Remember all the scary downsizing rumors from the first couple of seasons? It's nothing compared to the bankruptcy rumors that come down the pike today. With no information coming in other than rumor, conjecture and bad omens, Jim tries to help everyone cope by concentrating on their work. But Michael insists on distracting everyone with one of those murder party games. Now, in addition to bankruptcy rumors, everyone is also having to listen to each other's Southern accents of varying terribleness. Jim tries to keep things on track, but after Wallace gives him a bit of news that would seem to confirm the worst, he joins right in with the game. "For the kids," as he puts it. Meanwhile, Andy finally asks Erin out, but since there's some confusion as to whether one or more of them was in character for either the invitation or the acceptance, it ends up falling through. So I guess the moral is that murder party games are good for just about any situation aside from asking someone out.
Phyllis comes at Dwight with some kind of screaming karate move that looks like a double eye-poke, but Dwight seizes her arm and subjects her to a flurry of punishing counterattacks. All fake, of course. From his office door, Jim just wearily points to a flyer reading: "TODAY ONLY: Dwight Schrute presents THIS YEAR IN MARTIAL ARTS: Updates, advancements, and etc." "Because as we all know," Jim talking-heads, "the one thing that thousand-year-old martial arts do all the time is change." Dwight demonstrates a throat-punch on Meredith, so Jim responds by getting him bogged down in how Dwight would defend against a throat-punch by Dwight. "Oh, my God, he's making you look like such a fool," Jim sympathizes. He keeps egging Dwight on until Dwight finally sucker-cockpunches himself. Yes, that fight had a clear winner, but I don't think it was either of the Dwights.
Andy's telling Michael about his past in stand-up when Dwight asks the meaning of a mass e-mail from David Wallace, downplaying a current article in the Journal as "conjecture." Michael asks Erin about the journal. "Your feelings journal? You told me to put it in the time capsule," she says. Meanwhile, Oscar has found the first part of the article on WSJ online, so everyone gathers around his desk. But there's not much to the article before they run up against the 1.99 access fee, which Jim quickly covers somehow, only to have Phyllis read that Dunder Mifflin is rumored to be ready to declare bankruptcy. Everyone frets about that, even as Dwight offers them all jobs at Schrute Farms as human scarecrows. "It doesn't pay much and you can't unionize," he warns.
In his office, Michael tries to get Wallace on the phone, then acts all nonchalant upon hearing that he's in a meeting. But then Kevin just about catches Michael throwing up in the bathroom, although Michael downplays by claiming he was only pooping. Way to play it cool.
In the break room, Kelly wonders if this is the last time they'll all see each other. Andy takes a wistful look at Erin, then THs that he likes her, as though we hadn't gotten that memo. He was hoping she'd ask him out, but now, "It is time for the Nard-Dog to take matters into his own paws."
Jim sees that everyone is clustered around the bullpen talking, and somewhere "Lullaby" by Shawn Mullins is playing loudly. You know, the "Everything's gonna be all right" song. Jim walks into Michael's office, turns down the song on Michael's computer, and says they have to do something. Michael suggests finding a distraction, but Jim naively assumes they can lead by example and get back to work -- starting with the monthly staff meeting.