Hey everyone, The Office is back! And you're right, this isn't Ariana with your weekly recap. She's off from the recap world for a couple of weeks and has asked me to fill in. So my apologies in advance.
We last saw our favourite Dunder Mifflin-ites last May, and unlike most seasons, we don't pick up in the fall. The one-hour premiere of season five begins on June 30 (Week 1, we're told by title card), with everybody's "last meal". Seems corporate is sponsoring a weight loss contest between the Dunder Mifflin branches, and whichever branch loses the most weight gets 3 extra vacation days. Dwight offers everyone a final bite of an eclaire before beginning the pre-contest weigh-in in the warehouse, saying, "hold it in your mouth if you can't swallow." Jim is shocked (as are we all) that Michael says nothing in response. Seems a hearty, "That's what she said!" won't help him impress Holly, who despite his stupidity in last season's finale, he still might actually have a shot with.
Since Pam is getting ready to leave for her 3-month art school in NYC, Michael kicks her off the scale after the first weigh-in, so they have to do it all over again. Of course, this means they'll know exactly what Pam weighs, something I'm sure every woman LOVES all their co-workers to find out (it's 126 lbs., by the way). When they're re-weighed, Kevin totally miscalculates the difference in the 2 weights, proclaiming: "Pam, you weigh 226 lbs.!" Holly, still thinking Kevin is "slow", congratulates him on being close, but Pam is quick to point out how not at all close he is.
We're moving through this summer quickly, and week 2 begins with Holly leading a yoga class and Michael commenting to Jim about her butt. Jim tells Michael that friends don't talk about other friends' butts (since he had advised Michael to be friends with Holly before trying to ask her out) but Michael continues anyway. Later, Oscar tells Holly about a great Bikram class he takes, and mentions that the teacher is a catch. Holly awkwardly makes a joke about being a lesbian, and Oscar uncomfortably tells her that he's gay and asks why being a lesbian would be a joke. He eventually tells her that he's just messing with her.
Andy proposes a great wedding plan to Angela ("It's where my parents decided not to get divorced.") and Angela is frustrated with his suggestion. She then pages Dwight, and meets him in a private area in the warehouse for some hanky panky, but afterwards tells Dwight it'll be the last time because she has a fiancé that she "very much likes". Jim says his goodbyes to Pam in the parking lot (which Michael naturally encroaches on, even trying to duplicate their goodbye kiss) and she's off to New York. Jim then tells the camera that he hasn't proposed yet because they didn't want to spend the first 3 months of their engagement apart, and that Pam doesn't really want a long engagement ("Something in her past, I guess. Not really sure about the whole story, but something about a guy that used to work here.") That crazy Jim and his sarcasm.
Week 3 begins with a brief introduction to Pam's replacement receptionist, and this great line from Jim: "I don't really know Ronnie, but I have a feeling I'll get to know her really well over the next few years, and eventually declare my love for her." Yeah, that Jim's still a funny guy with his confessional talk. We're also introduced to Pam at art school, who is in the wrong class, is called out by that classes teacher while trying to leave, and then ends up staying anyway. Back in Scranton, we see Holly learning what a treat it is to have a cubicle next to Kelly, who is 3 days into a "cleanse diet" of only maple syrup, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and water. She does not look healthy.
Jan bursts into the office as if she owns the place, and after giving Kevin an update on her candle-making business, Michael starts talking in baby-talk to her pregnant belly in typical Michael Scott fashion ("Who's your daddy? You don't know who your daddy is, do you? No you don't.") Apparently, says Jim, Michael told everyone that he was the father of Jan's baby. After a clearly jealous Holly finds out about Jan and changes her mind about Oscar's yoga teacher, she sees Angela yelling at "idiot" Kevin, and immediately comes to his defence. Of course, she for the first time publicly calls Kevin "mentally challenged", and the whole office watches in disbelief and amusement (poor Kevin -- wonder if he'll still think he can "bang" her).
