At the start of last night’s Season 4 premiere, Michael is feeling great. It’s going to be a good year: Jan has moved in with him, Jim’s back at the Scranton office, Ryan has landed a job at corporate, Dwight and Andy are making sales … then, as he pulls into the Dunder Mifflin parking lot —bam! — Michael hits Meredith with his car.
After a brief update on Jim and Pam’s relationship status — they claim to be just friends (to quote Kevin, “Are you kidding me?”) — Michael breaks the bad news to the rest of the office in a way that only he can, including a status report that “the doctors did the best they could … and she’s going to be OK.”
It should be mentioned that Dwight assumes Michael hit Meredith on purpose, as does Ryan, prompting Michael to respond in his defense, “No, I was being negligent.” Much better.
Pam begins to coordinate a group hospital visit, and Angela claims that she cannot attend because her cat is sick. When Pam reminds her that she is the head of the party-planning committee, Angela relents and asks Dwight to take care of her cat during lunch.
The visit, predictably, goes badly, as Michael accidentally removes Meredith’s IV and puts all of his body weight on her fractured pelvis while trying to force a hug out of her. She refuses his apology, leaving Michael even more determined to win back the affection of his employees.
When everyone returns to the office, Dwight delicately informs Angela that her cat has died and moved on to a better place (her freezer) — which, along with the Meredith incident and Pam’s porn-related computer crash, convinces Michael that the office is cursed. Amazing since he claims not to be superstitious — just “a little stitious.” Of course, he blames Toby, who in turn suffers the indignity of having to respond, “No, I did not violate an Indian burial ground.”
Dwight reluctantly visits Meredith in the hospital, since he was busy with Angela’s cat during the group trip, and immediately tries to euthanize her. While he’s there, it’s revealed that she could possibly have rabies as the result of being bitten by a bat (thanks to Dwight), a raccoon and a rat on three separate occasions.
Moments after declaring that “God is dead,” Michael gets word of Meredith’s rabies treatment and declares that he has saved her by sending her to the hospital. The curse has been broken, but his work is not done — so he organizes Michael Scott’s Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro Am Fun Run Race For The Cure and makes it a mandatory employee activity. In the end, the event raises just under $700 — minus $200 for a big check made out to “science” and a hundred or so more for a stripper (the same one from Bob Vance’s bachelor party) “nurse” to present it to. Also, during the run, it is revealed that Dwight killed Angela’s cat to put it out of its misery. So everybody wins.
Oh, and we found out that Jim and Pam are, in fact, dating — which can’t be viewed as much of a surprise, considering Kevin was able to figure it out.
Overall, it was a solid effort to start the new season. Here’s what we liked best:
Best quote: “While I eventually puked my guts out, I never puked my heart out.” — Michael after the fun run
Best moment: Pam walking in on Michael as he changed for the fun run (pixelated wang!), followed by Jan confronting her for “peeping on” her man.
Employee of the Week: Michael. Kevin, Angela and Dwight were also strong contenders, but this was a Michael-centric episode.
Best quote: “You left the TV on, and your cat is dead.” — Dwight updating Angela on Sprinkles
Best moment: Right off the bat, Michael hitting Meredith with the car. Shocking. Unexpected. Hilarious. The look on Meredith’s face as she flies off the windshield is priceless.
Employee of the Week: Kevin. He’s the only one who knows Jim and Pam are hooking up on the sly. He’s the only one who applauds stuff that doesn’t require applause. He’s the only one who fist-bumps Meredith. And he’s the only one who does the Fun Run in a shirt and tie. He distinguished himself in this episode.
Best quote: “Double jeopardy, so we’re fine.”
“I don’t think you understand how jeopardy works.”
“Right. I’m sorry. What is … we’re fine?” — Michael attempting to smooth things over with Ryan, his new boss.
Best moment: Everything surrounding Michael and the giant check. From his reaction to the “nurse” going through with her degree all the way to the check written out to “Science.”
Employee of the Week: Dwight. In one episode, Dwight managed to not only euthanize a cat, but he also tried euthanizing Meredith. Talk about double jeopardy. I mean, What is talk about double jeopardy?