'The Office' recap: Movin' on up

the_office_lI’m handling recap duties while Margaret’s on furlough. Fortunate for me, since last night’s episode was an instant classic! The pre-credits scene even outdid the Parkour sequence for pure comedic bliss. Michael called on Oscar with some concerns about his upcoming colonoscopy. ”Is there anything I can do to make it more pleasurable for me, or for Dr. Shondry?” Awkward grenade, explode!

Michael can’t stand secrets. So, Jim’s mysterious meeting with David Wallace drove him crazy. He needed to know more. ”You and Jim are close, huh?” he asked Pam. Pam: ”I think the pregnancy really brought us together.” She kept mum.

Meanwhile, Darryl was talking to HR about breaking his ankle on the job. Dwight wasn’t convinced: ”How did the ladder end up on top of you if you fell off of it?” (Then he said ”It just doesn’t add up” and pulled off his glasses dramatically. Pretty convincing reverse  Caruso.)

Michael walked into the conference room while faking a casual phone call. His entrance line: ”Well, if he doesn’t like it, you can tell that S.O.B that he is fired. I love you too. Bye.” His exit line: ”Yeah? Well you tell the mayor he doesn’t have six votes!” His second attempt to listen in, by hiding in a cheese cart, was surprisingly successful, aided by Andy’s brilliant Ivy League-inflected cheese speech: ”Here you will find a cheddar-style spread, which has reacted nicely with the air to form a light rind, which I think you’ll find both challenging and delicious.”

Pam spent the episode trying to figure out who was coming to the big wedding. In the process, she ran afoul of a burgeoning Kelly/Ryan relationship reboot; isn’t it funny how their relationship is kind of a bleak, bizarro version of PB &J?

David Wallace asked Michael if he was okay with all his new responsibilities from the shuttered Buffalo branch (surely you recall Slumdunder Mifflinaire?) Michael, fearing for his job, downplayed Jim’s performance: ”Jim is like Big Bird. He is tall, and yellow, and very nice.”

Turns out, though, Jim thought Michael should get promoted, so Jim could take Michael’s job. But Michael’s bad review changed Wallace’s mind. Jim demanded an explanation: Why did Wallace change his mind? Michael dodged beautifully: ”That’s weird. You’re kind of weirding me out. Did you know that Lincoln’s secretary was named Kennedy?” (It’s true!) But Jim guilt-tripped Michael into calling Wallace back, and Wallace had an idea: Jim and Michael will work as co-managers.

Dwight and Toby’s investigation involved a stakeout of Darryl’s house and the phrase ”It’s just your run-of-the-mill slaughterhouse.” With a cast this big and this wonderful, The Office seems to have no end of surprisingly funny duos (remember Oscar and Andy’s drunken bonding last year?) I thought Dwight’s nerdy machismo somehow fit together with Toby’s manic depressive romanticism. More of these two together! (Wouldn’t Dwight make a great/terrible HR Rep?)

Toby mistook Darryl’s sister for Darryl, and called her a nasty name. Darryl threatened to complain to corporate. But Dwight solved the Case of the Broken Ankle: It turns out the warehouse has been using the forklift as an elevator. (They do the coolest things at the warehouse.) Dwight and Darryl both filed complaints, leaving Toby with the paperwork. That’s détente.

Michael had an announcement to make. ”We have decided to promote Jim to the position of Co-Manager.” ”Co-Manager of what?” asked Stanley. ”Of your butt!” To paraphrase another great TV comedy, if you ran that moment in slow-motion, you could actually pin-point the second when Dwight’s heart rips in half.

What’d you think, PopWatchers? Are you excited about the new co-manager plotline? We’ve known since the Office Olympics that Jim could be a great leader, but what does this mean for Michael?

Best line of the episode:
Michael:  ”I have so much work to do, I feel like I’m gonna blow my brains out.”

Comments (55 total) Add your comment
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  • PHinGA

    Great episode!! Dwight’s reaction to the promotion was priceless. Why has Rainn not won an Emmy yet!!?

  • apd09

    I really like the office, I am just starting to think it is very predicable. The characters seldom stray from their stereotypical demeanors and although it is enjoyable to watch I find myself wanting a little bit more and not just the same thing every week. Overall it was a good episode, I am just starting to lose my love of the show for some reason.

    • Inkedlawyer

      I have to disagree with that statement. Jim always just takes Michael’s insanity in stride, but this episode he was tired of it and sincerely upset with what had happened, to the point that he MADE Michael undo his craziness…I actually thought this was a turning point for a more assertive Jim…

      • apd09

        It is the same thing that happened last week when Jim told Michael to stop talking about Stanley unless he is absolutely sure because he could ruin his life.
        Not to mention Jim has never taken Michael in stride, he has always been the opposite voice of reason to Michaels inability to focus. He is the anchor to the office keeping it from floating away into a totally juvenile atmosphere. Each character has a role to play and they all play it well, but they play it very predictably is all I was saying and there does not seem to be very much deviation from week to week.

