Watching The Office’s Halloween episode “Costume Contest” there were several times when I wanted a character quote A Few Good Men and say, “You can’t handle the truth!” No one did, but it would have been appropriate for the two main storylines: Michael was hurt that Daryl went over his head with an idea for the company that turned out to be successful, and Pam and Jim were determined to uncover the real reason why Danny never returned her call after their two dates four years ago. In both cases, the real truth ended up stinging a little.
I must admit I was a little tired of the “someone threatens Michael’s power” and he gets angry and acts like a child shtick. Daryl had a good idea, Michael rejected it, so Daryl went to Gabe who got it approved by Jo. Pretty much the only scene that brought a slightly fresh laugh to this tried and true Office story arc was watching the power-struggle dynamic between Michael, Daryl and Gabe…but dressed as MacGruber, Dracula (or as Michael said “Blackula”) and Lady Gaga, respectively. Sidenote: Gabe’s costume was definitely my favorite—we all knew Gabe was weird, but it was an excellent choice for him to push that weird boundary even further. He seemed so comfortable in his Gaga getup that it made me wonder if Gabe cross-dresses on the weekends. It also really made me want a deeper look at what his relationship with Erin is like—I would love to find out they are really kinky or go to Goth conventions together. While Michael, Daryl and Gabe reached a hazy agreement, the real result of this plot seemed to be setting Daryl up for bigger things (perhaps even leaving the door open for him to become branch manager when Michael departs the show?).
Unfortunately (for me) the other main storyline tonight was the “date triangle” between Jim, Pam and new Dunder Mifflin hottie Danny. As I wrote last week, I was not a big fan of the whole ‘Pam and Danny used to date’ subplot. I just didn’t find it plausible at all—not only because Pam was so introverted and shy back then but because we never saw it as viewers even though we saw her other (one) attempt at a date. So, tonight’s continuation of this high school-ish drama didn’t do much for me again. I did oooh and ahhhh when Jim finally put on his Popeye suit and brought in baby CeCe though!
While Michael, Jim and Pam spent their efforts on getting to the bottom of others’ actions, the rest of The Office was trying to out-do each other’s costumes to win the grand prize—a book of coupons totaling $15,000 in savings for Scranton venues (which surprisingly was quite coveted…even by Angela who was willing to show more skin than we have ever seen on her by dressing as a sexy nurse). Oscar was the only one who knew the ‘true’ value of the coupon book and decided to wear regular clothes as a “rational consumer.” Of course Oscar ended up winning. By far the best reason why someone voted for him was Creed’s belief that Oscar was wearing the best Edward James Olmos costume he had ever seen (and THAT was by far my favorite laugh-out-loud line of the night…leave it to Creed to ‘stand and deliver‘ with an amazing closing line).
In closing, while this was not my favorite Halloween episode of The Office, here are a few amusing highlights that I didn’t already cover:
- The only thing Stanley notices is the clock when it is 5:00 p.m.
- I never realized until tonight that Kevin does look quite a bit like Michael Moore.
- Did anyone else think that Michael looked like Owen Wilson channeling MacGruber with that blonde wig?
- Nice call having Ryan and Kelly be pop culture icons from this year in entertainment: Justin Bieber and Snooki
- Gabe’s hilariously lame attempt at being ‘punny’ in his Lady Gaga attire during a staff meeting: “In case you can’t read my poker face…”
- Other than me not liking Danny’s romantic history with Pam, I DO like how everyone else in the office seems smitten with Danny—both the ladies and the guys.
- What could tubby Kevin and lanky Gabe possibly be talking about? “Probably the extremes of the human physique.”
- I would read “Bernard’s Regards” –Andy’s op ed column for the Cornell (did you get that—CORNELL) newspaper.
What did you think of “Costume Contest?” Are you also ready to start seeing a little more significant character development from Michael before he moves on? And, can The Office handle the truth that it has been very uneven these past two or so seasons?