THE OFFICE: Murder - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote


November 13, 2009 by  

I do declare that I read in the journal that other OFFICE fans might have enjoyed this episode a bit more than I did. I’ll have to keep this week’s discussion of THE OFFICE short or the murder to be solved may be my own.

While I have trust in the writing staff of THE OFFICE, I haven’t yet seen evidence that they really thought through this whole Jim/Michael co-management thing.  It seems like every week we see variations of the same story.  Michael does something inappropriate and/or not in the best interest of the company and Jim tries to step in steady the ship, only later to learn that there was a method to Michael’s madness.  Jim comes around. Lesson learned.

Jim: “If you’re a family stuck on a life boat in the middle of the ocean, one parent might want to just keep rowing. But if the other parent wants to play a game, it’s not because they’re crazy, it’s because they’re doing it for the kids,”

What’s the point of having Jim as a co-manager? I’m not sure we’ve seen what he brings to the table (other than looking good in a suit everyday).  Originally, it seemed like Jim would be the one to take are of the important issues, you know, like taking care of the business, while Michael would focus on things like finding Waldo. But Dunder Mifflin is falling apart and it seems that neither manager has the capacity to deal with the potential fallout. Michael lacks the maturity to deal with the situation while Jim lacks the managerial expertise.  Someone just put Oscar in charge and call it a day.

Despite quite a few mentions of just how well the Scranton Branch of Dunder Mifflin has done as of late (they had the means to promote a salesman to a co-manager position) , it seems it can’t bear the weight of the downturn of the other branches. Rumors of bankruptcy have the whole office worried.  Sounds strangely like Season One, no? While Jim thinks it’s in the best interest of the company for everyone to carry on with their jobs, Michael thinks it’s a better idea to play a murder mystery game. Surprisingly enough, it’s Michael’s game that wins out, with Pam coming on board first to play. The Dunder Mifflinites were reluctant at first, but before you know it just about everyone is throwing around Southern accents in an attempt to fully get into character. Yes, even Angela, or should I say Voodoo Mama Juju.

I do declare that some of the attempted accents were quite funny. The whodunit storyline as a whole gave us a few laughs. And who doesn’t love Ed Helms and all his accents? My favorite part came at the very end with the standoff between Michael, Andy, Dwight…and Pam. It was a great moment for Jenna Fischer. But for me it played out a little bit too long. The murder mystery game seemed so disjointed with the rest of the episode. I did laugh at times, but the game felt like an SNL skit that just didn’t know when to stop. I do declare.

Once again the writers gave John Krasinski a few great dramatic moments to play.  The conversation with Jim and Pam about their future was quite realistic. Newlyweds with a baby on the way who both work for a company that might be shut down. That’s certainly cause for concern, and I’m glad we got to see a hint of that conversation…before Michael made Pam leave to go solve a murder.

And later when David Wallace called with the news that the company might not be able to make it through the year, the look of desperation on Jim’s face and the slight crack in his voice made was another fine moment for Krasinski.

The bright spot last night was the missed connection of the budding romance of Erin and Andy. Ellie Kemper has been a wonderful addition to the cast.  Her character sees the craziness that surrounds her, but also has no problem joining in on the fun. While I didn’t see the chemistry at first between Erin and Andy, I see it clearly now and I think the writers can have a lot of fun with the two of them.

It seems that the second half of this season may revolve around the feared demise of Dunder Mifflin. Since the Scranton branch seems to be doing well, perhaps a few will break off to form their own company – it certainly seems to be the trend in TV these days.  Let’s just hope some of the new writers have done their homework, because we’ve seen the downsizing storyline play out (remember Devon?).  THE OFFICE has dealt with the cutting back on expenses to help the company (“Health Care”).  I’m just wondering what new perspective the writers will bring to the story this time around.

Less you think I have no sense of humor, here are few of my favorite moments.

  • Creed running away after Michael told him that he was a suspect in a murder case. Here’s to hoping Creed comes back.
  • Andy: “It’s time for the Nard Dog to take matters into his own paws.”
  • Jim: “Let’s conference room it up!”
  • Kevin: “He lives on Sesame Street, dumbass.”
  • We know that in time of need, Michael turns to iTunes for solace. The choice of “Lullaby” by Shawn Mullins was classic. “Everything is going to be alright, rock-a-bye.”
  • Oscar’s attempt at a Southern access had me rolling. Was he playing Scarlett O’Hara?

I do declare that I’m ready to hear your take on “Murder”…or as I like to call it – muckduck.


5 Responses to “THE OFFICE: Murder”

  1. Kyle on November 13th, 2009 4:27 pm

    This has been the best season of Creed that I can remember, every episode he has his little one-shot that always cracks me up

  2. seeleybaby on November 13th, 2009 5:51 pm

    Speaking of murder, did you know there is an Office CLUE game? I just saw it. Toby is mr. Boddy, hahaha! The weapons include a poisoned pretzel and a dundee. Also mr. A. Knife. Hahahaha!

    The warehouse, accounting, break room, etc are the rooms. Don’t see “Jim’s Office” as one of the rooms, for those of you keeping score at home.

  3. Kelly on November 13th, 2009 7:08 pm

    There were a few chuckles in this episode, but it did nothing to assuage my fears that The Office is getting ready to jump the shark. It seems like the writers are either out of ideas or have just pretty much given up.

    I did like the Andy/Erin missed connection, and I’m hopeful that something fun is about to happen with their storyline. Finally, The Office is my favorite escape from the trials and tribulations of life for 30 minutes every week. The last thing I want is to see Jim, Pam, or even Dwight have to face the prospect of losing their jobs due to the economy. I get enough of that every day at work.

  4. G on November 13th, 2009 10:44 pm

    Kath, I’m with you on the whole co-manager plot. I really think that the writers have written themselves into a corner here and don’t really know how to get out, so they just stick with the same old plotline.

    However, the optimistic part of me wonders if they WANT the viewers confused as to how this is working out, because the characters themselves (mostly Jim) are confused about this situation. I mean, we see Jim keep trying to take control and do the job that he’s been given by corporate. And we also see Michael pull a “look at me! look at me!” week after week to wrestle control back from Jim because he can’t handle NOT being the center of office attention. Because Jim’s so non-confrontational, he just lets Michael do his thing instead of stepping up to the plate and telling Michael to stay out of his dance space. And all of this leaves the entire office confused about how they’re going to make it out of this situation with their jobs intact if DM didn’t have enough foresight to know how this co-manager situation would end. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I think this is a really interesting exploration into both Jim’s and Michael’s characters as specifically office employees (and managers).

    I almost wonder if this is a way to cut down on the cast after this season (if there’s going to be a Season 7). I could see some employees being asked to go part-time, or see them having to move to a less expensive office space.

  5. Lisa (aka lmr) on November 14th, 2009 9:46 am

    The mystery itself was solved too early with them declaring it was Phyllis’ character. Had they not done that and kept the mystery running with the murderer still playing along, I think it would have had more possibilities for humor. Or, what if it had been Stanley or Creed who isn’t playing at all and the mystery is driving everyone crazy in a parallel fashion to how they don’t know what is going on from Corporate? In the end both mysteries could have gone unsolved.

    Not my favorite episode but not the worst either.

    I think they’re going to need someone to turn things around and Wallace as CFO doesn’t have those skills. I think they’re building up to moving Jim or Michael up but based in Scranton.