Synopsis: It’s once again time for Dunder Mifflin Scranton’s annual Christmas party. This one is going to be different, though, because it’s the first one that Phyllis — not Angela — has planned. She has opted for a Moroccan theme, but making Angela miserable seems to be the real thread that holds Phyllis’ party plans together. Because she knows about Angela’s infidelity, Phyllis has decided to make the former party planning committee tyrant her own personal little … um, helper. Technically it’s not blackmail, since that would require a formal letter. The arrangement is short-lived, since Phyllis ultimately ends up telling everyone in the office about Angela’s secret by the end of the party. Everyone, that is, except for Andy, who is busy jamming on the sitar.
During the party, Dwight sells Princess Unicorn dolls to “lazy” parents at a huge markup, while Michael plays bartender, creating drinks such as the “one of everything” (equal parts Scotch, absinthe, rum, gin, vermouth and triple sec, and two packs of Splenda) and the truly innovative “orange vodjuiceka.” To no one’s surprise, Meredith drinks more than her share, which leads to her accidentally lighting her hair on fire — and leads Michael to stage an impromptu intervention on her behalf. It doesn’t work out quite as planned, so he then tries to have her committed into rehab. Turns out that’s not allowed, so the only thing left to do is wait for her to hit rock bottom. And Michael intends to help Meredith get there, just like he did with Jan.
Best Moment: When Toby realizes that the Princess Unicorn doll he has just begged Darryl to let him buy is black, but he realizes he can’t back out of the deal. It’s not the most awkward moment Toby has been a part of (that would be when we stroked Pam’s thigh in front of Jim), but it’s classic Toby nonetheless.
Best Quote: “They don’t give out blackbelts for things that are stupid.” — Dwight, after Jim claims to have a blackbelt in gift wrapping.
Employee of the Week: Andy. OK, sure, this is mostly a pity vote. After all, he did spend the entire party learning to play a song for Angela on the sitar, even though she chided him for singing about nudity and France on Christmas. But the dude’s got a ton of nicknames — Puke, Ace, Buzz, etc. — which has got to count for something.
Best Moment: Creed offering to get a controlled burn permit within an hour, so that Dwight can light Meredith on fire.
Jim: “Would you want to do it on Groundhog Day?”
Michael: “No, no. I celebrate privately.”
The payoff here is in Jim prompting Michael because he already knows that he celebrates the day of the hog.
Michael: “What is going to happen when you come in to work and you are dead?”
Dwight: “I stab her in the brain with a wood stick. (to camera) There are several ways to kill a zombie. But the most satisfying one is to stab it in the brain with a wooden stick.”
“I have a deposit. Alcoholic.” — Michael, trying to check Mer into rehab.
Employee of the Week: Meredith. If your head catches on fire at the company Christmas party and you get dragged into rehab — literally — and don’t get Employee of the Week status, it’s a travesty. And I didn’t even delve into the intervention.