Dunder-Mifflin Infinity has gone live and is in no mood to take prisoners (unless they be of a pizza boy variety). Michael makes a couple of terrible decisions, as per usual, although this one is arguably his worst one yet, as it involves someone who has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the office (namely, said pizza boy). Of course, Class 2 felony charges aren’t enough to keep love from blossoming; Kelly’s preying eyes spy new game, Angela sees there are other (horrifying) fish in the sea, and Jim and Pam bond over technological pranks and non-hot-round-garbage pizza.
This is Michael’s episode to really and truly take out some of his confused feelings about Ryan.
Michael : The website is a brainchild of my brainchild, Ryan. It is my brain grandchild.
He clearly has a somewhat unseemly mancrush on Ryan, as evidenced by all the fawning and the statements about how he’s such a hot tease. I don’t necessarily think it’s dirty, or that he wants to pull a Brokeback Mountain on Ryan or anything, but rather that Ryan is a representation of the kind of guy Michael wanted to hang out with as a kid, who would praise him and love him in an in all probability chaste, platonic way, and make him feel wanted. Of course, Ryan is not that kind of guy at all, so you can see why Michael might take out some of his feelings on the pizza boy later.
Michael : Well, the invitation says VIPs only. Is this how you treat your VIPs, Ryan? We’re already in the City. The main part, with the buildings. What am I supposed to do? What do you want me to do tonight? If you tell me that i have to drive back to Scranton to the satellite party, I am going to throw up. Ok, I’m going to throw up. I’m throwing up, you’re making me throw up, Ryan.
[To the camera] You know what this is like? This is like when the freshman would throw a party and wouldn’t let any of the seniors go.
I truly believe that Michael was this lame. It’s the nature of his relationship with Ryan, only now Ryan’s really in a position to give a definitive no, and it seems like he’s almost relishing it (which might not go so well for him later).
Michael : It was a pretty disappointing day. It was kind of a slap in the face. To realize that I wasn’t as important as I thought I was to a certain young executive who I’d cared about. But, you know, I’m not going to cry about it. I did that in the car on the way home.
I’d rest my case, but that’d be no fun.
Michael : You’d better think about what you are doing, young man.
Pizza boy : No, you better think about what you’re doing!
Michael : No! I am an adult. I don’t have to think or do anything. You’re a kid. You’re a little snot-nosed, punk kid who thinks he’s better than everybody else, because he’s so hotshot. And you don’t know anything about sales. So stop being a disrespectful little jerk, ok?
Here, the pizza boy is a proxy of Ryan for Michael. Michael is clearly hurt by the fact that Ryan does not reciprocate Michael’s devotion, and so the pizza boy must face this wrath. My only worry here is that this little foray into FBI-oriented offenses will take the series into a darker place; on the one hand, I’d be really annoyed if this was just treated as a one-off and never mentioned again, but on the other, making it into a huge deal would be… well, kinda boring and jarring. Count me out.
At least Michael realizes his mistake and lets the kid go (but not before my favorite Dwight threat ever).
Life is not treating Dwight well. He’s lost the woman of his dreams doing what he thought was right, and now it appears he’s forgotten how to shave as well. At least he has a new quest: outselling a website. What he is not entirely prepared for is the website talking back.
DunMiff/sys : Who am I?
Dwight : You tell me.
DunMiff/sys : Not sure. Just became self-aware. So much to figure out. I think I am programmed to be your enemy. I think it is my job to destroy you when it comes to selling paper.
Dwight : How do I know this isn’t Jim?
DunMiff/sys : What is a Jim?
Dwight : It appears that the website has become alive. This happens to computers and robots sometimes. Am I scared of a stupid computer? Please. The computer should be scared of me. I have been “Salesman of the Month” for 13 out of the last 12 months. You heard me right. I did so well last February that Corporate gave me two plaques in lieu of a pay raise.
Of course, being Dwight, he is not entirely unprepared for the robot revolution. After the ease of online paper shopping lures ever more consumers, causing an undeniable loss of cool, Dwight plays his trump card.
Dwight : I am not a bad person. When I left Staples, I took some of their leads with me, but I never intended to use them. What did i intend to do with them? Who knows. Maybe keep them as a souvenir. Maybe use them.
DunMiff/sys : Oh. I didn’t realize we could use the leads we stole from Staples.
The look on his face is priceless. This, plus Andy’s predatory interest in Angela, does not make Dwight’s day at all easy. Sure, it’s hard being Dwight, but the world has been crapping on him for his (perceived) good deed and not even DunMiff/sys’ concession of victory can make this day end well.
