'The Office' Season 7, Episode 6 Recap (VIDEO)
by Joel Keller, posted Oct 28th 2010 11:00PM
['The Office' - 'Costume Contest']
I'm starting to think that Kelly Kapoor is Dunder-Mifflin's misunderstood genius.
In tonight's slow-building but ultimately winning episode, she uttered a line to Michael that capsulizes what everyone at Dunder Mifflin Scranton has been probably been feeling for years:
"Can you for once let us enjoy a party without making it about all your issues?"
Until that statement, we were in for yet another self-centered, embarrassing Michael tantrum, this one directed at Darryl for going over his head to Gabe with a sales idea. It's something we've seen many times over the previous six seasons, and they've started to become parodies of themselves. But in this bounce-back seventh season, the writers knew enough to cut off the tantrum right at the start, allowing the Halloween fun and games to shine through.
This partial shutdown of Michael -- he tried to get a Ouija board to spell out "a--hole" when he asked it about Darryl -- speaks to what the writers may be thinking the show will be like after Steve Carell leaves. Whether someone already there takes over or they bring in someone new, I can see the story emphasis focusing on what's already a strength for the show, namely the cast of characters in the office.
Maybe we see more Dwight/Angela stories, or more Kelly/Ryan stories, or find out why Meredith is such a horny drunk. Or maybe we'll even have a story about why Gabe makes for a prettier Lady Gaga than even Lady Gaga herself does. But situations like these are setting us up for a time when Michael's "issues" aren't spilled all over the comedic landscape.
The costumes were inspired, as they are every year. Even Michael's MacGruber was well done, even though I'm not sure if Michael gets the joke of the movie at all. I can understand why Kelly changed costumes midstream -- her first costume was Snooki, but I'm trying to place who she dressed like after that -- but I wonder why Oscar did it. His '70s outfit was so much more inspired than his costume as the informed "consumer," whatever he meant by that.
I do love the fact that he won the coupon book, though, mainly because a) no one wanted to acknowledge that someone's real costume was better than theirs and b) he was the only one who (rightfully) thought the $15,000 in savings was a bunch of B.S. (ah, maybe I get the "consumer" joke now... I think).
And Kevin was on fire this week, not only giving a great reason why he's dressed as Michael Moore -- "The statement I'm making is that I kinda look like Michael Moore" -- but he also threatened to kill Danny for breathing a word about their conflict over his two dates with Pam and then sobbed like a baby when Michael yelled at him to go through him for any question directed to Gabe, even ones about Lady Gaga moves. Oh, I'm also intrigued by the fact that Kevin knows so many Lady Gaga moves.
So now we officially know that Darryl's got some real ambition to climb the corporate ladder. Boy, I'd love to see him as boss. He's got the discipline to really make a mark there, but he's just nutty enough to know that the office works well with all the crazies doing what they do. And with this budding friendship between him and Andy, it feels like the writers are really setting up a rivalry between the two of them when Michael's position finally becomes available.
More fun stuff:
-- Michael is a baby, but he's savvy enough to know that Gabe is completely ineffective. The way he and Darryl managed to do an end-around past Gabe and establish that they'd go to Jo with ideas was ingenious.
-- I know that the writers have made Erin dumber this year, but Lord help me, I laughed my ass off when she took "bobbing for apples" to mean "eat as many apples as you can with your head underwater."
-- The loosening up of Angela continues with her sexy nurse costume. "I know what sells in this office," she tells the camera. All I have to say is: It's about damn time. Much better than the penguin costume, even if the penguin is much more appropriate for her frigid self.
-- I haven't said much about the Pam/Jim/Danny plot because it kind of petered out a bit. I can see why Pam would care about why Danny never called her back, but why would Jim care? My guess it's because he can't believe anyone would turn down Pam for any reason, even if she was "a little geeky." "Who doesn't call a dork like that back?"
-- Odd that Packer was too busy putting his manhood in the bottom of a paper bag for him to comment on the fact that Danny has moved in on his turf. Then again Packer is all about the inappropriate joke.
-- Dwight: "To my chickens, I'm the Scranton Strangler." A chill went up my spine when he said that.
-- Nice review of Jim's "costumes" over the years. "I always felt too old for costumes, even when I was a kid." But he finally relented for Pam... though he wore his shirt and tie under the Popeye outfit. Cece made a cute Swee'Pea though.
-- Finally, we learned just how oblivious Stanley is, except when it's quitting time and the clock is slow. My favorite moment was the meeting where everyone sat backwards except him and Michael talked about their sales on Jupiter.
'The Office' airs Thursdays at 9PM ET on NBC.
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