18
Nov
2011
The Office: Season 8, Episode 8
Gettysburg
Michael Richardson
The Office meets the American Civil War! One thing I love, and one thing that has earned mixed-to-poor reviews in its latest season (I'm not telling which is which). I think the show is half a season from bringing them all to Hawaii, honestly.

Andy packs half the office into a bus down to the Northern-most battle in The Civil War, Gettysburg. The office is not particularly thrilled about this ("I can't force you to go, you're not my slaves. Thanks to Gettysburg!"). They decide to watch Limitless instead of Ken Burn's Civil War on the way down, over his protests. Andy is constantly emasculated, which is why he brought them to this hallowed ground to begin with. When he confronts Jim for being snarky, Jim assures his "We like you as regional manager." Fans of this show might disagree with that statement. At the end of the day, Andy is still emasculated, but now he knows they like him at least.

At some point, Gabe gets confused for Abraham Lincoln, because he's tall and skinny and wears a dark suit. This did a good job of covering up something I just noticed: he has a Hitler hair cut. Abraham looks way better by that comparison, but maybe they're just saving that for when the gang goes to the new Dresden German military museum.

In the other half of the episode, Robert asks the office drones for game changers, ideas the completely innovate their business. This plot is basically one scene where the leftovers offer up they're ideas. There are a couple of winners here: Ryan, playing off the success of sushi, wants to bring origami to America in full force; Stanley invents papyr, paper for women. But there's no narrative thrust to this whole section of the episode, except for Robert's insanity for believing Kevin is a competent member of the team with a good idea that just happens to be built around cookies. At the end, Robert has enough reason to fire everybody at this branch and start over, but this is never addressed and probably won't be until season 11.

The C story: Dwight is concerned over history's apathy to the serious conflict known as the Battle of Schrute Farm. Oscar doubts it exists. At the end, a helpful historian at the park reveals the (not so) surprising truth: The Battle of Schrute Farm wasn't an actual battle, but a codename that gay artists who fled the war gave to the farm where they lived as a commune. Because Dwight obviously hates both gays and art, he is mortified, as is everybody watching this who remembered what a great show this used to be.

At the very beginning of the episode, Andy says about the presentation they're watching, "Obviously we all want to die, but we have to get through this." I couldn't have said it better.


Grade: D+

Miscellaneous:

"Ooh, is that the one where the guy becomes limitless?"

"I apologize for my friend, and the Republicans who are cutting your funding."

Tags: The Office
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