      • Penny

        apd09 – I have to halfheartedly disagree about Jim. In the absence of Michael, Jim has perpetrated some pretty wasteful days. He organized the Office Olympics and I know there have been other episodes when he’s been left in charge and the office was distracted by some stupid task. I know there was an episode last season I just can’t pinpoint it.

      • apd09

        I know what you are saying Penny, but let me say it this way, when jim is being childish he involves others (office olympics), while Michael always feels left out. As mentioned Jim is a natural leader and understands how to have fun while also being productive, whether it is actually getting work done or team building. Michael is oblivious to that and instead is always focused on himself and his actions with no regard for others. They play off each other perfectly, yet predictably is all I am saying.

      • melissa

        it was the episode where michael was off playing “man vs wild” and left jim in charge. everyone wanted different types of birthday cakes and the whole party was a mess.

    • KJ

      I’m sorry-I have to disagree as well…they are staying true to their character which is what most of us do in the reality anyway right? People don’t completetly change their entire personality or behaviors on a routine basis so why would these characters? There are moments here and there where we have seen something different from different characters but for the most part they have and should stay true to their character…just my opinion.

    • Jeremy

      The episode your thinking of is Prince Family Paper when the office get’s into a debate of whether or not Hillary Swank is hot or not, and if you recall he tried to end the debate quickly with a vote so everybody would get back to work, and it became an issue when the vote was split.

      • Penny

        Ha! Yes that was it!

    • The Truth

      No one has mentioned the huge change in Pam. She has changed from a mousey, insecure, drift into the background type person to a very outspoken confident individual. While it is good to see her come out of her shell the character is in danger of losing what made her so likable. I have been watching some episodes from the first 3 seasons, she was the only character that you constantly routed and felt for. Pam needs some situations that put her back into old Pam mode to remind everyone why they like her so much.

  • Aprilcot26

    I almost wet my pants when mild-mannered Toby cursed out the window at Darryl’s sister!

  • Penny

    This was a really funny episode, but I didn’t understand the co-manager storyline. If Michael recended what he said about Jim and that convinced David Wallace to make them co-managers, then why not just follow through with the original plan? And did Jim’s plan involve Michael leaving the scranton branch or would he perform his duties there? It all seemed very illogical to me. Also can someone explain why Ryan is still working there? Is he a temp again? That might have been explained last season, I just can’t remember the saga of Ryan’s hirings and firings.

    • JH

      Ryan came back as part of the Michael Scott Paper Company last year. When Dundler Mifflin ultimately bought out the MSPC, Michael negotiated to for him, Pam and Ryan to get their jobs (Michael back as manager, and Ryan and Pam as sales people) at DM.

      • Penny

        Yes, but then Michael was only able to keep one so he chose Pam and Ryan was let go, or so I thought.

      • Alex

        Ryan couldnt be hired back as a salesman (Mike chose Pam), so he’s back doing his internly duties

    • Arsenio Billingham

      Ryan then came back as, once again, a temp.

    • Babs

      Michael couldn’t rescind showing David the reports of Jim’s previous goofing off, so David was still wary.

    • EL

      Penny, you don’t seem to understand office politics too well. I know this is just a show, but that was the most realistic thing they’ve ever done.

      Jim wants a promotion and know he can’t move up with Michael still there. By convincing Dave Wallace that he needs to be promoted or else he will leave the company, and then providing Dave with a solution (move Michael up a level too) was smart politics for Jim.

      • Penny

        Its true, I really don’t understand the corporate world, I work for the government. I understood Jim’s idea, it was Wallace’s final proposal that had me scratching my head. I suppose David didn’t feel comfortable leaving the entire branch in Jim’s hands so he gave him a pseudo promotion. Just seemed weird to me.

  • Francisco

    The portion of the episode With Jim, David and Michael felt forced. No matter how crazy the boss is, you always clue them in on potential power structure changes. This prevents your boss from torpedoing your idea due to a perceived threat. I guess this episode struck a little closer to home than I would have liked.
    Dwight and Toby are awesome together! It was like an insane Hardy Boys mystery!

  • wendy

    My favorite part was when Darryl was like why would you think that was me, she’s a girl and Dwight looked and the camera and was like come on Is anyone with me on this I can’t be the only one or something like that. HILARIOUS.

    • Cait

      Totally agree. That was a great moment.

    • dawnomite

      I think Dwight even asked the cameraman, “Are you getting this?” So funny, best part of the ep.

  • Nancy

    I have an awesome concept for a series of Office episodes involving Andy, based on a real life office experience, but I can’t figure out how to get my idea to one of the writers. Does anyone have any idea how to contact them?

    • Jeremy

      The writers can’t take ideas like that from people who don’t work for the production, too much risk for lawsuit. That’s why if you want to get hired as a writer on a show, you have to submit scripts that don’t relate to the story of the show, but it can be fan fiction from other shows.

  • Jill

    Dwight and Toby: hilarious.
    Andy: hilarious.
    Creed: hilarious
    Meredith: hilarious
    I felt sorry for Jim last night.
    And Michael is just getting more pathetic and useless by the week. His childish antics and concerns about “being left out” are getting a little old.
    The conversation he had with Oscar was totally funny and unexpected.

