The Office – Episode 8-13 Review – “Shirking Duty”

Well hey there Jim Halpert, nice to have you back!

It seems as though ever since Steve Carell left The Office, there hasn’t been a good Jim Halpert storyline. Pam’s been away on maternity leave, and Andy doesn’t need to be babysat the same way Michael Scott did. There’s been a little pranking with Dwight, but without Pam there to laugh it just didn’t feel the same.

Well, this week we finally got what we were waiting for. A good episode, with Jim Halpert front and center.

I think what I liked most about “Jury Duty” was that for once Jim was in the wrong. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I’d probably lie about how long jury duty actually took to get a week off, too. But Jim obviously felt guilty once he realized that his absence from the office had actually made the lives of his coworkers a little more difficult.

Dwight suspected that Jim was lying, and tricked Andy into saying that he would fire Jim if it were true that he’d faked the jury duty. Of course, that was before Andy knew that Dwight was right and after Jim confessed the two had to try and cover up the truth. 

Meanwhile, Angela had her baby and Oscar immediately realized something was off – the baby was supposed to be premature, but it was huge. Oscar delight as he said the baby wasn’t premature, and Angela’s husband is gay and “I don’t know which thread to follow!” had me cracking up. As soon as Dwight came to visit, he recognized the baby as a Schrute. We never definitively knew that Angela had slept with Dwight around the time of conception, but enough of a seed was planted during earlier episodes that I knew it would be a possibility. Personally, I’m intrigued by where this is going – Dwight was so thrilled to be a father that he abandoned his mission to get Jim fired, but Angela is still married to the (State) senator. Who also happens to be gay. The show has a lot of options here, and I just hope they follow up rather than letting it all linger until we forget about it.

Even though the Jim storyline was tied up a little too easily for my taste, overall I enjoyed the episode. The cold open was hilarious, and I liked the little moments we saw from everyone in the office, from Kevin guessing the “right month, wrong year” for Angela giving birth to Phyllis asking for “American Mexican food” to Gabe’s creepy, creepy love of maternity wards.