Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
Well, I don't really know what's going on in the opener here, because apparently the show started earlier than usual. YOU COULD TELL MY PVR THAT, GLOBAL TV. Honestly.
At any rate, Kevin appears to have spilled a large vat of chili all over the floor of the office and is now trying to scoop it up using his bare hands and scraps of paper. He voices over that the recipe's been in his family for generations and it's probably the thing he does best. Enlightening...
Post-credits, Michael, Pam, and Ryan are arriving for their first day back at the office--a casual Friday, it just so happens. Pam and Ryan come in carrying what appears to be a hula hoop wrapped in paper, with a big blue question mark drawn in the centre of the sheet. From the bottom protrude Michael's legs. He goes through a whole Michael-spiel about who could possibly be behind this shield. Kevin and Andy seem impressed. Everyone applauds half-heartedly once he manages to break through the paper, and then he calls a meeting in the conference room.
Basically, the meeting is Michael begging his staff for an apology. Also, Kelly is dressed like she's in a rap video. In the 90s. Michael interviews that everyone but Ryan and Pam turned their backs on him, and while he doesn't want them to beg for forgiveness or cry or slit their wrists or anything, he wouldn't mind a tiny, microscopic version of that.
In the meeting, the new receptionist wonders whether she still has a job, and Michael says she does, because Ryan and Pam are starting as salespeople. The rest of sales isn't happy about this because they're not getting their old clients (that Michael stole) back. Michael sets the rules! Follow them blindly! Or else tell them to the trash can.
Pam and Phyllis run into each other in the lunch room, where they realize they're wearing the exact same outfit: a hideous purple shrug sweater over a hideous purple plaid shirt. Pam compliments Phyllis' taste, but Phyllis just spits back in that fakely sweet Phyllis way that she wishes she had more time for her clients; after all, isn't that what Pam told them when she stole them from her? Phyllis' closing line: "Close your mouth, sweetie; you look like a trout." Man, Phyllis is like silent but deadly.
Meanwhile, Toby's dealing with Angela's incessant complaining about how Oscar is wearing sandals and she does not want to look at his disgusting feet. She's flipping out, but he suggests that she just not look at Oscar's feet. She sarcastically comments on how he's oh-sooooo-trained to deal with a hysterical woman. Toby interviews (over a hilarious picture) that he spent a year in the seminary but followed a woman named Kathy back to Scranton because he wanted to have sex with her. He took the first job in HR he could find, married her, and now he's divorced and working at Dunder Mifflin. So... that turned out well.
After noticing Michael's blatant favouritism towards Ryan and Pam, Dwight hands out a memo to the sales team members containing a very secret note in invisible ink (it's urine, he tells us), telling them to meet in the warehouse immediately. The note is scrawled on what appears to be a memo about a new filing system. No one gets it until Dwight actually calls Andy from the warehouse wondering where they all are. Andy's like, "It is on like a prawn who yawns at dawn!" Dwight: "Stop doing rhyming poetry just tell them God the simplest thing..." all in a run-on. He hangs up.
Toby tries to get Oscar to put on a pair of his socks, but he isn't going to, clean or no.
At the warehouse sales meeting, Dwight wants to stage a mutiny, and everyone but Jim seems all for it, disgruntled as they are. Phyllis can't believe a secretary stole her clients... no offense, Jim, she's very pretty. Dwight: "Her face is pretty..." but Meredith shows up as he trails off. Dwight asks what she's doing there, and she says she saw a crowd and thought it might have been a dog fight. Meredith is truly the gem of this episode. Just you wait.
Jim pipes up to suggest that as radical as it may be, what if they just talk to Michael openly about this? Dwight's overly agreeable about it and says the meeting's over, that's what they'll do. Jim turns around to head back upstairs, and as soon as he's a few feet away, Dwight whispers to the others that they should plan something more intense.
Jim heads upstairs where he tells Michael to cool it with the MSPC stuff because the other salespeople are getting upset. "There may or may not be but definitely is a mutiny forming in the warehouse right now," he says. Michael interviews that he's not going to take this; he is not to be truffled with. Jim, meanwhile, heads to the break room where Creed chats him up a bit and asks if he wants to play a game.
The sales gang reappears in the office, and elaborately lie to Michael that they went out to lunch. He calls their bluff and says they won't be needing the lunches they brought. He, Ryan, and Pam head into the lunch room, take all their lunches from the fridge, and start chowing down. Michael: "Thanks for going out, guys!"
And then, the most shocking scene I have ever had the pleasure of viewing on this show. My mouth literally dropped open in horror upon first viewing.
