• Season 4 : Episode 4
  • First aired on October 18, 2007
  • Written by Paul Lieberstein / Directed by Paul Lieberstein
  • Recap by Linus
  • Discuss this episode at The Watercooler, and remember to submit your vote at OfficeTally.

They want eleven dollar bills, and it turns out Michael has only got ten. Going broke under the weight of Jan’s remodeling projects and his own irrepressible need for more magic supplies, Michael has taken a second job working at a call bank. But it all comes crashing down when he begins to neglect his duties at Dunder Mifflin, leaving Oscar and Jan to attempt to save the day as a baffled and desperate Michael does a runner. In other news, Jim and Pam have a “romantic” night away at Dwight’s new bed and breakfast, which leads them to discover that Dunder Mifflin’s top salesman is still struggling with his recent breakup.

The Michael Scott School of Hard Knocks

Michael’s been under a lot of stress this season. Little did we know that, beyond the pressures of baffling new technology and nearly killing one of his employees with his car, he’s bleeding green, as well.

[Michael talks to the cameras about his money problems.]
Michael: Yes, money’s been a little tight lately. But, at the end of my life, when I’m sitting on my yacht, am I going to be thinking about how much money I have? No. I’m going to be thinking about how many friends I have. And my children. And my comedy albums. I mean, I have a yacht, so I obviously did pretty well, money-wise.

I love that Michael, forty-something, still views the world in much the same way a child does: His grand achievements are still ahead of him, and truly his life has not yet begun. So what if his goals are, for lack of a better word, preposterous? He’s got dreams. Would that mine were as grand as his. Follow those dreams, kiddo.

[At his second job, Michael attends a “useless” staff meeting. His word, by the way.]
Nick: Make the call, say the lines, make the sale. Got it?
Michael: Very inspirational.
Nick: We’re offering a fifty dollar bonus tonight to the guy with the most sales, all right?
Coworker: Or woman.
Michael: Or trained seal.
Nick: You can make jokes when you’ve made a sale there, rookie.

Is there a human being on Earth who has less self-awareness than Michael? (Well, maybe Andy.) I often wonder what he sees when he looks in the mirror. A comedian with the head of Steve Martin, the body of Jim Carey, and the talons of a hawk?

[Michael, having been forced to quit his second job, scrambles for other methods of finding cash.]
Michael: I was thinking about doing some gambling myself. You know, just a little bit of money. Maybe doubling it, and doubling it several more times. I don’t know. Kinda, just for fun — I was thinking, do you have any tips or ideas about sure things? Like a boxer, um, who is gonna throw the big fight, you know, he’s tied into some crooked dealings and maybe his kid is sick or something, like, who would I call about that?
Kevin (whispering): The Mob.
Michael (adapting an concordantly low tone of voice): Do you know anybody in the Mob?

Yes, Michael. Kevin is actually a made man. He once stabbed a guy to death with a pen, and then had dinner with his mom while the body sat in the trunk of his car outside.

[Seemingly out of options, definitely out of money, Michael has bolted for the train yard. He sits in an empty boxcar.]
Michael: What am I doing? I am blowing Dodge. I am getting out of town. Whatever you call it, I am running away from my responsibilities. It feels good.

Oh man, if only it were this simple. If you could solve your problems like this, I can think of at least one ex-girlfriend, two college professors, three credit card companies and one major metropolitan police department who would have had to eat my dust after I took the midnight train to Georgia.

[Jan attempts to talk Michael off his train.]
Jan: Well, when my life fell apart, and they screwed me in New York, and I felt like my whole world was collapsing around me, I didn’t have anyone. I mean my whole family still won’t even talk to me on the advice of council, and my friends were just waiting for this to happen.
Michael: That’s very nice of you to say.
Jan: Michael, no, what I want to say is, you were there for me. By my side. Without even a thought. It’s just who you are. I mean, no matter how badly I treat you or what I’m going through, you just — you are there for me. And that is a guy worth staying beside. . . . So where’s this train taking us?
Michael (crying): I think the engineer left.

This was a very touching scene, and a necessary one, in my mind. There’s always been some question as to what Jan saw in Michael (or what he sees in her, for that matter, other than her fake breasts), and now we know. She sees what we, the audience, get to see only in glimpses: He’s stupid, vain, and childish, but he’s also loyal and possesses a redemptive innocence. Besides, she did say that a major factor in the breakup of her marriage was a desire for kids — and dating Michael must be very much like having a giant kid.

