The Office
Branch Closing

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Branch Closing

Back to the story. For the second time that day, Jan arrives at the Scranton branch, looking for Michael. Of course no one knows where he is. Seeing everyone working even less than usual, she asks what's going on. It's Phyllis, of all people, telling her in a resentful tone that they know about the branch closing and the jig is up. So Jan throws any disclosure guidelines out the window and just tells everyone that it's Stamford that's closing, and all of their jobs are safe. Kevin and Angela actually hug, and Phyllis hugs a visibly disappointed Stanley. Pam asks a departing Jan what Michael did to pull it off. Jan just tells Pam to call Michael and give him the news. Pam asks the reverse of the question Jim's been asking all day, which is whether anyone's coming back to Scranton. Er, that is, coming to Scranton. Not back. Not back to Scranton, in the sense that she's thinking about anyone who left Scranton for Stamford and thus might be coming back, no indeedy. Jan distractedly says, "Probably, a few."

Michael's about ready to give up the stakeout for some food, but Dwight nixes that idea. Michael's cell phone does what Michael's cell phone does in lieu of simply ringing, but he's not taking any calls from the office. "Not until I have some good news for them," he resolves. Shouldn't his ringtone be Alanis Morissette's "Ironic"?

Andy annoyingly asks Jim if he's going to transfer to Stamford. Jim hasn't made up his mind yet. Of course, the whole conversational gambit is an excuse for Andy to boast about how he'll be fine either way and name-drop Cornell again. "Where'd you go to college?" Jim asks. Andy takes the question seriously and turns back to his work, the wind taken out of his carnelian-and-white sails. Jim gives the camera a won't miss that guy grin. No, Jim. No, you won't.

In the Scranton break room, Pam tells Ryan that some people might be coming from Stamford. "Is Jim coming back?" Ryan blurts almost accusatorially, and Pam pretends it hadn't occurred to her. "I just don't want it to be weird," Ryan says. Pam looks busted, but Ryan's talking about his having taken Jim's job and desk. Silly Pam, assuming Ryan was thinking about someone besides Ryan. Suddenly Kelly comes screeching in, kissing his whole head and saying they don't have to break up now. "I don't know. Can't explain it," Ryan shyly mumbling-heads, almost likable for a moment there.

In Stamford, Karen asks Jim what his plan is. He still doesn't know, and he's surprised to hear that Karen's considering transferring to Scranton. Jim's amazed that a big-city girl like her wouldn't go to New York instead. Of course, he's taking her words at face value instead of their coded meaning, which is, "Do you like me?" And Karen, running Jim's guileless response through the same filter, hears, "No." She bravely pretends not to be hurt by the perceived rejection, but even Jim isn't fooled. Not that he knows what to do about it at this point.

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The Office




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