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July 22, 2014

The Office: Two Weeks

by Jay Black, posted Mar 27th 2009 3:32AM
The main cast of The Oiffce(S05E19) And just like that -- as mysteriously as he arrived -- he was gone.

SPOILER ALERT: At the end of The Graduate, Ben Braddock and Elaine Robinson get together after Ben makes an impassioned plea at her wedding to another man. They hop on a bus and as they ride off together, the camera lingers just long enough for us to watch the enormity of their decision wipe the smiles off their faces. A happy ending ruined by reality.

Watching Pam walk out with Michael tonight made me think of that scene. I don't know if this episode compares favorably to one of the greatest comedies ever filmed, but certainly, that idea -- that nothing ruins a good time like a dose of the real -- infused every bit of it tonight.

Let's take a look what reality does to our favorite sitcom and its stars:

1. Michael realizes that he up and quit in the middle of an economic climate the resembles wintertime on Hoth.

2. Pam realizes that even after her artistic rebirth and her love-'splosion with Jim, she's just the girl who spends half a day learning how to make a copier work. If you're the kind of lazy (read: "alcoholic") English teacher I used to be, you might want to use Pam's expression at the end of her copier confessional as the cornerstone of your lesson on "existential despair".

3. The Office itself realizes that a real boss (like, you know, one who actually wants you to do work) is actually kind of horrible and oppressive.

Points one and two culminate in Pam's Graduate-style walk out of the office together. Point three sets us up beautifully for the conflict to come.

I'm loving where The Office is at right now. This is our third slam-dunk episode in a row, and I can't remember the last time I was this excited for a non-Jim/Pam story arc.

Other Stuff:

-- There were so many little moments of awesome that I'll just do a quick rundown: Kevin spilling coffee on the old copier, Phyllis telling Andy that he didn't have to kiss Michael's ass anymore, Toby comparing Michael to a movie on a plane, Angela and Kelly competing over Charles, Creed trying to put coins in the copier, Dwight's face when he doesn't get made "Productivity Czar", and Michael's Splenda Scotch.

-- How about the sad little shout-out to Printz Paper? Think we'll be seeing them again in some capacity as Michael opens up his own company? Also, what's your feeling on where this is going? Is this a temporary thing -- i.e. is Michael back at Dunder-Mifflin sooner rather than later -- or is this a permament sea change? I kind of like the idea of following Michael on his own path, like when Puck got tossed out of the house on the third season of The Real World.

As always, your comments are the security guard that escorts me through the hallways of life.

The Office' Photos

    THE OFFICE Steve Carell as Michael Scott and Amy Ryan as Holly star in the episode "Weight Loss." Airs Thursday, September 25, 2008.

    NBC

    THE OFFICE Steve Carell as Michael Scott and Amy Ryan as Holly star in the episode "Weight Loss." Airs Thursday, September 25, 2008.

    NBC

    THE OFFICE Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor and Craig Robinson as Darryl Philbin star in the episode "Weight Loss." Airs Thursday, September 25, 2008.

    NBC

    THE OFFICE Amy Ryan as Holly and Brian Baumgartner as Kevin Malone star in the episode "Weight Loss." Airs Thursday, September 25, 2008.

    NBC

    THE OFFICE, Steve Carell, ''Did I Stutter'', (Season 4, airing May 1, 2008), 2005-. Photo: Chris Haston / NBC

    THE OFFICE, Rainn Wilson, ''Did I Stutter'', (Season 4, airing May 1, 2008), 2005-. Photo: Chris Haston / NBC

    THE OFFICE, Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, ''Did I Stutter'', (Season 4, airing May 1, 2008), 2005-. Photo: Chris Haston / NBC

    THE OFFICE, Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, ''Night Out'', (Season 4, airing April 24, 2008), 2005-. Photo: Mitch Haddad / NBC

    THE OFFICE, Rainn Wilson, Cassie Fliegel, ''Night Out'', (Season 4, airing April 24, 2008), 2005-. Photo: Mitch Haddad / NBC

    THE OFFICE, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson, ''The Dinner Party'', (Season 4, episode 4013, aired April 10, 2008), 2005-,. Photo: Chris Haston / NBC / courtesy everett collection



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brooke

When will the next episode air?

