S7:E5 Of course the biggest mystery this year is how The Office was going to deal with the absence of Steve Carell. Our one lone clue was that Timothy Olyphant would be appearing in the last two episodes of the season as a rival salesman. Lo and behold, Olyphant shows up in “The Sting” and we get our first introduction to the character.
And man, was it funny.
First, our cold open and honestly, not one of my favorite ones. It makes sense that Oscar would be really into cycling and that Michael wouldn’t know how to ride a bike, but it just felt weak. There were some highlights, though. Oscar admitting that cycling makes him want to get up in the morning was pretty funny. But Michael not knowing (or possibly not admitting) to knowing what training wheels are? Not so sure I can buy it. But it is good to see Jim able to teach Michael. He’s going to be such a good dad.
We started off with Jim and Dwight heading out to a joint sales call. These two should go out into the world together more. Their back and forth hasn’t wilted over the years and it still feels fresh. They’re heading off to woo another potential client and much to their dismay, right when they arrive they notice Timothy Olyphant as Danny Cordray, a super rival salesman. And its not his company, it's actually Danny. He himself poses such a threat that it causes both Jim and Dwight to jump back in horror.
They try to play it cool (with Dwight’s imitating casual conversation piece “So, anyway, she says ‘That is the biggest penis I’ve ever seen,’ and I said ‘I know! That’s why I brought you to the penis museum, where tickets are a thousand dollars!’” which was just amazing) but the competition gets the best of them and they call in their best back up plan. They’re ace in the hole. Their secret weapon:
But even the dream trio of Michael, Dwight, and Jim couldn’t convince their client otherwise. Danny was just too good. Convinced there has to be a secret to his success, they set up the an elaborate plan to spy on him. Of course, Dwight already had all of this set up for his building owner’s office. They lure Danny in with a promise of a new client and wait patiently to watch the enemy work.
The only problem though is they had to use someone else to be their “client.” Jim, Dwight, and Michael were out, Danny knew them. Jim couldn’t ask Pam because apparently they dated about 4 years ago. Jim might still be a little hung about it which led to Pam’s hilarious reminder “You do know I have a kid with you, right?” So they settled with their next best choice: Meredith.
But alas, poor Meredith could not resist Danny’s charm. She fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Actually, if she were a fish, she would have basically swam into the boat, gutted herself, and cooked herself in front of Danny. Screw the company, Meredith had someone else to screw. The trio try to salvage the situation by bringing in a replacement by shoving Oscar in there, but Meredith showed some unusual quick wit and deemed him a janitor (even though Oscar was wearing a tie). So they went to their back-up-back-up plan by throwing Ryan in there. Meredith plays her cards again and deems him another janitor.
With the jig up, Michael calls it off and Danny is obviously upset. Michael does the only thing he can think of to salvage the situation: he sells Dunder Mifflin to Danny and convinces himself to join their team. Michael does redeem his rather unusual ability to sell things when he was able to convince Danny to join Dunder Mifflin.
And then we get to the introductions. Most of the office is appreciative of the new addition. I believe Kelly summed it up fairly well when she said, “Fuck me.” Don’t we all, Kelly. Don’t we all. Even better than that was when they started comparing him to Josh Duhamel. Personally, I have been known to confuse the two actors, lord knows it probably happens to them all the time in real life, so I appreciated the sort of meta joke there. The sales team isn’t too thrilled about the addition, they would rather things “stay the same” rather than move forward like Danny.
The B story as far as plot was a little weak. Andy gets jealous of a fellow Cornell graduate who landed a singing gig for a jingle. He vows to come up something better and pays Daryl to jam with him and Kevin. They start and really hit it off. There was a super sweet moment when Daryl waves off Andy’s offer to pay him for an additional half hour because he was enjoying it and Andy’s look was adorable. So the plot was weak but it did lead to a lot of Andy and Daryl singing, which is always amazing. The only other show that could rival The Office in terms of music ability is Community with Donald Glover’s raps, but watching Andy and Daryl jam is always a joy.
This was a shot in the arm for The Office. Plenty of funny moments all around and a definite return to form for the show.