''The Office'' recap: After hours
”The Office” recap: After hours
”Best. Night. Ever.” Oh, so true, Michael. Poor, sweet, innocent, horny Michael. I guess I knew it was going to be a good episode of The Office when I had two pages of scribbled notes before the first commercial break. A whole nine minutes into this episode, and I felt a euphoric high. Who needs drugs when you can get all yipped up on Must See TV?
Dunder Mifflin was having some minor issues with the launch of its new website — it couldn’t process sales, and it was infiltrated by sexual predators. I wasn’t sure what they were talking about because the Internet always works flawlessly for me. I should mention I’m writing this in a Starbucks, because my Internet is ”currently unavailable.” I wish the Internet would let me know its schedule so I could try to connect with it at a more convenient time. Anyway, because of technical issues, and because Ryan was being a tool, the Scranton branch was told it had to work on a Saturday.
”Question,” said Dwight. Already I was laughing and listing different types of bears I think are best. But Dwight wanted to know why he had to let the Internet take credit for sales he had made. ”This is a temporary measure to increase the legitimacy of the site.” (FYI, me taking over this TV Watch is a temporary measure that will, I predict, do nothing to increase the legitimacy of EW.com.) Ryan said all the website problems would be fixed once Dunder Mifflin Infinity 2.0 (two fingers and one fist pound) was launched. Oh, if I had a quarter, or a piece of tin foil that looked like a quarter, for every time I heard that one. ”If I had created a website with this many problems, I’d kill myself,” said Kelly. Kelly, I love you. (And now a message to TV Watchers: I guarantee that if you visit EW.com, you will not be victimized by sexual predators and you will not have your identity stolen. That’s our promise to you. I’ll now start the slow clap.)
Michael is a 5-year-old trapped in a fortysomething-year-old’s body. He got a wad of gum stuck in his hair, requested an ice cream sandwich for breakfast, and went clubbing on a Friday night in New York, where he ordered chicken fingers and later called his mother to tell her that his friend was getting beaten up by a bunch of girls. I mean, no, it’s not normal to get gum stuck in your hair past the age of seven. And no, most adults wouldn’t get on their hands and knees to investigate a shiny object under their coworker’s car. And no, when you go to a bar, it’s not cool to order something from the kids’ menu.
But wait a minute. I sometimes fall asleep with gum in my mouth, so it’s just a matter of time before it falls out and gets stuck in my hair. (Or I choke on it and die.) And when I see something shiny, I usually stop and point and say, ”Ooh, what do you think that is?” And when I go to the bar and the bartender isn’t looking, I sneak extra cherries. Sometimes I try to tie the stem into a knot using my tongue. And I love chicken fingers. And I actually ate chocolate ice cream for breakfast this morning. And sometimes when I’m lost in New York I call my mom and whine, ”Maaammm, I’m lost!” So, yeah, Michael is a 5-year-old. But maybe we all are! Do you think Michael still goes to his pediatrician? (And cries when he gets a shot and then asks for three lollipops and a sticker?) I decided last night that Michael doesn’t need a girlfriend. Nope. He needs a babysitter. Luckily, he’s got one. Who, as it turns out, also gives a great head massage.
The Scranton workers took a vote on best couple, which I’ll address later, but really, the best couple might be Michael and Dwight. Dwight’s the kind of friend who would massage your head with peanut butter and sample it for taste, even if you had dandruff. What a pal. He was thrilled to accompany Michael for some ”bro time,” as Andy put it, and he would know. He’s the Office Bro. Andy wasn’t invited, though I was kind of hoping he’d tag along. I mean the guy lives by the holy trinity of ”bar, beers, buzzed.” But Michael was a man on a different mission. To find some ladies with Crawford-ness. Beautiful babies. Older girls. White slaves. Sexy preschoolers. Anything hot. ”I…am going…to get laid!” Dwight’s expression was ecstatic as he skipped out behind Michael; have you ever seen anyone so genuinely happy that someone else was getting laid? But it was Ryan’s overjoyed expression at the Prerogative nightclub that threw me off. ”He must be on drugs,” I said out loud, as he pulled Dwight and Michael into a tight embrace. Lo and behold.
