The Office Review: “Stairmageddon” (Season 9, Episode 19)

The third storyline of the episode saw Jim and Pam try out marriage counseling. Except, before going to an actual marriage counselor, they each end up talking about their struggling relationship with Toby and Nellie, respectively. That’s one way to make Toby feel somewhat important again. Ever since Michael left it’s just never been the same with Toby as there’s no one to constantly make fun of him.

Anyway, Jim and Pam talk about their relationships to Toby and Nellie and for a while, I thought they were both going to realize how stupid this all is and they should get back together, work things out and live happily ever after. But alas, things only got worse when they both realized they’re only struggling in this relationship as Jim doesn’t want to back out of his job in Philly while Pam doesn’t want to move away from Scranton. I’m on Pam’s side here in terms of not wanting to see them move, but I understand Jim’s reasons for what he’s doing.

My one main gripe is that I feel we’re seeing less of Jim lately. Maybe that’s just me because the focus feels like it’s more on Pam and Scranton than on Jim and Philadelphia, but I want to see Jim come back, make some sarcastic comments, and perform some hilarious pranks on Dwight like the old days. But for now, he has to fix his relationship first, and I really like their slow movements to do that. The moment near the end where Jim puts his hand on Pam’s shoulder was a nice touch. I know that whenever the old Jim-Pam magic is back, it’ll feel earned because we know they worked hard to get there.

Now to the main story, featuring Dwight, Stanley and Clark. After climbing the stair mountain, Stanley refuses to go with Dwight to secure a sale from a client. His refusal to listen to Dwight is reminiscent of his ‘Did I Stutter’ moments with Michael. Dwight ultimately resorts to shooting Stanley with bull tranquilizers to take him by force and make the sale. In the process of physically moving Stanley, Dwight utters my favorite line of the episode, “Oh God, no wonder my elevator cables are under such strain”.

Getting Stanley to make the sale involves wrapping him in bubble wrap, sliding him down the stairs and pretty much carrying him to the meeting. As a side effect of the tranquilizers, Stanley is loopy and happy and talks about how nice the client’s child looks, leading the three to somehow nail that sale.

I’ll tell you right now, this was an extremely over-the-top storyline, even for Dwight. But I can easily forgive that because it was so funny. I felt a bit uncomfortable when Stanley was sliding down the stairs and crashing headfirst into the wall–I underestimated his strength. But it was hilarious to see their antics play out and eventually get the sale.

And in the end, Stanley got the last laugh because Dwight had to carry him all the way back up. Clark’s role was integral as the shocked looks on his face were enough to crack me up. Overall, it was nice to see Stanley in the spotlight in what could have been a completely unfunny story were it in the hands of a weaker writer. In his own way, Clark is growing up to be Dwight Jr. the way Dwight had wanted him to be at the start of the season.

In the end, “Stairmageddon” was a great episode as it was much funnier than last week. It had its weak moments with Andy’s story, but the rest of the episode was mostly entertaining to watch, with some slow movements in the plot, especially with the Jim-Pam relationship.

We’re also getting closer to the release of the documentary and I can’t wait to see what else it brings to the office before it hits the public audience. With Angela and the Senator officially done, we can also hope to see her and Dwight working towards getting back together. While it’s more subtle than last week, this episode continued the set up for the finale, which by the way has a rather large petition going on for it to get supersized. Hopefully the folks at NBC will listen.

What did you think of this week’s episode of The Office? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear your thoughts.