At times there are moments that “The Office” has reminded us of its earlier seasons this past year … and then there are episodes like this one. This was a half-hour set up largely on a gimmick (head lice), and it was also one that contained a number of ridiculous subplots and continued to make Jim Halpert even more ridiculous.
All series long, we have been led to believe that Jim was one of the few good guys in sitcoms. Now, he’s turning out to be a special kind of jerk: one that manages to turn something great into something pretty awful. From a realism standpoint, we get that he could be trying to downplay getting to play basketball with Julius Erving so that Pam doesn’t feel like she’s at home miserable while he’s off having fun while also working; but wouldn’t Pam, being the kind-hearted person that she is, be happier for him if he is at least getting something that he enjoys off the ground? He was supportive of her while at art school, and that was not always easy. He’s just going about this the worst way possible, and the fact that Pam is internalizing all of it is making matters even worse.
The head lice story did have its moments, largely in that it strangely led Meredith and Pam to bond after the latter admitted (after Meredith shaved her head) that she was really the person responsible for giving the entire office lice thanks to her daughter. This was better, though, than focusing on Darryl’s pretty ho-hum relationship with Val. We know nothing about her, and most of the cool things about Darryl have been sort of washed away a la Kevin; therefore, it’s almost hard to be really feeling anything about the two breaking up, only to later get back together. The same goes for Erin and Pete, a guy we barely know at all.
As for other random questions … where were Toby and Clark this week? Did they just have some time off? It was just a strange episode, to say the least, and it did not make us more excited for the road ahead.
Did you disagree with us about this episode, or do you think it is a letdown after some pretty funny episodes this fall? If you want to read some more about what is coming up on “The Office,” you can do so here.