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Episode: Here Comes Treble (Season 9, Episode 5)
Synopsis: It’s another classic Halloween episode of The Office. Andy (Ed Helms, dressed as George Michael) brings in his Cornell a capella group Here Comes Treble to do a set at the office Halloween party. Jim (John Krasinski, not dressed up) goes to a meeting with some partners in his new sports marketing firm with the purpose of investing in the company. Dwight (Rainn Wilson, wearing a pig snout) find a pill after spilling some candy on the floor and finds out it’s purpose is to treat anxiety. Nellie (Catherine Tate, dressed as “Sexy Toby”) reveals that the pill is hers, but she doesn’t admit that to Dwight and spends the episode with him as he tries to figure out which crazy person in the office needs to be taking that pill.
Meanwhile, Andy is upset that his old Here Comes Treble mate Broccoli Rob (Stephen Colbert) has been telling the “actives” that Rob was nicknamed “boner champ” instead of Andy. At the meeting that Jim goes to, the team goes over some company issues but nothing in terms of investment. So Jim volunteers $10,000 to get in on the ground floor. Dwight has trouble figuring out who is crazy in the office and Andy is disappointed that his stories about the old days aren’t impressing the current members of the a capella group. As the Halloween party starts, Angela (Angela Kinsey, dressed as Nancy Reagan) brings her husband the senator (Jack Coleman, dressed as Ronald Reagan) and he and Oscar (Oscar Nunez, dressed as a dinosaur) have an uncomfortable moment. Nellie has her own uncomfortable moment when Toby (Paul Lieberstein, not dressed up) realizes Nellie is dressed as him and he mistakes it for a romantic gesture.
Pam (Jenna Fischer, dressed as Dr. Cinderella) gets really upset when she finds out that Jim volunteered investment money when the partners weren’t even asking for money. After Erin (Ellie Kemper, dressed as a puppy… and looking adorable) gets Here Comes Trouble to sing “Faith,” Andy gets angry because Broccoli Rob shows up on a video conference to sing what the group think is Rob’s signature song. Andy, depressed about how the day has gone, considers moving back to Cornell. Erin talks him out of it and he settles on trying to establish a scholarship through his family’s foundation. Dwight, after observing how the medicine helps Nellie, asks for more information about how to acquire some.
The episode ends with Toby being rejected by Nellie, Oscar making out with the senator, and Andy finding out that his parents are broke.
While I thought this was a funny episode, boy do I miss the days when Jim and Pam were funny. They had a funny moment at the beginning of the episode, but the rest of the episode was not. There were some awkward moments with Jim at the meeting, them trying to talk over the a capella performance and Pam going off on the song “Monster Mash”… but most everything they did in the episode fell flat. The money troubles with kids brought into the picture as well as their savings and their future are just too high of stakes to be funny in this type of setting.
The reason The Office is funny is because very small things are blown up out of proportion. But this is big and serious. It’s been treated as such since the season premiere. And it just doesn’t fit. This episode had the potential to be better and funnier and it dragged the episode down. Not the first time, either.
There were several laugh out loud moments though as well as some gags based on the character’s costumes. Erin was ridiculously adorable dressed as a puppy and she was funny throughout this episode as well. This is easily her best season as a character. She’s not as dumb and obnoxious, likely because Andy is acting like that now that he’s the branch manager. Nellie as “Sexy Toby” was great and got the biggest laugh of the episode.
Dwight’s search for the crazy member of the office was a strong secondary story, but I was also impressed by some great moments from Creed (Creed Bratton, whose clothes were splattered with possibly real blood) and Clark (Clark Duke, not dressed up) whose suck-up moves are perfect. I can’t describe how great his tone is. Any further and it would be obnoxious, but any less enthusiasm and it wouldn’t be as funny.
The tension between Erin and Andy is growing. The last couple of episodes, Pete (Jake Lacy, not dressed up) and his feelings for Erin have not been shown. But Erin is increasingly growing frustrated in dealing with Andy on a day to day basis now. I could honestly see Andy taking a sick pleasure in being more financially stable than his parents after the way they treated him at his party at Schrute Farms last season. I could easily see Erin being turned off by that and possibly turning to Pete. They’ve shared some nice moments in the deleted scenes that you can see on NBC.com, which The Office writers consider part of the show canon.
Until then, we’ll wait to see when Jim and Pam will be funny again.
When Toby realizes that Nellie is dressed as “Sexy Toby,” he approaches her and tries to create a romantic moment and leans in to try to kiss her as Nellie makes an incredibly awkward face trying to let him know without saying so that she doesn’t want to kiss him. Without words, the moment seems to last forever and is incredibly funny.
As we said before, this is Erin’s best season. And it’s because of lines like this one. After Broccoli Rob steals Andy’s “Faith” solo and Andy asks Here Come Treble why it happened, Erin describes her feelings about the day so well to the camera.
Erin: “The more I hear about all this a capella drama, the more I think it’s kind of pathetic. But, when you’re with someone, you put up with the stuff that makes you lose respect for them. And THAT is love.”