'The Office' recap: Like a boss

Officers, I missed you guys last week, but this was not the Scranton welcome back I wanted: “The Promotion” had a few good moments, but none of those moments seem tied to the main plot. Like Meredith and Creed, let’s do this.

Dwight couldn’t get anyone to sign his expense report — it’s too “day to day” for Michael, and Jim was being his usual sassy self, giving Dwight the run-around until Dwight emitted the most animalistic grunt of frustration ever expressed by a human being. Dwight was jealous. Also, Dwight’s hair looked different to me. Longer, maybe? Flatter? Parted from farther back on his crown?

Doo-doo, do-do-do-do-dooo, etc.

The transition to shared power did not go well, to the shock of… no one. Oscar pointed out the obvious strain of having two bosses, sarcastically asking, “Where would Catholicism be without the Popes?” Ten points for Oscar!

Jim complained that Michael was holding too many useless, time-wasting meetings, which I thought was Michael’s major strategey. All the best episodes involve pointless, time-wasting meetings! Jim cited a recent meeting about planets.  Well, it started out about toilet paper, but, as Michael said, “what part of the human body does one use toilet paper on?” I believe that’s how Carl Sagan got interested in astronomy, too.

Pam gazed longingly at a box of donuts and chitchatted awkwardly with Phyllis about her wedding registry. “Why doesn’t Crate and Barrel let you register for a toaster full of cash?” Pam confessionalized. Curse you, etiquette!

Michael assembled Oscar, Stanley, Creed, and Kelly (“one of each”) in his office, much to Jim’s chagrin. Kelly told the camera that she loves rivalries: “Michael or Jim? Paris or Nicole? Heidi or L.C.? It’s so much fun. But I guess if I’m really thinking about it, and answering your question honestly, I’d have to go with L.C. Heidi’s a bad friend, and her skin is terrible.” I know Kelly’s supposed to seem vaguely awful, but I badly want to hang out with her.

David Wallace called Jim and Michael to tell them that they can’t give cost-of-living raises to everyone this year, but it will be up to the two of them to divvy up the small budget increase. The Scranton bosses bickered, and Michael snapped: “I hate the fact that we have to do this together! … When I am irritated and we have to work together, I don’t see you anymore; all can see are how big and gross the pores on your nose are.” Two skincare comments in as many scenes? Strange times, kids.

Creed and Meredith shuffled papers. Creed: “Hey, why haven’t we ever…?” Meredith: “We have.” Mmmmbest.

Jim wanted to make a pro and con list about how to distribute the funds; Michael wanted to tease him. Jim showed the camera a pie chart he made of how Michael spends his time: It’s about 60 percent procrastinating and 40 percent “distracting others.” There’s a tiny line between the two labeled “critical thinking.” Heh. “I made it bigger so that you could see it,” Jim explained. For someone complaining about other people’s procrastination, homeboy sure does have a colored-in chart.

Pam ashamedly told Kevin that she and Jim just want money for a wedding gift. After a beat, he totally agrees, writing her a check (and putting “to love’s eternal glory” in the memo line). She felt bad — until she noticed he made it out to Mrs. Pam Halpert, and then she was so adorably happy I couldn’t help but love this moment. (As a total aside, did anyone else think it was weird that both The Office and Community had jokes about check-writing and what goes in the memo tonight? Coincidence? Or conspiracy?)

Jim and Michael went another round, with Jim shouting that Michael can’t make hard decisions, and Michael basically daring Jim to try making one himself. Jim’s attempt to level with everyone backfired when they found out he was only giving raises to the sales staff. I still don’t quite understand why Michael’s goofy “give everyone a 1.5 percent raise” plan wasn’t any good. Jim tried to “rewind” and did a total Michael Scott move by robotically walking backwards, and Pam gamely rolled her eyes.

The bosses tried another method, this time voting with beans (??? what???) for who could get merit-based raises. Dwight gloated that his coworkers were “starting to notice how terrible Jim is,” and he sowed the seeds of discontent by revealing the weird bean-sorting plan.

Back in the main room, Dwight gave a rousing — well, bizarre, but rousing — locker-room/Braveheart/take-down-the-man spiel, hoping his coworkers would rise up with him and topple Jim. I watch Glee so intently I half expected to hear the opening strains of “Do You Hear the People Sing” here. Oh, well!

In Jim’s tiny, cramped office (which I can’t place on this floor plan), Michael sighed and relaxed. “I used to have to do this part alone, and it was the worst,” he confessed to Jim. He saluted their new-found bond by giving Jim a matching “World’s Best Boss” mug, complete with a splash of gin in it. Hee.

