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"The Target" is the eighth episode of the ninth season of the The Office and the show's 184th overall. It was written by Graham Wagner and directed by Brent Forrester. It aired on November 29, 2012 and was viewed by 3.88 million people.

In the episode, Angela discovers her husband's affair with Oscar and goes to Dwight for help. Jim needs a favor from Stanley and Phyllis who milk it for all it's worth. Pam begins painting her mural in the warehouse but gets distracted by Pete who is building a tower of complaint cards.


Oscar is extremely nervous as he is afraid that Angela found out that he is having an affair with the Senator. Angela comes in and asks if she can ask him a question. Oscar is prepared for her to ask about the Senator; however, she asks if it's cold in here. Oscar then reveals he is excited about Angela not knowing and that if she couldn't figure out that her husband is gay then she probably couldn't figure it out now. However, Angela is seen in the background watching Oscar with a face of intense hatred.

Pete is very bored with his assignment of filing customer service complaint cards as he knows it's a busy work assignment since the complaints are already filed on the computer. He instead spends his day building a house of cards with them and he draws the interest of Kevin and Darryl.

Jim is extremely nervous as today is the day that he asks David Wallace if he can work part-time so he can work on his new startup company in Philadelphia. Pam meanwhile is finally going to start working on the mural in the warehouse she has been planning for a while.

Angela tells Dwight in the break room that she wants to meet him in their old spot and that she "needs" him. When Angela goes down to the warehouse she finds a naked Dwight waiting for her having misinterpreted her message. Angela tells Dwight, as he puts his clothes back on, that she needed him for "investigative" purposes.

Jim becomes disappointed when David Wallace is not thrilled about the idea of an employee becoming part-time and tells him he wants someone to be there in person for the clients. Jim then decides to tell David that Stanley and Phyllis have agreed to cover for him even though they haven't; however, this idea convinces David and he gives Jim permission.

Meanwhile, Pete and many other office staff are attempting to build a house of cards using the customer cards to reach the ceiling. They read each complaint as they do so. Every single office member has had a complaint filed against them except for Pam for which they make fun of her for. Kevin tries to put the next card on the tower and it falls over causing everyone to yell at him. Pete intervenes and gives Kevin a pep talk and tells everyone that mistakes are what this tower is all about and that everyone can fail. This speech causes Erin to give Pete a very approving look.

Dwight pulls Angela into a van and introduces him to a man inside, Trevor, a former volunteer sheriff. It is revealed that Angela is looking for a hitman. She tells Trevor that she wants her husband's lover murdered, causing Dwight to be stunned.

Meanwhile, Pam is having trouble getting started on her mural.

Jim takes Stanley and Phyllis out to lunch in order to butter them up and tries to persuade them to cover for him, but Stanley and Phyllis take advantage of him and order a lot of expensive food and get very drunk.

Dwight tries to talk Angela out of her plan to murder whoever is having an affair with the Senator, but Angela insists that this is what she plans to do. Dwight eventually agrees to Trevor's idea of a kneecapping the target with a lead pipe instead of murder. Dwight is even more surprised when he discovers that the Senator is gay and that Oscar is the one he is having an affair with.

Dwight arrives at work and his horrified when he sees Trevor's van in the parking lot. Wanting to save Oscar, Dwight runs in and gets a very confused Oscar away from the office and into the warehouse. Trevor enters the office posing as a sandwich delivery man and asking for Oscar Martinez. Kevin pretends to be Oscar, as he wants the sandwich, but Angela saves him at the last minute. Dwight explains that he and Angela hired a man to break Oscar's knees to which Oscar becomes furious. They run outside and Trevor is waiting for him with a lead pipe. Dwight tries to prevent Trevor from attacking, but Trevor admits that for once he is going to follow through with something. Oscar wrestles away the pipe and the now defenseless Trevor retreats. Angela appears and she and Oscar finally have a talk, albeit yelling. Oscar apologizes and offers Angela the pipe and tells her to hit him if she wishes. Angela doesn't and instead simply kicks Oscar and walks away. Dwight follows her and comforts her on a bench outside the warehouse.

The staff in the annex discover that they are one card short of reaching the ceiling for their card house. Pam finally decides she is done being so nice and sweet and decides to call up a customer and insult them in order to get that final customer complaint card. She calls one of her clients and makes a "Yo Mama So Fat" joke. The client not only complains but also decides to drop Dunder Mifflin as their paper supplier as it turns out the boss's obese mother recently died. Pam however finally came out of her shell and they get the final card needed for the tower to reach the ceiling. Pam is inspired by all their teamwork and togetherness and decides to use this as an inspiration in her mural.

Jim arrives back at the office with a sleeping Stanley and Phyllis. Phyllis reveals that they will cover for Jim and that she and Stanley were giving him a rough time on purpose just to mess with him. Jim is very happy and hugs them both.

Dwight and Angela end up in Toby's office where they ask several disturbing and uneducated questions about how homosexual men have sex causing Toby to appear bewildered and uncomfortable.


  • In the season eight episode Christmas Wishes, Jim mentions he gave Stanley some Lewis Black tickets for his birthday. In this episode however, upon being asked when Stanley's birthday is, Jim doesn't remember.

Cultural references

  • Dwight assures Angela that she is not stupid, rather "Jazz is stupid."
  • Angela concurs, saying: "Just play the right notes!"
  • The episode featured several meta-references. Dwight tells Angela and Trevor that "this documentary crew has been following our every move for the past nine years but I don't see them so I think we're good," when they are in Trevor's van.

Connections to previous episodes

  • Pam wears a Pratt Institute sweater. She attended classes there in early season five.
  • Angela and Dwight question Toby about the tendencies of homosexuals in a way similar to how Dwight questions Toby about the appearance of female genitalia in the second-season episode Sexual Harassment.
  • Dwight tells Angela "Come on in the water's fine" while naked in the storage locker. Ryan had previously used this same line on Erin as an invite to join him in bed in Season 8, Episode 5 "Tallahasee."

Amusing details and trivia

  • Ed Helms and Clark Duke did not appear in the episode. This is due to the fact that they were both written out of several episodes of the season in order to film The Hangover Part III and Kick-Ass 2, respectively.
  • The Oscar Martinez "Get Glue" sticker was released alongside with the episode.
  • When the characters are discussing various offenses on the complaint cards they turn to Creed who says "let's see what I did." He is holding one of the tiny coffee cups that Michael used at Cafe Disco.
  • Creed is also wearing sweatpants with his suit.


Main cast

Supporting cast

Guest cast