The life of a Lackawanna County Volunteer Sheriff’s Deputy is a challenging one, riddled with difficult choices and taxing investigative work. Dwight is confronted with a difficult decision as he is forced to weigh his devotion to Michael against his oath to voluntarily uphold the law. The test puts a tremendous strain on his loyalties and leads him to perform extraordinary acts of weirdness. Jim, who has been served a debilitating jinx sentence, has no choice but to watch the events unfold in silence.
I didn’t recognize the full extent of Michael’s brilliance during Drug Testing until my second or third viewing. Credit Jennifer Celotta for coming up with lines that play to his dubious strengths.
Michael : I am ridiculously anti-drug. I am so anti-drug that I am above suspicion in any way that involved suspicion, or… testing of any kind.
Michael builds a full head of steam, and you can kiss sense and rationality goodbye.
Michael : I want everybody to take a look to their left.
[Everybody looks to their left]
Michael : Now I want everybody to take a look to their right.
[Everybody looks to their right]
Michael : One of those people will be dead from drug use at some point in their lives. This year, more people will use cocaine than will read a book to their children.
Stanley : Where did you get these facts?
Michael : Are these facts scaring you, or are they not?
Stanley : They are not.
Michael’s talent for spinning outrageous lies never ceases to amaze.
Michael : I need clean urine for the lady. [Sighs]
Dwight : But that’s illegal.
Michael : Don’t think of it that way. It’s like… urine goes all over the place, you know? There’s no controlling it. It just…
Dwight : Not my urine.
Michael : A cup could find its way under the urine. It might be an accident.
I mean, honestly, how do you respond to something like this?
You really have to be secure with yourself to come to work decked out in faux police garb. Few people, if any, are more secure with themselves than Dwight.
Dwight : I like the people I work with generally. With four exceptions. But someone committed a crime, and I did not become a Lackawanna County Volunteer Sheriff’s Deputy to make friends. And by the way, I haven’t.
Alright, let’s take a crack at these four exceptions. Jim, clearly; no explanation required. Ryan, who threatens to encroach on his relationship with Michael. Stanley, who makes no attempt to hide his utter disregard for authority in the office. And Phyllis, whose easygoing nature conflicts with his draconian sensibilities.
Dwight : I don’t wanna blow this. This is what all good law enforcement officers dream of. The chance to solve an actual crime.
Police officers solving actual crimes. Dream might be pushing it. A dream of volunteer sheriff’s deputies, perhaps.
For most actors, being asked to carry a scene without speaking would demand some sort of change in their acting method. Many of them could pull it off, but not without investing a considerable amount of effort in maintaining the silence.
For John, a request like this plays right to his strengths. His face does half of the work in most of his scenes, anyway, and as demonstrated in this episode, it’s very much capable of shouldering the entire load. It’s effortless for him; he simply acts the way he normally does, just without the speaking.
Dwight : I can’t stop this investigation. It is my job.
Jim : Whoa, you are a volunteer.
Dwight : I volunteered for this job…
Jim : … and that’s not the same.
Dwight : It is my duty…
Jim : … volunteer duty …
Dwight : to investigate the crime scene.
To say that Jim has the upper-hand is this battle would be an understatement. The only thing keeping Dwight afloat are that gigantic head of his and the delusions contained within.
Jim : I’m just saying that you can’t be sure that it wasn’t you.
Dwight : That’s ridiculous. Of course it wasn’t me.
Jim : Marijuana is a memory loss drug, so maybe you just don’t remember.
Dwight : I would remember.
Jim : Well, how could you if it just erased your memory?
Dwight : That’s not how it works.
Jim : Now, how do you know how it works?
Dwight : Knock it off, ok? I am interviewing you.
Jim : No, you said that I’d be conducting the interview when I walked in here! Now, exactly how much pot did you smoke?!
Dwight : [Stunned]
Dwight needs to get a grip on himself. Years of semi-rigorous volunteer sherrif’s deputy training must have prepared him better than this.
Pam continues to reel guys in with her unique brand of primetime charm.
