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‘The Office’ Review: “Stairmageddon”

The Office Stairmageddon
NBC

The cat is out of the bag for those who work in ‘The Office‘ as the decade-long documentary about their lives is about to be a nine part series on PBS in their fictional universe. And with a handful of episodes left, the airing is likely how the series will close out. Going by the title of tonight’s episode, this might be the last chance to see everybody have fun.

The episode opens with the elevator out of service, so everyone has to climb the stairs (which is where the episode’s title comes from), and Oscar notes that the company has a lot of fat people, which is why such a day is so feared. Andy comes into the office  saying that the documentary has gotten its first review, while Stanley is still having trouble climbing the stairs. Everyone reads the review online, and though it starts with some nice comments, some of critiques hits close to home, while another note reveals that Angela’s husband will be outed, so her husband comes to the office, and the two arrange a press conference.

Dwight tries to get Stanley to go out a sale, but Stanley’s too furious to go, while Nellie finds out that Pam and Jim are going in to marriage counseling. Jim goes to Toby for advice about counseling, but Toby freaks out a little thinking it’s all over. Andy tries to get a Hollywood agent, while Dwight goes to him to get Stanley to go out on the business call with him. When Andy says Dwight can do anything to make it happen, Dwight — fueled by the knowledge that he might not advance — shoots Stanley full of bull tranquilizers.

With Stanley unconscious, Dwight and Clark try to move him, eventually putting him a wheeled chair and getting him to the top of the stairs. They then cover him in bubble-tape, and cover the stairs in cardboard to get him down. Jim continues to get advice from Toby, while both he and Pam end up explaining what their problems are to their respective friends, and Toby points out that Jim may make decisions that are important, but he also never lets Pam know the end game. The rest of the office watch Angela and her husband’s press conference. Her husband reveals that he’s gay which leads to a question from the press: “Senator, were you always gay, or did your wife turn you gay?”

The senator blames his wife and calls out Oscar, which makes Kevin celebrate as he knew the secret, only for the senator to reveal that he’s in love with Wesley Silver. Dwight and Clark roll Stanley to his car, and Dwight explains they need to keep him in bubble wrap. They get Stanley in the car, and Dwight insists that Clark go too (this also leads to one of the funniest moments in the show when Dwight waves to a security guard who had been there the whole time and cared less). Andy goes to a talent agent, which has Paul Feig and his trained stacking of a mouse on top of a cat on top of a dog, so it’s obvious promising.

Dwight arrives with Stanley, and Stanley’s awake but drugged up. They hope a cup of coffee will sober him up. Pam tells Nellie she won’t move, and Jim tells Toby he won’t stay. Nellie and Toby then talk about it afterwards, while Jim and Pam go off to counseling feeling distant. Dwight and Clark couldn’t sober Stanley up so he’s slurring and acting stupid, but it ends up working to their favor. Andy meets with an agent (Rosanne Barr), who mostly wants him to dress up like a clown (which Andy doesn’t get, he thinks he might get Jake Gyllenhaal roles), but she says she’ll rep him, which makes Andy the happiest boy on Earth. Andy has to pay a flat rate of $5,000 to get her representation though. The episode ends with Dwight and Stanley back at the office, but Stanley won’t take the stairs so he drugs himself.

Okay, this was a funny episode and they managed to juggle the ensemble well. Almost everyone had something to do, but as has been obvious from the start of the season, the tension between Jim and Pam is going to be the big to-do over the next couple episodes. Perhaps because it’d be so out of character for a network show, I wouldn’t mind if the series went the full Monty and had it end with them divorcing. but that seems so unlikely. Even if that seemed obvious when ‘The Office’s bench gets time to play, they always bring good stuff, and Angela and Oscar have definitely picked up the slack. It was a good episode, but it looks like the show has to go to some dark places before it wraps up. But at this point it’s almost all over anyway.

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