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October 24, 2014

Review: The Office - Scott's Tots

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 3rd 2009 11:38PM
Steve Carell as Michael Scott in The Office(S06E12) This episode had one of those "oh, this is not going to end well" vibes to it. And how could it not? Somehow Michael Scott got himself into a situation that transcended mere embarrassment. He made a promise that he couldn't keep, and it affected a lot of lives.

"Of all the empty promises I've made, this is by far the most generous," Michael said, and he was right. The whole time I was watching the Scott's Tots storyline play out, I was cringing, waiting for the moment of truth. But, surprisingly enough, things didn't turn out as bad as we thought. And for that, we have Erin to thank.

We haven't seen much of the office's newest member, have we? Besides her stumbling "relationship" with Andy, her desire to take her job much more seriously than Pam ever did, and her role in the band Subtle Sexuality, we don't know much about her. But she really stepped up in this episode; as much as Michael wanted to rely on Pam to be his human shield, Erin not only did a nice job of getting him out of that high school in one piece, but her assurance to him that he really did help the Tots was one of the most self-actualized moments I've seen in this show.

Back to Michael for a second. I loved seeing Stanley laugh his ass off and go "has it been ten years already?" when he realized Michael's 1999 tuition pledge was coming home to roost. As the kids from that third-grade class praised Michael and told him how much his gift meant to them, all I could think of was, "this is so wrong." That rap that parodied the Cops theme song was especially painful to listen to -- as catchy as it might have been: "Whacha gonna do when your dreams come true?" -- and the pain on Michael's face was palpable. I had the same expression.

But when he revealed his secret, he wasn't run out on a rail. Even when he offered the class laptop... batteries (that got a big laugh from me) as consolation, he didn't get stoned with dry-erase markers. Why? Becuase he exhibited the slightest bit of remorse when he finally admitted why he made the promise and why he couldn't keep it. The fact that he has less money at 40 than he had at 30 is probably due to some bad choices (read: Jan) but his heart was in the right place when he made the offer.

The one kid he promised the books too, however, better make sure he can still cash those checks in a few years. Anyway, good to see that Erin managed to find out that most of the kids are prepared for college due to Michael's motivation. I was heartened by the fact that Michael's "got a feeling" about her. Now, of course, those feelings led to Michael hiring Kevin as an accountant, so we can't put too much stock in them.

We also had the "Employee of the Month" plot back at the office, part of Dwight's "Diabolical Plan" to oust Jim. I'm getting tired of Dwight's diabolical plans, aren't you? What I didn't get is that Jim didn't catch on that Dwight's "objective" system was designed to make Jim come out first and Pam second. It's ironic, because they probably were the best employees and Dwight knew it. But Jim usually catches on to Dwight's games. I can see David Wallace falling for Dwight's deadpan impressions, though -- Wallace is a bit of an idiot, isn't he? -- but at least he calmed down long enough to tell Jim he was still doing a good job.

More fun stuff:

  • Surprised Ryan wasn't in on the plot before. He still resents Jim for ratting him out on the DM Infinity double-billing scam.
  • Pam: "I doubled my sales." Andy: "What, from two to four?" Pam (to interviewer): "Yup!" One of the better side interview sequences of the season.
  • How many times did Pam say that Michael did a "terrible" thing to the Tots?
  • Gotta give Rainn Wilson credit for the stellar impressions of Stanley, Kevin, and Toby. The Kevin one was the most convincing.
  • Creed: "I'm starting to think Pam's not even pregnant."
  • Can you imagine Dwight with ten fingers on one hand so he could use the other one purely for punching? It would seem to fit him well.

A solid job this week. Not the best of the season, but not bad, either. We just need to figure out where Jim's place is in this whole co-manager structure. Oh, and for the DM bankrupcy story to play itself out a bit.

[You can see clips and free episodes from our friends at SlashControl.]

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