In Deangelo's absence, Jo has appointed Dwight acting manager. That's only because Jim turned her down, but still, the damage is done. In just one short week, he finds plenty of new ways to make everyone miserable, although there are some nice Jim vs. Dwight moments that evoke the old days when this show was still consistently funny. Things go badly enough, but then Dwight decides to go literal gunslinger, and accidentally fires a vintage revolver, perforating the carpet and half-deafening Andy. The good news is that with Jo coming for a visit, the staff now has something to hold over Dwight's head to get what they want. Which, in Jim's case, consists entirely of embarrassing Dwight.
As Andy and Erin hang out in the office more, Gabe is becoming increasingly unglued, having a meltdown in front of Andy to prevail upon him to promise never to date Erin again. And his attempt to bust Andy on it in front of Erin later doesn't exactly backfire, but it doesn't work, either.
Jo's visit goes fine, but then Dwight decides to come clean rather than submit to the blackmail. Any hope he might have had that Jo would be impressed by his confession is dashed when she immediately strips him of the job, forever and ever. Now she has to find a new manager, which will explain the Snake River Canyon jump of stuntcasting coming up for next week's finale. When it probably would have been funnier to just leave the new interim manager in place, determined by seniority. Yes, that would be Creed.
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The party planning committee, plus Jim and Dwight, are sitting around in the conference room without a table discussing what to get their comatose boss for a gift. Dwight pushes for a survival-basket in case he wakes up after the apocalypse, but is outvoted. So how are things going without a manager? Jim THs, "Unless you're a young child or a prison inmate, you don't need anyone supervising you. People just come in and do their work on their schedule." Most people do look pretty busy, aside from Andy and Ryan playing foosball in the vacant manager's office. "Must be because the stakes are so high," Jim snarks.
In fact, Jim has just gotten off the phone with Jo, having declined an offer to take over as acting manager. "I don't want to mess this up," he explains to Pam. "There's a consensus. People are happy." Just then Dwight's phone rings, and even Jim knows what that means. "Yes, I would," he says. "Thank you." With all appropriate drama, Dwight moves to take over the manager's office. "What have you done?" Pam murmurs to Jim in horror. From the manager's desk, Dwight calls Mose and says, "You'll never guess where I am right now." Mose, over the phone: "AAAAAAAHHH!!"
Well, Dwight does have top billing in the interim credits, after all, and at the end, he reaches out and adjusts a little shogun figure on his desk, where the Deangelo's southwestern figure used to live, and Michael's Dundie before that. Can't wait to see what's there in next week's credits.
Pam gets out of the car in the parking lot, but Jim can't bring himself to follow. In a TH in the parking lot, Jim tells us Dwight has been acting manager for three months... no, a week. There's a time clock they have to punch, oversized business cards that list all their titles as "Junior Employee," and staggered lunch breaks, with Jim's at 10:30. "Stop stalling," Pam tells him. Jim staggers toward the door.
They're also doing the pledge of allegiance every morning, although Oscar pointedly skips the "under God." During the morning announcements, Dwight tells them to stop sharing copier codes with each other, and mentions an impending visit from Jo later today, so no fomenting insurrection. Jim briefly succeeds in sidetracking him with questions about fomenting, but it's a small victory.
Dwight busts Kelly coming in late, and quickly makes it weird and inappropriate, so that helped make up for lost time.
Gabe sees Andy chatting with Erin at Reception, and hauls him into the conference room, shutting the door and closing the shades so we can only see their faces through narrow cracks. Anyway, Gabe's point, which he makes tearfully, is that he needs to get Erin back because he can't be alone any more. "Do you like being alone with me right now?" "No, this is horrifying," Andy admits. Gabe gets him to promise that they'll never date again, and after a minute so "no one will know" he was crying, emerges from the room with a frozen rictus of a death-grin that's even worse than his normal smile.