The Office

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Secretary’s Day
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Just about everyone is gathered around Oscar's desk, watching a video of Kevin's voice set to footage of Sesame Street's Cookie Monster that Oscar has put together. Kevin joins the group, expecting to laugh with everyone else, but when he sees what's going on he pouts on past to his own desk, refusing requests to say "Me eat cookie." Everyone else wants Oscar to send them the link. "Angela, this is inappropriate!" Kevin appeals. She simply laughs, "This is my favorite day!" I don't know, it might be worth the mocking to have one day of sitting across from Angela while she's in a decent mood.

Andy's extremely excited about Secretary's Day, which happens to coincide with his and Erin's three-week anniversary. He's sent out multiple reminders to everyone, and they're stepping up, with everyone dropping off gifts, up to and including a bushel of beets from Dwight. "If it wasn't for secretaries, I wouldn't have a stepmom," Andy tells us happily. Another one of those jokes that's funny because it tells a story.

It also seems to be Pam's first day back from maternity leave, and she tells us how that went: "It rocked my ass off!" There's a dead plant on Pam's desk, which Jim didn't water because he didn't know it existed until this second, and Dwight didn't because "I chose to let it die." "Nice to see you again, Dwight," Pam says unconvincingly.

Andy's in Michael's office, leaning on him to take Erin out for lunch. Michael isn't sure: "She's kind of a rube," he says doubtfully. And not in a talking-head shot, either. Andy takes offense, but only until Michael agrees to lunch. Michael heads out to reception to ask her, and she even gets a picture of it happening.

In the break room, Meredith offers Kevin a cookie, but he refuses until Darryl says they're his birthday cookies. Kevin apologizes and accepts. "Nom nom nom nom!" Darryl teases. Kevin THs, "They're making fun of Cookie Monster. I get that. But in a strange way, it feels like they're making fun of me." Like Darryl sad, that's some stone-cold narcissism.

Kevin shows the video to Gabe, who at least acts sympathetic, calling it "violent and offensive." He offers Kevin a box of tissues, even though Kevin isn't crying. "You have some food on your face," Gabe explains. Then Gabe THs about how this is a chance to finally assert his authority with the Scranton crew. This should go well. In the bullpen, Gabe announces to everyone that talking, joking, or forwarding the video is now banned. He adds that this comes straight from corporate, so they'd better listen, and signs off with a dark, threatening, "Ciao." Which is just as dark and threatening as that sounds, which is to say, not at all.

Michael wants to listen to his book on tape in the car (a novelization of the movie Precious, based on the book Push by Sapphire, which is how Michael describes it) but Erin was hoping they could talk. "What decade would you have chosen to be a teenager?" Hers is the 1490s, because of America. Of course teenagers were also middle-aged in those days, so. At the restaurant, Erin's still trying to drag him into some kind of conversation, in her off-kilter, off-charming way, and getting nowhere. Like, talking about how she loves her job because she has her own desk, which she never had in the foster home. "Erin is just weird," Michael THs. Michael brings up Andy, and Erin wants to know about the pre-Erin version of Andy. Instead of delving into the old horndog, rageaholic, suck-up history of the Nard-Dog, Michael mentions his banjo-playing, his Easterish wardrobe, and the fact that he dated Angela, the last of which is news to Erin. Especially the part where they were engaged. Michael's briefly too distracted by the paucity of pickles on his burger (only five or six) to notice that Erin is having a meltdown, at least until she pushes all her hair in front of her face. "In the foster home, my hair was my room," she explains, and starts groaning like she's about to pass her own spleen. "I'll have what she's having," Michael jokes loudly to cover his embarrassment. Is the show trying to get angry letters from foster parents or something? Generally foster parents are too busy being foster parents, so it might be out of luck.

On the way back, it's Michael trying to make conversation while Erin is totally shut down, but all he's got is, "Did you like your lunch?"

Pam is lactating at her desk, and Dwight's typically decorous about it. She heads to the bathroom to find her breast pump, declining Dwight's gallant, self-sacrificing offer of a milking. "Three squeezes and I would drain you," he says. What are the chances she'll find it in the women's room? Well, there's Meredith, having herself a recreational suck. There's just not enough ew in the world.

Erin and Michael return from lunch, and head back to their respective places without a word to each other or anyone else. Angela drops something off at Reception, and Andy comes up to ask how it was, and she's pretty closed off. But then it's Oscar, of all people, who she snaps at when he comes up to ask about paper for the fax machine. Andy looks terrified. As he should.

There's a Secretary's Day gathering in the conference room, and Kelly and Jim take turns doing their Kevin/Cookie Monster voices. Jim's is better, but then Mindy Kaling wrote this episode, so she wins. Gabe says to leave it to Mad TV. "Sorry, Gabe, but that show hasn't been on in man-y cook-ies," Jim Cookie-Monsters. Gabe's plan is going swimmingly.

Andy takes a little dais to thank everyone for the party, especially Angela as the chair of the party planning committee. Michael, trying to fix things, pipes up nervously, "I think we can all agree that Angela's not so great." Andy disagrees until Michael uncomfortably orders, "Stop talking!" Andy begins a speech about Erin, who stares up at him dead-eyed, even as he straps on his guitar and harmonica to perform his original composition, "Secretary of Love." Is that a Cabinet-level position? But he doesn't get further than the count-off before Erin throws her cake in his face. Everyone's stunned into silence as Erin hurls accusations at him, and asks whether he slept with anyone else. Everyone's quick to deny it. She storms out, leaving the cake with her photo on it untouched. Gabe THs, "I should probably get involved in this, but I think my energy's better spent on the Cookie Monster issue." At least he's starting to recognize his limitations, even if it's a little late.

Kevin tells Erin he wouldn't have done that to her, and says he's right over there if she needs anything. Pam whispers to Jim in Cookie-Monster mode, "Hey, Erin, you're real delicious. I mean, beautiful." Enter Gabe, who suspends Pam for two days without pay. Jim mildly says he can't do that, so Gabe suspends him too. Slow clap from Dwight, which earns him his own suspension. "C is for suspension!" Kevin gloats triumphantly.

Andy's in Michael's office, but he's not exactly apologetic, telling him his conduct is "Mr. and Mrs. Smith crap." In fact he resents the expectation that he wouldn't have told Erin: "Everyone here knows that I can't and won't keep a secret." Andy hears that. Then there's a TH montage in which Andy goes from making excuses to a double facepalm.

Angela whispers to Erin over the divider. "You want to talk to me, come to my desk," Erin snaps. Angela flounces over and accuses, "You embarrassed me earlier." This devolves into an argument about which of them wants to throw up more thinking about her sleeping with Andy, until Toby steps in to...complain about the fax machine from where he's been standing, right behind Erin, this whole time. Just to let them know he's there, I think, for all the difference that makes.

Later, Pam goes up, ostensibly to fax something, but really to whisper to Erin, "I was engaged to someone before Jim. And he worked here, too." Erin of course thinks it was Andy at first, but Pam's point is, "It's not about who you've been with, it's about who you end up with. Sometimes t

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