So it goes like this: Toby approaches Meredith regarding her outfit, which while she's seated appears to be a cute, if inappropriate, purple tube top (what's with the purple theme on casual Friday here?). But when she stands up to challenge him, we see it's actually a very, very short bubble dress. In some circles, it may in fact be considered a shirt. He asks if she'd consider pulling it down just as touch as it's riding up a little high. POOR CHOICE OF WORDS, TOBY. Indeed, she pulls it down. The top part. She calls them a bunch of prudes are her left boob pops out. Oscar: "Meredith, your BOOBS is OUT!" She's like, "Fine!" and yanks it up on that side and nearly has a nip-slip on the other side. Of course, she's yanked the dress up so high that her lady business is just right out there. Angela: "Too far!" Kelly: "Dammit, Meredith, where are your panties???" Meredith: "It's casual day!" Toby is just horrified. Meredith tugs all her dress areas back into place, all, "Happy?" and storms over to the filing cabinet. When she bends over to retrieve some files, what could be hanging out but her butt cheeks? There is so much pixelation in this scene I don't even know. Toby just rolls his eyes and heads back to the annex, washing his hands of the lot of them.
Creed and Jim are missing all the fun, instead playing chess in the break room. Creed thwarts all of Jim's moves before he can even make them. Jim interviews the following: "I'm just hiding out until all this stuff blows over. With Creed. Playing chess. At work. He's winning. *wry laugh* I feel like I'm describing a dream I had."
Back to work now, Ryan's trying to handle a customer complaint on the phone, but Dwight recognizes the call as one his former clients and he tries to take over to the point where he's yelling over Ryan's shoulder into the phone and trying to wrench the receiver out of his hand. The client hangs up. Dwight blames Ryan for losing them a client, Pam blames Dwight ("Secretary!" Dwight hisses at her), and Dwight confiscates Ryan's phone receiver. Michael tries to force the two of them to make nice, but Dwight refuses. He tells Michael that unless he gives the other salesfolk their clients back, they're quitting. Michael is fine with that, even offering them some seed money (crumpled and thrown at Phyllis' head), but if they want to stay, then he demands an apology. Phyllis says that Michael hurt them, not the company, and after he always said they were a family.
Michael, in an interview, admits that he's in the wrong, no matter which way he looks at it. He asks Dwight to help him arrange a secret meeting with all the sales team except Ryan and Pam. Dwight feigns shock at this secretive meeting idea and all the deceit. Cut to Dwight writing more urine notes while using Ryan's mug as an inkwell.
In further adventures in casual Friday wear, the receptionist (Erin? Is that her name?) tells Kelly she likes her J.Lo. outfit. Kelly can't believe Toby has deemed it inappropriate.
At the secret sales meeting, Michael apologizes to the team; Stanley wants to know if this means they're getting their clients back. Michael doesn't want to give in because that would mean not enough clients for Ryan and Pam, but he does give in without much prodding. And then a wall of boxes disappears behind him via forklift to reveal Darryl standing there: "What'd I tell you about building forts in my warehouse?"
Pam and Ryan co-interview (co-terview?) that only one of them will be able to stay on in sales and Michael has to make this decision by the end of the day. Michael, of course, cannot make this decision on his own, and so he interrupts Creed and Jim's Scrabble game to ask for Jim's advice.
The two sit outside and discuss the matter. Jim says he might be biased as he is quite close to Ryan, and upon Michael's insistence that he's close to Pam, too: "She's nice, I guess." He suggests a pro-and-con method, and as they go through the lists, Pam comes out on top, but Ryan still remains Michael's first choice.
The folks inside are having a Toby-led meeting about casual Fridays, and after Dwight tries to stage a takeover of the meeting, Toby just declares casual Fridays cancelled because nobody is dressed appropriately except for himself.
Jump ahead in time a bit, and Ryan's heading out of Michael's office with no discernible expression on his face. It's Pam's turn, and Michael opens that there's no easy way to say this, so... he's just going to drag it out. THANKS, RYAN SEACREST. Pam makes him just tell her, so he says he gave Ryan the sales job. She shortly says that she gets it and as she gets up to leave, Michael snickers. She cottons on to his joke, and he full-out laughs. She asks if he's kidding, but he says no, she's the best person for the job. She hugs him excitedly and sweetly, and thanks him profusely, and he can't stop laughing because he got her so good. He tells her Ryan wasn't so happy about the joke he played on him: the opposite of what he just did to Pam. Pam's like, "Maybe you shouldn't fake-fire people anymore." Michael doesn't appreciate being told what to do, so she can clean out her desk; she's through. Pam smiles and thanks him.
He's still laughing, and as Pam heads out of his office, he asks her what the new receptionist's name is again. (SEE? It's not just me.) She tells him (I was right; it's Erin), and he asks Pam to send her in. We know where this is going right? In the tag, Michael fake-fires Erin, telling her no one likes her and pretending to call up Hank from security. But he can't keep a straight face and his jig is up. She thinks it's kind of funny, because she is a simple girl, but she has to ask, "Do they not like me, though?" Michael's like, "I don't know, actually." I might like her more myself if I could just remember her name.