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December 17, 2014

'The Office' - 'New Leads' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 19th 2010 10:03AM
John Krasinski in 'The Office' - 'New Leads'(S06E19) It's starting to feel like Sabre's purchase of Dunder-Mifflin was just the jumping-odd point the writers needed to bring the Scranton branch dynamic back to something that feels like the old days. For the second week in a row, we have an episode that felt very much like the ones from the first couple of seasons -- without the Jim/Pam drama -- with the entire office interacting with each other and a large amount of mistrust floating about. And it made for one of the funniest episodes in years.

With sales being king at Sabre, the sales staff was letting their elevated status go to their heads. This brings about some interesting character aspects we haven't seen much of. Phyllis, for instance, gets to take her status out on Michael, who's embarrassed her any number of times, and Angela, who she just plain hates. Andy walks out of a tedious Michael-called meeting. Stanley actually looks like he's doing work. It's amazing how a high commission can motivate even the most sedentary salesperson, huh?

What seems to be happening during this transition, though, is that Michael is almost looking like a real manager. He stood up to Jo Bennett last week and let his folks go celebrate St. Patty's Day. And this week, he tried valiantly to knock the sales staff down a couple of notches by withholding the hot sales leads Sabre got them.

It was a pretty smart move on Michael's part; if he has to give out the leads, he'll do it in a way that makes the sales staff earn it. My favorite method was Kelly and Ryan giving leads to Stanley when ol' Stan would agree with one of them during one of their constant lovers' spats. Who knew that Stanley was such a fan of the Kardashians? Second favorite was Angela getting her revenge on Phyllis by ordering her to fill out paperwork then watch her shred it. It's the first time I've ever rooted for Angela in the Angela-Phyllis cold war.

Hearing folks like Dwight and Andy -- who was so conflicted when he thought Erin hid her leads in her bra -- clamor for leads made this episode look like some sort of low-grade version of 'Glengarry Glen Ross.' At a certain point I was expecting Alec Baldwin to come in and yell at the staff to "Always Be Closing."

Of course, Michael being Michael, there's always potential for a colossal screw-up. Here's a question for you: Couldn't Gabe have just reprinted the leads Michael lost? Or are they so precious that the addresses and phone numbers aren't stored anywhere. Maybe Michael just didn't want to admit he stupidly gave leads to Kevin. Though his clue for Dwight to find them with "the man who never breeds."

In fact, Michael's clues to Jim were pretty funny, only because Jim was probably acting the least obnoxious out of all the sales staff. But it was funny for Jim to lament that he has to deal with "having two babies." Though, in this case, Michael's childishness was pretty justified. Luckily, Jim had Pam to help decipher Mike's clues. She's always been good at that. And, who didn't laugh at "Now That's Italian!" being a clue that one of the leads was hidden in a big can of ravioli? Who the hell has a big ravioli can in the office anyway? Kevin?

More fun stuff:
-- Jim tried to get the sales staff to make nice with the rest of the crew. He really tried, especially after even a pic of his daughter in a onesie couldn't sway Kelly and Oscar. But was it his fault that the rest of the crew interpreted the cookies and other sweets as the peace offering? After Stanley almost spilled about the 2%, Jim was the first one to cover. The guy's got a greedy streak we never knew about.
-- Not sure how I feel about the Michael/Dwight scenes in the dump. Has Dwight's opinion of Michael been going down for awhile or just since the Sabre sales edict? But it was refreshing to hear him not suck up to Michael for once. They even brought out the old "Assistant to" joke from the old days.
-- That being said, Dwight choking Kevin wasn't cool, even for someone as extreme as Dwight.
-- You never know; Johnny Depp could be living in Michael's condo complex. He's just that odd; maybe he's really living in Scranton, not France.
-- I like Darryl in the office. He took down Andy pretty easily, and even beat Michael to the punch on "that's what she said." He needs to stay there.
-- Andy and Erin being Pam/Jim II is really starting to become an in-joke on the show, aren't they? Of course, while Pam is snarky and smart (though seems to love iPods), Erin is pretty innocent. "People love shells from faraway beaches." I mean, their first kiss wasn't in the office, it was in the dump. It's almost as if the writers are trying to point out that Arin is the low-rent version of Jam.

[You can see clips and free episodes of 'The Office' from our friends at SlashControl.]

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Carol

Wow. . . this episode was the worst episode, so far! I tried so hard to get into it, but I just couldn't. It just didn't flow right. . . it was contrived and forced, like high school drama students trying too hard. I don't EVER miss an Office episdoe, and have most of them on DVD, and watch them over an over. But this episode, well, I doubt I'll ever watch it, again. And, I'm still hating Erin. I keep hoping she'll get better, but so far, I just can't stand to watch her. I LOVE THE OFFICE!!! But this episode really was a bummer. . .

March 26 2010 at 1:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Galley

What was the deal with the crazy camera work in the dump scene?

March 19 2010 at 8:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Galley's comment
Dan Buckley

They were probably trying to cover up the fact that the whole background was an green screen effect. It was pretty distracting and made the scene worse.

April 07 2010 at 4:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Guy

I loved how Andy and Erins first kiss was at the dump. I just don't understand why they were at the dump; they weren't Andys leads.

I disagree with Andy and Erin being a low rent Jim and Pam, I like both of them better. Both are nice (since Andy finished his anger management) Jim and Pam could be mean from time to time. I would rather date Erin than Pam.

March 19 2010 at 3:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SpaceVenus

I agree with the last poster. Why shouldn't the salespeople keep the commission they earn? It's part of their overall package.

Let's face it - if the salespeople sold nothing, the company wouldn't need neither accountants, nor managers or the warehouse.

There's no way anyone would share their commission or bonus with other employees.

March 19 2010 at 3:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melanie51

"The guy's [Jim] got a greedy streak we never knew about." Really? What's greedy about keeping the paycheck you earn? While I agree nobody in an office should demean the efforts of others and at my office, I am never above doing what it takes to get the job done (e.g., making my own copies), I was hired for my specific job based on my education and experience. Why should the support staff get any percentage of my paycheck or why should I get any percentage of my boss's?

March 19 2010 at 2:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Randy

My favorite line:

"You couldn't handle my full attention."

March 19 2010 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff

I don't know what you guys saw but to me this was the lowest point in the series, which was bummer after last weeks great effort.

March 19 2010 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jeff's comment
kip

I agree, my wife and I both said after the episode that it was one of the worst we've ever seen. I mean why are all the salesmen suddenly a douchebags, for one episode only, but then everything is reset at the end. That's lazy. At least give us an episode or two where the salesmen start to get douchier before the episode where it comes to a head. Everyone was suddenly, jarringly out of character, especially Jim. It was distracting, not funny.

March 19 2010 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LRM

Pleasantly surprised by this episode. Agreed that it definitely felt like one of the early seasons.

March 19 2010 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Edward

CGI on a dump location?

March 19 2010 at 10:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ac

I agree with Eric about the dump scenes. I was too busy looking at the fake background to listen to Michael and Dwight. Also what where Andy and Erin doing at the dump in the end?

And Jim was the nicest salesman in the office, he still annoyed Michael by making Michael sign his check. Also you can't fault Jim for trying to keep all his money, with a kid he now has to save for and all.

Darryl better stay in the office. He is entirely too underused. And how long has it been since there was a "thats what she said?"

March 19 2010 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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