Whenever the combination of tension, and Michael Scott are present, there is almost always a disaster waiting to happen. At the beginning of Double Date, it looked as if it was going to be one of those rare times where Michael was going to prove everybody else wrong. As Pam and her mother exchanged insults, Michael was surprisingly mature, and unaffected by their petty dialogue on old age and pregnancy. It was also very considerate of him to help with the decorations, and to make the effort to put together a scrapbook. Yet, this is also Michael we are talking about. Somehow, he always finds a way to sabotage his own happiness, and more. In this case, he also simultaneously ruined Helene's birthday, and further damaged his professional relatinonship with Pam. It was almost as if he actually paid attention to the conversation that was going on, and acted on it, by being himself. The conclusion referenced another The Office running joke, with conflict getting resolved in the parking lot once again.
The ending of this plot merged with the plot of Dwight being nice to everybody, as Dwight tended to Michael's swolen face with his dinner. Being absolutely deluded, Dwight actually thought that Michael would actually fire Jim because Michael said the words that he was chasing all episode long. It took Dwight the entire day of being nicer than Andy, just to figure out his complete incompetence at attempting to rid Jim of his position.
Whereas Dwight is still fighting to climb the corporate ladder, Ryan has found a new venue for his overinflated ego. Though the episode gave him little face time, the producers of The Office have given Ryan his own website, entitled, "Thousand and one words." This website features Ryan's collection of black and white photography of the mundane, but more interestingly, he has commentary on each one of the photographs. His commentary comes off like a complete parody of professional photography culture, meaning that Ryan's pretentiousness and pompousness indicates that he has still learned nothing from his exile from corporate.
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