Pam : Jim does the best impressions. Sometimes he’ll look up at me from his desk, and he’ll just be someone else. Like, he’ll go, um…
[Performs an impression with little success and is greeted with silence]
Pam : That’s supposed to be Phyllis. I can’t do it as good as he can.
Ouch, not even a courtesy smile or chuckle from the cameraman.
Can I call it clever writing if it doesn’t actually involve any dialogue? Preventing one of them from speaking for nearly an entire episode was a brilliant move, if only because it highlights the fact that it doesn’t actually make that much of a difference in the way that Jim and Pam interact with one another.
Pam : Jim is not allowed to talk until after he buys me a coke. Those are the rules of jinx, and they are unflinchingly rigid.
We have either a delinquent delivery man or a caffeine-starved employee to thank for this beautiful setup.
Pam : Wow! He really pulled out the big guns. Fake crying. Did not expect that.
No kidding, he even broke through Angela’s impregnable fortress of heartlessness. She actually looked concerned for him.
[Pam is poking fun at Jim in the break room]
Pam : What? Did you wanna tell me something? You look like you wanna tell me something. You look like you have something really important to say and you just can’t for some reason.
Jim : [Smiles, unable to speak]
Pam : Come on, you can tell me. Jim, you can tell me anything.
Jim : [Smile fades as he looks down at the table]
Pam : [Face falls as she notices Jim’s reaction]
This was an incredible scene; wonderfully shot and acted to perfection. Pam’s face takes a noticeable turn for the serious the moment she senses that there may be some truth to her playful prodding and that Jim may actually have something important to say to her. In a relationship where so much is unspoken and left to interpretation, it’s fitting that by limiting Jim to silence, you’ve actually given him an opportunity to act freely.
Pam : [Places a coke on Jim’s desk]
Pam : Here. Just buy it from me. I haven’t talked to you in hours, and it’s been weird. And I really wanna know what the hell’s going on with Dwight.
Jim : [Agrees after putting up a bit of resistance] Hi.
Pam : Hey.
Jim : How much time do you have left on your break?
Pam : Ten minutes.
Jim puts up the token resistance to get a rise out of Pam, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some genuine opposition behind it. I think part of him enjoyed the so-called punishment.
Jim : Wow, what a terrible day to not be able to talk. Dwight was literally carrying around his own urine and dressed like one of the Village People. Why does he do the things that he does for Michael? I just don’t get it. What is he getting out of that relationship?
There are certainly parallels to be be drawn, although Jim’s friendship with Pam is nowhere near as thankless as Dwight’s worship of Michael. We’ve got two episodes to go, and a bevy of loose ends to tie up. The final two weeks will be busy if nothing else.
Drug Testing scores an Up as the JP Index continues to climb.
Tonight’s supporting nod goes to Tate, the security guard, who continues this show’s tradition of spot-on guest roles.
Dwight : Great. Can I have a gun?
Tate : No. I don’t have a gun.
Dwight : Ok. I’ll have to bring in my bo staff.
Tate : I don’t think so.
His delivery of “I don’t think so” is one of the most hilarious things I’ve seen on this show.
Having to go through almost an entire episode without speaking automatically nets you this honor. Well done, Jim.
Jim : You look cute today, Dwight.
Dwight : Thanks, girl.
[Cut to interview]
Jim : So, yesterday, Dwight found half a joint in the parking lot, which is unfortunate, because, as it turns out, Dwight finding drugs is more dangerous than most people using drugs.
I’m surprised Dwight even knew what a joint looked like. Those aren’t the sorts of details you pick up while living the sheltered life of a beet farmer.
Kelly : And the guys are saying, “Chug chug chug!” But I’m so small and all I’d eaten that day was one of those Auntie Anne’s pretzels from the food court. So I said, “Is it ok if I sip it?” And they said no, but Ryan seemed cool either way.
Dwight : Stop! This is not Kelly Kapour story hour. Illegal drugs were consumed on company property, ok? Your ass is on the line, mister! My ass is on the line!
Of all the things to call Kelly, “mister” would not be one of them. Kelly is about as far away from mister as you can get.
Dwight : Oscar visited Mexico when he was five to attend his great grandmother’s funeral. What does that mean to a United States law enforcement officer? He’s a potential drug mule.
Dwight, bringing down the rest of our nation’s finest with him.
