‘The Office’ Recap: Costume Contest

S7E6: As a kid, I totally wanted Christmas to come more often for obvious reasons. As a teenager, I wished Arbor Day would come sooner and sooner every year because I’m weird. Now that I’m a bit older, I wish that Halloween came more often because it means girls wear less clothing, there’s lots of candy and because The Office totally knows how to do a Halloween episode. Angela in a nurse costume? Hubba hubba.

Let’s just go ahead and get that out of the way first. It’s about damn time we got to see Angela show off a little, even if she was uncomfortable with the promiscuity of it all. But then again, she did hook up with Dwight in the warehouse for years, so maybe The Office’s little angel has little devil horns hiding beneath that blond dew? Needless to say, I rather like this characters development, but when did she decide to break out that costume? What happened to the penguin? As someone who has dressed as a penguin on many occasions, these are the questions I need answers to.

And what could have created this wacky bizzaro universe we suddenly found in Scranton? A coupon book to the winner of the costume contest, with over $15,000 worth of savings inside. Everyone brought their A game.

But while everyone in The Office worried about the walk off at the end of the day, we were also treated to a very good episode that didn’t require the backdrop of the holiday. We saw Michael dealing with Daryl going over his head and Jim and Pam getting to the bottom of the great mystery of Danny never called her back four years ago. Neither has a thing to do with Halloween and both angles are funny on their own, but the addition of the costumes just elevated the hilarity.

Granted, while they were good stories, there were still some flaws to each. For instance, in the Michael and Daryl plot we found that the drivers are required to start selling products on their deliveries to boost sales. This turns out to be a great idea and Michael is thrilled because Corporate just started a program that Daryl himself had suggested to Michael. Michael shot it down, of course, but they should totally call Corporate to tell them that it was Daryl’s idea. But it turns out Daryl had gone over Michael’s head to get the program initiated.

Michael’s reaction, it turns out, was naturally childish and stupid. This was my least favorite part of the episode because his behavior is really annoying by now and I’d rather have seen more of the costumes that the staff came up with. Michael changed out of his amazing MacGruber get-up to send up Daryl as himself, but that backfired. And when he tried to make the Ouija board call Daryl a jackass, well I mean, really? But Michael has been doing this for seven years now. I guess we should just expect it by this point and enjoy it while it lasts.

Eventually Michael and Daryl make up in a timely manner when they both get fed up with Gabe. And I’d get fed up fairly quickly too with a stick like that dressed as Lady Gaga. This brings up an obvious question – is Daryl Michael’s replacement? Or is this just to throw us off track? Daryl did get pretty pumped over his own ambition and I’d be totally cool with Craig Robinson in charge. Who knows though, we shall see.

The other storyline was Jim’s brilliant detective work trying to figure out why Danny never called Pam back. Jim took the radical new approach and straight up asked him why and surprisingly Danny felt just as uncomfortable as we all did with Jim’s candidness. Danny initially tries to play it like a gentleman by admitting that Pam talked about him the whole time (because Timothy Olyphant is just that smooth) but Jim calls shenanigans on that when Pam confirms that was not the case. When they confront him about it later, he finally confesses that he thought Pam was a little bit of dork. Pam tries to play it cool, but its kind of hard to seem cool when you’re dressed as Olive Oil.

She backs out of the break room in the dorkiest manner possible and strands Jim in an awkward position. He refused to take part in Pam’s Halloween costume as Pop Eye so it seems he kind of thinks the same of Pam. But since Jim and Pam are the perfect couple – and oh my god that was so sweet – he changes into the costume and even dresses their baby up. Ugh, that gave me a cavity quicker than a pillowcase full of Milky Ways.

This episode also gave us a bevy of great one-liners and costumes. Erin eating two apples while bobbing for them was simply inspired. Basically everything Creed said was gold and seeing Kevin dressed as Michael Moore and then crying after Michael chewed him out was priceless. Special costume awards go to Angela (of course) and Andy for being a dead ringer (word play!) for True Blood’s Bill Compton. I honestly thought it was some strange cameo at first when the cameras panned over him. And special mention goes to the cold open which eventually led to more and more surreal images as the whole office tested Stanley’s obliviousness. I like the awkward and romantic elements of the show, but sometimes its cool to just see them get weird. More Dwight and donkeys!