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The Office: Ding-dong, the Witch Is Dead

With the new episode, we return to last season’s central cliffhanger: Michael about to become a father. (Albeit to his ex-girlfriend's unborn baby, conceived via sperm donor and with no actual connection to him.) This leads to a mock delivery involving Dwight, one of the funniest and most disturbing scenes the show has ever given us. That is a good thing. It also leads to the return of Jan, which is not.

Nothing against the Melora Hardin, who plays Jan, but her every appearance is somehow more excruciating than the last. Michael's struggles to escape from under her thumb have us cheering for him, no matter how much of an idiot he might be, but she is no longer that daring combination of crushing loneliness and professional exactitude who required Michael's rescue. She is now, quite simply, the Most Awful Human Being on Earth.

Her evil deeds this episode: not telling that Michael she has already had the child, and more important, attempting to manipulate Michael into staying away from Amy Ryan’s Holly, recognizing how perfect they are for each other. But Michael overcomes his ties to Jan and the baby and finally asks Holly out — she says yes! Yay! But there are only three episodes left for Amy Ryan! Boo! — which we can only hope wraps up the Jan story line altogether. The only reason she’d have to come back is to shoot up the office. Which we suppose is possible.

Oh, and Pam and Jim are having long-distance relationship problems, the baby’s name is (almost) pronounced “ass turd,” and we discover Dwight performed his own circumcision.

Photo: Courtesy of NBC