The Office: Episode 147 – Mrs. California

  • The Writer –  Dan Greaney
  • Directed by – Charlie Grandy
  • A brief synopsis – Robert makes Andy practice both sides of nepotism…a lot.  Dwight opens a gym in the building, and Daryl tries to make use of it to impress Val.
  • The best line – Andy: What I wouldn’t give for one of Phyllis’ classic room clearing farts right now.
  • 2nd best line – Robert: Andrew, this is my wife.  Whatever privacy you were trying to protect, I thank you for.  But it is not welcome right now.  Just be honest.  Susan:  Andy… Andy: Yes.  Susan: Why do you keep looking at my husband?  Robert: Andy just answer the question.  Andy: No games?  Robert: No games.  Andy: Okay, I mean it was kind of funny actually.  Robert storms in and he says, “In 4 seconds my wife is going to be here.  I told her she could work here.  Under no circumstances can that be allowed to happen…” Robert: You lying son of a bitch!
  • 3rd best line – Dwight: That’s okay.  I know how to build a business.  You gotta get the black people to do it to get the white people will do it.  Then you gotta get the black people to stop doing it.  One step at a time.
  • 4th best line – Daryl: This isn’t a gym.  It’s like a scene out of Saw V.
  • The best moment – So many to choose from, but I have to say the confrontation with Mr. & Mrs. California, with a hapless Andy.  And Jim, so slippery.
  • The best story line – Hire my wife.  Under no circumstances should you hire my wife.  Brilliantly conceived, written and played.
  • Notable guest appearance – Maura Tierney is Susan California, Kathy is portrayed by Lindsey Broad.  I wish I knew who plays Val.  She is wonderful.
  • Grade – A+

What a landmark episode.  Played so well, and from so many angles.  Grandy is a writer for The Simpsons, and he uses some incredible back and forth dialogue, sounding so organic, yet so intricately well-timed.  Spader has never been better.  His usual control of every situation, so hard to believe over the first half of this season, is put to rest.  So slimy and so weak-willed.  Maura Tierney, with her years of seasoning in the brilliant News Radio, is a perfect foil for his over the top aggrandizement.

Dwight, Daryl, Jim and especially Andy are all in top form here as well.  Each is allowed to stay true within the bounds of his character without sacrificing the edginess that is the hallmark of this series at its best.  This episode is easily top 20.

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