Dwight Being Dwight

Dwight has started shaving again, thankfully, but all is not well in his life. I sincerely hope his bed and breakfast — agro-touristic — whatever it’s called, I hope it goes better than his relationship with Angela and her cats.

[In the parking lot, Dwight returns to Angela things she left at his farm.]
Dwight: One Cardigan. One sleeping cardigan. One sleep apnea mask.
Angela: What about my cherub figurine?
Dwight: You took that with you.
Angela: No, I left it on my night — your night table, by the lamp.
Dwight: You are incorrect. I was recently scrubbing my room of memories, and I didn’t see it there.

Yet another thing that I wish worked. Scranton must be a magical land, where all your problems can be solved with a train ride and the thorough application of soap and elbow grease.

[Jim, investigating a terrifying ghostly moaning, has found Dwight, fully clothed, sitting on his bed, weeping over Angela’s cherub figurine]
Jim: Hey, Dwight.
Dwight: Oh, Jim. I thought you were Mose.
Jim: Does Mose have nightmares?
Dwight: Oh yes. Ever since the storm.
Jim: (glances to the camera, nonplussed)
Dwight: Is everything satisfactory with your stay?
Jim: Yeah, yeah.
Dwight: Great.
Jim: I just thought I heard crying, or . . . moaning, or something, in here.
Dwight: Oh. Well, I’ll look into that in the morning. Thank you for bringing that to the attention of the staff.

One gets the sense that Dwight lives in a much more Gothic universe than the rest of us. It’s like Jim’s in Scranton, and Dwight is in a William Faulker novel.

The Many Faces of Jim

There haven’t been a lot of references of the emotional reality of being Jim this season, I guess because it’s so obvious that he’s delirious just to be with Pam. But he is still a man who just went through a fairly harrowing couple of years.

[Jim and Dwight sit in the stairwell, Dwight weeping weirdly into the wall, Jim attempting to comfort him.]
Jim: Did I ever tell you why I left Scranton?
Dwight: (unintelligible)
Jim: Yeah, I didn’t think I had. Well, it was all about Pam.
Dwight: (still unintelligible)
Jim: Yeah, I mean, she was with Roy, and I just couldn’t take it. I mean, I lost it, Dwight. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t concentrate on anything, and weird stuff, like, food had no taste. So my solution was to move away. It was awful. And it is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. And that includes you.

You really get a sense of the depth of Jim’s despair, here. In those days, at least in front of the camera, he was pretending nothing was going on. You knew he must have had to have been pretty desperate to make a play for Pam only weeks before her wedding, but it makes it so much more real to hear it in his own words. This is Jim’s first really reflective moment of the season. It’s good that his response to self-examination is to go lay a big smacker on Pam.

Confessions of a Receptionist

Pam is a hip lady. That’s one of many things to love about her — she goes to the movies, she listens to pop music, she gets the pop culture references. I think, on an objective coolness scale, you’d have to say she’s cooler than Jim. This comes in handy when Michael decides to start imitating movie characters.

[Michael has been impersonating the Meryl Streep character from The Devil Wears Prada all week.]
Michael: I owe you an apology.
Pam: You finished the movie.
Michael: Yeah. It was awesome. Big surprise ending — won’t ruin it for ya.
Pam: No, go ahead.
Michael: Meryl Streep is the bad guy. Never see it coming. Anyway, if I was mean, in anyway, to you, I am sorry. I just want what’s best for you, Menushka.
Pam (mouthing): Menushka?
[Cut to a talking head with Pam.]
Pam: Macushla! He’s watching Million-Dollar Baby. [Her smile fades.] He’s gonna try to kill me.

I looked it up. Macushla is an anachronistic Irish word meaning, roughly, “darling”. I had assumed it was Yiddish. Either way, Pam’s too smart to fall prey to any harebrained scheme of Michael’s.

The Jim/Pam Index (and Dwangela S&P)

Pam and Jim continue to stride forward into a brave new world, passing new benchmarks in their relationship every day. Dwight and Angela, meanwhile, are in a state of collapse.

