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August 29, 2015

The Office: Mafia

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 16th 2009 12:04AM
Steve Carell as Michael Scott on The Office(S06E06) After the fantastic wedding episode, there was a pretty good chance that the follow-up would be a letdown. But when Greg Daniels and Paul Lieberstein described this episode to reporters during press tour time, it sounded interesting. Michael mistakenly thinks he's talking to the Mafia. Sounds good, right?

Well, it wasn't. It was more than just a post-wedding letdown; it was one of the worst episodes in a couple of years. Why? Mainly because the entire episode was built around a silly misunderstanding that could have been cleared up in a few minutes. And this time, it wasn't even Michael's fault!

Michael, for once, seemed to have his wits about him, dismissing Grotti the insurance guy as just a pushy salesman. It was Andy and Dwight, teaming up in their stupidity, that took the usual Italian-American stereotypes to the hilt and interpreted "insurance" as "mafia protection." What's ironic is, after the silly lunch meeting where Andy pretends to be a mechanic --destroying a stranger's car in the process -- if they had just done what they pretended to do to make Michael more confident, this would have been all over. Have the guy checked out, Dwight! Use your contacts, Andy! Of course, they may not have those contacts, but a quick Google search would have at least brought up Grotti's profile on his insurance company's website.

So we spend twenty minutes seeing Michael be convinced that he's dealing with the Mafia. Fine. But the payoff wasn't even that satisfying. He cancels the insurance and tells off Grotti in the process. Oh, well. Grotti doesn't seem to be that put off by it (he's a salesman, after all). And all Michael gets is the false confidence borne from a made-up confrontation with a non-Mafioso. The big point is probably that Michael the master salesman ("A great salesman having to listen to a bad salesman is like a great basketball player having to listen to a bad basketball player") got manipulated by someone he thought was a hack; the Mafia story sounds a lot better than that.

Oscar's interview, where he says that the "coalition of reason" has weakened with Pam and Jim on their honeymoon and Toby "checked out since June," was the highlight of the episode. Without those folks around,something like this was bound to happen. Loved Pam rushing Oscar off the phone, and I really loved Jim pretending that the connection with Michael was breaking up, then going "Bermuda Triangle... don't call again."
More fun stuff:

  • The description of the episode on my cable box's guide said that Erin was going to inadvertently ruin Pam's painting of the office. But that plot never materialized. Will it be online under the deleted scenes?
  • Instead we got Kevin squatting in Jim's office, which was fun, mainly because Kevin is such a fun character in those small doses. The best part was that he initially used the office merely "as a place to fart," but eventually managed to move in his nameplate and get Jim's credit card cancelled.
  • Speaking of that, I can understand Capital One's dogged pursuit of fraud. I ordered some credits and a phone number from Skype today and got my credit card frozen. Twice. One time, I got a phone call about 20 minutes after my second Skype order. Those folks are on the case; Kevin -- and Jim's account -- never stood a chance.
  • Kevin to Oscar: "I wouldn't last in jail. I'm not you. You would love jail." Wow. Kevin goes from a possible teabagging joke a few weeks ago to prison sex. His ideas about gay people must have come from Opie and Anthony or some of the more misinformed henchmen on Howard Stern's show.
  • "I'll have the gabbagool."
  • Michael's calendar includes "creative space" and "free play." He might have the best job in the country.
  • I don't ever want to hear about Meredith's son doing "upper deckers" ever again.

[You can see clips and free episodes from our friends at SlashControl.]

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I thought the wedding episode was one of the worst things I've ever seen on television. The show was ruined as soon as Pam and Jim became involved in a relationship. The edginess that made the show watchable for me is gone. There are already enough sappy sitcoms about happy relationships. I laugh more in the first minute of an "It's always Sunny in Philadlphia" episode than I do watching a whole episode of "The Office". Opie and Anthony know a little bit more about comedy than Joel Keller.

October 20 2009 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oscar Nuñez will be a guest on "That Morning Show" (http://www.thatmorningshow.com) this THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22, to discuss his experiences working with the cast of "The Office" as well as his upcoming projects.

Catch Nuñez's interview on "That Morning Show" from 6AM - 9AM on E! Entertainment network! Check local listings.

October 19 2009 at 5:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Of course, they may not have those contacts, but a quick Google search would have at least brought up Grotti's profile on his insurance company's website."

This argument is pointless because Michael didn't think he wasn't an insurance salesman. He thought he was an insurance salesman with ties to the mob. Did you not hear all the stuff about the businesses that were a front for the mob like waste management?

This episode was pretty funny. I don't know what all of you were expecting.

October 17 2009 at 8:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved the mafia story and how the bumbling trio dealt with it, but the rest of the episode was really boring. Full review of the episode.


October 16 2009 at 10:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I also really enjoyed the episode. Great to see Mike Starr as "Gratti" of Goodfellas and Summer of Sam fame. I've got the Erin deleted scene in my review: http://wp.me/pCufw-6J

October 16 2009 at 4:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Unwatchable. It was actually painful. The whole episode kind of gave me a headache. It was just stupidity for no reason, and not particularly entertaining stupidity.

This show has episodes like this every so often, but usually they're the hour-long episodes. The writers seem low on ideas so they just go with overwhelming stupidity without any fair balance.

The last episode that I can remember making my brain hurt was the post-Superbowl episode. That one seemed to go on forever with no real direction.

October 16 2009 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
the Silent Hero

Wasn't the worst episode ever, but man did it come close. The basic premise was just dumb, I only chuckled when Grotti ordered his food.

I'm with the guy above, this show needs to go. I won't mind. I have Season 2 and 3 on DVD, plenty of great office episodes there unlike this season.

October 16 2009 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i thought it wasn't a great episode, but i wouldn't call it the worst. besides the main characters, the whole Kevin and Oscar storylines reminded me of The Accountants during the off season. its nice to see it on air. i think the whole Mafia plot could have been executed better, however.

October 16 2009 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't know why people are so quick to criticize. it wasn't the best episode ever but it wasn't that bad either. Even the worst episode of The Office is better than any episode of Hank or Accidentally on Purpose. We should be happy there's even a show like The Office on the air.


October 16 2009 at 9:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe Fulton

I don't know what show you people are watching, but I enjoyed this episode.

October 16 2009 at 9:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joe Fulton's comment

I liked it too. Seriously, every episode can't be as good as last week's.

Besides, if you don't like it, just "send it back!"

October 16 2009 at 9:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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