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The Office: Sensations ... Emotions

Last season we wondered what the worst thing Michael Scott had ever done was. Michael’s so dopily good-natured that rarely does his self-involvement morph into venal and meglomaniacal self-preservation, though it’s peculiar that when it does, it’s always at the expense of the co-workers he’s constantly referring to as his “family.”

In Michael’s old Dark Passenger moment, he tried to blame his own fireable mistake on Dwight, his most loyal consigliere; this episode, he tells David Wallace that Jim’s a terrible employee because he’s trying to take Michael's job. Which he obviously isn’t — instead, he’s working on promotions for both him and Michael — and Michael should know that. Instead, he stabs Jim in the back and almost costs both of them their promotions. And he apparently almost makes Jim cry. (Everybody loves John Krasinski, but his “professionally wounded” face is almost exactly the same as the “Oh, no, Pam doesn’t love me!” puppy-dog face of early seasons. Nobody put this guy in a Mamet movie!)

For reasons that don’t make much sense, Wallace ends up installing Jim and Michael as co-managers (“of the entire Scranton branch’s butts,” as Michael puts it), and, voilà, we have ourselves an ongoing plotline for season six. Now, every time Jim has been put in charge of something, he has screwed it up. Expect more of that. Plus, this development has the added bonus of driving Dwight into a new fit of madness. (See photo.)

With that out of the way — and quickly noting how nice it is having Darrell (and his doppelgänger sister) back — let’s get to the true gem of the evening: the opening teaser, a glorious mini comedy of manners. Michael calls in Oscar to tell him he’s undergoing a medical procedure. Oscar moves closer, concerned. It’s a colonoscopy; Michael asks, “In your experience, what should I be expecting, in terms of sensations … emotions?” Oscar Nunez’s wordless reactions are master classes in the double take. By the time Michael asks, “Is there anything I can do to make it more pleasurable for me, or for Dr. Shondry? … Should I have a safe word?” you’re laughing too hard to notice Oscar’s walked out of the room.

Photo: Courtesy of NBC