[We hear Jim’s voice as we see a montage of Schrute Farms activities: Beet-mashing, manure shoveling, what have you.]
Jim: You know, I just realized, this is Pam’s and my first night away together. I sued to play it over in my head, and it was just a little bit different. Maybe a nice hotel, or a romantic dinner. Wine. But wine that wasn’t made out of beets. Didn’t think Dwight would be involved at all. And I always imagined less manure. I mean, some manure, but less.

This little scene here sort of bookends the Jim and Pam story line this episode, along with the one above in which Jim bares his soul to Dwight. Both give you a sense of just how long Jim has lived with the idea of Pam, and both end with a little humor beat that almost seems as if it’s there to distract you from what he’s really saying. Also, given that Pam still had her bra on when she woke up in the middle of the night, I’d say there’s probably another aspect of this evening that didn’t go exactly how Jim imagined it.

[Jim, in the wake of his confession to Dwight, storms back into the office.]
Pam: Hey, I was thinking about dinner, we –
[He interrupts her with a long, deep kiss.]
Jim: Uh, dinner. Let’s see, maybe we should try the new Italian place where the dry-cleaner used to be.
[Cut to a talking head with Pam.]
Pam: Jim’s just really passionate about Italian food.
[Queue a talking head with Jim.]
Jim: Yeah, I’m very passionate about Italian food. In fact I’m in love with Italian food.

A few notes: First of all, that’s about the most passionate kiss you’d ever want to lay on someone in front of all your coworkers. I know some people were hoping to see tongue, but they were standing at reception, in front of the whole office, as far as I could tell. Second, after Pam’s line about Italian food, she lights up one of those really serious Pam-smiles that leave you a little giddy for several seconds, even after she’s not on screen anymore. Third, I love the little detail about the dry-cleaner. It’s one of the things that’s great about this show — it gets the little nuances of everyday life, like how the restaurant you want to try is in the same space as the place you used to take your sport coats to get cleaned. Fourth, and finally, Jim said he was in love with Pam. That’s a biggie right there.

Jim said he was in love with Pam once before. That was a long time ago. Now, we’re back there, only this time, Pam’s got the guts to love him back. (Well, I assume so. She hasn’t said it, which I can imagine becoming an issue at some point in the future. But you get the picture.) All in all, I’d say Money rates an up, up and away on the JPI.

Meanwhile, Dwight and Angela are broken up, and not only that, but it appears that she’s moving on.

[Angela, cradling a cat that Andy has given her, approaches his desk — only feet from where Dwight sits.]
Angela: You may ask me out to dinner. Nothing fancy or foreign. No bars, no patios, no vegetables. And no seafood.
[Dwight, crushed, bolts.]

What, pray tell, does that woman eat? She’s vegetarian, as well, so without vegetables on her menu, she’s pretty much got noodles and bread available. Maybe that’s why she’s so small.

Anyway, the real slap in the face here, if you’re Dwight, is that the cat Andy used to win his date with Angela is none other than Garbage, the cat Dwight attempted to win her back with not so long ago. In light of Angela’s plans with Hawkman — er, Andy –, and the whole cat business in general, Money rates a bottle of bourbon and a Johnny Cash record on the Dwangela S&P. Sigh.

Supporting Nod

I don’t know if this is unprecedented, but I’m going to say it is, and hand out an unprecedented three-way tie in this category: Much love to Darryl, for showing Kelly what a real man is like, Oscar, for playing the straight man despite the fact that’s not straight at all, and Dwight’s cousin Mose, who makes Dwight look downright normal.

The Superstar

I considered giving it to Dwight again, but truth be told, it can’t be anybody but Michael this week. This was one of those episodes where The Office showed us a little bit of its heart, and a little bit of Michael Scott’s, too.

Transmissions from the Office

  • Dwight: Agrotourism is a lot more than a bed-and-breakfast. It consists of tourists coming to a farm, showing them around, giving them a bed, and giving them breakfast.

    It turns out that agrotourism is a real thing. I, personally, can’t feature it. Isn’t history at least partially the story of man’s desire to get out of the fields, and into the cities?

  • Kevin: The bar uses an applause meter. That is why it is so important that you all come and applaud only for my band, Scrantonicity II. NOT SCRANTONICITY, which I am no longer a part of.

    I’ll do that as soon as you check out my band, Dork Side of the Moon XXXXVII.

