The Office
Launch Party

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Launch Party

We open in the conference room, where Michael is giving a typically boring presentation about something or other. Yet all the staffers are leaning forward, intently staring in his direction, uttering disappointed sounds at intervals. Soon enough, we learn why: it's nothing to do with Michael, but has more to do with the DVD screensaver on the TV. Jim interviews that it bounces off the sides of the screen, and keeps looking like it's about to go into the corner, and then doesn't. He adds that Pam claims to have seen it go into the corner once, when she was alone in the conference room. Cut to Pam's interview, where she Elliot Reids that she knows Jim was the one who cast suspicion on her story, but that she did see it. Back to the meeting: Michael yammers on, and everyone watches the screensaver square anxiously, and then...it happens! Right into the corner. Of course, this coincides with the end of one of Michael's sentences, so he thinks all the cheering is for him and not a collection of pixels. Everyone gets up to leave, and Michael happily waves them off, deciding to end on a high note. Once everyone's gone, Michael is interviewed saying that some days, he's just "on fire" -- framed, with tragic irony, right in front of his competition! That square has magnetism that would put an inanimate carbon rod to shame.

After the credits, Meredith comes hobbling over to Jim's desk to thank him for coming to visit her in the hospital. Jim downplays that everyone came to see her, but she's especially grateful to him. He's like, "...Okay." She hands him a Sharpie, asking if he'll sign her cast. Jim cheerfully agrees, but soon is made to rue his agreeable cheerfulness as she hikes up her skirt, exposing said cast: encasing her entire pelvis, of course, it looks like a huge plaster diaper. It's...well, it's burned on my brain, now. So much for sleeping tonight. But Jim is a man of his word, signing her left hip as quickly as he can. Meredith says she'll read it when she gets home, and canes her way back toward her desk, seeming to take her time to lower her skirt again. What happened to singling Jim out?!

Michael comes into the office, a garment bag hooked in his finger. Pam stops him and hands him a press release Ryan wanted him to share with everyone. Michael gets everyone's attention to announce that he'll be going to a big party in New York that night, with sushi and important people. Jim quietly asks whether that's what Ryan wanted everyone to know, so Michael actually takes the time to read the press release, informing us that the Dunder Mifflin Infinity website will be launching that day. Michael interviews that since the site is the brainchild of Michael's brainchild, Ryan, the website is his braingrandchild. Certainly Michael is believable as a braingrandfather -- one who drools and forgets things and occasionally poops himself. Anyway, to celebrate the launch, each of the branches will be holding its own party, and all will be linked via webcam (how 1997) to the big party in New York, which is for VIPs, like Michael himself. You can tell how excited Michael is to get out of the sticks of Scranton and closer to Sbarro. Back in the bullpen, Michael reads from the press release that the company is projecting that by 6 PM, "the website will be the company's best salesman." Michael adds parenthetically that Dwight should look out, though Dwight -- whose grief over the end of his relationship with Angela has caused him to forget how to shave, apparently -- refuses to believe that he can be beaten by a website. Kelly asks whether it says Ryan's seeing anyone, but curiously, Ryan has decided not to release that information to the media. Still, Michael tells her he'll find out, and Stanley drawls that he should keep them posted. Dwight challenges the website to a sales contest. "Waste of time," mutters Angela. "What's that, pipsqueak?" asks Michael, in the first of tonight's many references on his part to Angela's diminutive size, like he just noticed it today. Anyway, Angela and Dwight natter back and forth, all subtexty, about whether he can do it and whether she cares.

Pam breaks in here to interview, for those just tuning in, that "Dwight mercy-killed Angela's cat." She says that it's caused "a lot of unpleasantness" -- more so than usual given the naturally unpleasant participants in this particular psychodrama.

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