TV Recap: The Office - Stress Relief

I suppose with tonight’s installment of The Office being the big post-Super Bowl episode, we should have expected a huge opening scene and of course, the episode didn’t disappoint. Totally ridiculous but undeniably hilarious. Dwight attempts to put a scare in the Dunder Mifflinites by creating an office fire scenario, which involves an actual fire. He jams all the doors shut, sets the fire and then allows the mayhem to ensue.

Since so much seemed to happen at once during tonight’s cold open, I’ve broken it down into a list for you:

Dwight heats up the door handles, jams the doors and cuts the phone lines.

He then sets the fire in a trash can using a lit cigarette.

Michael screams at everyone to stay f—king calm! (love the beeped out swearing)

They realize the doors are all jammed and the handles are warm.

Michael announces that it’s everyone for himself.

Kevin stampedes the corridor, knocking over a camera man.

Angela pulls her cat out of a drawer.

Oscar climbs into the ceiling, refusing to pull Angela up because she’s “too heavy” despite only weighing 82 lbs.

Angela throws Bandit the Cat up into the ceiling after Oscar.

Bandit drops down from the ceiling a few feet away.

Michael tries to throw a chair through the window and fails.

Kevin throws a chair through the vending machine and succeeds in looting the thing.

Dwight advises Pam to use the surge of fear and adrenaline to sharpen her decision making.

Jim decides he’s not going to die there and tries to use the copy machine to break through a door.

Dwight lights a firecracker, which makes a series of loud popping noises.

Andy announces that the fire is shooting at them.

Oscar falls out of the ceiling, scaring the crap out of Creed.

Michael throws an overhead projector out of the window and starts yelling for help.

Everyone is screaming, most of all Stanley.

Dwight blows an air horn to announce that the “drill” is over.

Stanley has a heart attack.

Dwight gets reamed out by David Wallace over his little stunt. Stanley comes back after his heart complications and the Dunder Mifflin Scranton Staff sits in on a CPR training to learn how to resuscitate someone. As usual, the training goes badly. It ends with all of the staff singing “Stayin’ Alive” and Dwight cutting open the CPR dummy to mimic an organ harvesting. He then proceeds to cut the face off the dummy and wear it as a mask. That’s strike two for Dwight. Dwight now needs to get the signatures of everyone in the office stating that he apologized for his shenanigans. Since most of them aren’t willing to sign, he has to get crafty with it and finally gets the last signature by tricking Phyllis into signing for a package, only to find an empty box.

When Stanley’s little electric stress meter begins going off whenever Michael’s near him, and the same happens when Oscar uses it, Michael realizes that he’s the source of stress in the office. He decides to let the staff give him a good old fashioned roasting. More than one person takes the stage to sling insults at Michael. This includes Pam remarking on Michael’s penis size (after having seen it firsthand during the “Fun Run” episode), Kelly listing off people she’d rather make out with, including Kevin, any of the guys in the warehouse and Lord Voldemort, Meredith blaming Michael for her alcoholism, Dwight calling him a pathetic, short little man with no friends, family or land, and Andy singing a song to the tune of “What I Like About You”, which includes the lyrics, “Stanley tried to die just to get away, well it’s true! That’s what I hate about you…”

Of course, Michael can’t take the heat and ends up walking out before he gives his speech. He goes to a park to feed the pigeons that don’t show up and inevitably comes back to the office and starts calling everyone out on their shortcomings. Stanley’s the first to find the insults funny and after that, everyone joins in laughing. Any sadness Michael feels for what was said about him during the roast appears to vanish as he receives laughter and applause. In the end, that’s all he’s ever really looking for, isn’t it?

The other plot in the episode involves Andy, Pam and Jim watching a pirated movie featuring Cloris Leachman, Jack Black and Jessica Alba. While they’re watching the film throughout the episode, Jim and Pam are too preoccupied with the marital problems Pam’s parents are having to pay much attention to the movie. Whenever Jim and Pam start talking about Pam’s parents, Andy thinks they’re talking about the movie and that they’ve somehow found a deeper level to the film, which from what we were shown, appears to be about Jack Black’s character dumping Jessica Alba’s character because he’s fallen in love with her grandmother, played by Leachman. We’re treated to a bathtub scene and a make-out scene that’s humorous and goofy in true Jack Black form.

Pam asks Jim to talk to her dad about what’s going on with his marriage and Jim reluctantly agrees. Later, Pam finds out that after the conversation her dad had with Jim, he now wants to leave her mother. Jim assures Pam that he was just honest when he talked to him and can’t think of anything he said that would have influenced her father to leave her mother. It’s clear he’s worried that he may have been the cause of it and we can tell Pam thinks that might be the case as well. In the end, she finds out that it was Jim’s fault. Jim apparently told Pam’s dad how much he loves Pam and how it feels whenever she walks into a room. Expressing his sincere feelings for Pam made Pam’s dad realize that he’s never felt that way about his wife. Pam is of course, not upset with Jim anymore. Everyone’s happy (except for Pam’s parents, I’m guessing). Though from the commercial NBC aired after the episode, there could be even bigger drama in store for these two!

Did anyone catch the ad that NBC aired for Parks & Recreation, the new Amy Poehler series? Hard to say just from that one tiny commercial whether the series will be as funny as The Office but since it stars Amy Poehler, I think we should expect something good. Below is the series description listed on NBC’s website:

“From Emmy Award-winning executive producers Greg Daniels (NBC's "The Office," "King of the Hill") and Michael Schur ("The Office, "Saturday Night Live") -- is a new mockumentary that looks at the exciting world of local government. The documentary cameras follow Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler, NBC's "Saturday Night Live," "Baby Mama"), a mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee, Indiana. In an attempt to beautify her town -- and advance her career -- Leslie takes on what should be a fairly simple project: help local nurse Ann Logan (Rashida Jones, "The Office") take on defensive bureaucrats, selfish neighbors, real estate developers, and single-issue fanatics -- whose weapons are lawsuits, the jumble of city codes, and the very democratic process that Leslie loves so much. Aziz Ansari and Aubrey Plaza also star.”

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.