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October 7, 2015

The Office: The Convict

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Nov 30th 2006 10:04PM

(S03E09) After watching Michael Scott "transform" himself into "Prison Mike," I was so enthralled by it that I've decided to rent Scared Straight from Netflix. I remember watching that documentary back in the 70s when I was a teenager, and I thought it was so over the top that I remember laughing all the way through it. Of course, if I was sitting in that room with those convicts in Rahway, I might have gotten smacked around a bit. But the idea of "lifers" telling kids how to not be like them is just too much grist for the comedy mill.

I can't quite put my finger on it yet, since I'm writing this post literally minutes after watching this episode, but it seemed slightly different from the others so far this season. Granted, it was written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, so I guess I was expecting some more "British-y" humor. To some extent, the dialogue about Martin Nash being a black man and Michael doing his best to allay any preconceived notions by naming a black person whom he would "trust" over a white person, seemed like something out of the British version of The Office. However, I don't think Gervais and Merchant went over the top, either. Like I said, it just seemed a little different than the others.

Andy has grown on me. When I first saw him up in Stamford, I thought he was just the Connecticut version of Dwight. But now I think he adds greatly to the mix and is definitely one who is going to stir things up in Scranton. His wooing of Pam, courtesy of Jim's "advice," was priceless. I especially enjoyed his falsetto and banjo combination. I couldn't quite make out what he was singing, so please shed a little light as to what song he was belting out.

Probably my favorite part of the episode was when after Michael unlocked the conference room and set his "convicts" free, most of the office staff acted (I think) traumatized, but Stanley just walked by nonplussed. His character has the best facial reactions by far, IMHO.

After Jim said he and Karen were seeing each other, it was quite interesting to see how Pam would react anytime Jim and Karen were near each other. I don't think we're going to see any type of significant interaction between Pam and Karen for a while, but we'll have to keep a close watch on their dealings with each other, if any.

Watching Michael go to extremes to get his staffers to believe that Dunder Mifflin was better than prison (or at least how Martin described it) was almost too painful to watch. What is it about Dunder Mifflin that makes Michael so fiercely protective ot it? Does he love the company that much, or is he afraid that if he loses his job, he won't be able to get a position anywhere close to what he's doing now? I'm projecting too much, I know, but is Michael that deluded into believing that Dunder Mifflin is so wonderful? When someone said "Prison sounds great!", you could see the air almost come out of Michael's balloon.

At this point, the takeaway out of this episode for me is the notion that Andy is going to go all out to woo Pam, and I wonder how far Jim will let it go before he steps in to "save" her. Hmmm...

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Late comment, but you did not give enough props to the sweet scene between Michael and Toby, where Toby convinces him that they're just yanking his chain. Stuff like that keeps me watching, even during painfully awkward episodes like this one.

December 05 2006 at 7:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

is "das klaun" german for "unable to read"?
check the second paragraph...

December 01 2006 at 3:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Prison Mike just overtook Dwights Speech as the funniest office moment ever

December 01 2006 at 1:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So no mention about how the episode was written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the creators of the original BBC series?

December 01 2006 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ali Baba Ghanoush

I'm glad that Gervais and Merchant gave us a Toby/Michael scene. On top of the convicted rapist thing, that just made the episode worth it right there. Well, that and the whole prison is better than Dunder Mifflin motif. I only wish they included the deleted scene with Angela whining (again) about being stuck in the corner with nowhere to flee.

December 01 2006 at 1:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree I really think that Andy is coming into his own on the show. I always knew that Dwight and Andy would clash the second they saw each other. But, something a bit sad is going on. With all the new people to keep track of we're losing some wonderful Dwight moments, or we're just not getting as many as we used to.

But, it was a fantastic episode. Yeah I love how Stanley, whenever Michael has them do something completely stupid, he's doing a crossword puzzle.

I think Michael is just one of those people that was never accepted as a child, remember "Daddy Daughter Day?" So now that he's a boss somewhere he thinks that people should be his friend. I think he's so protective of Dunder-Mifflin because in the end that's the ONLY thing he really has.

December 01 2006 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought it was a good episode, as they all are, but I am the only one that found a little too derivative of the outing of Oscar episode. Which was, and still is, the funniest episode of the season. By the way, is Oscar off the show now?

December 01 2006 at 11:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ohmygod - GREAT episode!! I laughed so hard & loud when Kevin was talking about the insider trading that my dog ran & hid under the bed! And Toby is so great - he's an HR guy who didn't notice the entire staff was locked up until Pam called him, and then his dread when confronting Michael about it - so. damn. funny.
I used to have a "Michael Scott" boss - the WAZZUP scene from the first season is an EXACT scene from my life - and my "Michael" really did think our office was the best place on the planet, and it was, I think, because he had no outside life - our office was his life.

December 01 2006 at 10:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


And the part where Michael challenged the office to name white people they trust so he could name black people he trusted more was super hilarious.
"My dad"
"Danny Glover"
"Jonas Salk"
"Justin Timberlake"
"Please, Colin Powell"
"Hey, I got one. Jesus"
"Apollo Creed"

December 01 2006 at 10:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So at the end of the episode Martin (the convict) left. Are we going to see the ancillary characters from Stanford leave one by one over the next few episodes?

- rmjb

December 01 2006 at 9:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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