Dwight may be the best Enforcer/Assistant (to the) Regional Manager he’s ever seen, but last night, we saw his frustration at being perpetually Number Two boil over. For a guy who dreamed to live in a world where two was the most powerful number, Dwight’s vision for the future did not include standing by while Dunder Mifflin continued to mess up and face Robert’s displeasure. Enter the Accountability Booster. In terms of Dwight’s all time great horrible ideas, a machine that recorded errors hits the all-time Top Ten list, right up there with Dwight bringing a gun to work, or setting the office on fire to teach everyone a lesson.
New boss Andy, of course, was still Mr. Good Times, which last night involved singing everyone off with “Closing Time” at 5:00 each day, a song that, like Pam, I definitely don’t know all the words to. Andy may be a collegiate a cappella man, but that would get annoying super-fast — and it did, for everyone but Stanley. I love Stanley, and I think he’s been put to really good use this season. His bright smiles never fail to make me chuckle and his dry explanation that, “When I first heard it I did not care for it. But that song means it’s time to go home. Now it’s my favorite song,” was perfectly in character. Speaking of winning Stanley moments, a giant Well Played! to the writers for tabling the “…and shove it up your BUTT!” joke for a few episodes, and then bringing it back tonight when the Dunder Mifflin tension was the highest.
Last night’s problems kicked off when Robert California dropped by the office for a weekly talk. While the Nard Dog preferred to chat cute about nicknames, Robert was more concerned about the shocking number of errors that are committed on a daily basis. He’s clearly new around there. Dwight had a solution that he was able to easily sell Andy on: a machine that would send out a horrible disclosure to Robert if the Dunder Mifflin crew hit five mistakes in one day. “Without a safety net, people will improve,” Dwight assured Andy.
Obviously, everyone freaked out, especially after Dwight read off some emails that would be going out if the group failed. But Dwight wasn’t selling out his co-workers with the Accountability Booster Doomsday Device Bad Idea, he just didn’t think the branch deserved to be around if they weren’t meeting at least basic competency levels. With just a few small changes in circumstance, Dwight could be a very powerful dictator of a small country. Error reporting was, obviously, a horrible idea, because in the understatement of the entire series, Andy proclaimed, “The thing about this office is, we make a lot of mistakes.”
They tried their best, but the gang couldn’t make it through a day without errors — loved the masking tape red Xs that appeared at reception — so they all begged Dwight to turn the machine off. He refused (“You can’t change the rules just because you don’t like the outcome”) and peaced out to Schrute Farms. Those horse graves weren’t going to dig themselves.
NEXT: A field trip to Schrute Farms and Gabe’s new crush!