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'The Office' - 'Secretary's Day' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 23rd 2010 12:01AM
(S06E22) We haven't heard from the folks at Dunder Mifflin Scranton for almost a month, and it's refreshing that the first episode back, the antics are generally related to office-specific issues. Well, at least the better part of the episode was office-related.

Ellie Kemper as Erin on 'The Offce'It's fun to see stories that just involve the interplay between the members of this cubicle-bound family, interplay that has nothing to do with relationships, baby pacts, or corporate upheavals. So, for the biggest laughs this week, we have Oscar, Kevin and Cookie Monster to thank. Oh, and Gabe, too. He's so lame it hurts to watch him sometimes.

The minor players were in the spotlight this week. Of course, if those two minor players are Andy and Erin, that can sometimes lead to problems. I loved that those crazy kids finally got together in the last few episodes, and I figured that would be the end of their relationship drama for awhile, mainly because the story in general hasn't been all that interesting.

In fact, it's been so uninteresting that I never even gave the issue of Andy's engagement to Angela a second thought. Never for one second did I wonder why Andy never told Erin about Angela. So to hear this topic being brought to light by Michael, who readily admits that he should not be expected to keep secrets, was a bit of a surprise (though my cable box guide said the revelation was coming). I guess I just figured he told her this off-camera at some point.

I will say that Erin's reaction to the news gave Ellie Kemper a good chance to flex her comedic muscles -- "In my foster home, my hair was my room" -- and seeing her react in a surly manner to everyone around her was also funny. And, for some reason, despite the fact that this seems like an artificial impediment to love, it was good to see that Andy couldn't solve this one with one of his songs or a silly romantic gesture. This time, the Cornell man is going to have to work for it.

But back to Kevin as Cookie Monster. I wonder if someone way back in season one figured out that Kevin's cadence sounded the same as Cookie Monster's, but they held the story until they found a good time to use it. Either way, I'm glad they trotted it out, because it provided the biggest laughs of the night. Again, Darryl proves he's the best new addition to the office in years by tricking Kevin into eating a cookie, then does Cookie's patented "numnumnum" chewing sound.

But the impressions were quite good all around, including the one from Kelly that hipster-convert Ryan thought was "derivative." The plot also showed, though, that Gabe has no authority over this office whatsoever. He tried suspending the members of the Pam/Jim/Dwight "desk clump," but even that was thwarted, with Pam and Jim two paid days off to spend with CC. The fact that he tried to make a mark using Kevin's Cookie Monster problem and sidestepped the Erin/Andy confrontation is corporate weaselry at its finest.

More fun stuff:

-- Michael doesn't like the way Andy dresses because it "reminds me of Easter." I'm with him on that.

-- It does figure that Michael would be the only one to laugh at Kevin's video response, making Oscar the Count. It's all in the voice, and the voices just don't match up. But, Oscar can be grouchy, so matching him with Oscar the Grouch could have worked.

-- Ryan just likes to be douchey, doesn't he? Who walks around the office with an untied bow tie just for the hell of it?

-- Not sure which I would have chosen if I were Pam: having Dwight milk me by hand or using a breast pump that had just been used by Meredith -- who seemed to have some experience with those things, by the way. It's a real toss-up thee.

-- It's interesting that Michael thinks he can't talk to Erin because he thinks "she's a rube." In reality, he's as big a rube as she is, as we saw at the end of the episode as he tried to cheer her up.

-- No Amy Pietz this week. I guess we'll revisit that budding romance next week.

-- It takes some clever writing to insert the most unnecessarily cumbersome movie title of all time not once, but twice. But that's what happens when a movie comes along like 'Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire.'

So this was definitely a fun, solid episode. A good sign with two four more to go.

[You can see clips and free episodes of 'The Office' from our friends at SlashControl.]

[Follow @joelkeller on Twitter.]

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Joel Keller

I was looking on Epguides. My mistake. It will be fixed. Please use the "corrections" link above the next time you see something off in a post.

April 23 2010 at 10:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There will be 26 episodes this season, according to OfficeTally.com. I don't understand how someone who gets paid to write about a TV show (you are getting paid, right?) does not know basic production info that is publicly available.

April 23 2010 at 10:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Everyone making fun of Kevin was almost tough to watch and at this point I've gotten very tired of Jam. I was hoping that the "suspension" would turn into something viable.

Michael and Erin clearly connected at the end...future possible couple?

April 23 2010 at 9:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mindy Kaling's writing has gotten really good. Erin's questions and ramblings, paired with her acting, was really good.

April 23 2010 at 9:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony DIMeo

Best Line: Michael I'll have what she's having

I was surprised to see Steve Carell directed his second episode with this one

April 23 2010 at 7:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Favorite lines were the Precious based on the novel Push by Sapphire. That title has annoyed me throughout award season and I love that it got to the office writers too.

Has he mentioned anger rehab to Erin?

April 23 2010 at 1:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Erin B-story was terrible.

But the Cookie Monster was gold.

April 23 2010 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"C" is for Suspension!


April 23 2010 at 11:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One question why didn't anyone mention to Erin that Angela cheated on Andy with Dwight? Michael blabbed about everything else. I would think that would garner sympathy from Erin and give Andy a plausible reason not to tell her about the engagement. Unless they are saving that revelation for later to get them back together.

April 23 2010 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i liked that Michael was so underused this episode, but delivered the one-two punch.

best line: if it weren't for secretaries, i wouldn't have a stepmom.

April 23 2010 at 10:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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