‘The Office’ Review: “The Target”
After a Thanksgiving break, 'The Office' returns as we head into the final stretch for NBC's long-running comedy, which has been mostly meh this final season. Will the show go out with a bang or a whimper? At this point it's looking like the later, but the last episode ("The Whale") had its moments, and we're hoping "The Target" delivers.
The episode starts with Oscar confessing that he's not sure if Angela figured it out about his affair with her husband. When Angela shows up at work and asks an innocuous question, he thinks it's a sign he's okay, but during his interview Angela gives him the stink-eye behind his back. Pam shows up in a sweatshirt because she says she's finally going to start on the office mural, while Jim is nervous because he wants to ask if he can work part time because of his other job. Angela tries to recruit Dwight to help find out about her husband, while Jim bluffs with David Wallace saying he'll get Stanley and Phyllis to help him cover his work in the office, which leads to Jim having to bargain with the two. New guy Pete is making a tower out of filled out comment cards, which attracts everyone who's not involved in anything else. To help out, Dwight arranges a meeting for Angela with one of his weirdo friends. The man is Trevor, and he says he has a gun but he doesn't carry it with him because it might get stolen. Angela gives the man an envelope with information about the person he's supposed to follow, and says that she wants him murdered.
Dwight tells Angela she can't have someone murdered, but she says that the person is sleeping with her husband, and Dwight friend's Trevor suggests a kneecapping, which Angela agrees to. Meanwhile, Jim takes Stanley and Phyllis to a Steakhouse where they order the most expensive food possible. Oscar gives Angela a cookie, which she accepts, but then crumbles when he turns away. Oscar then calls the Senator saying they've dodged a bullet, but Dwight followed him and is eavesdropping. Brian decides to add to the comment tower, which knocks it over, but Pete argues that everyone makes mistakes, which gets everyone back on board with building a new tower (especially Erin). At the luncheon, Phyllis is getting hammered, while - when the tower runs out of comment cards - Pam volunteers to get a complaint, which gets everyone cheering. Dwight confronts Angela about the target, and says he knows its Oscar. Dwight argues that they too had an affair, but Angela points out Trevor's van saying it's too late.
Dwight runs into the office and grabs Oscar, but when Trevor shows with a pipe hidden (quite obviously) in a submarine sandwich, Brian to agree that he's Oscar. Dwight tells Oscar that Angela knows and about the kneecapping. But when Oscar and Dwight confront Trevor, they disarm him pretty easily. Pam makes a call, and rushes through a "your momma's so fat" joke, which leads to them getting a comment call: They've lost a client, which makes everyone happy until they realize, oh yeah, that's terrible. Angela confronts Oscar, and says that Oscar made her husband gay. But though Oscar apologizes, he says her husband is gay and always has been. Angela knees Oscar and walks off. Pam, it turns out, insulted someone who recently lost their obese mother, but everyone's happy with the comment card. Dwight goes to console Angela, and Angela says she feels stupid, which leads to the best line of the night: "You're not stupid. Jazz is stupid." But Dwight is able to provide a shoulder to cry on. Phyllis and Stanley agree to cover for Jim, and say that they were always going to. Awww. And Pam goes back to painting realizing it's okay to make mistakes. To close the show, Dwight and Angela ask Toby where gayness comes from, and ask how is it transmitted, along with a series of other bizarre questions.
Though the episode struggles to find stuff for everyone to do (while also having Ed Helms and Clarke Duke in absentia), that Angela's husband is finally outed to her makes this a better episode than most this season. Whether or not this sets up Dwight and Angela getting back together, or the reveal that it's his baby is unknown, but seems very likely. And those two definitely belong together so there's that. Though both the card stacking and embarrassing lunch have their moments - this is a really talented cast - they ultimately have nowhere interesting to go. Still, a good episode, all things. For this season.