The Office recap: Field trip to Gettysburg! | EW.com

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The Office recap: Battle for a Laugh

A field trip to Gettysburg doesn’t inspire anyone

The Office

LOOK WHO’S BACK Robert California drops by for an unexpected visit (NBC)

The Office

Season 8, Ep. 8 | Aired Nov 17

A trip or change of scenery can inspire brand-new life-changing adventures. Or, at the very least, it’s a way to kill a workday.

I hoped you recently brushed up on your Civil War history, because last night Andy felt morale was low, and also, he wanted to be an inspiring leader. Solution? Field trip to Gettysburg (home of the northern-most battle of the Civil War), conveniently located in good ol’ PA, same as Dunder Mifflin. He rented a bus (much like Michael did in “Beach Games”) and they were off to see some history – complete with matching neon pink hats that read: “DM does GB,” which Jim was pretty sure meant something sexual. Oh, and Andy brought free low-sugar lunches!

The bus trip to Gettysburg was pretty funny. Andy wanted to talk strategy – “a little foreplay before we do it” – but Darryl had a Limitless DVD, which everyone was much more enthusiastic about. (A joke that made me laugh way more than it should. Excellent timing, Office scribes: How did you know Bradley Cooper would be named People’s Sexiest Man Alive this week?)

Once they arrived at the Gettysburg site, Andy shunned the traditional tour for his own backwoods version, which allowed Dwight plenty of time to try and sell Erin on the fact that Schrute Farms was actually the home to the Northern-most battle of the Civil War – not Gettysburg. “It makes the battle of Gettysburg sound like a bunch of school girls wrestling over a hair brush,” he explained. Oscar, backed by history books, came along and tried to give Erin some more accurate information about actual Civil War battles. Commenter discussion: Erin: Charmingly naïve or disturbingly dumb?

Naturally, the gang on the trip (Jim, Darryl, Phyllis, Erin, Dwight, Oscar) get tired of Andy’s tour, and just wanted to lie in the grass and/or go back to work. Andy got upset and stormed off – sound familiar?

My main problem with this episode was the main plot felt like a rehash of several classic episodes, all kind of stuck together. I realize this show is in its eighth season, which can sometimes feel like four score and seven years in TV time. (See what I did there?) But besides the general boss over-enthusiasm for a dumb idea, there was the local field trip element that we’d seen before in both “Beach Games,” “Booze Cruise,” and when Michael took the ladies to the Steamtown mall for some girl talk. Dwight once again wanted to out-history someone, like he did when stripper Ben Franklin came by the office. Obviously, some plot elements are going to be recurring – especially hit jokes – but for this plot, the laughs weren’t big enough for me to overlook the recycling.

The episode did end funnier than it began, with a great revelation.  We learned Dwight wasn’t entirely wrong about The Battle at Schrute Farms. He just wasn’t accurate about the battle part. Turns out, Schrute farms (helped along by the Schrutes) was an artistic community full of “peaceful delicate, lovely men” that was a refuge from all the fighting. Oscar was fascinated, but upon learning that the Schrutes were not always the warriors Dwight had envisioned, Dwight stormed out of the room, his trip, and possibly year, ruined.

NEXT: Robert California stops by, plus Gabe as Abe Lincoln

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