This week’s episode of The Office was a step up from the last one as there was more humor to be found while some character arcs subtly moved forward. “Stairmageddon”, as the episode was aptly named, revolved mostly around Dwight’s hilarious attempts to get Stanley to go with him to get a sale. On the side, we see Jim and Pam’s relationship get a bit worse, Andy trying to get into showbiz, and the Senator officially coming out of the closet.
The cold open introduced what Stairmageddon was as Dwight was having maintenance done on the elevator for the day, forcing the “unusually large number of unusually large people” of the office to take the stairs. It was hilarious seeing Stanley just barely make it all the way up and I liked seeing him in the spotlight for the rest of the episode. Although, I’m pretty sure all someone had to do to get him up the stairs was either offer him free pretzels or to get off work early. My favorite part of this cold open though was seeing Kevin jot down notes on how to take the stairs. Brilliant.
The main documentary meta story arc continues too as Andy finds an early review of the documentary (that’s still apparently filming) online. It’s weird hearing the descriptions of these characters from the reviewer as he now represents the real world audience that is us. I like how while this arc is present, it doesn’t take over the episodes. Rather, it spits out little mini-stories for different characters to go through, especially Andy.
This week, he gets inspired to try his hand at showbiz once and for all because this documentary was the chance he was waiting for to get his name out and be famous. After many poor tries, he gets hold of an agency that hires him. Not as an actor mind you, but to be the clown at birthday parties. Andy of course considers this a great opportunity to build up his credibility. Roseanne Barr guest stars here as Carla Fern, the agent that hires him, and she’s returning for the next couple of episodes. We also see Paul Feig (a former director of The Office) guest star as another act that’s hoping to get hired. His act consists of a mouse on top of a cat on top of a dog–a pretty funny visual gag.
Andy’s story as of late has not been that entertaining to watch. I think they might be setting up his arc such that he ends up in Hollywood or something by the end of the series. I would be surprised if it happens, but I can see the slight possibility there. I do hope they deviate from this story and find something else, or at least something more, for him to do as the series gets closer to its end. I sense one last meltdown coming from him in the final weeks of the show too.
His story was the only real weak point of the episode though, as the rest of it was fun to watch, starting with Angela and Oscar. When the reviews were being read, there was the hint at the revelation that the Senator was gay. Angela and the Senator try to fix this by setting up a press conference, only for him to publicly confess his homosexuality, as everyone watches from the office.
I particularly liked Meredith’s remark “Always hurts to hear that one” when the Senator claims he only realized how “charmless” he found the female body after getting together with Angela. I also liked how the Senator revealed he was in love with his Chief of Staff, and how their kissing caused Angela to want to vomit.
My favorite moment of the whole episode, however, came from Kevin, who expressed such pure joy at being able to keep the secret of Oscar and the Senator for so long without cracking once. Watching the sense of accomplishment on his face while repeating “I did it” over and over to himself was hilarious. On a side note, I was once again disappointed at the lack of Creed in this episode, who only got about two lines in. But as the actor assured us on Twitter, the best of Creed is coming soon.