Angela is approached with 4 new possible wedding plans from Andy, and after shooting them down, heads to the warehouse for some more office nookie with Dwight. Then she is shown explaining to the camera how she can sleep at night. High five to the "documentarian" for asking her THAT question!
Jim connects up with Pam via web chat, and Michael sees this and almost immediately grabs the laptop and brings Computer Pam over to meet Ronnie. He says some nice things about Ronnie, and then proceeds to insult her right to her face while clearly trying to make Pam feel missed. It's both sweet and horrible. Then they get on the scale, find out that they've GAINED 5 pounds that week, and Kelly passes out and falls off the scale.
We pick up at the next weigh-in, where the group has lost a single pound, despite Kelly being on an IV for 2 days. Michael has also grown a horrible-looking goatee.
Phyllis, having walked in on Dwight and Angela doing the nasty in the office in the season finale, has blackmailed her way into becoming the head of the Party Planning Committee, to her absolute delight. Of course, she suggests cake for Stanley's upcoming birthday cake, and Michael is disgusted with everyone's willpower, pointing out that he once managed to go 28 years without sex, followed by another 7. Thanks for that info, Michael!
At a meeting expressing his (almost genuine-sounding) concern for the health of everyone in the office and asking how much weight people are willing to lose, Jim volunteers 65 pounds and somehow everyone (not just Michael) lets that one go. They're probably just so used to his smart ass ways that they don't even think about it anymore. Jim then leaves to head for New York to visit Pam, and Michael awkwardly gives him a condom for his "booty call".
Poor, sweet Andy is willing to meet all the crazy wedding demands of Angela, and as she's about to leave for her own ACTUAL booty call with Dwight, he tells her that he'd marry her anywhere, including, "in the eye of a hurricane, in the middle of a snowstorm, on top of a monsoon." We then finally see some humanity from Angela, who gives him a kiss, semi-apologizes, and returns to her desk, leaving a shirtless Dwight in the warehouse wondering where Angela is.
Jim visits Pam's dorm -- she's the residency advisor -- and after a welcoming kiss, tricks the audibly disappointed camera man (is this the first time we've heard anything, even though it's just a sigh, from a camera man?) into looking the other way and shutting the door. Unfortunately, a short while later, Jim is in the common room watching a baseball game while some girl is in Pam's room crying about stolen soy milk. What's sad is that I know people who would cry about something like that.
The fruit-only party ordered by newly health-conscious Michael was abandoned by almost everyone, and we see Michael, Holly, Dwight, and Ronnie peering through shelves at everyone else eating cake in the warehouse. When Michael suggests having their own mini-golf party, Holly mentions that she can't because she has a date, and a visibly disappointed Michael tries to extol the virtues of Scranton men, tells her she'll have a good time, and lets her leave early. Then he walks in on the cake party and tells everyone they'll have to work harder to win the weight loss competition. And Dwight kicks the cake (all over Michael's suit) angrily saying, "Happy birthday, Stanley!"
Into week 5, Kelly explains how she bought a tape worm from Creed and swallowed it in order to lose weight. Creed then tells the camera that it wasn't a tape worm, leaving me to wonder what on earth Kelly swallowed (and since this is Creed, it literally could be ANYTHING).
Ryan then walks through the door of the office and sits down at the reception desk. Apparently Michael heard he was back in town, and called the temp agency to get him to come in and replace Ronnie. We then find out that Michael grew his goatee after he helped Ryan move and saw he also had a goatee. That crazy stalker Michael -- still in love with Ryan after his incarceration on drug charges!
After seeing no change in the group's weight, with some (like Andy, who needs the time off for his honeymoon) showing their anger (watch out, Andy -- you're not in that angry place anymore!), Michael overhears Holly tell Oscar about her date. He brings Jim into his office and blames him for "sabotaging" his chances with Holly by suggesting he get to know her well before "getting his hands dirty" (Michael's words).
Ryan tries to apologize to Kelly for the way he treated her over the previous couple years (blaming not himself, of course, but the fact that he was in his mid-20s and hadn't fully processed 9/11) and tries to ask her out. She of course shoots him down, since she's still dating Darryl, later making out with Darryl right in front of the reception desk.