  • Jim: I can’t believe this place is real. I mean, I’d heard about his beet farm for years, but –
    Pam: The Beets Motel.
    Jim: “The Beets Motel”. That is — wow.
    Pam: Thank you.
    Jim: The Borscht Hotel.
    Pam: Eh. The Embassy Beets. Radish Inn.
    Jim: How are you doing this?

    This was a very sweet little scene in which you got to see exactly why it is that Jim is so passionate about Italian food.

  • Dwight: Now then, do you have any special needs or dietary restrictions?
    Jim: Yes. We will be requiring a bedtime story.
    Dwight: No.
    Jim: Not even Harry Potter?
    Dwight: No, Jim. C’mon.
    Mose: But you promised!

    I’m not sure Mose is grown-up enough for the seventh Harry Potter book. There’s some pretty serious stuff in there.

  • Jim: I’d say one in six.
    Pam: What?
    Jim: I thought you asked me what our chances were of being murdered here tonight.

    So, who’s the killer? A grieving Dwight, a short-circuited Mose, or Freddy Kreuger?

  • [Stanley, on the phone, explains why he was so mad when Michael cold-called him to sell diet pills.]
    Stanley: When I’m at home at night in my own house in my sweats drinkin’ some red wine watching my mystery stories, the last thing in the whole godforsaken world I wanna hear is the voice of Michael Scott.

    That’s the fastest I’ve ever heard Stanley talk. I know there oughta be some more commas in there, but he didn’t stop to breathe through that whole thing, so I’m not going to put any in. Anyway, what “mystery stories” do you suppose Stanley watches? My guesses: Monk, Law and Order, Cold Case, and House, and maybe that thing with Dame Helen Mirren that they run on PBS sometimes. Stanley seems like a PBS sort of person to me.

  • Michael: It’s so competitive here. What’s a dollar worth in your land? Medical school must have cost like, 40 bucks or a donkey or something.
    Vicram: Uh, no.
    Michael: I woulda been chief of surgery. Or a cowboy.

    Vicram seems like a nice guy. Lets Michael share his food. Doesn’t punch his lights out. That sort of thing.

  • Jim: You okay?
    Dwight: I am better than you ever have been or ever will be.

    How miserable does Dwight think other people’s lives are, exactly?

  • Ryan: What I really want, honestly, Michael, is for you to know this information, so that you can communicate it to the people here, to you clients, to whomever.
    Michael: Ugh, okay.
    Ryan: What?
    Michael: It’s “whoever”, not “whomever”.
    Ryan: No, it’s “whomever”.
    Michael: No, “whomever” is never actually right.
    Jim: Well, sometimes it’s right.
    Creed: Michael is right. It’s a made-up word used to trick students.
    Andy: Actually, “whomever” is the formal version of the word.
    Oscar: Obviously it’s a real word, but I don’t know when to use it correctly.
    Michael (aside): Not a native speaker.
    Kevin: I know what is right, but I’m not gonna say, because you’re all jerks who did not come see my band last night.
    Ryan: Do you really know which one is correct?
    Kevin: I don’t know.
    Pam: It’s “whom” when it’s the object of the sentence, an “who” when it’s the subject.
    Phyllis: That sounds right.
    Michael: Well, it sounds right, but is it?
    Stanley: How did Ryan use it, as an object?
    Ryan: As an object.
    Kelly: Ryan used me as an object.
    Stanley: Is he right about that.
    Pam: How did he use it again?
    Toby: It was, Ryan wanted Michael, the subject, to explain the computer system, the object –
    Michael: Thank you.
    Toby: — to whomever, meaning us, the indirect object, which is the correct usage of the word.
    Michael: No one asked you anything, ever, so whomever’s name is Toby, why don’t you take a letter opener and stick it in your skull?

    Whew. So, a few points:
    (1) That is the longest riff they’ve ever had on this show, I’m sure of it. It far outdistances the “Dwight Schrute is now wearing a baby’s bonnet” scene.
    (2) Pam is right. Another reason to love Pam: she’s good with grammar.
    (3) Creed, so good with infer versus imply, appears to have taken some more drugs since then.
    (4) Kelly is wrong. She used Ryan as an object — essentially a boyfriend-doll; she was impervious to any of his wishes, desires or signals. Ryan used her as something else.
    (5) Paul Lieberstein, who wrote and directed this episode, certainly teed one up for himself to hit it out of the park in this scene. Way to make yourself look smart, man.

