The Office: Company Picnic

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

This week: Season finale! At least one big surprise! Company picnic! Dwight acting almost human at times!

In the opener, we find that Michael has eaten an entire family-sized chicken pot pie for lunch, which has sent him into a deep nap. The entire office conspires to move all the clocks forward several hours (including Michael's watch and the clock in his car) so that they can leave early. Once this is successfully accomplished, they stage deep laughter and this of course rouses Michael from his slumber. He wants to know what's so funny, but Pam just tells him, "You had to be there." He notices that it's "five o'clock" and sends them all home. Mission: successful. Aw, it's so nice to see everyone getting along.

But of course the main event of tonight's show is the annual Dunder Mifflin Company Picnic. It's taking place at some random outdoor park-ish location, and each branch has colour-coded t-shirts with their team name on them. Many people have invited their families, but Dwight appears to have brought along his "best friend," Rolf. When did this guy enter the picture?

Holly, of course, is also there from Nashua with her boyfriend A.J. She and Michael are still equally awkward and unfunny and seem to understand only one another, although A.J. also has a decent grasp on Holly's dorkiness. Holly and A.J., by the by, are designing a house together. Michael, meanwhile, is designing chair-pants.

Michael tells us that he and Holly could never be just friends; in fact, he's made a bulleted list of reasons they should be together, and he's waiting until the perfect moment to spring it on her.

Michael and Holly have somehow received approval from David Wallace to put on some sort of skit/musical number highlighting the history of Dunder Mifflin. (Why does the CFO make all the decisions at this company? Do they not have a CEO or someone else who could deal with Michael's craziness and is not mostly an accountant?)

Also in attendance? Charles Wallace. Who still hates Jim. (You know who is not here? Karen. She is probably on mat leave.)

This year's sporting event of choice is a beach volleyball tournament (not that there's a beach). Basically, Erin sucks at volleyball, Kevin is not particularly athletically inclined in any way, Ryan's on his phone the whole time... and Dwight and Andy are overly competitive. Phyllis is hot and tired and eventually fakes an ankle injury so the scantily clad Meredith can sub in (even though Angela volunteers first; Dwight's overprotective new best friend Rolf, apparently coaching the team, won't let her play). Oscar does ok, but Jim and Pam are really the key players here. Turns out Pam was a volleyball superstar in junior high, senior high, and college... oh, and she went to volleyball camp most summers, what up.

Michael and Holly take off alone to discuss their bit. They talk about various movies they could parody, including Back to the Future ("Could we get a Delorean?" ponders Michael) and Jaws (they sing "Dunder Mifflin" to the tune of the theme song). They flirt and make cute and it makes us all very sad that they cannot be together because of stupid long-distance and stupid A.J. and the stupid house they're designing.

The Scranton team, through raw willpower on Dwight's part with a healthy dosing of Pam's talent, makes it to the tournament finals against the Corporate team. But first, an intermission from the games, featuring Michael Scott and Holly Flax performing a sketch on Dunder Mifflin's history. And which movie have they chosen to present? "Slum-Dunder-Mufflin-naire!"

Oh dear. It's very sad and not at all funny and nobody but Stanley laughs at any point. They cycle through questions such as where did Dunder and Mifflin meet, how did Mufflin kill himself (oh yes, there are children in the crowd), and which branch is the next to be closed, interspersed with torture scenes and flashbacks. None of this is as colourful as the actual movie, mind. Although the orange shirts from Buffalo do get might colourful and upset when their branch turns out to be the answer to that last question. Guess what? They didn't know about it. David Wallace is not happy that Michael spilled these beans. (Why he let them get that far with the sketch without stopping them, I have no idea.)

Nonetheless, the show must go on, and so here we are at the final game between Scranton and Corporate. Charles trashtalks Jim. Kevin narrates to the camera that it's a nailbiter with the score at 6-6, and then a ball hits him squarely in the chest. It is now 7-6. Angela and Rolf snipe at each other on the sidelines, but Dwight calls a halt to it, telling "Rolfers" to lay off her. Angela likes this.

Erin manages to get Scranton a point (Andy likes this), but this is followed quickly by Pam twisting her ankle while going for the same ball as Kevin. Charles insists she get medical attention because if she's truly injured that's on the company. Jim sees through him; he knows that Charles is just trying to get rid of their best player. Pam insists she's fine, she hardcore wants to play, but Charles accuses Jim of putting a volleyball game ahead of his fiancée and says she can't play on an injured foot. Dwight tells them to head to a hospital a few miles up the road, and he'll stall the game. Jim carries Pam off, with her promising, "We'll be back!"

Michael and Holly ruminate over how their performance went, at least before the whole Buffalo thing. They're disappointed in the lack of laughs, but Michael promises her it was just a tough audience; they're both glad they did it. Just when he looks like he's about to bring up the "thing," he instead diverts the conversation by telling her they have a lot of good material for next year. She agrees. They have a moment.

Jim and Pam are at the hospital, which is quite dead, trying to hurry things along. But we all know something's going to be up when Pam rushes past the nurse's questions that conclude with the ever-important "No chance you're pregnant?" No, Pam, the correct answer to that is not, "I'm sorry, can we just hurry this up?"

Michael says goodbye to Holly and A.J. and tells us that he thinks their story will be long but the will eventually end up together. I can't decide if this is incredibly wise and mature, or incredibly deluded.

The Corporate team has had enough of Dwight's sad attempts at stalling and they want to get the game back underway. Cue further sad attempts at stalling. But all of this is unimportant because of what is about to happen at the hospital, where Jim tells Dwight over the phone that he's just been called in for an update, so he'll call him right back...

Jim heads in to see the doctor and Pam. You all know what's coming, right? We watch without audio through a set of venetian blinds as the doctor explains something to them, Pam starts grinning, Jim looks shocked then thrilled, and the two of them hug excitedly and say a couple of sentences to each other. Jim heads out of the room, calls Dwight, tells him to send in the subs, and hangs up, still sort of hyperventilating and totally grinning his face off. He runs back in to Pam and we watch them hug some more through the window.

YAY! BABIES! See you next season, maybe.

Tags: the office, sitcom, michael scott, john krasinski, comedy, recap

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