The Office: The Merger
(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.