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April 24, 2014

The Office: The Merger

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Nov 17th 2006 12:01AM

(S03E08) I think what I like best about Michael Scott is that he believes the hype. About himself. That he creates.

The long-awaited merger of the Scranton and Stamford offices took place in this episode and, of course, Michael is putting out all the stops to make his new staffers feel welcome. You can see the utter joy in his face when he says, "My family is doubling in size." A family that includes Andy Bernard and Dwight Schrute at loggerheads to see which one will be Michael's right-hand man. No wonder Tony decided to quit, but who could stay around when your boss, in trying to lift you onto a table, says "I'm in your crack!"

It goes without saying that a lot went on in this episode, so I thought I'd put together a few bullet points for discussion amongst ourselves. Obviously, there are a lot more that could have been put in, but I figured this was as good a start as any. Please feel free to add more bullet points in your comments.

  • Pam's confession to the camera where it looks like she's questioning her motives over making Dwight run around the building. Could it be that her newfound independence is causing her to rethink her entire existence?
  • I thought Michael's idea of giving gift bags to the new arriivals was a nice touch. Demented, but nice.
  • Kevin's almost obsessive love of the paper shredder. Where could have Staples gotten a better product placement than that anywhere else? Survivor? I don't think so.
  • When Karen walked in, I thought Pam immediately felt a sense of competition from her. Of course, it became more overt when she saw Karen and Jim walking together in the parking lot.
  • How great is Ed Helms as Andy? The competiton between Andy and Dwight will surely make for some classic moments, but you know that sooner or later that Dwight will somehow win out in the end. Andy's charm offensive certainly brought a smile to Angela's face--we'll have to see if Dwight notices and takes action. And how great was that battle of (nit)wits at the end of the episode? Xterra means XEarth, indeed!
  • What can you say about "Lazy Scranton"? Michael doing his best Eminem imitation (I think) was priceless. What makes it even more funny is that Michael truly believes he can kick it with the best of 'em. Let's not forget that he humbly gave himself an "A++" for his efforts. Whatever makes him happy...
  • Michael's scheme where he discovers everyone's tires have been deflated could have fallen flat (no pun intended), but somehow he managed to bring the staff together, albeit in their disdain for his management style. I never thought I would want to hear this phrase again, but "Mission Accomplished."

Of course, I'm sure most of us were waiting to see how Jim and Pam would interact with each other now that they were back together in the same office. Things were definitely awkward between them--Pam was almost too cheery to be believed. Jim definitely wants to keep things at a distance, a natural reaction by someone who has been rejected by someone else but both trying to remain friends. When Jim told Pam that he was "kind of seeing someone," it seemed that Pam's heart sank, albeit for a moment. It remains to be seen if she tries to play it cool and lets the Jim/Karen thing unfold, or if she'll try to win Jim's affection, or go back to Roy, or continue to exhibit her independence.

What makes this show so great is that the supporting players have a chance to shine at the right moments. I thought Stanley's reactions to the whole situation were hysterical, and Creed is just great. He deserves some more airtime.

It goes without saying that this episode laid the foundation for many more storylines over the course of the season. As many of you fellow fans of the British version of The Office know, things definitely came to a head for a number of people rather quickly, but we'll be treated to seeing these plots take time to develop. We'll see what happens in the next few weeks.

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Lauren

The "Lazy Scranton" video was an imitation, or a parody of the snl parody of the Beastie Boys, not Eminem.

November 27 2006 at 1:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Corbin

Haha! When Michael said "Let me show you where the slaves work" That was the funniest part of the episode.

November 19 2006 at 10:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Judi

Well, persnaps Oscar is busy doing something else--

http://www.comedycentral.com/shows/halfway_home/press_release/halfway_home_greenlight_release.jhtml

November 19 2006 at 1:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark

Just quickly - I'm not sure that Jim knows that Pam's fifty year engagement is over - I remember earlier in the season he was in the dark, and I can't remmeber if Michael told him in the convention episode.

Maybe Jim still thinks she's engaged!

November 18 2006 at 5:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chris w

"two, four, six, eight... nah bakers dozen,
I told ya that I'm crazy for those cupcakes cousin..."

I probably butchered it a little...but shouts out to those that instantly recognized the LAZY SUNDAY bit.

November 17 2006 at 6:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chris w

..er, I mean the FIRST to break off a handshake....

November 17 2006 at 6:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chris w

I love this show! But where is the blog for last nights' 30 ROCK? It was drop dead funny as well. Anyway, the scenes between Dwight and Ed Helms character were hilarious! To parapharase Helms.."I just got back from the future, and went to your funeral, and no one came." And I love how Helms said he wouldn't be the last to break off a handshake, and so him and Dwight keep it going forever. Great GREAT series. This can be a solid night for NBC again...they have a good line-up. And 30 ROCK is hilarious as well. Give it a shot people who tune out after THE OFFICE!

November 17 2006 at 6:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tgrrlily

Oops, it's 'Lacey' with the great point. Sorry about the spelling :)

November 17 2006 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tgrrlily

Lacy's got a great dvr point... and now they're finding we remember products better when they're served up embedded in programming with a traditional ad chaser. Maybe it's the next drinking game - entire frats can get smashed before the second commercial.

http://www.mediabuyerplanner.com/2006/11/16/tv-viewers-remember-brands-from-placementad-combo/

But at least The Office lets us in a the joke. And if that's what it takes to pay their bills and keep the show on the air, I say go ahead NBC - toss that Staples salad.

xoxo

November 17 2006 at 6:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lacey

Okay, first of all, those of you who dislike product placement, well you're going to be in for a huge dissapointment, because while product placement is pretty common now, the more and more common DVRs get the more and more frequently you'll be seeing product placement, because companies know that people with DVRs dont usually watch the commercials.

I like Jim and Karen together now. I didn't at first, but I really think that I do now.

"Who makes more money?"
"It's not about more or less, your pay is just different"

I don't know why but that had me laughing SO hard.

November 17 2006 at 5:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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