The Office: Episode 144 – Doomsday

  • The Writer – Daniel Chun
  • Directed by – Troy Miller
  • A brief synopsis – An end of workday tradition thought up by Andy starts grating on the staff.  Dwight thinks up a wonderful device to detect mistakes within the branch and fire employees after five of them.
  • The best line – Pam: What are you doing?
    Dwight: What does it look like I’m doing? Digging a grave for a horse.
  • 2nd best line -Dwight: Can you tell me now where paper comes from?
    Kevin: The man tree puts its penis…
  • The best moment – Wow, I am having a hard time with this…Stanley singing “Closing Time?”
  • The best story line – Gabe and Darryl competing for the same girl.
  • Notable guest appearance – Cute new warehouse girl
  • Grade – C-
An episode of The Office that is eminently forgettable, even if it has some pretty good lines.  Still suffering from the groupthink of fear mentality that they suffered through with “Spooked,” this week the scary thing isn’t one of Robert’s lame stories, but instead it is some device that Dwight made which can miraculously detect errors and, upon that, tabulate them and send an email to Robert.  Everyone acts like they are really afraid of the consequences here.  I would be interested in bringing in a science team to investigate Dwight’s creation.  If Dwight can create something to detect mistakes over multiple platforms, then Sales is probably the wrong field for him.  He could make a ton of money elsewhere.  So, back to the dread.  Oh, the dread.  Why the hell does the creative staff think being collectively stupid is good television?  The reason The Office hit with me initially was due to its ability to show the different types of co-workers in an office environment.
Now, it seems every other week the group gathers together to fret about some looming crisis that any sane person would just ignore.  It’s fine if you want to have Jim pull physical stunts and look bad while playing racquetball with Robert.  Just find another way to get him there than as an errand boy for something he probably would not have cared about in seasons 1-3.  Why does Dwight leave, inexplicably, several hours before the end of the day, when the mistake counter ends at 5?  Of course, you need to send 4 people out to his farm so we can have some remote humor.  It’s still fun to see Dwight say everyone has to take off their shoes before they enter his house: except Kevin, who is instructed to leave them on.  Problem is, the show seems to be going through a spell here where the belief is that everyone needs screen time, so everyone must be in every shot.  When this happens you see people do things in groups that you would not see them do in person, and they all gasp on queue.
As for other parts of the show, we have Andy’s “tradition” of ending each day with “Closing Time,” as a semi-success.  While it does ring true to his character, the staff of years past would not have let this go on 3 days, much less over 100.  That Andy would do this, however, and Stanley would put up with it, is perfectly on cue.
This show is better with out Michael.  The makers just need to realize it, and relax.

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