Dwight, after trying to make Stanley, Kevin, and Phyllis get liposuction (on their dime), tries to apologize to Phyllis for his insensitive comments by offering her a 60-40 split on a sure sales call. Turns out, he dropped her off at an abandoned warehouse 5 miles away in bad part of down with no phone or purse, forcing her to walk back. She immediately calls David Wallace at head office.
Week 6 begins with a sign saying that week's weigh-in would be cancelled (due to Dwight's stupidity) and Holly reading a head office memo about how the company doesn't discriminate. Michael interrupts by walking in wearing a fat suit, posting up photos of the Marshmallow Man, Martin Lawrence in Big Momma's House, fat Elvis, Jabba the Hutt, and a big fat pig and shouting that they're all beautiful. He then makes Dwight apologize to Phyllis, and Kelly stand on a chair so people can tell her what they like about her and stop her from starving herself. (He also notices Ryan has shaved off his goatee.) Jim explains all the reasons why his summer has been awful, capped off by Pam being in New York.
Week 7 sees Michael showing off to Ryan that he has also shaved, and we see Dwight in the background with a goatee. Jim and Pam decide to meet for lunch halfway between Scranton and New York. Michael, after giving Holly a minor pep talk about being blown off by the yoga instructor (even though she had surprise tickets to Counting Crows for him that night), finds out that the branch lost to Utica by only 8 lbs. Michael says that they technically have until the end of the day, and Andy's idea is to turn up the thermostats and create a bit of a sweat lodge. Michael then walks in on Kelly, who is eating some pizza, and scolds her for not eating healthy food (confusing the hell out the poor girl after being told she should eat what she wants a week earlier).
Poor Andy, after seemingly bring Angela back over to his side, insists on his old college a capella group being their wedding band (and also mentioning that they'll collectively be his best man, and will be crashing with them for 3 weeks), and says it's a deal breaker. Angela pages Dwight for another secret warehouse sex session. Oh, Andy, you were one a capella group away from getting Angela to marry you!
We then cut to Jim and Pam meeting up at the halfway point in the middle of a heavy rainstorm. Pam scolds him about it being further for her, so he has to buy lunch. He doesn't say anything, gets down on one knee under the gas station canopy, and pulls out a ring! He asks Pam to marry him, and she says yes!!! (Yes, I'm a dude... that doesn't mean I can't be happy about a potential JAM wedding.)
As we cut back to the warehouse for the weigh-in, with everyone waiting for Jim, Holly tells Michael that she's not waiting for the yoga instructor anymore. He sweetly tells her that the guy was an idiot, and offers to buy her Counting Crows tickets from her. Holly, along with everyone watching at home, thinks he'll then ask her to go with him, but instead he rips them up, tells her to forget about them, and asks if he can pay her for them tomorrow. Oh, Michael! We should have seen that one coming.
Jim runs in at the last second, beaming, and they all weigh in, coming up short of the 8 lbs. they needed. Michael tells them all that they shouldn't be disappointed, because they all lost a ton of weight, and are all big losers! (Way to keep morale up, Michael!) Stanley doesn't care, since he himself lost 7 lbs. over the summer, and will be taking 5 days off anyway.
After commercial, even though the contest is done, "Week 8 (August 14)" pops up, and we see a Spanish-dubbed version of Entourage on a bad TV. The camera pans out to show Toby lying in a hospital bed with some sort of head brace on, and he tells the camera that he went zip-lining on his third day in Costa Rica, the harness wasn't strapped in exactly right, and he broke his neck. I used to think Toby couldn't catch a break, but apparently I was wrong. (Please, feel free to groan -- don't worry, Ariana will be back in a couple weeks!)
Paul Little is the founder and Managing Editor of ShowbizMonkeys.com. When not interviewing his favourite musicians and comedians, he can also be found at The Purple Room in Winnipeg, where he is Artistic Director. (@comedygeek)
Thanks, pal. And you are never allowed to complain about the length of my recaps ever again. Hee.