    • Penny

      I agree, the “being left out” story line seemed really redundant.

  • Filmi Girl

    You know, I thought “The Office” was going to pull out a bit of pathos that I really enjoyed last season and have Jim’s poor job performance actually come back to haunt him. Alas, no. Jim is the golden boy who can do no wrong. His character has really become the weak link of the show for me.
    Jim is a mean-spirited bully and I’m really tired of Krasinski’s mugging for the camera. The only way this storyline will work is if Jim is being set up for a massive failure, along the lines of Ryan’s burnout.

    • KJ

      Sorry but…really??? If you have watched the show from the beginning you would realize that yes, Jim & Dwight both pick at each other (and it does go both ways) but when Dwight has been really down Jim has been there to try and help him back up again…Jim has never been “mean-spirited” or a “bully.” I think you are misreading the character-he is all heart. John Krasinski does an amazing job!

    • Marti W

      I don’t agree. In fact, I see the Jim character as one of the few who’ve ‘grown’ since the series began. He’s actually tried to be a little more responsible in recent seasons. His attempt to save Stanley last week by sacrificing their own secret was great. That – and the split second non verbal btwn Jim and Pam was great TV.

  • Jenn

    Bart Simpson shout-out!

    This was one of those episodes where Michael Scott is a total d-bag and I don’t feel sorry for him at the end (I usually do). That said, the co-manager thing is going to make for some disatrous and hilarious situations. Poor Dwight.

  • Michael

    Great Simpsons reference near the end of your piece Darren. And how great was Andy’s bit with the cheese? Nice to have some more Ed Helms in your life with this episode.

  • Laura

    Darren, love your Bart Simpson quote reference. And I thought this episode was pretty good – laughed hysterically at the cold open, and loved the Dwight/Toby/Darryl subplot (more Darryl, please!). But I hated that Michael suddenly sabotaged Jim to David Wallace, who oh-so-conveniently did not reveal the full extent of Jim’s proposal until after Michael had slammed Jim. That was really annoying and contrived, I thought. And I agree with Penny – if Michael rescinded his criticisms, than why didn’t David Wallace stick to Jim’s original plan??

    • EL

      Again, this was pretty realistic office politics. Withhold some information and see what people will reveal. It will probably be closer to the truth.

      • Denise

        Doesn’t David Wallace know not to trust Michael?

  • Trina

    This episode didn’t make sense to me. Wallace was concerned about Jim’s skills yet he was all ready to interview (and from the looks of it, hire) for Jan’s job before Jim pulled out and Ryan (who was a temp and never sold a box of paper) got the job? Wallace knew that Michael was inept as evidenced from The Deposition episode where he admitted that Michael was never in the running for any job other than what he does now? And co-managers? Really? And Wallace was seriously considering moving Michael to head the NE Operations? And he actually listened to Michael’s assessment of Jim knowing that Michael is an idiot? What…? In a cash strapped company, you’re going to pay two people the same salary for the same job? This episode did not make sense to me. Not at all. The only saving grace for me was Creed. “You think they’re talking about me?” That made me laugh.

    And if I was Jim and Michael had refused to help me get promoted, I would have quit. I actually had a boss who did that once (I was just too valuable, he said) and I walked. Best thing I ever did. NO manager should do that to his employees. I didn’t know Michael had done that and I considerably like his character much less now.

    • Laura

      Yeah, I totally agree. The Office has been really inconsistent the past two seasons with how David Wallace treats Michael and Jim. I blame all the new writers for this, because their episodes always have plot and character consistency problems. And this episode was written by a new writer, Aaron Shure, who even admitted that he has not watched seasons 1-4 of The Office. Seriously, how can you come write for a major TV show without studying all the previous episodes??

      • Jeremy

        Remember, they do rewrites and the executive producer has to to approve the script, so anything the Aaron Shure had messed up on continuity would be picked up by the veteran writers and Paul Leberstein. Granted he should get to know the show by watching all the episodes, but there is a safety net there for such things, and if you feel that this script was a bust, it’s all the writers’ faults.

    • Babs

      Not that inconsistent. David had never before seen the file Michael showed him reporting the times Jim had goofed off. This is what caused him to dismiss Jim’s original idea. As far as Michael goes, yes, David knows he not terribly smart, but he also knows Michael has posted the top sales in the company over the past year. Did you miss those episodes last year? Even if you don’t understand it, you go with what contributes to your bottom line.

  • Ben K

    Dwight’s comment to Toby on the stakeout was actually that he is rebuilding a turn-of-the century steam locomotive in his slaughterhouse. I had to rewind the DVR for that one!

    • Jill

      And how Dwight thought Toby would want to see the slaughterhouse, not the train.

  • Todd

    Andy is fantastic! Ed Helms really delivers the goods. His brief appearances last night stole the show. I am still laughing about his confusion towards his cousin. And his cheddar platter speech was just perfect. Great writing and great acting have taken a bordeline terrible character who could have lasted only a few episodes, and turned him into the best character on the show.

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