The Office
Shareholders Meeting

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M. Giant: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Michael's Big Mouth
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Enter Dwight, clad head-to-toe in a black costume that...oh, God, I don't even know where to start. The Samurai sword on his back is the subtlest touch in an ensemble built out of black protective pads, more hobby weapons, a motorcycle helmet with a single eye pasted on the center of the visor, and an LED display on his chest that keeps flashing, "KILL." "Not again," Oscar says wearily. "Bow down before Recyclops!" Dwight bellows.

Jim's got some retconning to do. He explains how Corporate imposed a recycling program five years ago, and Dwight took the lead, "And introduced us to a very close friend of his named Recyclops." What follows is a completely awesome montage of Recyclops through the seasons, starting when he just showed up in an Earth Day t-shirt and a green Cyclops bandanna around his forehead while Jim and his slacker bangs were draped over a reception desk staffed by a frizzy-haired Pam. Jim's narration continues, as Recyclops evolves through a parade of receptionists that includes Ryan and that middle-aged lady whose name I can't remember. "Then tragedy struck Recyclops," Jim talking-heads, "when his fictional planet was attacked by some other fictitious thing I can't remember." Then we're back to today, when Pam excitedly tells everyone, "Look, it's Recyclops!" "Recyclops destroy!" Dwight howls, hurling crap on the floor. "Oh, is today Recyclops day?" Stanley asks mildly. "I though you were killed by Polluticon or something." Dwight sprays an aerosol, ignoring Andy's protests that it's terrible for the environment. "Humans are terrible for the environment!" Dwight retorts, leaving a path of destruction to the annex. Pam talking-heads next to Jim, "The thing I like most about Recyclops is that he's creating a different world for our child. A world where you truly can be anything you want." Dwight is seen sweatily sucking a soda can dry in the break room, then missing the recycling bin by a mile. Cyclopses have terrible depth perception just by definition, you know.

Michael is making everyone help him rehearse for some kind of brief greeting, then THs that the CEO is going to introduce him at the upcoming shareholders meeting "as the most successful branch manager that they have." He's trying to be cool about it, but he's either really stuffed up or more verklempt about this honor than he's letting on. Michael tries one wave with a twirl thrown in, which everyone tells him to leave out. He says he's not going to do it, plus it's not even a twirl, but a spin, "I might do the spin."

Oscar runs down the company's situation for Michael: saddled with bad investments, and short on cash. Which is still too complicated for Michael. Suddenly everyone is excited to see a full stretch limousine in the parking lot, presumably for Michael, who expected a town car. He THs that a limo is a sign that a company has cause for celebration, "And in this case I think they are celebrating me." The whole staff runs down to admire it. "It's like what high school kids take to prom on TV shows," Erin marvels excitedly. Michael starts inviting everyone along, until hearing that it only seats eight, so he has to pick and choose. And presumably that eight counts the documentarians. Pam and Jim pass, as does "Ryan and a guest" ("I'll use it when you're done," Ryan smirks), so it's down to who raises their hand. Which includes a very cynical Oscar, who THs that the company's stock symbol, DMI, stands for "dummies, morons, and idiots...And as one of those idiots, I believe the board owes me answers."

As the limo gets underway, Michael, Dwight, Andy and Oscar are in the back, acting like high school kids gong to prom. The divider goes up. Because the driver is closing it.

Back at the office, Jim tries to get Ryan to do some Rolodex/Outlook thing, which Ryan tries to talk his way out of on the grounds that the company is going under. It doesn't work. Which is to say, Jim wants him to do it anyway. Which is not the same thing as saying that Ryan will actually do it.

After the limo arrives at Corporate, a handler named Laurie meets Michael, who takes his leave of the other three as they wish him luck. Eventually Michael is led into the inner sanctum, where Wallace greets him and starts introducing him around to people like the CEO and a nameless former congressman, played by the guy who sometimes shows up on Burn Notice as Virgil (apparently he feels at home on Thursday nights). Michael hasn't really blown it yet, other than bowing and addressing the ex-congressman as "Your Eminence."

Downstairs, Dwight gets in line behind one of the microphones set up for shareholders' questions. But the other one has no people in line, so he goes for that one. But while he's on his way, that one racks up a bunch of people, and so does the original one before he gets back to it. He lamenting-heads that he was hoping to ask Michael's softball early so he could "swing by the Garment District, pick up a few crates of my shirts."

Meanwhile, as Oscar and Andy find their seats, Andy encourages Oscar -- who seems to have lost his nerve on the long, crazy limo ride -- to stand up for himself so he can have something to tell his grandkids. "How is he going to have grandkids?" Dwight asks from the line.

On the walk down to the stage door, Michael quizzes the security guy he's walking next to about who he's protected before. The guy tries to be all Ving Rhames in Dave, but finally drops the name "Nelly Furtado," which impresses Michael. He's all excited to enter the hall, until the doors open, he and the brass enter, and are met with a huge chorus of boos. Oh, yeah, Michael seems to have forgotten that shareholders meetings are less like rock concerts when the company is broken.

After the ads, the CEO is trying to handle the meeting. Michael whispers to Wallace that this isn't as fun as he expected. "It was fun when we weren't on the brink of bankruptcy," whispers back Wallace, who should really know better. Because Michael repeats it into his live mic. In fact, who the hell thought it would be a good idea to give Michael a live mic in the first place? After Dwight refuses to let a lady in front of him go to the bathroom without losing her place, the CEO introduces Michael, who stands stiffly with one hand raised in a frozen wave. There are one or two people clapping for him, and they're probably Dwight and Andy. So much for Michael's big moment. The announcement of a waste repurposing plant gets a bigger hand, for Pete's sake.

Back at the office, Jim is mildly taking Phyllis to task for taking a two-hour liquid lunch, and claiming he's as much of a boss as Michael. Stanley chuckles, and Phyllis adds, "Not like you can fire people or anything." Jim stammers, asking who told them that. "We can't say," Stanley says, even as Phyllis says, "Ryan." Jim asks the whole bullpen who's heard this. Everyone raises a hand. Including, reluctantly, Pam. Jim asks who heard it from Ryan. Nobody raises their hand. Until Kevin asks if e-mail counts, at which point everyone does. Jim asserts that he can do anything Michael can. "Who here believes that I have as much power as Michael?" Nobody raises their hand, except Pam, and even she's a little late. "I forgot I have to support him no matter what," she THs. "Close one."

At the shareholders meeting, Andy is still encouraging Oscar to speak up. He THs about how he incited 500 kids to walk out in the SATs, but chickened out himself at the last minute and got a 1220. "I feel lachrymose," he concludes.

The meeting is still getting out of hand, with someone calling the board criminals. Michael speaks up in defense of how nice they are, and Wallace should really see where this is going, but he just sits there blankly as Michael starts talking about the free food and the hospitality suite and the stretch limo they sent for him in Scranton. The shareholders don't seem to appreciate that expense as much as Michael might have expected them to. In fact, this is on the verge of turning into a riot.

Jim watches Ryan goofing of

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