The Office: Lice Review

Photo Credit: http://tv.broadwayworld.com/article/Photo-Flash-THE-OFFICEs-Lice-Episode-Airing-110-20121228

What started out feeling like a season eight episode ended in hilarity and some cool developments. Weird night.

Seriously though, the first half of the episode just meandered with unfunny material before quite literally exploding with laughs.

Pam accidentally gives the office lice and everyone thinks its Meredith. Dwight overreacts and quarantines the place while Erin wants to put mayonaise in everyone’s hair (which apparently actually works). It was a by the numbers Office plot that didn’t really advance any of the ongoing stories of the season. Filler, if you will.

But then came Dwight’s little grenade. In one of the best physical comedy gags on the show ever, Dwight drops the grenade and it explodes all around him in Andy’s office. I know I’ll be on Hulu tomorrow looking up that clip over and over again. Was it a very Office-y joke? No, not really, but it totally worked and was the highlight of the episode. Including the second time it happened.

I also liked that Meredith and Pam made amends over a beer in the closing minutes. It shows how well rooted Pam is in the office that she can be one on one with a stranger co-worker such as Meredith.

Meanwhile, Erin and Pete continue to flirt while Andy is away. A friend who watches the show justifiably texts me every week “is he ever coming back?” I assume so, but this long absence from such a lead is really odd.

Speaking of relationships, Darryl and Val are breaking up. Really? She was all the rage last season and the only romance that worked last year. It seemed like too far a jump that Darryl just didn’t care anymore, especially since Val is so likable.

Oh well, Kevin shoving bubble wrap into the baler was a close second to Dwight’s grenade exploding in terms of physical comedy.

The only really progressive story this week was Jim’s new job allowing him to meet one of his heroes, Julius Erving in fun little segments that brought Jim closer to the job in Philadelphia, yet farther from Pam and Dunder Mifflin.

Lice started out with the feel of a poor Office episode, but ended with a style of humor so rarely seen on the show. A different direction, but not a bad one. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty

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