The Office
Branch Wars

Episode Report Card
Wing Chun: B- | Grade It Now!
Branch Wars

Hey, do you guys remember Karen? She was all over Season 3 -- Jim/Pam 'shippers loathed her for no rational cause? Well, after Jim dumped her, she didn't curl up and die, and now we join her at her new gig: she's the regional manager at Dunder Mifflin Utica. She's on the phone, making a job offer to someone in Scranton...BUT WHO?! Oh, by the way -- I've never seen a promo for the show. I'm Amish!

In Scranton, Michael's spent, I'm guessing, several hours rigging up a mannequin to look like him and give the impression that he's sleeping at his desk when, in fact, he won't be in the office at all. Michael excitedly tells the camera that no one will know the truth. Dwight says he will, because he'll be out with Michael, playing hooky (he will? I guess if he's doing it with Michael, he can make the argument that he's officially authorized to do so), though Michael mumbles that, most of the time, he'll actually be hanging out with Ryan, or Darryl. Stanley enters, and Michael giddily tells him to go out and come back in again, so that he can demo his brilliant mannequin ruse. Stanley says he doesn't understand why it's any better for Michael to be sleeping at his desk than just not in the office, and anyway, he doesn't want to mess around, and instead announces, "I got an offer from Utica for more money, and I'm gonna take it." He trudges out again, leaving Michael and Dwight dumbfounded on the floor, and the dummy with its hand back up in the air like it's mad Stanley's leaving it hanging.

After the credits, Michael sternly comes out to the bullpen and announces that Stanley got a better offer from Karen and is planning to leave the branch. Stanley beams, and everyone starts applauding and offering their congratulations, but Michael shuts that down, pissily saying that they misinterpreted his tone. He asks why Karen would have made Stanley this offer. Stanley primly says it was probably because of his sales record, but Michael says that couldn't possibly be it, and conjectures that this is Karen's way of getting back at the branch because Jim dumped her. Jim is not so sure. I am not so sure Michael is wrong, for once. Karen does seem vindictive, and though this is a pretty roundabout way for her to get revenge on Jim, maybe it's the only opportunity that's presented itself. Michael interviews that the office won't survive losing its "hilarious black guy." He enumerates all the things Stanley brings to the table -- bluesy wisdom, crossword puzzle, watery red eyes -- and muses that he doesn't know how George Bush bounced back after Colin Powell left the Cabinet. Ha! Michael's bottom line is that he won't let Stanley go. Oh, good, Michael has another project. I hope someone stops him before he organizes a Stanley fun run.

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