Officers! I lost an eyelash today and wished for a wonderful episode of The Office, and I think we can all agree that my wish came true. ”Café Disco” felt like a reimagining of ”Casino Night” or ”Booze Cruise” to me in a lot of ways — not as heavy or emotional, certainly, but still a chance to see our Dunderheads in a charming and demonstrative not-quite-work environment. Part of me thought that the dissolution of the Michael Scott Paper company happened way too quickly, and that we’d be going back to business as usual without enough acknowledgment of what had transpired, so I’m relieved (although not surprised) that that hasn’t happened. Instead, change really is afoot in a lot of ways. We saw shifting allegiances, a possible budding romance, goodwill where there used to be bad, and some awesome little nuggets of Officey cuteness.
We opened on Kelly/Erin (from here on out just Erin), the new receptionist, squealing that she’d won an art contest. I actually bought it for a second, thinking maybe she was going to be set up as the Pam that could have been, until Dwight walked up and handed her a prank fee. His maniacal, sort of vicious laughter in the confessional sent a chill down your humble recapper’s spine: an unleashed Dwight? That’s a terror force.
After the credits, we saw Michael down in the former TMSPC offices, shaking his groove thing to ”Car Wash.” He admitted that he still sneaked down there, and I started thinking that if we don’t see someone wind up in that damn shower before the season ends (one more episode!), I am going to be livid. Someone! Needs! To get showered! I’m hoping for a League of Their Own–style ”you need to cool off” kinda thing, but I’d accept…I don’t know, Creed taking an actual shower down there.
Michael bemoaned that DM has a ”strict no-lunch-with-the-boss policy,” which he blamed on Charles. Michael’s chronic, crippling loneliness is a touchstone for The Office, and I’m consistently impressed that the show can find new and different ways for Michael’s isolation to be manifested. He tried to get someone to have lunch with him, and we got our first glimpse of Ryan’s emerging manorexia: ”Food is the one thing I can control,” he says. Hmm.
The too-helpful Erin tried to find out who left a map of Ohio in the printer, and we discovered that not only does Erin carry her birth certificate with her at all times, but…Pam and Jim were getting married! I mean, we knew they were, but they told the camera they were getting married today. At the courthouse in Youngstown. They adorably told the story that that very morning, Jim suggested they elope. ”I had just woken up,” Pam so-adorable-I-can’t-stand-it said. ”I didn’t look cute. That’s how I know he meant it.”
And the sound of a million ”squees” descended upon a nation.
Erin came downstairs to Michael’s dude lair, where she accepted an espresso and started dancing. And not under duress! She really seemed to like it.
Michael tried again to, well, make everyone like him via his downstairs rumpus room, and said it was as way of comfort ”Daddy’s here.” Leave it to Oscar, who might be the most underutilized character on this show, to say disparagingly, ”please don’t refer to yourself as our ‘daddy.”’ Oscar is up there with Jim and Pam as the sane voice in this crazy DM world, and even though his insights are used to full effect, I can’t help but wish we got to see more of him. Also, Andy responded to Michael in a baby voice, which will more or less haunt my nightmares.
NEXT: Kelly and Andy connect