You know, I miss Ryan the Temp — ”Ryan started the fi-ahh!” Ryan. This half-bearded, Corporate America Ryan — spouting nonsense and snorting drugs and ”creative problem solving” — isn’t the Ryan I used to love. Actually, I never remember loving him, but last night I alternated between disliking him and pitying him. Though he did get Dwight to open up about his beet farm. It was weevil season, but the folks at Schrute Farms were prepared. What exactly are weevils? Well, ”they lay their eggs…” Oh, God, I couldn’t even transcribe it, I was so disgusted. Dwight can talk about weevils and bladder infections and later persuade girls (read: Amazons/Jersey State b-ball players, woooooo!) to make out. I wished Jim had gone clubbing with his fellow bros. You know he would have convinced Dwight that Ryan’s assistant was a magical hobbit-wizard hybrid who practiced sorcery with munchkins in a miniature dwelling.
Instead, Jim was working late with his fellow employees, instead of coming in Saturday, and they got more than a little Dunder Miffed-off when they found out the fenced-in parking lot had been locked with them inside it. Dwight, of course, had the master key and the spare key. (I bet he has a lanyard with a thousand keys to different cellars and weaponry dungeons and fallout shelters and God knows what else.) Pam had asked Dwight what they would do in the unfortunate event that he kicked the bucket. ”If I’m dead,” he told her, ”you guys have been dead for weeks.” I laughed, but I also believed it. Everyone was pissed at Jim, especially Stanley, who looked like he was about to start crackin’ skulls if he didn’t get his bath and red wine. No one could remember the security guy’s name, and they had forgotten to tip him last year, so it served them right for being stuck in the parking lot. Way to go, Jim. (I immediately forgive you. Show me the ring again.)
NEXT: Bad touches
While I preferred Michael’s club-scene story line to the parking lot subplot, there were more than a few priceless moments and revelations while the gang was in lockdown. First, we all know Toby is in love with Pam. And last night, after some blushing and inappropriate knee touching, the truth was really out. I hope Toby was kidding about moving to Costa Rica, because I think his crush on Pam is cute, and his interaction with Michael is always hilarious. I think it’s the way Michael says his name, as if Toby didn’t even deserve the privilege of a name. I hope ”Costa Rica” is code for ”gay-cation,” and that Toby will be back in a few weeks. I doubt Toby would ever go for it with Pam, because he’d never fight for something he loves. I mean, I have to turn the volume all the way up and put the closed captioning on just to understand what he’s mumbling. But, wow, can that guy scale a fence or what?
I also enjoyed the vote proposed by Andy. Who’s the better couple? Jim and Pam, or Andy and Angela? Andy and Angela had the majority vote. Stanley, Kelly, Kevin, Phyllis, Oscar…actually everyone except Creed voted for Angy. I’m with Creed on this one, even if he didn’t vote because he doesn’t believe in democracy. Even Andy admitted that being with Angela was ”a lot more chain than ball lately, if you know what I’m saying.” Meredith probably would have changed her mind if she hadn’t been busy getting hit in the face with a ball. How many parking-lot injuries can one alcoholic sustain? After tonight, Pam and Jim really need to do some damage control. And Leatherhead Jim should really teach his best girl how to throw a football.
”Back to the future,” Michael wasn’t scoring with any girls. Probably because his anecdotes included (1) the time he almost got a tattoo on his ”back” that also referenced his way of looking ahead ”into the future” and his second-favorite movie and (2) his job as a ”bank teller” (which is in the impressive field of finance). He didn’t come away from the night empty-handed though. He got some cell-phone pix of Dwight making out, and he learned the importance of having good friends: ”A famous person once said, ‘Boys on the side.’ But I don’t. I disagree. I say, ‘Let’s hear it for the boys.’ ” And that, bros and sexy preschoolers, was a Michael Scott-ism for the books.
· Never accept drinks from beautiful women. You never know what’s in them.
· Always know the name of the African American guy who runs building security.
· Do not assume that the cleaning crew speaks Spanish, even if it turns out they do.
· Weevils are ruthless creatures that can destroy a perfectly good beet crop.
· Drugs are like weevils of the mind. You’ll think you’re having fun, then you’ll start rambling about jungle warfare, then you’ll wake up, naked, spooning Dwight. For further information about drugs, see The Wire.
So, what’d you think of last night’s episode? How do you feel about Ryan’s playboy ways? What would Michael’s Saturday-workday theme be if it wasn’t Scrambled Egg Saturday? And what’s his favorite movie? And when can we meet Mrs. Scott?
The mockumentary-style sitcom chronicles a group of typical office employees working 9-5 at the Scranton branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.