Creed : That is Northern Lights Cannabis Indica.
Dwight : [Sighs] No. It’s marijuana.
Sorry, Dwight. When it comes to drugs, rock star trumps volunteer sheriff’s deputy.
[Dwight is interviewing Angela in the conference room]
Dwight : I know you’re innocent, but I can’t look like I’m treating you any differently.
Angela : I understand.
Dwight : [Turns around and raises his voice] Where were you yesterday after work?!
Angela : [Smiles suggestively]
Partaking in egregious sinning, by the looks of it.
Dwight : Kevin, what prescription drugs are you taking besides Rogaine?
Kevin : I’m not taking Rogaine.
Dwight : Angela, what about you?
Angela : I don’t take any prescription drugs.
Dwight : You’re not… on… anything?
Angela : [Makes a face as if she’s trying to hide something]
Dwight : Good.
[Kevin and Oscar give the two a suspicious look]
This secret doesn’t have a whole lot of time left.
Kelly : So, the first time we went out to dinner, it was like, whatever, fine. But I was so nervous. So this time, I want it to be special. So I bought a new dress! One of those kinds that’s kind of low cut at the top to show some things, but not everything. I mean, not everything, Jim. I promise. I’m not that kind…
It’s too bad jinx doesn’t render you deaf as well.
Oscar : You were the one joking around calling Dwight a narc.
Michael : No. Uh, no. That was a test. I was testing you. And you all failed. Miserably. When I said that Dwight was a narc, how many of you defended him? How many of you said, “Hey, you know what? He’s right. What he’s doing is protecting this office from the evils of drugs”?
Dwight [Tearing up] : Thank you, Michael.
I think “testing” people went out of fashion in elementary school.
Toby : Hookah is not an illegal drug, Michael.
Michael : Yes, it is.
Toby : No, it’s not. It’s a type of pipe. You can fill it with tobacco, often mixed with fruit, or…
Michael : Ok, you know what, Toby? Pam, could you take this down?
Pam : [Gestures her lack of a writing utensil to the camera]
Michael : In addition to Toby’s urine being tested, I would like to test his blood and his hair.
Toby : You can’t do that.
Michael : I can test anyone randomly, and I have chosen you randomly.
Toby : That’s not random.
Michael : Ok, eenie, meanie, miney, moe… [Points to Toby] …is random.
And so did eenie, meanie, miney, moe.
Michael : The point… I’m trying to make with all of this, people, is that I hate drugs. I hate them. And based upon what I have seen, you all don’t quite hate ‘em as much as I do, so you are going to have a drug test, and I am not.
Dwight : No, you will be tested.
Michael : Yes, I–no, will not be.
Dwight : No, you will be. That is the law according to the rules.
Dwight’s loyalty to Michael is matched only by his devotion to rules and regulations.
Dwight : Hi, Linda. Dwight Schrute, Assistant Regional Manager. You might remember testing my urine a few years back when I was applying to be a volunteer sheriff’s deputy.
Linda : We test a lot of urine.
Dwight : Mine was green.
Linda : Oh, right. How are you?
Dwight : I’m all better.
Why would you want to bring attention to this?
Michael : So I need you to do some work on the St. Andrew’s account. I need your urine. I need some filing done.
Dwight : What kind of filing?
Urine, sure, no problem. But what kind of filing?
Linda : Yeah, we do testing all over the country.
Ryan : Cool. Hey, are you guys hiring?
Linda : You wanna work at the urinalysis lab?
Ryan : Yeah, maybe.
Well, that is truly terrible.
Kevin : I’d like a magazine.
Linda : We just need urine, sir.
Kevin : I’d still like one.
It wouldn’t be a complete episode without a creepy line from Kevin.
Michael : Well… I passed the test, thanks to you and your untainted pee. Thank you very much.
Dwight : That’s great.
Michael : What’s wrong? Where’s your costume?
Dwight : It’s a uniform, and I turned it in today when I tendered my resignation.
Michael : Why? What–
Dwight : I took an oath when I was sworn in. And I broke that oath today.
[Dwight slams the door behind him as he leaves Michael’s office]
Dwight is such a drama queen.