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‘The Office’ Review: “Dwight Christmas”

The Office: "Dwight Christmas"
NBC

With a title like “Dwight Christmas” you have to figure that the writers were waiting to use that one for years, and since this is the final season of ‘The Office,’ what better time than now? The last episode “The Target” brought some resolution to the affair Angela’s husband was having with Oscar, and Jim seems to be working half-time for the company now, so perhaps this episode will put the final pieces of the season into place.

The episode starts with Jim worrying about his new job in Philly, because his first day is tomorrow, while Darryl keeps hinting about the job offer Jim gave him. Everyone then remembers that they’re about to have their office Christmas party, but Angela forgot about it for obvious reasons. Dwight wants to do it Pennsylvania-Dutch traditional-style, which everyone but Jim rejects. Erin reveals she’s never seen ‘Die Hard,’ which makes new guy Pete reveal he knows every line, so he’s provoked to recite the whole thing. Pam leads the party-planning committee to agree to Dwight’s plan, which makes Dwight (and Jim and Pam) super-stoked.

Dwight’s party involves pig stomach’s and other strange things, while Erin gets an email from Andy who says he won’t be around for a couple of weeks because he’s shooting ‘The Hangover Part III.’ This makes Erin angry and depressed and so she stops Pete from reciting ‘Die Hard’ and moves on to actual movie watching. Then Dwight shows up dressed up as Belsnickel: a variant of Santa Claus who inspires more fear, and has a blackface sidekick (who Dwight calls off). Dwight then goes through the variation of gift giving with people being impish or admirable. For instance: Pam was admirable, so she gets mouse traps for her children. But when Jim leaves early, he upsets Dwight and when he gets in his taxi both Pam and Dwight are depressed, so Dwight quits playing Belsnickel and storms out.

Back in the office, the rest of the crew throw a real office party with regular lights and food, while Darryl has been getting so drunk and upset with Jim he starts hitting on Meredith. Erin questions her relationship with Andy in ‘Die Hard’ terms and starts crying, so Pete comforts her and it gets awkward, but may have some hope. Jim decides to come back, which makes Pam and Dwight happy, so Jim and Dwight fight to break the pig rib. Jim wins, and Darryl comes out of the office upset when Jim says he got Darryl an interview, which calms him down – but then he falls into the food.

As a capper, Toby, who’s been telling Nellie about a murder case he was a jury person on, is told to stop talking by Nellie, which leads to the two making out.

Though we’re still missing cast members (likely Clark Duke was off shooting the ‘Kick Ass‘ sequel), this was a really good Christmas episode of the show. It was charming got to the core of these people’s relationships. Though they tried it in an earlier episode, Jim and Dwight are friends in a twisted sort of way, and the two love each other. This got central three characters absolutely right, and without feeling like they were dragging the episode down, which has been a problem this season. All in all, this was as good as the post-Carell ‘Office’ has been.

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