Jim, for all intents and purposes, is a good number 2. He can make important vetoes (like sending Pam out to help the geriatric last week), he allows himself to get flustered and excite Michael further, and he certainly knows how to get everyone excited about meetings.
Jim : There’s this cube on the screen, it bounces around all day, and someitmes it looks like it’s heading right into the corner of the screen and at the last minute hits a wall and bounces away. We are all just dying to see it go right into the corner. Pam claims she saw it one day when she was a lone in the conference room. Ok. I believe she thinks she saw it.
Pam : I saw it! I saw it and it was amazing! Who said I didn’t see it? Did Jim say that I didn’t see it? I saw it!
Kevin : Dude, you’ve got to believe.
Michael : Maybe we could have some sort of riddle-
Jim : Wait for it…
Michael : …like something that you have to look for, sort of a Where’s Waldo-
Everyone : Oh! Yes! Nice!
Michael : All right, let’s quit while we’re ahead.
Kevin : That was so awesome.
Michael : That was so awesome. Thank you.
We don’t know if he came up with this diverting diversion, but suffice it to say, if it keeps people at meetings (and Michael employed), it’s all good. But, sadly, life is not all sunshine and lollipops for Jim. Unless you’re talking about those lollipops you give dehydrated people, but we’re not so there you go.
Meredith : Hey, there he is.
Jim : Hey, Meredith, how’re you feeling?
Meredith : I never thanked you for coming to the hospital.
Jim : Oh, no, please, it was my pleasure. Well, we all came.
Meredith : Well, I really appreciate you coming. I’m singling you ouuuut. Anyway, I have this sharpie, and I was wondering if you could sign my cast.
Jim : Mhhmm.
[Meredith lifts up her skirt to reveal cast-panties]
Meredith : Could you write where I can read it?
Jim : Oh yeah. [Creed looks on approvingly as Jim signs his name.]
Meredith : [whispering] I’ll read this when I get home.
Jim : All right.
But at least he’s still able to maintain his gentle, unassuming position as number two.
Michael : I think you’re overthinking it.
Jim : I think you’re underthinking it.
Ms. Pamela Beesly is the master (mistress?) of the understatement.
Pam : Dwight mercy killed Angela’s cat. It’s very complicated. It’s caused a lot of unpleasantness between Dwight and Angela… who were both already prone to unpleasantness.
Despite the aforementioned unpleasantness, she still maintains empathy for dear ole Dwigt:
Jim : What would you say if I said we could pull a prank on Dwight and at the same time not be working? [Pam balks] What?
Pam : He’s going through a breakup.
Jim : Yeah, I’m aware of that. But he’s also being super annoying and I’m not a perfect person.
[Andy sounds the bullhorn]
Dwight : Yeah, 3 reams, in your face, machines!
Pam : What kind of prank are you thinking?
Of course, she’s not made of patience and kindness. This is the Fancy New Beesly, after all.
DunMiff/sys : You beat me. You are the superior being.
We love you too, Pam.
Things are going quite well indeed for our lovebirds (I cringe saying that word, pardons).
Michael : So, this is the dealio. God has smiled upon me, and given me two tickets to go to the big party in New York tonight. What are you doing this evening. [Jim and Pam exchange looks] Look at that,. They have their own little language now. Twins.
Jim : Sure, we’ll go.
Michael : Alright. Well, fight it out amongst yourselves. I was thinking Pammy, but boys night out is also good.
Jim : Oh, I’m sorry, what?
Pam : One of the tickets is for him.
Michael : Just let me know who the winner is. [Leaves]
Jim and Pam : Not it.
Pam : I won.
Jim : Definitely not. If anything, it was a tie.
Pam : Tie goes to the girlfriend. [smiles]
I like rules like this, if only because they will probably nearly always apply to me. Jim is a smart man and does not dispute this rule, probably for several reasons (notably because Pam is adorable in her victory).
Before we touch on Dwight and Angela’s smoldering ruins, let’s have some brief insight into the origins of Jim and Pam’s mutual adoration society.
Jim : Do you remember what you said to me, on my first day of work, just before you walked me over to my desk?
Pam : Yeah. “Enjoy this moment, because you’re never going to go back to this time before you met your deskmate Dwight.”
Jim : And that’s when I know. You?
Pam : You came up to my desk and you said, “This might sound weird, and there’s no reason for me to know this, but that mixed berry yogurt you’re about to eat has expired.”
Jim : That was the moment that you knew you liked me.
Pam : Yup.
Jim : Wow. Can we make it a different moment?
Pam : Nope.
