The Office Review: Guns Don't Kill People, They Reveal Hardwood

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If this was the level of quality we can expect from episodes without Steve Carrell, then I am not all that excited for the future of The Office.

"Dwight K. Schrute, (Acting) Manager" had many elements of The Office that were a part of what made it such a great show in the early going of the series, but without that key leading man in Carrell, it just didn't come together as an excellent half hour of TV.

Dwight as Manager

Dwight's whacked out behavior is what sucked many viewers into the show way back when. With a mandatory pledge of allegiance, a painting of himself on the wall, the honor system on the coffee maker, empty vending machines, piranhas, and guns in and out of holsters, Dwight was as eccentric as ever here.

Similarly, Jim was just as apathetic to life and antagonistic towards Dwight as he ever was in the glory years. There were a couple of seasons when Jim became too involved with the company and was too serious to screw with Dwight, but in "(Acting) Manager" he was up to his old tricks, as showcased by The Fist rebellion.

Still, it wasn't all that satisfying. I know everyone was dreading the departure of Michael Scott, but it was certainly obvious here that this show needs a new leading man to stay afloat. Will Ferrell filled that void last week, and a multitude of guest stars will get the job done in the finale, but a big decision still needs to be made. Who headlines this show next season could make or break whether or not The Office continues its success.

Although it didn't live up to how great the rest of this seventh season has been, "(Acting) Manager" definitely had its moments. Kevin not knowing the pledge of allegiance, Angela agree with Dwight's concern about Pam's "boobie shirts," and Creed eating the contents of an ice pack were some of the highlights, but surprisingly my favorite came from Toby Flenderson.

I've long been right with Michael in his hatred of Toby, but beginning with his line about Michael not like jams from a couple weeks ago, I've switched over to Team Toby. That love continued here, as there really wasn't anything better than Toby getting all excited to finally use the human resources booklets on guns and terrorism.

Thankfully, Gabe has taken over for Toby as the Office dart board. Even though I enjoy laughing at the awful situation he is in, like Erin, I cringe every time he speaks. All of the tension between him, Andy, and Erin has just been really difficult to watch, and I hope it ends soon.

So what did you all think of "Dwight K. Schrute, (Acting) Manager?" And do you think any of next week's high profile guest stars will win the job of manager? As always, we've left some of our favorite lines from the night below, and don't forget to check out The Office quotes page for all the rest.

Gabe: Andy do you like being alone with me right now?
Andy: No, this is horrifying.
Gabe: I don't like being alone with me either. | permalink
Dwight: I will never be happier than I am right now. I will also never be less happy. I will be at my current maximum happiness for the rest of my life, because I am manager of the Scranton Branch of Dunder Mifflin...acting manager. | permalink
Jim: Wow you've really embraced the whole Bond villain aesthetic. | permalink
Dwight: Managing you for this last week has been the greatest honor of my life, and if you ruin this I will burn this office to the ground. And I mean that figuratively, not literall, because you guys are so, so important to me. I love you guys, but don't cross me, but you're the best. | permalink
Angela: I want pet day back. No dogs. | permalink
Jo: Slow down there. Just like a man, wants to jump right into it while I still got my socks on. | permalink

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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This was my favorite episode in almost 2 seasons honestly... Dwight carries the show almost as much as Michael does [did]. Hilarity! 5+

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Jay, No offense, but you seem kind of ignorant in the viewpoints of many people who are not Christians. It was obvious to me that the producers were by no means taking an "anti-God" stance, but were merely showing another personality trait of Oscar. He already considers himself quite the intellectual, and comes off as a blowhard to everyone else. Likewise, some of the die-hard atheists in this country come across the same way. The humor was in painting Oscar with that same stereotype. As an atheist myself, I "got" the joke, and have no problem laughing at myself.

I3chair

i dont know why this was given a negative review. the episode was definetly satisfying, and brought back the best of all other charatcers. I barely noticed michael wasnt there. I thought they did a great job.

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I am a huge Office fan, and I understand that the show has made political and social statements throughout the shows history, but am I the only one who felt like they overstepped their bounds the last episode by showing Oscar leave out under God in the pledge???? Should I assume now that either NBC or the executives of the show has taken an anti God stance?? Although I am a fan of the show, I am not a fan boy of the show. To me, this season has been pretty boring. A couple of laughs here and there, but I think the departure of Steve, killed the show. The characters of the show are going in directions that completely are outside of their character. They dried up the show with the whole holly episodes, giving Daryl more spotlight(he's not that funny), Dwight has just become evil, Jim is way too serious that when he pranks now it's kind of awkward and it just hasn't been overall that funny. This is the path the Office has taken. Can they afford to make an anti God push and still survive???

Lawrie

why can't i rate this episode?
i'd give it 5 stars!
dwight was... well, just dwight! i loved it! the scene with kevin and the massage was hilarious. it really had me laughing out loud!
i love jim. he is always so calm and still funny.
actually, i love every single character on this show!
it sucks that carell's gone, but there are sooo many other great characters and i would hate it if the show got canceled and i wouldn't be able to watch them once a week.

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Thank God Ferrell is finally gone. Although I found myself laughing out loud a few times & it was much better, still felt like a filler episode until next weeks be deal. Miss Steve, but still very funny!

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The episode was beautiful.

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i totally disagree with the first statement of this review. i laughed so much watching this week's episode, moreso than i did last week with will ferrell. i do miss michael but i love all the other characters as well and i feel that the writers are doing a great job with moving the show along. if they keep up with episodes like this, i will def keep watching the office. steve wasn't the one who carried the show. it's the writers. they got this.

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OUT-(censored)-STANDING!!! Steve who? Who? Unlike most of the haters online Will Ferrell's guest performance was very enjoyable. This episode however, was just simply OUTSTANDING!! Lead by the Jim/Dwight rivalry and complemented by every actor playing to their strengths. Even the newer cast members stood out (Kelly, Gab, Andie) as though they always belonged with the originals. Ofcourse the writers should take the ultimate credit for some really robust gags and scenarios. Won't spoil it by giving away the gags, but it was just a hilarious episode. Perhaps the creators had know Carrel was out the door for a lot longer than they let on? Every character had some gems during the episode. Laying some ground work for storylines which will be interesting to watch develop. It was appropriate that a guest star (Will) had made a movie called the other guys, about the supposed little people or worker bees. This episode showed that The Office is really about the other guys. Bonus turn ons included Jenna's crossed legs and hearing Angela's frustrated cries. Brilliant!

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One of the best episodes this season! I thought it was great even without Michael. Haven't laughed that hard during an Office episode in a while