  • Michael: I was never in this for the money. But it turns out that the money was a necessity for me. I tried to live the dream. I tried to have a job, a girlfriend, another girlfriend, another job . . . and I failed. But the good thing about the American dream is that you can just go to sleep and try it all again the next night.

    I tried to live the dream the other day, but Jenna Fischer’s assistant has stopped answering my e-mails. And then when I woke up the next day, I forgot to try to live the dream again.

  • Stanley: I bet it’s Jan spending him straight into the poorhouse.
    Kevin: Yeah, women be shoppin’.

    I cannot say I sponsor Kevin’s taste in movies.

  • Michael: Whatcha talking about? Okay, I know what’s going on. You’re talking about Jim and Pam. If they’re having sex — what it looks like. You know, I think –
    Pam: Michael.
    Michael: Hey!

    I know of a couple of web sites Michael can go to, if he wants to discuss that exact thing in more depth.

  • [Darryl and Kelly, now apparently dating, have contrasting talking heads.]
    Darryl: It’s like she only wants to hook up when Ryan comes around. It’s getting to the point where I get excited every time I see that little dude walk through the door.
    Kelly: Darryl Philbin is the most complicated man that I have ever met. I mean, who says exactly what they’re thinking? What kind of game is that?

    One hopes that dating an actual man will help Kelly grow up a little. Also, one hopes that no one comes up with a cutesy portmanteaux of their names, so I don’t have to start giving the “Kerryl Update” every other week.

    Oops.

  • Michael: We’ll find another way. We’ll ask PowerPoint.
    Oscar: Michael, this is a presentation tool.
    Michael: You’re a presentation tool if you think I’m gonna tell Jan about this!
    Oscar: I’m done.

    Oscar rarely gets the funniest lines, but throughout the second half of this episode, he anchored Michael, playing his humor while preventing from driving into any lakes, if you know what I mean.

Odds and Ends

  • There were a lot of nonverbal humor beats in this episode — you can’t really capture the quality of Dwight’s wail, or the way Jim and Pam look at each other when Dwight reverts to normal by knocking all of Jim’s stuff off his desk.
  • I thought the bathroom at Dwight’s house was under the porch?
  • This was Paul Lieberstein’s directorial debut. It’s hard to feel the directorial hand on this show, but he seems to have done a fine job. I mean, it looked, felt and sounded like an episode of The Office, so he can’t have screwed up too badly.
  • I really want to see what’s in the “America” and “Night-time” rooms at Schrute Farms.
  • Steve Carrell’s delivery is consistently amazing. If you look at the words on the page, and then listen to how he says them, you have to wonder what kind of mind takes you from one to the other. Because I don’t have it.

If you want to reach Linus with offers of money, sex, or fame beyond his wildest imaginings, he can be contacted at woodstein52@hotmail.com. And he promises he spelled it right this time.

The Story in Pictures

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WOOOOOHOOOOOO THE OFFICE!!!!!!!!!!
ok back to homework so I can be ready for 9.

1Posted by Hank on October 18, 2007

Kevin FTW this week:

"....I'm not telling you cause youre all jerks who didnt come see my band"

2Posted by Pat D. on October 18, 2007

Wow

3Posted by Hank on October 18, 2007

Wow
Maybe I'll know what to write tomorrow because that was just...wow

4Posted by Hank on October 18, 2007

LOL Hank..... you took the words right out of my mouth.

5Posted by Denise on October 18, 2007

Man, Pam keeps getting more radiant each week. What a Babe.

And how about Andy checking out Angela's "smokin' body". LOL. Too bad he is in for some Dwight-style revenge, which I imagine involves beets and manure.

6Posted by Pat D. on October 18, 2007

What the...

7Posted by JAMARAM on October 18, 2007

This one is my favorite of the season so far. OMG.

8Posted by Karin on October 18, 2007

I loved this episode, the best part was the Jim/Dwight scene at the end, underneath they are really good friends they just have a weird way of expressing it. I liked Jim and Pam having to act as parents to Dwight. It was great that Michael was a low grade version of Jim at his phone job, the fact that everyone liked him shows why he got regional manager. Ryan just gets to be more of a slimeball with each episode, he seems to be using his position to get revenge on Michael rather than lead. Hopefully, they're setting him for some kind of major comeupance. Mose's Jurassic Park pajamas were hilarious.

