“The Office” Recap: Money

Over the past few years, Pam has put up with a lot from Michael. So the fact that he has been watching The Devil Wears Prada in installments, and has identified with Meryl Streep’s character doesn’t faze her much. Besides, he eventually gets to the “big surprise ending” in which it turns out she’s the bad guy, and he apologizes. It’s when his next Netflix rental arrives that Pam begins to worry. “He’s watching Million Dollar Baby. … He’s going to try to kill me.” And so begins the final hourlong episode of The Office until the season finale. Next week, we go back to a half-hour, folks. That’s another 30 minutes of your life you’ll need to account for. We suggest researching bed-and-breakfasts on tripadvisor.com.

Pam’s not the only one with worries, as we find out that Jan’s expensive plans for remodeling their condo has Michael’s mind on his money and his money on his mind. While his long-term plan involves yachts and comedy albums, his short-term future involves a second job as a telemarketer.

Dwight is also doing a bit of moonlighting, as we discover that Schrute Farms has been converted into a place that offers travelers (elderly ones, mostly) a bed and breakfast but is definitely not a bed-and-breakfast. They even make their own mattresses, which “don’t conform to the traditional sizes.” For some reason, PB&J (Pam Beesly and Jim, for those who don’t recall) decide to book one of three themed rooms there, picking Irrigation over America and Nighttime.

It’s good that Dwight has the business as a diversion, because he’s still not doing well after his messy cat-murder-inspired breakup with Angela. And who could blame him? It’s never easy when your ex asks for her sleep apnea mask back.

Michael’s having a hard time at his new job, where he has to endure useless meetings in which his boss delivers inane “inspirational” messages such as, “Make the call. Say the lines. Make the sale.” Of course, the irony of the situation is completely lost on Michael. He also endures an awkward conversation when he fails to realize that the Stanley Hudson on his call list is the same Stanley Hudson who works at Dunder-Mifflin.

PB&J arrive at Schrute Farms and engage in a pun contest (The Beets Motel and The Radish Inn being our winners) before checking in and enjoying a table-making demonstration, beet wine and an impromptu manure fight between Dwight and his cousin Mose. Despite a night interrupted by Mose’s frighteningly loud visit to the outhouse and Dwight’s constant crying/moaning, it’s not a bad stay overall.

The next day at the office, Ryan arrives for Michael’s presentation on how to make PowerPoint presentations. Michael is unprepared and reveals his second job to Ryan, who in turn tells him to quit the job or be fired from Dunder-Mifflin. So there’s no presentation, but Ryan’s visit isn’t a total bust — for us, anyway — as it sets up a nice (almost) confrontation between him and Kelly’s new man, Darryl. Ryan is obviously intimidated by Darryl and Kelly seems satisfied — something that doesn’t go unnoticed by Darryl who later surmises, “It’s like she only wants to hook up when Ryan comes around. It’s gotten to the point that I get excited every time I see that little dude walk through the door.”

Michael quits his telemarketing job and disinfects his headset, thus giving up his version the American dream: having a job, a girlfriend … and another job. Creed suggests a simple solution to Michael’s money problems: declare bankruptcy (something Creed has never done, but his alter ego William Charles Scheider has). Michael declares bankruptcy — literally and very loudly — and after informing him that just saying it doesn’t count, Oscar offers Michael some actual help. They sit down and analyze Michael’s finances, and realize that he spends an alarming amount of money on “things that no one ever, ever needs — like multiple magic sets, professional bass fishing equipment,” etc. When they call Jan to explain the situation to her, Michael panics and runs off to ride the rails as a hobo.

While that’s going on, Andy renews his pursuit of Angela from last week. His moves haven’t worked, despite the fact that he’s walked past accounting, like, 10 times, and Pam won’t set him up, so he gives Angela a cat that he found wandering outside of Vance Refrigeration. (Garbage?) She finally relents and allows him to ask her to dinner, with some ground rules: nothing fancy or foreign, no bars, no patios, no vegetables and no seafood.

Dwight copes with the situation by playing his recorder behind a Dumpster, then sitting in the stairwell clutching his only souvenir of his relationship with Angela — her ceramic cherub figurine. Jim consoles him, and eventually the old Dwight comes back — for better or worse.

Jan rushes to find Michael and offer her support. It’s a true moment and, for the first time, we really see that there’s more to Jan and Michael’s relationship than dysfunction and fake boobs (which, by the way, Jan’s keeping).

Here’s the rest:

Mike says

Best Moment: The whoever vs. whomever debate. Some important things to note: You use “whom” when it’s an object, “who” when it’s the subject; Ryan used Kelly as an object; Toby possesses superior grammar knowledge; and Michael thinks Toby should take a letter opener and stick it into his own skull.

Best Quote: “I always imagined less manure. I mean, some manure … just less.” — Jim, on how his first night away with Pam compared to his expectations

Employee of the Week: Kevin. Another week, another failed fist bump. Leave it to Kevin to find the one funny element of The Nutty Professor and make it even better. “Women be shoppin'” indeed. Kevin also earns extra points for naming his new band Scrantonicity II. After all, “Synchronicity II” was a much better song than “Synchronicity I.”

Ryan says

Best Moment: Cousin Mose chasing Jim’s car. Cousin Mose throwing manure. Cousin Mose in the outhouse. Anything Cousin Mose does is the best moment.

Best Quote: “I declare …. BANKRUPTCYYYYY!” — Michael, declaring bankruptcy

(Former) Employee of the Week: Jan. She has expensive tastes in remodeling and redecorating. She had Michael trade in his car so she could buy a Porsche (Michael can just take the bus to his two jobs, of course). She thinks Oscar is a valet. She drives Michael into debt, then wonders how he could be so irresponsible. And she has no job. But she has nice breasts, which she will not be returning.

Johnnysweeptheleg says

Best Moment: Jim’s heart-to-heart with Dwight in the stairwell. I liked Dwight’s attempted acknowledgement of Jim’s “been there” advice. But what made this my favorite moment is how they took the opportunity to show how Jim was affected by replaying his own past pain through a broken Dwight. How couldn’t you smile when you found out that Jim is “In fact … in love with Italian food.”

Best Quote:
Michael: “Don’t sell your implants, please.”
Jan: “I’m keeping them. I know you like them. They’re kinda uncomfortable, though.”
Michael: “That’s nice, though.”
Jan: “They’re kinda painful and my nipples are sensitive, now.”
Michael: “Let’s keep them.”

Employee of the Week: Mose. I’ll admit it. I had my mind made up that he was the Employee of the Week the second I saw him running alongside PB&J’s car. I love his, well, let’s call it his simplicity. From his manure-flinging to his decade-and-a-half-year-old Jurassic Park shirt worn during the bedtime story, what he lacks in vernacular, he more than makes up for in his bold choices. I say gimme some mo’ Mose this season!