In the outro, Ryan scammed Pam out of $50 by somehow convincing her to let him “invest” it with a guy who has an algorithm for gambling on college basketball games.

A few awesome lines and moments
Michael wondering if Jim is short for “Jimothy.”
Michael: “That was not the way I heard it.”
Kelly: “How is that going to repair Ryan’s car?”
Stanley swatting Andy’s hand with a notebook.
Michael drawing a picture of Toby as a goblin.

Okay, on repeat viewing, I found a lot more I liked about this episode, but I still couldn’t shake the feeling it was just a placeholder, basically just killing a week until The Big Wedding Episode OMG next Thursday. Did you get the same feeling, Officers, or were you more into “The Promotion”?

Comments (70 total) Add your comment
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  • SilentRage

    What does a bean mean? Classic

  • reese

    Good recap. What’s up with Pam? I know she’s “pregnant”…she just doesn’t seem like the Pam of old. Either it’s her hair or her makeup…she just looks rundown and doesn’t have that cute perkiness about her anymore…

    • Allyson

      Yeah, I have noticed the same thing. She does look like she is just super blah all the time. I guess it is because she doesn’t feel well or whatever, but they certainly haven’t addressed that at all so it really just looks like she’s just really unhappy all the time.

      • dawnomite

        My theory is that we haven’t seen Pam & Jim interacting much in the past two episodes. She’s been on wedding duties by herself. And Pam sparkles when she and Jim are a team (not Jim & Michael).

      • melissa

        Maybe it’s all the gray suits she’s been wearing?

      • JM

        I think it is the suits. I liked her more when she was the receptionist wearing cardigans.

    • The Truth

      Pam has changed significantly over the last couple of seasons. Her clothes use to be plain but bright are now dark. Her attitude has also greatly changed. She used to be mousey and rarely stood up for herself. Only when she was hanging out with Jim did she show any confidence and opened up. Now she is very upfront and assertive to everyone. Its good to see her come out of her shell, but it has gone too far. The cute shy girl next door that kept getting dumped on by her coworkers is now a dull office drone dumping on others. She used to be the one that fans routed for no matter what, now its getting harder and harder to take her side. What happened, she got promoted is marrying the guy of her dreams and having a baby with him, life for her is better now than it ever was. Its like another mousey lovable redhead, don’t let what happened to Willow happen to Pam, bring her back before its too late.

    • mahovolich13

      Pam looks blah because the character feels blah. Trust me at this stage of pregnancy you feel awful, she is planning a wedding and she is wearing the same suit because that is all that fits her. It’s a pretty accurate portrayal.

      • Hazel

        I totally agree…i feel like the episodes this season have been much better about being more true to real-life situations (even if it makes those situations funny)

  • Jill

    Creed cracks me up every episode!

    This was a little off. Jim couldn’t be that dumb to think the others wouldn’t get mad about getting stiffed. Michael actually seemed smarter but he is the experienced manager. Looking forward to the wedding.

    • Babs

      Yeah, Jim’s not dumb, but he’s shown before that he doesn’t understand supervising people as much as he thought he did. What he does makes perfect sense to him but he can’t seem to see it from others’ point of view.

  • littleO

    it’s the most boring Office episode ever! all the jokes are lame.

  • Merleb

    I went through this crap before I retired. People think they deserve a raise for showing up, so I can sympathize with Jim and Michael having to deal with a miserly amount of cash to distribute. Of course the obvious answer is to award raises based on performance scores.

  • angela

    I miss the old Office. Even Michael wasn’t that funny…best line: ‘Heart-Ons’.

    • ichorwhip

      I had a pretty good heart-on for this ep. Once again the Jim and Michael relationship shows it strains of symbiosis. This is not the first time that Jim has been given authority and totally made the wrong call. Wasn’t he the one who wanted to bunch everybody’s birthdays together? Uh-huh! Anyways, Michael once again comes to his aid and edification in his strangely asinine and yet on target way of running the office. I loved it when Michael lol’ed at Jim’s rewind and said it was great. They really are friends at heart as we’ve seen repeatedly with Jim also bailing out Michael more times than I can recall. I just hope things don’t get boring with the wedding, but so far so good this season.

  • Elizabeth

    The couple times when Jim fell into Michael’s managerial pattern I was CRINGING, but I felt better after he came to Jimothy’s office with the “Worlds Best Boss” mug of gin.