9Posted by jackalope on October 18, 2007

I loved this episode, the best part was the Jim/Dwight scene at the end, underneath they are really good friends they just have a weird way of expressing it. I liked Jim and Pam having to act as parents to Dwight. It was great that Michael was a low grade version of Jim at his phone job, the fact that everyone liked him shows why he got regional manager. Ryan just gets to be more of a slimeball with each episode, he seems to be using his position to get revenge on Michael rather than lead. Hopefully, they're setting him for some kind of major comeupance. Mose's Jurassic Park pajamas were hilarious.

10Posted by jackalope on October 18, 2007

Siiiiggh...that Jan and Michael scene... I don't know... I'm going to be glad the hour longs are over for a while. That scene is probably the most sitcom-ish the Office has ever been... Still, a bad Office is still an amazing show.

11Posted by S.Kim on October 18, 2007

i'm really ready for the return of the half-hour episode.

that being said, this episode ranked up there on my list of favorite episodes. the line, "i declare BANKRUPTCY!" had my roommate literally diving off of the couch to avoid the awkwardness.

and Jim and Pam...oh Jim. what is there to say? i'm so glad you love Italian food.

12Posted by liesl on October 18, 2007

Toby's directing debut was a complete smash hit. I mean, holy crap, this thing was off the charts.

As much as I am going to enjoy the half-hour episodes, I really am glad they dragged this one out. About halfway through the episode I was starting to get kinda depressed; Michaels financial situation, the Dwight/Angela fiasco, everyone skipping out on kevin's band... ugh. But, by the end everything was good and I felt a lot better about the episode.

Also, MOSE!!!!!!

13Posted by Jim on October 18, 2007

Easily the best of the hour-longs, in my mind. Maybe the best since season two. I felt that Michael and Jan at the end was a very strong scene in which material that could have been clichéd was instead treated delicately and unusually.

But that's just me. Look for the recap on Sunday or Monday, because the Ducks and the Sox are both on the tube Saturday, so I may not be as efficient as in the past.

14Posted by Linus on October 18, 2007

I loved that Andy gave Angela the cat that Dwight tried to give her.
I loved this episode too, even tho I missed part of it, thanks to bad weather updates.
Mose....EXACTLY how I pictured him!!!
I did alot of "aawwww" this episode..both happy and sad ones.
I'm looking forward to your recap Linus. (even tho youre a ducks fan)

15Posted by Denise on October 19, 2007

I wish my room was irrigation themed.

16Posted by Black Pepper Snake on October 19, 2007

Relationship thoughts:
I think there's too many. There's 5 women in DM Scranton. Pam dates/dated coworker Jim/Roy, Kelly dates/dated coworkers Daryl/Ryan, Angela dates coworkers Dwight/Andy, Phyllis married some guy on the same floor of her building, leaving Meridith alone. And Michael lives with his former boss. Don't any of these people have lives outside DM? Why is Dunder Mifflin so incestuous?
Why doesn't Karen make some brief appearances as Ryan's girlfriend (assuming that Ryan wasn't just blowing smoke when he said she emailed him about dating). Let's just squeeze the entire universe into one upstairs office in Scranton, PA.

Are we going to see new people added to Scranton?If you think about it, they merged Scranton & Stamford and while DM probably had too many people, Andy is the only one left. Surely with all the clients from both branches (even assuming they lost some) they'd still need one more person. Or maybe a new temp.

17Posted by MoneyBeets on October 19, 2007

IMO, this episode was one of the best of any season. I laughed throughout and the scenes towards the end were some of the most thoughtfully written and genuinely touching scenes I've ever seen on a TV show. I really admire Paul and the other writers for progressing this story they way they do. They walk a very thin line in order to please the fans and continually surprise. People want season 2 again, but they can't go back to that and in this episode I think they did a great job of capturing the humor and pathos that made season 2 so great, but at the same time being fresh and evolving the characters. Perfect!

I sent my brother the Season 1 DVD when he was in Iraq and he loved it. He said that it made him laugh when he never felt less like laughing. He was gone through season 2 and most of season 3, but he returned safely (YAY!) and now we watch The Office together every Thursday. His laughter is contagious and we must miss half of the lines because we're laughing so hard. THANKS OFFICE!

