After a summer off and the news that James Spader would join the cast of ‘The Office,’ there wasn’t a whole lotta suspense about what would happen.  But kudos to the writers for not being completely predictable.

Yes, Spader’s Robert California is the new boss, but he’s not the new Office boss.  Exactly.  After being hired to replace Jo, he took one look at the lame antics and walked out.  He somehow convinced Jo to give him her job as CEO.  (Perhaps that has to do with Kathy Bates being busy with ‘Harry’s Law.’  Just sayin’.)

So, while California is a looming presence by occupying the conference room about half the time, he’s the not boss of the office.  That honor goes to… drumroll please… Andy Bernard!

If you think that can’t last, you may be right.  Something tells me that Andy may be on his way out.  Perhaps it was California’s lack of enthusiasm in pretty much everything Andy did.

Here’s what centered the episode: The list.  The office folk noticed that California left his notebook on Erin’s desk, and it had a list split into two columns.  One column had people such as Jim, Darryl, Dwight and Angela.  Another had workers such as Pam, Meredith, Creed and Ryan.  What did it all mean?

That’s what everyone tries to figure out.  Andy naively asks point-blank what it means.  After a lunch with the “left-siders,” it becomes clear that California has concocted a preconceived judgmental list of the “winners” and “losers.”  Finding out that she is a perennial loser, a very pregnant Pam practically keels over.

California complicates the situation by inviting all the “winners” to lunch. (Toby inexplicably excuses himself, saying he doesn’t think he belongs.  Kay.)  Andy, to his credit, attempts to make the losers feel better with a “pizza party” highlighted by ordering pizza margherita.  (Get it?)

At the end, Andy still has his job after coming up with a new list of winners for California.  (All except Gabe, fittingly.)  Andy’s surprisingly firm stance makes California smirk, and it makes me wonder if he likes Andy after all.  What do you think?