'The Office' crew welcomes us back after a long summer in 'Nepotism' with a rousing "lip dub" version of Nobody. Andy, Pam and Erin seem particularly enthusiastic, while some are embarrassed (Angela: "I said I didn't want to be on the internet!"), some are lame (Gabe attempting a show choir knee dance), and some are creepy (who wins that contest - Meredith with "Nobody" tattooed on her stomach while hanging from Kevin's giant Baby Bjorn, or Creed blaring on the guitar looking like he's just smoked a(nother) joint?).
After some detail their summers - Michael got the West Nile virus and saw 'Inception' while Kelly got all "smart" as a result of attending a minority executive training program at Yale - we discover Michael has hired a new office assistant, Luke. This dude is about as professional in an office setting as a fifth grader spewing spit balls. Luke can't get any coffee orders right, has rude albeit funny nicknames for people (Darryl Hannah, Tiny) and can't seem to follow the simplest of orders.
However, as Michael sees it, "Mixing family and business is a beautiful thing." When he sends Luke out for ice cream, he reveals to everyone that he is Luke's uncle. (And in a rather sad confession, he tells the camera he hasn't seen Luke in 15 years because Michael's half-sister cut him off from that side of the family.) When some cry nepotism, Michael explains "I just want you to treat him like my nephew." Uh-huh.
Later, Angela, on her usual round to feed the feral parking lot cats, discovers a mother lode of lost work packages in the back of Luke's car. The ever-shady Meredith breaks into the vehicle as fast as you can say "rabies" and Gabe tattles on Michael's nepotism to Jo. Oh, Kathy Bates, why can't you be a regular on this show? In a webcam conference call, she tells Michael if he intends to keep Luke employed he'd better "cover his ass like tighty whities." Michael takes that up an awkward notch with, "I'll cover his ass like moss on a Mississippi tree stump."
That he does, but it's not long before Luke does himself in. Michael covers his coffee orders, ignores his belligerence and tells him he's done a "good job" after kicking him out of a meeting for pointing a laser at Angela's boob and Andy's eyeball. Finally, Michael snaps, bending Luke over his knee for a good spank, all the while yelling, "You! Are going! To learn! To be! More professional!" Luke cowers while shouting profanities on his way out the door. Stanley calls the act "Texas Justice" but Gabe calls Michael out on it.
And what's Michael's punishment? No, not a spanking, but six counseling sessions with a trained HR counselor - Toby. Something tells me Michael would prefer the spanking.
-What did you think of the Jim/Pam/Dwight prank subplot? I think this is wearing thin after so many years. The best Pam could do to Dwight was mess with the elevator and get herself stuck in it while Dwight peed in a corner? I'd say Pam Pammed herself.
-Erin has left Andy for Gabe. What a choice. Will this love triangle continue all season?
-Best Creed quote involving Twitter: "Finally, a kid who's not talking about Betty White. Of course I'm following him."
-What did you think of the new credits? Did they make you wonder why B.J. Novak is still on this show? When was the last time Ryan did something interesting?
-Is Michael's upcoming counseling the beginning of the end? How do you think the show will phase him out? We've got all season to find out, so sit back with some soy ice cream and bagel chips and enjoy.