The Office: Moroccan Christmas

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

In the opener, Dwight walks in to a gift-wrapped desk, computer, and office supplies, courtesy of... you guess who. Jim brags that it took him about five minutes to do, because he's got a black belt in gift-wrapping. Dwight says he can skin a mule deer in under 10 minutes, so he can unwrap this in five; Jim's not so sure, and here's why: as Dwight sets his briefcase on top of his desk, the whole thing collapses. Brilliant! A cardboard desk! I admire Jim's commitment.

Phyllis, for her first Christmas as head party planner, has put together a "Nights in Morroco" themed Christmas party for the office ("Not your grandmother's Christmas party... unless your grandmother's from Morocco," she informs us), complete with lush draperies all around the office and fez hats for the men. (I don't know if that's like saying "hat hats," but I couldn't wrap my brain around pluralizing the word "fez." These are the things that keep me up at night.)

Phyllis also makes Angela take down her nativity scene because it's not on theme. Angela says that Jesus will take care of Phyllis. Basically, Phyllis is being a huge bitch to Angela as a form of blackmail: if Angela does her bidding, she won't spill about how she's sleeping with Dwight. Except, Phyllis says, real blackmail would involve a formal letter, so this doesn't count.


Dwight's got a get-rich-quick scheme for this Christmas season: Princess Unicorn Barbie ("My horn can pierce the sky!"). He bought out every store in the city and plans to resell them to desperate parents for a big profit. It... actually works out to be fairly lucrative for him ("Fa la la la la, la la, ka-ching").

So the big storyline of this episode is that Meredith gets drunk off her ass at the Christmas party (thanks to bartender Michael), gets all crazy with the belly dancing in the break room (oh, we see her belly all right), and thanks for Phyllis's Moroccan candles, lights her hair on fire. So Michael stages an intervention. But we'll get there.

First, Jim and Pam have to flirt a bit (it is Christmas, after all, and engaged people do still flirt with each other), Andy has to show off his mad sitar skillz so Angela can snipe at him some more (WHERE did he GET a sitar??), and Michael has to invent the screwdriver (reimagined as "orange vod-juice-ka").

So Meredith catches fire, and Dwight puts her out with the fire extinguisher. Oscar, Stanley, Jim, and Michael hang out at reception discussing possible dates for something -- as it turns out, for Meredith's intervention. The only available date? Today. Michael insists he knows how to do an intervention, and explains to us in an interview that it's basically a surprise party for people with addictions, where "you get in their face, and you scream at them, and you make them feel reeeeaaallllyyy badly about themselves." (ADVERB FAIL.)

Intervention time: the staff gathers in the main room. Toby tries to intervene on behalf of labour laws, but Michael... well, you know how he is about that nonsense. When Meredith claims she's not an alcoholic, Michael puts it to a vote, and clearly everyone believes she is. She doesn't care.

In a sidebar interview, Andy tells us about what a drunk he was in college. Total coolster. (Wow, I haven't said coolster since at least 2001.)

Michael pulls a website printout from his pocket and begins reading questions to Meredith. All is well and good until he gets to this one: "Have you ever, under the influence of alcohol, questioned the teachings of the Mormon church?" Oops. Michael tries to get everyone to talk about times when Meredith's drinking has affected them. Only Michael himself and Kevin have stories to tell; problem is, Kevin's is about when he got a free movie out of her drunkenness.

Michael gets all Michael and tenderly says he'd be very upset if something ever happened to Meredith, but she says she likes to party. She won't admit she's an alcoholic, but she will admit she has another addiction: porn. Gack.

In an interview, Phyllis shows us the Dunder Mifflin corporate gifts for this Christmas -- shot glasses. She doesn't think they're so appropriate anymore.

The intervention quickly dissolves into fire marshal discussion, thanks to Dwight, and Jim declares it over and tells Michael it's bigger than all of them. Michael labels them all enablers. (How rhyme-y of me.) He and Meredith disappear into his office for quite some time, before finally coming out and putting their coats on. Meredith heads out of the office, and Michael asks Toby for the name of the rehab centre he'd mentioned earlier, but once they're in Michael's car, we learn that he's told Meredith that they're going to Poor Richard's for a drink.

When he pulls up to the Sunrise Rehabilitation Centre, she is less than cooperative. She fights him tooth and nail from her seat in the car to the front desk, even trying to run away, screaming and throwing garbage cans in his path and dodging him as they zigzag around the parking lot. He has to physically drag her into the centre.

Back at the office, Phyllis makes one too many ridiculous requests of Angela, telling her to move the Christmas tree back in to the office after she made her take it out earlier ("I didn't ask you where it was; I told you where it needs to be," she snots when Angela volunteers that she put it outside) and Angela snaps at her through gritted teeth to shut up, saying she knows the only power Phyllis has over her is the secret she's never going to tell anyway, because once it's out she'd lose all her power. So Phyllis can move her own damn Christmas tree.

Phyllis weakly answers, "Ok," but as Angela stalks away haughtily, Phyllis announces to the office that Angela is sleeping with Dwight and she knows this because she caught them after Toby's party. Everyone stares in stunned silence. (Alliteration ahoy!) Dwight: "Well, don't look so surprised."

Pam and Jim interview together about how Pam totally knew it, but Jim says everyone knew some of it, and Pam's like, "It's Christmas," so Jim gives in: "She knew it." Gotta keep your lady happy.

Michael brings Meredith back from rehab and interviews that sometimes people have to hit rock bottom before they will accept help, so he intends to help Meredith hit that point. He can do it; he did it with Jan.

Andy comes back in from wherever he was off to practicing his sitar, and announces he'll be sharing his newly developed Christmas carol sitar skills for his lady. Everyone stands around awkwardly as he plays and sings his way through "Deck the Halls" (complete with "ru-du-du-du-du," of course). Angela says she'd like to go home now, and Andy declares it a tough room and says that protocol includes a little round of applause. Yeah, how rude.

Oh dear.

Merry Christmas!

Tags: the office u.s., the office, office, office u.s., meredith

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Original Comments Posted (4)

sarahm says...

Dwight was so hilarious this episode. And I can't believe Phyllis told everybody. I really didn't think she would!

Dec 12, 2008 11:49am

joalberts says...

Can I just say that I personally enjoyed the running commentary on your own grammar-skillz in this recap? Good stuff. :)

Dec 12, 2008 5:13pm

Ariana says...

Did you also like my total over-use of parentheses?

Dec 12, 2008 9:25pm

joalberts says...

Yes. Yes, I did.

Dec 13, 2008 12:57am

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