THE OFFICE - Season 9, Episode 2: "Roy's Wedding"
After last week's strong season premiere, this week's episode suffered a drop in quality as it squandered some comedic opportunities. Because it was titled "Roy's Wedding," I assumed that would be the focus of the episode and provide some uncomfortable moments and awkward humor, which used to be the hallmark of The Office. Instead, it was a complete non-sequitur and served only to forward the dull storyline of Pam and Jim being too predictable and Jim not telling Pam that he had accepted his buddy's offer to start up their own business.
By showing how much Roy had grown and matured since his relationship with Pam as he played the piano and sang a Billy Joel song to his new wife, it seemed like that could cause some friction between Jim and Pam. Especially on the heels of a big life-changing decision, Jim hearing about Roy's successful gravel company should have made him feel more insecure and question himself. The funniest thing that happened at the wedding was Phyllis and Bob Vance, overtaken by the emotion of the moment, making out at the table during Roy's song.
The main storyline of the episode was actually Clark, aka Dwight Jr., trying to scam his way into Erin's panties by telling her that he had a friend in the television news industry who was looking for on-air talent. To that end, he offered to film Erin in various outfits at his apartment as a screen test. Being as innocent as a newborn fawn, Erin bought Clark's story and agreed to it, so the other new guy Pete put a plan in motion to cockblock him and save Erin with the help of Andy, who also foolishly believed Clark's story. While this was a good way to find out more about the new guys' personalities, it fell flat because it required viewers to believe that Erin and Andy are both total idiots. As a B-plot in a stronger episode, this would have been amusing, but too much time was spent building it, with the payoff of Pete taking Erin to a diner while Andy shot the screen test with Clark.
The C-story was amusing but ultimately silly, with Dwight and Nellie trying to mindfuck each other over a contract Dwight had signed agreeing to follow Taliban law in the office. According to the law, Nellie demanded that Dwight chop off her hand for stealing a pen and the rest of the episode was a game of chicken as Dwight brandished a butcher's knife and threatened to follow through, while Nellie continually called his bluffed. It looks like this may lead to a romance, which would actually be pretty interesting because somehow these two characters seem made for each other. Still, on an already weak episode, this little side story didn't help.
As usual, Creed got the best lines of the episode in his limited screen time. When Nellie was handing out papers explaining her Operation Giveback project and calling herself the Special Projects Fairy, Creed assured her, "I know you don't really exist." Later, when the subject of the Taliban came up, he noted to the camera with a questionable grin, "The Taliban is the worst. Great heroin, though." Although devoting more time to Creed would likely ruin the mystique of the character, he is consistently the funniest cast member in his small role.
For the second episode of a new season, "Roy's Wedding" was a misfire and felt like a placeholder. As mentioned, last week's season premiere was an entertaining reintroduction to The Office's cast of characters and at first it seemed like this would be a good follow-up. Unfortunately, that did not turn out to be the case. Hopefully next week's episode will pick up the pace again and continue to make the most of the final season.
FINAL GRADE: C