Later, in his interview, Michael is coming to some realizations: man has no need for nature, or else he wouldn't have fashioned for himself an existence full of television and comfy futons. "I don't need the woods, I have my wood desk. I don't need fresh air, I have the freshest air around: a/c." Rather than open spaces, Michael points us to the Grand Canyon wallpaper on his computer monitor. It can also be blue skies. I am weirdly onboard with Michael's ideas about nature.
Back at the party, Michael hunkers down next to Jim. "Sure glad you're back," says Jim, and for the first time ever, he actually means it. Jim says how he tried to combine all the birthdays, and Michael chuckles knowingly. "I did that," Michael admits. "Rookie mistake." He says in ten years, Jim will figure it out. Jim doesn't think he'll still be here in ten years. "That's what I said," says Michael. And while Jim's face registers that he is, in fact, going to be experiencing the "do I want more out of my life?" conundrum that will no doubt be the next great obstacle in his relationship with Pam, Michael obliviously continues down his own train of thought: "That's what she said." Of course, it doesn't make any sense in that context, as Jim points out: "That's what who said?" Michael: "I never know. I just say it. You know, to lighten the tension when things get hard." Jim: "That's what she said." And then the once and future Michael Scotts share a dorky laugh together. Jim has been assimilated.