‘The Office’ Review: “Work Bus”
After a week off because of the Vice-Presidential debates, ‘The Office‘ returns with the central conflict of its final season seeming to be Jim wanting a new job that Pam is not crazy about. How will this drama unfold, and what’s to be made of the new guys Pete and Clark?
The last episode (“Andy’s Ancestry“) was the season high so far, which makes us wonder: has the show hit its stride, or are we in for a weak send off? As a bonus, the episode was directed by Bryan Cranston, so it’s got that going for it. Read on for our review of this week’s episode “Work Bus.”
The episode starts with Andy complimenting the office’s softball skills, and shows them a blooper reel of their season, which includes Jerry from the warehouse who died during the season. Post-credits, Dwight is checking for hot spots in the building, as it appears the building is poorly insulated. Jim says Pam took the news about his new job well, and wants to do something nice for her, while Nellie goes into Andy’s office with an important conversation. Nellie wants to adopt, and she needs a character reference from her employer, which she says she’ll write herself but Andy acts like a total jerk about it. Big surprise. Dwight rejects doing any renovations, while in the break room Darryl asks Clark for help learning PowerPoint, which Clark rejects. Jim makes a speech about wanting things fixed, but Dwight suggests that a power field in the office might lead to superpowers. Jim uses a very partial popped bag of popcorn to prove that there’s a problem and hopefully get them the week off, which sends Dwight running into Andy’s office. Jim and Pam begin plotting their week off when Andy announces that that they’re going to do repairs, and Dwight provides a work bus for them to continue operations.
Working on the bus proves difficult for almost everyone, but Erin and Nellie talk about the adoption process, and Erin says she’ll help out. Jim apologizes to Pam, but she thinks they can make the best of it, until she gets coffee spilled on her. Jim then suggests they drive to a pie stand, which everyone wants except Dwight. They drive off leaving Clark and and Darryl behind, who couldn’t be happier. Dwight stops to pick up someone who thinks it’s a regular bus, and it’s Creed who gets on while saying he was skipping out on work. Oops. They stop at a sight-seeing spot where everyone takes a photo in front of a giant chicken, except Dwight, who’s pouting. Pam seems worried about him, and asks Jim to check up on him, but Jim thinks Dwight’s indestructible. Dwight then says they don’t have enough gas to get to the pie stand, so Jim antagonizes him, which leads to Dwight having a breakdown in which he calls Jim an Alpha male and then climbs out the bus’s top escape hatch.
Jim goes on the top of the bus to try to talk to Dwight, and Dwight reveals that he thinks he’s barren, and Jim reveals that the X above Dwight’s desk was a prank, which Dwight thinks means he flooded the building with electromagnetic energy. Nellie tries to get Andy to sign her adoption letter, but he – again – acts like a jerk about it. Nellie goes into a private area and Andy goes to check up on it thinking he’s made her cry when it’s revealed that it’s Erin crying. Jim finally talks Dwight down, and Dwight drives like a maniac to get them there. While at the pie stand, Andy reveals that he signed the documents after a couple revisions, all of which are positive. Brian then taunts Oscar lamely to put pie in his face, and it eventually works. Pam congratulates Jim on his pie-based victory. As a stinger, Andy tries to do “Roll Call” back at the office, and plays banjo.
This episode feels like it had a lot of deleted scenes, as the whole Clark and Darryl PowerPoint scene felt like it should go someplace. Perhaps there was too much in the episode. If there is a central drama to this season, this did nothing with it, but did provide a couple of solid laughs along the way, with Brian’s math skills in relation to pies being the highpoint. All in all, a very middle of the road episode, with the adoption subplot not really going anyplace interesting. But what did you think? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.