‘The Office’ Recap (Season 8, Episode 22): “Fundraiser”
Everyone attends a fundraiser and Nellie eats a taco in NBC’s The Office
For the first time in forever this is an episode of The Office that actually has a lot going on. Whether the stuff that’s happening is actually meaningful or significant in any way is up for debate, but I actually enjoyed most of this episode. “Fundraiser” takes everyone out of the office for the Scranton Animal Welfare Society hosted by Angela’s senator husband where chaos ensues.
I’m going to get what I didn’t like out of the way first. Andy vs. Robert has never been a particularly good storyline, mainly because Andy is the kind of character who probably shouldn’t have an enemy and Robert is just a creepy asshole who probably shouldn’t even have been in this show in the first place. I guess the main plot of this episode is Andy trying to get back at Robert for what happened with Nellie and his job in the previous episode but Andy being a dick isn’t that funny. He had actually grown as a character and this feels like three steps back.
Fortunately, the rest of the episode is mostly enjoyable. We get Oscar testing the senator to see if he’s as gay as Oscar suspects, Dwight going around winning every silent auction because he believes you’re supposed to guess what the item costs and not what you’re willing to pay and even a surprisingly tolerable Nellie. I know, right? I never expected to like her character but because she’s in the background of this episode and paired with Darryl, a character who is almost always great, I didn’t actually mind her in this episode. She attempts to befriend some of her employees in this episode, which results in her buying “tacos” (she’s never heard of them) with Darryl. Part of me is shocked that a character eating tacos for the first time is what The Office has come to but for some reason it didn’t really bother me. Maybe this show is actually starting to have some kind of effect on me?
Like most of the episodes this season, the cold open was the best part. Ryan tries to show how musically deep he is by ranting about Smokey Robinson’s death, despite the fact that he’s not dead and Ryan only knows one song by him. This backfires and results in Pam and Jim trying to convince him to buy a ticket to one of his concerts three hours away and Ryan angrily storms out of the room. The closing scene was good too, as Kevin tells people about his dog, who everyone assumes is dead but she’s not… she just stinks.
So yeah, “Fundraiser” was entertaining. Good? I don’t know. I don’t know what a “good” episode of The Office is anymore. But it certainly wasn’t bad. More episodes like this, I guess? Less Andy vs. Robert, more background Nellie, more Jim/Dwight, less Robert in general.
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