After very solid episodes of The Office the past two weeks, this episode didn’t fully gel for me. There were definitely inspired moments—the sting operation itself and, once again, giving Ed Helms more screen time (especially singing!) is always good in my book. But as a whole, I never really felt like everything clicked together.
Andy reads Cornell Magazine—as any proper Ivy grad and member of Here Comes Treble does—and discovers that his former a cappella friend has made a name for himself (in Vermont) by creating a song for the milk council called CalciYum. I pretty much loved every one of these details, followed by Andy running to Daryl to recruit him for a new band he is developing to revive his music career. Of course Daryl is on board—Daryl thrives on these kind of offers from Dunder Mifflin’s strangest. Then we are treated to a little jam session which results in a rather creepy song of Andy singing from the perspective of a young girl (he did use his falsetto voice). Ultimaely, Andy and Daryl do bond a little and the music actually seems therapeutic for Andy—here’s hoping we get to see more of this band (and Daryl and Andy).
As for the main storyline, it didn’t fully win me over because of a few uncharacteristic elements. The premise was that a suave and successful rival paper salesman—Danny Cordray—nabbed another client from Dunder Mifflin. And to top it off, he once dated Pam. First, I had a lot of trouble believing Pam and Danny dated (and I don’t even think this detail was necessary to the plot). They also explained that these dates occurred about four years ago, so I guess that would be in the time between her years with Roy and Jim. Well, any loyal follower of The Office knows that Pam was very shy and hesitant to date anyone…she even had a horrible date when Kelly had her try “hot” clothes and set her up on a blind date with the world’s must unfunny comic strip writer. I just have a hard time believing they dated and Pam was so blasé about it.
Anyway, Michael, Jim and Dwight become obsessed with figuring out Danny’s impressive sales techniques and decide to set up a sting (or a stinger as Michael called it). Here is my next complaint—that they actually picked Meredith to play the role of the executive at the fake Solartech. I wouldn’t expect Michael or Dwight to think that choice through rationally, but Jim should know better. I mean, Danny is hot and Meredith is Meredith. It did lead to some great bits of comedy, though, especially when Meredith predictably gets carried away in her lust and the guys have to send in Oscar and then Ryan to try to get their sting back on track. Meredith gains back the upper hand by referring to both recruits as cleaning men who don’t speak English.
Ultimately, Michael ends up hiring Danny as a traveling salesman. I am curious to see if the show keeps Danny on the backburner as a potential a) reason why Michael leaves and/or b) replacement. By the way, does Dunder Mifflin still sell paper? I thought they switched to printers when Sabre took over? Or maybe they sell both now?
While the episode as a whole didn’t fully sell me on its premise, I appreciated some of the little details:
- Daryl hard at work entering Weight Watchers points
- Michael’s comparison to his losing the sale to Michael Phelps losing a swim meet
- Meredith VanHelsing, president of Solartech
- Kelly’s reaction to their new salesman who reminds her of Josh Duhamel: “BLEEP me”
- Daryl helping Andy brainstorm deep and true ideas for a song: “What’s something really important to you?”; Andy: “Reverse snobbery”; Daryl: “Something more universal.”
- Dwight defends Pam’s honor in his weird little way (by basically insulting her), and Pam mouthing “I wear makeup” to the camera.
What did you think of “The Sting?” Was I just a little too jaded when watching this?