The Whale

Credit NBC

Synopsis: The Scranton White Pages account comes free and David Wallace calls to get Dwight to approach them. However when the rest of the office hears that it is a woman he will be pitching to they tell him not to go. Jim can’t go because he has an important conference call with his new business. Pam, Nellie and the others try to teach Dwight how to talk to women but he doesn’t get it. Once at the meeting Pam and Dwight are shocked to discover that they are pitching to Jan. Meanwhile Oscar goes with Angela to see if the Senator is having an affair at his yoga class.

The Good: I thought the Angela-Oscar reveal was pretty good. I liked the setup a lot where Oscar was initially shocked to hear that Angela was suspicious and then panicked himself that the Senator might be with another man. His paranoia drives him to stay past the time when they have proven that he isn’t cheating with a woman and then the call comes. I’m still not sure how this can have a good resolution but to allow Angela a moment of silence to piece it altogether was well presented.

The Bad: Dwight not knowing how to talk to women in a sales meeting is believable. The comedy the writers tried to get from that was horrible. All the fake head nodding and inappropriate comments were predictable and dull. Jan is not a character that needed to be revisited and I didn’t see any value in what they tried to do. Hunter was an attractive young man where Clark isn’t, so I don’t buy Jan being attracted to him. It was certainly a cheap payoff to the story. The question was never asked why Phyllis or Stanley couldn’t make the pitch instead of Dwight but maybe he shouted them down.

Jim’s story was a mistake. His inability to find a quiet place to make the phone call was very cheap comedy. Cheap comedy has its place of course but it shouldn’t be mixed with the serious storyline of Jim risking it all to make his business dreams come true.

I hated the opening scene with Andy on the boat. The writers threw in every clichéd idea they could have to make him seem like a fool destined to die out at sea. Back in the office Peter just instantly shaves his moustache off when Erin says she doesn’t like it. That’s it. If they had waited a few more minutes it would have been at least an adequate moment in their ill-conceived romance.

Comic Highlight: Pam says the reason she is helping Dwight is because since becoming a mother she is a soft touch. “I used to watch Pulp Fiction and laugh and now I think ‘That poor Gimp is somebody’s child!’”

That’s what I said: This was below mediocre but better than some this season.

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