The Office: The Fire
Dealing with one's own vulnerabilities seemed to be the theme of this episode. Michael evaluates Ryan Howard, who is the hotshot temp in the office. Michael, who considers himself a cross between Mr. Miyagi and Yoda, deigns to bequeath his "10 Rules of Business" to Ryan. Soon after, the fire alarm rings, and Dwight assumes a leadership role in evacuating the office by telling the slackers that if they don't move faster they will die and to also keep below the smoke line.
As the group gathers outside in the parking lot, Jim organizes a "Desert Island" game whereby participants voice the books and DVDs they would take with them if they were to be placed in such a desperate situation. Meanwhile, Michael continues to impart his wisdom on Ryan and finds out the temp has been accepted to business school and wants to start his own corporation. We see that Michael feels threatened and vulnerable and does his best to impress Ryan with his knowledge. At the same time, Dwight, who was feeling his oats after evacuating the office, is now finding himself rejected after being told he was acting like a dork. He skulks away in shame wallowing in his vulnerabilities.
Dwight then tries to save face by running back into the building to retrieve Michael's cellphone. Michael finds he has his phone with him and that he has an embarrassing ringtone ("Mambo No. 5"). After some time, Dwight re-emerges and proudly tells the staff that the fire was started by Ryan who let his food burn in the toaster oven. Dwight feels triumphant and finds himself aligned back with Michael.
This was another good episode. The show has definitely improved and it's nice to see the other characters emerge. I also liked the continuing subplot of the Jim/Pam scenario, with an interesting twist when we discover Jim dating the "Hot Girl" from last season. Pam expresses her happiness for Jim, but there is a definite tone of jealousy there. I'm looking forward to see how this develops over time.