts) and decides to join them on their trip to Mexico. After he and Andy (who decided to tag along to impress Erin) realize they’ve made a hasty decision, they have a meltdown and demand to be let off the bus.

It’s the kind of storyline that would have been funny back in season one or two, but now it just comes off as slightly stale. We know Michael’s lonely. He’s been lonely for six-plus seasons now. As we inch closer and closer to his final episode on the series, shouldn’t we be seeing things starting to fall into place for him?

The rest of the episode, centered around the reception, had its moments (the banter during the youth group leader’s speech was especially funny), but ultimately it still felt a bit cartoonish. We’re really supposed to believe that Jim, who’s usually the show’s laid-back voice of reason, would lose CeCe and scream across a crowded room that Angela had stolen her?

This week probably would have been more enjoyable if it hadn’t followed the season’s two best episodes so far. We know you’re capable of better, Dunder Mifflin. Here’s hoping tonight was just a minor setback in what’s otherwise been a solid season.

Stray observations:
-One of the positives from this week was that we saw more of Angela. The way she went from being icy cold to Jim and Pam and then smiling and cooing at their baby was the funniest thing about this episode.
-Toby struggling to work up the courage to walk inside the church, only to eventually look up to the heavens and yell, “Why you always gotta be so mean to me?” was bizarrely touching
-Ryan, on church girls: “Teach for America girls are way hotter, but they’re nuts.”
-Michael, on his decision-making skills: “Everybody thinks I’m crazy, and that tells me I’m the sanest person I know.”
-Jim’s dad looks like an aging hippie.
-”Jesus is not your caterer!”
-Michael, on judging people: “You’re mean! You’re mean girls, like the movie Mean Girls.”

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