The Office

Season 8 Episode 9

Mrs. California

2
Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Dec 01, 2011 on NBC
AIRED:
7.8
out of 10
User Rating
86 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

Andy is put in an awkward position when Robert tells him not to hire his wife, who's hoping of getting a job in the office. Dwight tries to convince Darryl to join his fitness center.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Mind Games

    9.0
    In what has been a largely forgettable season of The Office, there have been only a few episodes with moments of brilliance that reminded us why this show is so special. After the exit of Michael Scott, the show is undoubtedly a shadow of it's former self. That being said, I actually found myself laughing and having a good time while watching tonight's episode 'Mrs California'.



    Steve Carell left a giant crater behind that desperately needed to be filled and James Spader's assimilation into the cast was supposed to be a 'stimulus package' of sorts for the show. Yet so far Robert California has played a less than minor role in the goings-on at Dunder-Mifflin, Scranton. Tonight we were introduced to his wife Susan (played by the talented Maura Tierney), who Robert brought along with the promise that she would be given a job at the Scranton branch. Except Robert doesn't really want her to work there, and drops the hot potato on Andy to make sure she doesn't. Which put Andy in a hilariously awkward position. This episode almost made me not miss Steve Carell.



    James Spader is funny as hell. But his talents have been disgracefully wasted so far this season. The first time we met Robert California, he was a creepy, glassy-eyed, evil genius, and that's why we liked him. His character did a complete one eighty this season and now he's just another not-so-memorable boss. I would even settle for Alan Shore to make an appearance. In fact, if he had just continued to BE Alan Shore, things would have been a lot more entertaining. But I'm getting off track.



    This episode had a lot of funny moments. Some of the memorable ones being



    - Andy's multiple failed attempts to read Robert's face

    - Jim scampering to hide from Andy & the Californias (does that sound right?)

    - Dwight's raised work station

    - Creed flying a toy helicopter on the roof.



    It was also weirdly awesome to see Robert actually scared of his wife!



    So are we watching the last season of The Office? This episode was good, but not nearly as good as we're used to. If a salvage operation is to be executed for this season, we need to see a funnier, creepier Robert California.



    Tidbits



    - Andy is doing a decent enough job as manager. But he's no Michael Scott.

    - Jim always seems to end up in bad situations when Pam is not around. Jim minus Pam = Dwight??

    - Good to see Maura Tierney back on TV. Her last conversation with Andy suggests we will see her again.

    - I'm this close to joining Dwight's gym. It's a little too pricey for my taste. Maybe he'll accept bales of hay as payment.moreless
  • Best scene EVER on the Office

    10
    When Andy tells them Jim heard and Jim ran out was the best 45 seconds ever of this show. He can't drive out so he abandons his car. He climbs to the roof and Creed is up there playing with a RC helicopter andhallucinating, then he finally gets caught coming in through the indoor roof access. Perfect! I watched that sequence probably 10 times last night. After a weak season so far, this was a spark that maybe will build the show back to it's former glory. I hope to see more of this type humor and they use Robert California more to set up the chaos for the rest of the season.moreless
  • Weak plot with very few amusing points

    4.0
    One of the worst episode of this show, and definitely the worst season so far. Not saying it can't be salvaged, but will I stick around to see if it is? Not sure.



    Robert California is introduced as a very commanding sort of guy. The behavior in this episode shows that his wife is also pushy and that he is afraid of her. What? How is she his wife? It is just not believable. The episode ends without proper resolution, which is odd for this kind of show, and not satisfying. Why does he not want her working there and why is he so afraid? They obliquely hint that she is an office slut, or do they? These questions would bother me, if I actually cared.



    Also, As mentioned by others, Jim's nonchalant attitude and maturity that has developed over the run is completely gone and he runs away like a child.



    The subplot with the gym is not even worth mentioning.moreless
  • Sending Mixed-Signals

    6.5
    So, this is what The Office has become. Andy becoming more and more like Michael Scott, Dwight becoming even more unrealistic, Robert California continuing on as a relatively wasted character, and Jim running around on the roof.

    This episode, which featured a glimpse into the personal life of Robert California, wasn't a terrible episode, but it certainly wasn't among the series' best. I feel like we've been kind of cheated by the writers this year.

    The series had a chance, to me anyway, to kind of reinvent itself this season after Steve Carrell's Michael Scott departed Scranton, PA. Unfortunately, this show hasn't fulfilled that potential to carry on as appointment TV.

    Andy, to me at least, just feels like a reincarnation of Michael Scott. He's become too much like Michael. Certain scenes Andy's in remind me of Michael Scott moments, but in a bad way. I wanted something different, because there's no replacing the genius of Steve Carrell's Michael Scott.

    The writers seemed like they had the right idea going in to this season, but they wasted James Spader's Robert California early on this season and he feels awkward to me now. I don't know, he's just an odd character and not particularly funny. I blame the writers.

    Jim's running around the office and to the top of the roof seemed completely out of character to me. It further demonstrates just how far this show has drifted away from the realism that made it one of the best shows on TV. The realism of everyday happenings inside an office is now gone.

    The show isn't terrible, but it's difficult to remember this show as being one of TV's best.

    moreless
  • Robert California's wife comes to Dundler Mufflin when she needs a job and Andy is put in the awkward position of hiring her when he doesn't want to

    8.5
    Andy is put in an awkward position when Robert tells him not to hire his wife, who's hoping of getting a job in the office. Dwight tries to convince Darryl to join his fitness center. I thought that this was a great episode of "The Office". It wasn't the best and it could have been a little better but I thought it was overall enjoyable. I don't know why everyone is saying that this show is "jumping the shark". To be honest, this show is NOT "jumping the shark" and the show is still funny even without Steve Carell. I do hope that Steve Carell comes back in an episode where he comes to visit. That would be very cool to see. Although, my problem with this season is how we're focusing less on everyone doing their work and mostly episodes that focus on Robert California. Robert California is just giving me mixed bags. Speaking of issues, he was actually my biggest issue in this episode. I did not like how Robert just keeps making Andy feel more uncomfortable and awkward by pretty much forcing Andy to hire Robert's wife. It was nice to meet Robert California's wife and she was a pretty decent character but not my favorite. My other problem was the very very very ending of the episode... that was just lazy written and lame right there. As for the humor, I didn't laugh a lot but there were some laughs such as Creed's cameo appearance, Robert telling Andy "Son of a b****" when Andy is telling Robert's wife the real story that Robert made him give her the job or something like that and more. Overall, a great episode of "The Office". 8.5/10moreless

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