After a week off for Thanksgiving, The Office returns with “The Target.” Picking up from where we last left off, Angela has her eye on Oscar after the affair revelation in “The Whale” so she enlists Dwight’s help in obtaining vengeance. Placing this storyline at the forefront of tonight’s episode, the show surprisingly manages to balance its humor and drama relatively well. A big reason for this is because it brings back the Dwight/Angela relationship, which is one of the strongest in the show’s history.
With Oscar frightened about the revelation, Angela keeps her feelings hidden well enough (though obvious to viewers…or anyone who should have worked with Angela for the past so many years) that Oscar deludes himself into believing he’s safe and that she didn’t pick up on anything. However, the spurned partner requests Dwight’s assistance. At first, he thinks it means sex, complete with a tastefully nude Dwight reveal, but she lets him know that she wants someone for surveillance…and more. He recommends Trevor, a friend whom he likes yet doesn’t like, and who kind of reminded me of Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys.
After doing some investigating on his own, Dwight realizes that the person she wants to put a hit on is Oscar, hence the episode’s name “The Target,” and he also learns why. Nobly, Dwight reminds Angela that she was the first to break their marriage vows, but Angela still wants to punish Oscar for “turning [her] husband gay.” This leads to a short sequence where Trevor comes into the office as a “sandwich delivery man” carrying a sandwich with a lead pipe (to break Oscar’s knees) clearly jumping out from between the bread. He asks for Oscar, and Kevin claims to be his co-worker for the free sandwich before Angela tells Trevor has the wrong guy. As cartoony as this bit kind of was, I still thought it was pretty funny with good timing from all the players.
At the end, Angela calls off the hit and cries on Dwight’s shoulder. It’s a sweet moment between the two characters and nailed an emotional connection that even Jim and Pam have difficult accomplishing. The episode concludes with Dwight and Angela asking Toby the details of homosexuality over the closing credits.
In the B-plot, Pete (with an absent Clark in a nice bit of continuity) decides to build a tower with consumer complaint cards. All the office (aside from those in their on plots) gets involved as they get increasingly excited to see the tower of cards hit the ceiling. Although it initially fails due to Kevin knocking it over, Pete responds with a pep talk that delights Erin about how the tower is about mistakes so they shouldn’t be mad about it collapsing. Babel-Scranton successfully completes – save for one card. To get the final complaint, Pam intentionally loses a client because she was the only person in the office who never got a single negative comment. The point of this exercise was for Pam to learn not to give a damn about what people think, but I find it difficult to believe that she was the sole staff member never to get a negative review. At the very least, I’d imagine she’d get one before Erin did. Nevertheless, the camaraderie of the entire office gave this segment an “Office Olympics” feel with Jim Jr. actually becoming Jim Sr. in how he leads the rest of the crew in this quiet rebellion against the monotony of the workplace.
Finally, we return to Jim Halpert: Sports Manager. Jim realizes that he can’t maintain a full-time job and the Philadelphia gig, not the least reason being that the company’s name is now Athlead. (Which makes me wonder if we’re supposed to see the new job as a potentially successful venture or a complete mess from the start, which was also my issue with Sabre last season. Also, the red on the baseball cap was a pretty bad color.) Not wanting to give up his job or ask David Wallace for a part time position, he convinces Phyllis and Stanley to cover for him. Will Dwight? That remains to be seen.
• Andy is still on his boat trip. Again showing his incompetence with him approving the physical comment cards even though the data is in the computer, this show is actually better without him there.
• I wish we found out some of the complaints against Creed.
• Funniest moment of the night (aside from the sandwich deliveryman sequence): Dwight’s head peeking out from the stairwell as he eavesdrops on Oscar’s phone call. I don’t know why I like the head peering in from outside of the frame (or frame proxy) gag so, but I do.
• The shortened opening “credits” ended with a shot of Pam and Jim kissing. Aside from this episode not having anything to do with their relationship, I’m wondering if that clip was ever used to start the episode. Doesn’t it usually start with the figurine falling off the desk in the office regardless of the presence of the boss?
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