Notes after the jump. ...
This was one of those "Office" episodes where I chuckled some while watching, then found myself laughing much harder when talking about the show with some other people who had seen it. Loved the little Creed bit. Ditto for Ryan (Thailand?) and Kelly, and the Pam-Ryan chat. And the Dwight "perfect crime" monologue at the end was one of those marvelous asides that makes it worth seeing again. That said, there were some things in the show that just didn't do it for me. I'm not a big fan of the Michael-Toby war, so the extended focus on that was not to my continued delight. It was watchable, it was squirm-inducing -- especially when Michael tried to get Toby to hit him -- but the laughs were scattershot. As for Jim and Pam, the house reveal felt off. Is she really happy, which would be an awfully pat resolution, or is she fake-happy, which wasn't as clear? I keep thinking about her not acknowledging her happiness until she saw that the garage was being converted into an art studio for her -- that she was getting a place to herself in what was, at bottom, Jim's house. So maybe she was OK once she saw that. Dunno. Still, an episode with some little gems.
"30 Rock," too, had a great scene, and another reminder of what a fine actress Tina Fey is. That was, of course, when Gavin Volure describes his solitary, sexless life -- and Liz started to fall in love.
Then there's the way Steve Martin just makes me laugh, whether with his off-handed delivery of the most ridiculous of comments (Dwight Schrute, you are Steve's spiritual heir) or the way he ran across the lawn when trying to escape. Also, the Tracy Morgan doll (especially its closing comments), Kenneth's line about rock soup and lean times, and the John McEnroe cameo. But the show had some odd shifts in tone which I think are attributable to Martin's presence; it was if the show had its usual brand of humor, and then a very Martin-specific kind of humor, and the two didn't entirely mesh. Close enough, but not up there with the Oprah episode.
"CSI," meanwhile, continues to deftly send Grissom on an agonizing journey -- and to give the audience a chance to look at the many sides of Grissom without shoehorning them all into a farewell episode. That has included the Warrick death at the beginning of the season, naturally, but also the conversation with Lady Heather and, this week, another look at the miniature killer. A very good look, by the way, with a suitably horrifying ending. And "CSI" is confident enough in itself and its audience loyalty that it didn't even try to sugarcoat the miniature story with another, lighter one. Everything on Thursday's show went grim: the shooting in the desert, the mailbox stunt that ended up with the arrest of a guy who was just trying to teach a couple of punks a lesson. But still a sturdy construct, and William Petersen did a very good job with the revelation at the finish.