Jim's back from paternity leave, and we shouldn't be surprised that Dwight has taken advantage of the Halperts' absence to create "Megadesk!" -- three desks combined into one. Jim's return puts a crimp in that, obviously, so Dwight starts messing with Jim's head to get him back out of the office, guilt-tripping him about being an absent father. Of course Jim turns the tables on Dwight in the end. Figuratively and literally.
Andy and Erin are finally going to have their first date, but Erin gets sent home sick. Andy does the same so he can go over to her place, but ends up getting cockblocked by Erin's foster brother Reed, who seems to think he has some kind of prior claim on Erin. Not that Erin appears to realize this, of course.
Jo's still spending time in the Scranton office -- lots and lots of time. She's still there well past closing time, and Michael is too afraid to cut himself and everyone loose for the night, especially after seizing on Jo's friendliness a bit too eagerly. But eventually everyone save Jo winds up celebrating the holiday at the bar, so it's a happy ending for everyone. Especially, it disturbs me to tell you, for Meredith.
Michael comes in wearing a green tie, and sees that Erin has put out a bowl of green M&Ms. "Nature's Viagra!" he brogues cheerfully. "Two of my favorite joke areas combined. Gonna be a good day." For him, maybe. The rest of us are liable to find this episode's jokes disappointing.
Kelly and Ryan enter the bullpen bickering about something, and Meredith tells them not on St. Patrick's day. It's her one perfect day with no hassles and no kids. Ryan wonders what she means by that. "Not today," she says. Michael VOs about the significance of St. Patrick's Day, as we see various employees modeling their green garments: "It's the closest that the Irish will ever get to Christmas."
It's Jim's first day back from paternity leave, and everyone gives him a big greeting -- except for Dwight, who has put his, Pam's, and Jim's desks together into one giant "Megadesk!" I used to work at a Megadesk!, but it came that way. Also, we called it the podium, and the "surveillance" computers were limited to phone activity rather than hallway camera feeds, and the "gaming" computer was more like the "recaps" computer. "Jim's like, "Okay," and starts dragging his part of the desk back into place without bothering to move any of Dwight's crap off of it. Dwight talking-heads about "Tweedledee and "Tweedledumb-ass," the latter of whom is back. "Yes, getting hooked on Megadesk! was my own damn fault." But he doesn't want to point fingers. He just wants more and more Megadesk!
Jo Bennett enters, with Gabe and her two giant dogs in tow. She THs that this is her last day at the Scranton branch. She says she'll miss the place, and the people, and the snow, which her dogs love peeing in. "Makes me think they're onto somethin'."
Jo has her workspace set up in the conference room, and Michael brings her a little gift: a literal lump of coal. Except it's presented all pretty in an acrylic cube from the Anthracite Museum. Jo thanks him and kids around a bit, and says if he ever comes down to Tallahassee, "You got a place to stay." She's just being overly polite, but Michael, because gestures of friendship directed at him are so rare, figures he's in.
Andy visits Erin at Reception, modeling a kilt. "It's actually my sister's old field hockey skirt," he tells her. He THs that it's their first date, and it has to be perfect, as he knows from How I Met Your Mother.
Jim comes back to the bullpen from the bathroom to find Megadesk! back in place. Dwight begs for five more minutes of Megadesk!, but Jim just starts knocking shit off his section. Dwight THs about the expression that no man is an island. "False!" Dwight insists that he is an island. A volcanic island, "about to erupt with the molten hot lava of strategy."
Pam has e-mailed Jim a photo of Cecilia in a St. Patrick's day outfit, and is telling him all about her activities at home today. Pam is convinced that the baby is very ironic. You'd think she'd have to be. Jim gets off the phone, and the strategy eruption begins, as Dwight starts going on about all the stuff Jim's missing. "Must be tough being here with that going on," he says. "Oh, it's tough being here for a lot of reasons," Jim agrees. Dwight wonders if the baby thinks the fridge is her father (and I wonder if she wishes it would come back into the house). "Is that what happened to you?" Jim asks. It's not far off. Dwight says he turned out fine, but not Mose. "Same story, different ending." Jim starts looking like this might be something to be taken seriously. I mean, suggesting your baby might grow up to be Mose, that's going nuclear.
Angela hears Erin having a sneezing fit, and asks if she's sick. Erin denies it, but Angela still puts on her personalized flu mask, with her name embroidered on it, to go back to work. Erin says she doesn't want to miss her date with Andy, and she's never sick for more than a few hours anyway. "Except once when I was in the hospital from age three to six."
Jo has everyone, including the warehouse staff, gathered in the bullpen for a "town hall meeting," hoping to get ideas from them. Or at least pretending to. She calls on Oscar. "Homosexual accountant," Michael whispers in her ear. After some brief discussion about Sabre's minority executive training program (known as, what else, "Print in All Colors), Jo calls on Darryl. "Mellow, soulful, smart for warehouse," Michael coaches. Jo shushes him. Darryl's suggestion is to ship paper and printers separately for greater efficiency. He's even got a diagram drawn out to show her what he has in mind. Michael's patronizing about it, but Jo's so impressed she offers Darryl an office upstairs. Looks like Gabe will have to clear his stuff out of Jim's old spot. Jo asks the group for more ideas, reminding them she's leaving tonight. Michael is all spazzy about it, and she tries to play it off, saying it's not that far to Florida. Unfolding a printout, Michael asks, "How about July Fourth weekend?" Jo's like, "Oh, you didn't buy tickets?" Of course he did. Jo starts making excuses, and Michael starts talking about the multiple flights he's booked, until Jo snaps, "Enough!" Into the uncomfortable silence, Michael tells everyone to put a brave face on it.
Michael THs about the sequence of events: "Jo likes Michael, Jo invites Michael to house, Jo doesn't like Michael any more..." Double face-palm.
Darryl carries a box of his stuff into the bullpen, humming the Jeffersons theme, as one must in these circumstances. Michael bursts into the conference room where Jo is working and says he's taking her to lunch, since she's clearly stressed. When she declines, he says he'll be on the other side of the wall and she can knock. She asks pointedly how many knocks it'll take to get him to do some work. Jo, it all depends on where you knock him.
Jim's on a sales call, when Dwight interrupts to say his headphones are broken and asks if he can listen to his music at low volume. Jim nods to get rid of him, so Dwight pulls out his headphone jack, flooding the entire office with the strains of the absent father anthem "Cats in the Cradle" and singing along. Jim reaches over and shuts it off, but the damage is done. Andy continues the song, with Dwight joining in.
Jim's on the phone to Pam in the lobby, and then he THs that he's not surprised Dwight is using his baby to steal his desk. "I'm a little surprised that it's working."
Erin tries to deliver Jo a fax, but Jo shoos her away to go home before he makes the dogs sick. Erin's protests are for naught. From his desk, Andy looks on, pained. He THs bravely that they'll go out next week. "She's still gonna like me in a week...right?" Aw, Andy. But yes, I understand his concern.
Andy goes into Jo's office and also pretends to be sick, and she sends him off too. "Probably feel better once you get some pants on." He looks quite jaunty kilting across the parking lot, though.
Michael comes into Darryl's new office, and asks how he did it. Darryl says it was his good ideas, but Michael is seriously wondering about Jo's family and Darryl's family and a "past injustice." Darryl turns his attention to his computer monitor and asks Michael to leave, "So I can learn about this tiny television." Michael barely stops himself in time from commencing a lesson.