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The Office recap: Take One for the Team

Pam and Jim end up on opposite sides of the copier versus office chair debate, while Dwight overplays his hand with Angela

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The Office
Paul Drinkwater/NBC

The Office

TV Show
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Good evening, my little binder clips, and welcome to this recap of what was, if not the weakest Office in a long while, certainly the broadest. Like, poop joke broad. Like, head wound broad. Like, Gallagher-smashing-a-watermelon broad, the kind of episode that sped right by because I barely had to stop to write anything down. I usually fill up a good six pages of a legal pad while watching this show. Tonight I used one, front and half of the back.

Here’s your biggest problem: Michael Scott was suddenly and for no good reason transformed into a massive simpleton this evening, the kind of guy who cannot pronounce “axis” or “ergonomically.” Tanking one of those words is funny, because Michael frequently tanks words. Tanking two is lazy, as is asking us to believe that a guy who’s been regionally managing the same workplace for a very, very long time has never confronted a budget surplus. But okay, so he’s never confronted a budget surplus. Still, when Oscar walked in to tell him they were ending the year $4,300 in the black and needed to spend that cash immediately to maintain the same budget for the following year, there’s just no reason for him not to get it. It is not that hard. I am really, really bad at math, and I pretty much got it right away. A 5-year-old could have gotten it right away, even without the lemonade stand analogy. Why? Because “We need to spend $4,300 immediately” is not hard to understand. And while Michael has always been a bit thick and a bunch socially inept, he’s never been flat-out dumb.

Eventually he got it, though, or pretended to, and moved on to deciding how to spend the cash. Oscar wanted a new copier. Pam wanted new chairs. Toby wanted to use it to examine the air quality for silent killers, and was immediately banished back to the annex. (So much for bonding over a nice caprese salad.) It was time to take sides. But other than Jim going Team Copier — seems he’s been using the machine himself as a courtesy ever since hooking up with the office copy girl — and Stanley going Team Chair, I have no idea who went which way, which seems like a missed opportunity. There is nothing the misfits of Dunder Mifflin do better than wage small wars against one another, but they are usually waged with ever so much more specificity; this was just one big generalized mess of sucking up to Michael, who was having a hell of a time pooping out a decision.

NEXT: Dwight loses ground with Angela