April 08 2009 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jose

For those of you who haven't seen the Wire, Charles is essentially Idris Elba channeling his old character from that show, a scary, no nonsense businessman/drug dealer named Stringer Bell.

What's interesting is implanting that personality in a comical office setting, it's actually surprisingly effective and adds new life to the show.

Despite people complaining about him, Charles has strengths where Michael has weaknesses, and vice versa. Charles has a level of professionalism that is commendable, he doesn't get rattled, and he doesn't play favorites.

That being said, he is the exact opposite of Michael. Michael was never serious, and Charles is too serious. Michael is too forgiving and tolerant of failure, Charles shows no mercy.

April 02 2009 at 2:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason Easley

I think some of you good folks are missing where this storyline is likely going. There won't be a Michael Scott Paper Co. Michael has big ideas but he never seems to get them off the ground. Charles is going to bomb and destroy Scranton. The employees will be miserable. He will be fired, and Michael will come back victorious, because no matter how dysfunctional the relationship is, DM needs Michael and Michael needs DM. Plus, they keep mentioning how bad the economy is, so does anyone really think that Michael's own company has a chance, when the show keeps pointing out that paper is a dying industry?

I also got the impression that Pam knows Michael best, and part of the reason that she left was to keep an eye on him, because Pam's role with Michael has always been to serve as the adult that provides him boundaries.

April 01 2009 at 4:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
xavier gonzalez

I see many more parallels to real life in the US.
1)an inept leader who few like or respect.
2)a young dashing fit "non-paper" person wanting change
3)new leader getting full of himself "knowing" how others love him and the "control" he has now in the office.
4)new boss making ironically horrible appointments(ie.Stanley for productivity=Geitner for Treasury)
5)people starting to appreciate old boss.

March 31 2009 at 2:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shaun

I'm soooooooo with whoever said that jim might be fired because of his realtionship with pam.

I think charles is going to fire Jim, which will piss off corporate seeing how Jim is one of the top salesman of the scranton branch. If it does happen it will happen at the end of next weeks episode, than the following week there will probaly be an episode showing how dysfunctional and poorly the rest of the branch will do, theyll probaly be really pissed off at charles after awhile, and some of them are going to leave to go work with michael. That will probaly get wallace PISSED, and result in charles getting fired and scott paper-dunder mifflin merger. OH MY GOD!!! I just thought about that and realized if they merged michael would have a bigger job... oh god this seasons gonna be good I think this is how its gonna turn out.

and if none of that happens im 100% positive theres going to be a "charles in charge" joke in an upcoming episode, I can see michael or kevin saying something along those lines :D

March 31 2009 at 2:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
twola80

Fantastic episode!!! All i kept thinking about what Jerry maguire at the end....

March 29 2009 at 6:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dr J

This is perfect . . . the Michael Scott Paper Co. Run by Michael, Pam and Ryan . . . competing against ole Dunder Miflin, run by . . . Holly!!! Think about all the possibilities for next year . . . Jim vs Pam, Michael vs Holly, Dwight vs Ryan, Michael . . . . whew, mind boggling!!

March 28 2009 at 4:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Olivia

I'm actually not pleased with the last three episodes, in fact I haven't enjoyed much of the office this season. I feel like it's almost becoming a mocking foil of the great show it once was, and I'm absolutely disillusioned (to quote from above). Ah well, all good series' whittle away in an embarrassing fashion eventually.

March 27 2009 at 8:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ac

The rather sad shout-out to Prince Paper is a sure sign they are going to be involved in Michael's company. The goodbye at the end of their message made it one of the saddest moments of the show, including anything Holly related.

I think Scott Paper is going to be a success due to the simple fact that Charles is a douche. You think corporate would be pissed at him for being responsible for losing their current golden child.

March 27 2009 at 6:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Peanut

I'm surprised Charles hasn't kicked the camera crew out.

March 27 2009 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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