The Office: Love Amongst the Hay Bales

Last night’s episode of The Office wasn’t its funniest. But you know what? That’s fine. “” didn't try too hard to bring the laughs; instead, it set up some great plot points, the chief one being that Angela (Angela Kinsey) has a new love interest!

As much as I want Angela and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) to work things out, I’m glad that New Guy with a Kid (guest star Jack Coleman) has entered the picture. Angela and Dwight’s intercourse contract has been getting more pathetic with each passing episode, and was just plain sad to watch her lust after him while he was off making hay bales and flirting with women way out of his league and eating beets and doing whatever it is Dwight does. We’ve only seen Angela in two relationships over the course of the series—her clandestine, ongoing affair with Dwight and her short-lived, sexless engagement to Andy (Ed Helms)—and in both cases she seemed inconvenienced and unhappy. The intriguing thing about New Guy (besides the fact that he has a kid) is that he’s got a completely different first impression of Angela than the rest of us do. He happened to catch a glimpse of the elusive sense of humor that emerges when she’s not sitting at her desk surrounded by calculators and ex-boyfriends and pictures of cats. In the show's early seasons, it would have been ridiculous to think Angela could crack a joke. But seven seasons in, it’s totally plausible. I sure hope this guy sticks around.

I also appreciated the plausibility of the plot. Ryan (B.J. Novak) has gone through so many sketchy incarnations over the years that it seemed totally believable for him to launch a startup social network and convince his co-workers to invest. I only wish the WUPHF storyline still had potential to play out in future episodes. If Ryan hadn't decided to sell, how would he have kept the company afloat? And if he couldn’t, how would he have earned everyone’s money back? The squirm-worthy possibilities would have been endless.

Overall, I think the decision to give two secondary characters some major screen time and plot lines really paid off. It was fun to see characters like Angela and Ryan be the story and create the comedy, rather than just sit there and comment on it.

What did you think of the episode?

Follow writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom

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