Friday, April 24, 2009

The Office - Broke

As I predicted, the tables were turned (or "turntables" as Michael Scott would say...) and Michael and company are back as employees at Dunder-Mifflin.

The episode started off with Angela sucking up to Charles assuring him that she will be diligent with expense reports. "Waste not, want not," she declares. "Been there, done that," Dwight snarks to Charles.

David Wallace arrives to deal with fact that the Scranton branch is bleeding due to clients lost to the Michael Scott Paper Company. Charles starts sucking up to him, which amuses Jim to no end. Then Charles makes a huge error in judgment when he asserts that it's Dwight and not Jim who is his right hand man. "Really? I find that extraordinarily unusual."

David addresses the office to ease their minds about the Michael Scott Paper Company siphoning off a large chunk of Dunder-Mifflin's core business (way to go Michael!). "Maybe if you had returned Michael's calls, none of this would have happened," Phyllis says to David. "I wonder that myself," David agrees.

Meanwhile, the Michael Scott Paper Company is having serious cashflow problems due to their deeply discounted prices. Michael mourns the impending loss of his company likening it to the day Steve Martin died. "Steve Martin's not dead," Pam informs him. "I always thought the day that he died would be the worst day of my life, but this is."

Back in the Dunder-Mifflin conference room, Dwight proposes setting bees on Michael making himself and Charles look like idiots. David Wallace responds, "The cheapest option is to make Michael an offer." So Jim is dispatched to float the idea to the Michael Scott Paper Company. "See you upstairs, you titans of business!" he tells them. "We're not only tight-ends, we're also quarterbacks!" Michael crows.

Michael struggles to keep his game face on as they go up to the office, but when they sit down at the table he is completely cool. David tells the three that Dunder-Mifflin is prepared to make them an offer to buy out their company. "And we are prepared to reject that offer," Michael rejoins.

Outside the conference room, Kelly and Angela attempt to eavesdrop with Kelly up against the wall with a glass. "What do you hear?" hisses Angela. "Wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh," replies Kelly.

I have to say, Michael was one tough negotiator. When David insinuates that Michael's paper company is on the verge of bankruptcy and that Dunder-Mifflin only needs to wait them out, Michael deftly parries with the fact that he knows a board meeting is coming up and that David's job may be on the line. "I don’t think I need to wait out Dunder-Mifflin, I think I need to wait out you," he coolly replies.

David ups his offer of $12,000 to $60,000 and Michael tells him that they need to discuss it. While the three are discussing the offer, Dwight receives a call from a former customer who defected to Michael's company--only to have Michael call him up later to tell him they needed his company to pay more for the latest shipment.

Thanks to Dwight's bee musings, Jim is easily able to undermine him when he races to Charles to report that the Michael Scott Paper Company is broke. Jim asks Dwight what other cases he's cracked and Dwight boasts about the beet bandit. Which is enough for Charles to tell both Dwight and Jim to stay away from the conference room. "You two are morons," he says in disgust.

Michael turns down David's offer to Ryan and Pam's dismay. Taking another break, Michael asks them, "Wouldn't you rather have a fishing pole than a fish?" Pam agrees and when Charles and David return to the table, Michael demands his old job back. "And I want Charles gone," Michael continues. David balks at that demand, so Michael switches tactics saying he wants Pam back. When David tells him there's already a receptionist, Michael tells him she'd be a salesperson.

Michael pushes the envelope and demands a job for Ryan as well. David argues that Ryan cost Dunder-Mifflin hundreds of thousands of dollars to which Michael shrugs saying he'll just start another paper company. "I have no shortage of company names," he threatens. "Our balls are in your court," he tells David who reluctantly agrees to his demands.

I loved the ending when Charles tried to give some parting remarks as he left and Michael interrupts saying, "No. No, you're done," cutting him off just like Charles cut him off several weeks earlier.

Nice to see the underdog come back. And the writers left things open for Charles to make an appearance now and then. But seriously people--can I call it or what? Here's what I predicted a week ago:

"I'm guessing that eventually this storyline with Michael, Pam and Ryan ousted from the office is going to end with Michael and company getting their old jobs back. Maybe Pam will come back to Dunder-Mifflin as a salesperson. Might be interesting to have her competing for sales against her future hubby Jim..."

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