The Office

Episode Report Card
Miss Alli: B+ | 2 USERS: A-

Michael and Jan are meeting, and Pam's trapped in the room, taking notes. Michael claims not to have received the agenda Jan says she sent, and when he tries to upbraid Pam for not giving it to him, Pam busts him about sending it to the secret mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Trashcan. Michael glances at Jan and blames this on a joke. His brother's joke! Not even his joke! Faaaamily joke! Jan looks down at the papers in her lap and silently poaches in her distaste for him. Jan is angry at this moment that she doesn't have any friends, because she someone to call after this meeting so she can lead with, "Oh my GOD, Michael Scott is such a DOUCHE." When her teeth finally unclench, Jan breaks the news that either the Scranton branch or the Stamford branch will be absorbed by the other, and both branches should be prepared to argue in favor of self-preservation. She says there will be downsizing, and Michael babbles his way through a weak protest, which could be seen as advocacy for his employees, but is actually rooted in the character trait that will drive much of the first six episodes: his dread of delivering bad news, lest it make people stop adoring him. [Crickets.]

Dwight tries to prank Jim by tapping him on the shoulder. Jim turns; Dwight cackles. It may be based on a British sitcom, but it sure feels like a Sartre play.

Back in the meeting, the phone rings, and Michael sees on the caller ID that it's Todd Packer, so he picks up. God punishes those who choose to take calls from tooly "pals" during meetings with supervisors, so of course, Packer calls Michael a "big queen," refers to Jan as "Godzillary," and inquires about the carpet and its matching of the drapes, at which point Michael finally manages to hang up the phone, saying, "Thaaat's horrifying." Jan ignores it, telling him not to leak the information about the downsizing. She has learned to ignore so much. It's like the thing about the frog in the pot of boiling water, where the frog is Jan and the pot is Michael and the boiling water is having people ask about her pubic hair during meetings.

We cut immediately and unsurprisingly to leak aftermath, with Phyllis leaning over to bug Stanley about what downsizing actually involves. Phyllis and Stanley chat in the lunchroom with Oscar. Angela frets to Kevin. Short version? Everybody knows. Jim and Pam aren't on this topic, though. Instead, got his elbows on the reception desk in his standard stance, and she's trying to keep a straight face while asking whether he'll be attending Angela's cat party. He shuts her down. Michael THs that he would never tell anyone about the possible downsizing. Why upset them? "As a doctor," he says, "you would not tell a patient if they had cancer." One part dried-up weasel, one part childlike wonder. Shake well; pour down drain; harmful if swallowed.

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The Office




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