  • Abhiroop Basu

    Looking at the floor plan, I think Jim’s office is where Creed’s and Andy’s desks used to be. Creed sits opposite Meredith now and Andy sits where Karen used to sit, so those two desks have been removed to form Jim’s office.

    • Elizabeth

      OMG – I spent the entire episode trying to figure out the new layout. I thought maybe they had pushed the accounting crew over, or they sectioned off the area just outside of Toby’s office.

      That would’ve been a good episode or part of one – the granting of an office for Jimothy and how it was constructed. Michael making cat calls at the workers, Kelly sluttin’ it up for the new men in the building, Dwight giving his advice…

      • Kacie

        That’s a great episode idea! Plus it would let us know exactly where his office was actually constructed, because frankly it drove me nuts trying to figure that out last night!

    • AA

      Yeah, that’s how I see it too. Although Andy has sat in Karen’s spot for a long time now. Was Creed alone in that corner?? Yoiks.

      • LizL

        Creed used to sit there with a guy that was fired in the Halloween Episode in the first season. Was his name Alex?

      • Susan

        I’m pretty you’re right and that Creed sat in the corner by himself for a long time.

        @ LizL- I think the guy who was fired on Halloween was Devon?

      • KAH

        I think you’re referring to a guy named Devin.

    • melissa

      I don’t see the “confessional” room on that floor plan. At first, I thought that room was now Jim’s office.

      • AA

        Isn’t the conference room the confessional room? You always seem Stanley in the background.

      • pinkbunny

        I think the confessionals are usually done in the break room, with the participants sitting with their backs to the office.

    • Tim Lade

      Spot on. It is the very far corner. They put Creed and Meredith together.

    • Vicky

      Haha, in the diagram, Dwight has a spot in the men’s bathroom.

    • April

      Yes, Andy’s been sitting with Phyllis & Stanley for awhile, where Karen was. He used to be with Dwight & Jim. I don’t know where Jim’s office came from, lol. And I totally loved the episode, I don’t see why some people didn’t.

  • Scott

    As to where Jim’s office is on that floor plan, it is the desks labeled Creed/Andy are. It looks like they just threw up some walls around that small area to make the office.

  • Sara

    “You’re not registered for a birdhouse, are you?” YES. YES I AM. I registered for TWO. PLEASE don’t get us a birdhouse.

    • Katie

      Fabulous!

  • Lady Gag

    Margaret Lyons: OMG, I can’t believe you actually wrote a thesis – a painful blow by blow description on last night’s show which was lame, at best. What’s the point? Horrible tedious writing – I may have read 2 sentences…Now I have to get a life.

    • Joy

      Wow. Rude. Go get a life somewhere else, please.

      • KAH

        Hey, at least the name Lady Gag is somewhat fitting…

    • mel

      Lady Gag, it doesn’t matter what you think of the episode, it’s a TV watch writeup. What is she supposed to do, just skip it because you thought it was boring? Yes you are a moron.

  • Laura

    I think The Office has set the stage over the years for Jim to turn into Michael even though he thinks he’s so much smarter, better, etc. than him. Remember Jim’s “That’s what she said” a few years ago? It’s his biggest fear but most likely his destiny. Think about it, Michael (like Jim) started out in Sales then was promoted. The robot move was a classic Michael move and wanting to hide in the office – same deal.

    • Filmi Girl

      I can only hope that the writers are taking this in a “Jim was promoted above his ability level” direction. Jim’s smugness levels have gotten out of control!!! What happened to the sweet Jim of the first couple of seasons?

  • Owen

    Jimothy…HA!

  • Ellen

    Did anyone else notice the Solitaire game on Meredith’s computer when they were complaining about not getting a raise? Hilarious

    • Omar

      Meredith is always playing Solitaire.

    • morningwood

      Every episode has someone playing solitaire. Kind of a running gag…

      • EL

        I always that it was Meredith’s computer in every episode.

        Is it a different person each time?

      • Jenni

        Any time they show a computer screen it has solitare on it….

  • Luddite

    I really kind of liked this episode. It wasn’t my favorite, but I definitely laughed. Also, for Oscar – Sparta had 2 Kings. From 1378 to 1417, there were 2 Popes (during the Western Schism – one in the Vatican, one in Avignon). And England has a Queen and a PM (this, BTW, is how I ultimately imagine this co-manager thing will work. Michael will be a manager in a strictly ceremonial sense and Jim will do the actual work).

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