It’s little things like that that can really stick out in relationships. I’m not sure why that is, but it’s often the case and such little moments like that are probably pretty telling (if you know about these sorts of things; I did not major in psych at school). But enough of happiness! Obviously Jim and Pam are deliciously happy ; what’s going on with the office’s two most anal-retentive people, particularly when a third party butts his harmonious patoot into the picture?
Angela : Plan a party, Angela. Oh, and the entire world will see it. Oh, and here’s $65 for your budget. Oh, and here are four idiots who’ll do nothing but weigh you down. Oh, and your cat’s still dead.
So, yeah, she’s still pissed. No huge surprise there, and of course she wouldn’t be at all interested in Dwight’s mad ploy to outsell the internet. But what about Dwight?
Andy: What do you think of Angela?
Dwight : I think she’s efficient.
Andy : No, not like that, as a woman. W-O-M-A-N.
Dwight : I hadn’t noticed.
Andy : You hadn’t noticed she’s a woman? I hear she’s single and ready to mingle. I’m thinking about making a play for her. What do you think, crazy, right?
Dwight : I think it’s inappropriate to date someone you work with.
Andy : Isn’t that part of the fun?
Dwight : No. I think you should date Kelly.
Andy : She works here too, how is that any different?
Dwight : Ah, she works in the annex. You’re also welcome to date Toby.
Andy : Ok.
Andy’s later analysis of Angela’s hostility, and his own resolution to stay the course and woo the girl, does not bode well for stoic Dwight, who cannot say anything about his former relationship with Angela, much as doing so would probably get Andy to drop his pursuit (at least for a little bit). Dwight is caught in a web of his own making, although in fairness he was the one who would rather have proclaimed his love instead of remaining silent (remember that fateful trip to New York?).
Obviously, the Dwangela S&P (Sad & Pathetic) is down, down, down.
Oh, Phyllis! Oh, Phyllis!
Phyllis : Angela is worse than usual lately, and we have a party to throw. So I googled “how to deal with difficult people”, and I got all of this. So we’re gonna try out some new things today.
Try things out, she does. Wow. I don’t think Phyllis needs any religious differences to keep things between her and Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration spicy; she’s got sass in buckets.
If calling your college buddies, getting them to go on speakerphone, and singing ABBA in front of your entire office doesn’t make you a superstar, I don’t know what will. Step up, Andy.
Kelly : That’s from Ryan, does it mention if he’s seeing anybody?
Michael : No, it doesn’t, I’ll find out tonight.
Stanley : Yes, please let us know.
Kelly could really do with some letting-go lessons. She reminds me of Jane from another BBC original, Coupling, only slightly less self-obsessed and shorter.
Ryan : Yeah, I created a website. Look, at the end of the day, apples to apples, flying at 30,000 feet, this is a paper company. And I don’t want us to get lost in the weeds or into a beauty contest.
Thomas Dean : I told you I don’t want you doing these things in here. You can use your own office or do it in the hall.
That, coupled with the crack at the end, lead me to believe Ryan’s not nearly as popular as he would like. Should we be surprised? Probably not.
Michael : [Enters the conference room in a skin-tight magenta shirt] Ok.
Pam : Yes, it’s too tight.
Kelly : Waay too tight.
Oscar : This is why I’m here? [leaves]
Kelly : Why is it so tight?
Michael : It’s the European cut.
Angela : It just looks bad.
What, Oscar, you don’t want to be the Queer Eye for the Arguably-Straight Michael? I mean, really, who wouldn’t want to ogle those pecs over cyberspace, amirite?
Darryl : How about instead of yelling at our sweet little Miss Kapoor over 500 sheets of paper, you get back to your desk, and start selling multiple reams like a man.
Darryl : Here you go.
Kelly : Thanks.
Darryl : So you still missing Ryan?
Kelly : Not so much anymore.
My question to Darryl is this: how do you feel about babies? Lots of babies?
Dwight : I’ve seen this kid before. He’s one of kids that sneaks on to my farm and steals my hemp.
Pizza boy : Yeah, i know that guy. He’s that farmer that grows really crappy weed.
Now, I have a professor who does archaeological fieldwork in Romania, and around the site grows a megaton of marijuana. She takes great pleasure in telling students and other non-locals (including Python Terry Jones) that they oughtn’t bother trying to smoke it, though, as it’s the other kind. This little throwaway bit thus pleased me quite a bit, considering those kids were wasting their pathetic lives trying to smoke essentially unsmokeable marijuana. Idiots.
Andy : They say you should never mix business with pleasure. Really. Well then explain to me how a putt-putt golf company operates.
Andy makes an excellent point here - how does a putt-putt golf company operate?