“The Office” Recap: Company Picnic

Welcome to the Dunder Mifflin Company Picnic! It’s an annual event where all the branches get together, which means that Charles Minor is back to terrorize Jim and that Michael will be reunited with Holly. Michael views the event as an opportunity to win Holly back, despite the fact that she’s there with her fiancé. He’s got a list of bullet points guaranteed to work — after all, they’re soup snakes. Or soul mates. Whatever. First he and Holly have to come up with a comedy sketch to deliver in front of everyone — including the Buffalo branch, which is about to be closed. No one knows that, of course, until Michael and Holly spill the news in the middle of their awful Slumdog Millionaire parody. After that, the mood at the picnic changes, and Michael never gets around to telling Holly how he feels about her. That’s OK, though, because their love story is a long one, and there’s plenty of time for it to play out.

Other office love stories do move forward, though, as Dwight and Angela seem to be planting the seeds for a reconciliation. After Dwight’s best friend, Rolf, insults Angela — several times — throughout the course of a volleyball game, Dwight comes to her defense, and she definitely takes notice. Then there’s PB&J. Pam, who turns out to be the Scranton branch’s volleyball ringer, leaves the championship game to get treatment for a twisted ankle, and she and Jim appear to get some unexpected good news at the hospital. Though we don’t hear the audio, we’re led to believe that Pam is pregnant.

Overall, the episode was extremely disappointing, to put it mildly. With Amy Ryan and Idris Elba returning, we expected a great season finale. Instead, we get jokes that fell flatter than the ones in Michael and Holly’s sketch, and the episode left us with the feeling that the show’s writers lack a long-term plan for the PB&J romance. The hospital scene was a nice one, but the pacing of the relationship has been choppy at best. Last week’s aborted elopement seemed like little more than a time-filling subplot, and — not that we’re opposed to living in sin — but we expected to see a wedding before a pregnancy in what, thus far, has been a very sweet and wholesome romance.

Mike says

Best Moment: Toby and one of his HR buddies from the corporate office recalling the dust-up between Bernie and Ephraim at the HR convention last fall. That was hilarious. Really, really funny. … Really funny.

Best Quote: “Normally I don’t condone leaving early, but I have an appointment with the horse doctor. How that horse became a doctor, I don’t know. … No, I’m kidding. He’s just a regular doctor who shoots your horse in the head when its leg is broken.” — Dwight

Employee of the Week: Charles Minor. Yes, he’s a complete prick, but the show just hasn’t been as funny without him.

Ryan says

Best Moment: The moment before the revelation at the end. I will savor that moment, because it might be the last moment before this whole series crashes. Please help control the bad storyline population. Have your TV scripts spayed or neutered.

Best Quote: “You suckers are going down! They’re going to wipe their asses with your serves! Piss all over your faces!” — Rolf, talking volleyball smack to Dunder-Mifflin CFO David Wallace

Employee of the Week: Rolf. Though technically not an employee, he’s the only part of the show I liked.

johnnysweeptheleg says

Best Moment: We already knew that Dwight had various talents. But his stalling techniques were second to none. After all, how many people need to get hurt before we learn a valuable lesson? I’m putting the over/under at eight.

Best Quote: “What does one fiancé and one lover equal? One whore.”  — Rolf teaching Angela accounting … or is that accountability?

Employee of the Week: Dwight. He really became quite the team player this week. From going along with the plan to make Michael believe it was already 5pm to assisting the volleyball in stalling, we almost didn’t recognize him.


  1. Personally, I thought the week prior was a stronger episode (Cafe Disco) and would have made a better finale. But they wanted to go out with the (supposed) pregnancy news, I’m sure.

    Quite underwhelmed by the episode, though.

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