"Garden Party" brought one of the classic The Office dynamics back to the forefront. Jim Halpert hasn't pulled a prank this elaborate or this hilarious on Dwight Schrute in quite some time, and as you would assume, it resulted in the best episode of the season to date.
There were a number of one-offs that added to the hilarity this week - Mose's valet heist stunt, Kevin's hair piece, Walter Jr. thinking Meredith and Phyllis were Pam, Kevin and Ryan on the see-saw, and everyone sucking up to Robert California - but watching Dwight pull off a successfully ridiculous garden party thanks to Jim's fake book was definitely the highlight.
Let's take a look back at what James Trickington wrote in The Ultimate Guide to Throwing a Garden Party, and try to fully grasp his wisdom...
Chapter Two - Announcing guests as they enter is the height of decorum. The more volume displayed, the more honor is bestowed upon everyone present.
This was gold from the get go, but the comedy was absolutely heightened by Dwight forgetting CeCe's name and then repeatedly announcing Jim's name as he walked back and forth across the entrance during the closing.
Chapter Four - One of the host's most important duties is as dance master. A proper courtly dance sets the tone for the entire afternoon.
My favorite part was that the girl dancing with Dwight obviously had no idea what she was doing, but was still going along with it.
Chapter Nine - The tableau vivant is not only welcome but expected entertainment at any garden party.
I imagined Dwight and his help standing in that pose for a lot longer than anyone thought was necessary. Unfortunately we never saw when they stopped. Let's just assume Kevin put a stop to it by jumping on everyone involved.
Chapter Unknown - The closing ceremonies.
It was a truly fantastic end to the evening. It was some great artistry by Dwight in choreographing that fire number, and pure brilliance by Jim for putting this whole plan together. I don't know where he found the time to write that entire book, put it all together, and get it sold to Dwight on Amazon, but I'm glad he did.
While the Jim/Dwight stuff was great, it was Dwight's interaction with Robert California that had me laughing as hard as I have all season. After his discussion about the different birthday options, ranging from some goats to most goats, and then offering up exotic meats, I was not ready for Dwight's delivery of the next line.
When I heard It'll all be goat out of his mouth, I absolutely lost it. Well done, Rainn Wilson.
Now all of that is not to say that the Andy story line didn't also work extremely well in "Garden Party." If the Nard Dog does one thing superiorly well, it's get trashed on.
Watching his dad continue to look poorly upon Andy was always funny. Between asking if everyone at the party was a regional manager, to hating on Andy's singing and guitar playing, and finally all but telling his oldest son that he was the worst, Walter Bernard Sr. really had me going.
The Office got back to its bread and butter with "Garden Party" and had its best episode of the season. Before letting us know what you thought of this week's episode, check out our The Office quotes page for all the best one-liners.
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.Tags: Reviews, The Office