18Posted by Pamcasso on October 19, 2007

I loved this episode. I "hate" (not literally) when they make me love Micheal. I just want to give him a hug and rub his head and tell him that everything is going to be o.k. He's such a good guy underneath that 'jerk' exterior. Loved Jan loving him and Dwight's bounce back at the end. Sooooo good. These writers are great. Keep it up~

19Posted by Monday Morning. on October 19, 2007

Couple of quick thoughts - How did Michael get rid of the Sebring? Wasn't it a company car? And wasn't it just in the shop after hitting Meredith? The Office isn't usually inconsistent with these things, but this one bothered me.

Oh, Moneybeets, I don't think Ryan and Karen are dating - Ryan's reference to Karen asking him out was an outright lie and calls back to when Ryan asked out Karen and she turned him down because she was with Jim. Karen would have no patience for Ryan.

Good episode though. They've found exactly the right tone for Jim and Pam, and I hope they keep it that way. Nothing boring about it.

20Posted by Like a Carpenter on October 19, 2007

I also enjoyed it. Jim and Dwight's bonding moment was touching and displayed the kind of compassion that each one have for each other (i.e. The Impersonations, the Pepperspray, the Universe winning, Dwight's hugging of Jim after being fired, etc). Their relationship is always interesting to me. I think it's because I see it developing into some type of brotherly relationship, which, if you've seen John Krasinski's Conan O'Brien interview, would know what it's like to have brothers.

Jan and Michael on the train was very well done, especially the shot of their feet hanging from the car. Very cinematic: it gaves us a (too brief) chance to really HEAR what they were saying.

And Mose running alongside Jim's car is one of the most fascinating things I've EVER seen on television. It had me grinning past my ears.

21Posted by Jose on October 19, 2007

Not to be a downer about a show I love and admire, but I have to vent. I was very disappointed with this episode, and I am beginning to worry about the direction of the show. Ryan's role as new boss seems forced. The scene in the conference room where he threatens Michael to choose jobs ( not to mention the "whomever" debate ) felt very scripted and unnatural. Michael is moving from lovable idiot into over-the-top cartoon character. And the strength of the first three seasons rested on the love tension between Jim and Pam, and the games played between Jim and Dwight, which now is non-existent. I understand that characters and storylines will change throughout time, but everything seems to have changed all at once. Combine that with the majority of the storyline taking place outside the office, and it doesn't feel like The Office anymore. I was very surprised to hear the overwhelming positive reaction from everyone on this episode, so I may need to watch it again.

That being said, I think the Jim/Pam/Dwight stories are very sweet, and it's great to see how the relationships have evolved from irritated co-workers to almost siblings-- always trying to get under each others skin, but there for you when you need them most. And Mose--- WOW. This dude needs his own movie or comedy series!

22Posted by Scrantonicity on October 19, 2007

Well, there will be no PhilipThoughts this week.

About 15 minutes into this episodes, BOOM! Our TV went out. Every channel went blank. I nearly picked up the TV and threw it out the window, as what I was in the middle of was some of the funniest stuff I've ever seen! The beet farm, the manure, the Mose...awesome!

To be fair, after another fifteen minutes, the TV jumped back on. So I did get to see the second half. I'm not sure what to make of what I saw afterwards...I honestly don't like Kelly/Darryl and the Jan/Michael train scene was surprising, but seemed a tad sitcom-ish. But Oh, that last Pam and Jim moment was one of the best ever in the show! It was just too sweet! And Dwight's comeback was great! Did anyone notice that when he started using the ruler slide Jim's overlapping stuff back onto Jim's own desk, it was a harkening back to the very first thing Dwight did as a character in the pilate episode?

Hmmm...maybe that was a PhilipThoughts after all!

23Posted by Philip on October 19, 2007

So, did you catch Kermit moonlighting at the call center as well? Seems Michael has Froggy 101 in all of his offices! I like the ep, I suppose, because so-so Office is better than no Office, but I'm with the others that are curious about what direction this is going and want to get back to the half-hour, in the office set formula for awhile.
That being said - Darryl matter of factly telling Kelly to access the uncrazy part of her made me holler!

24Posted by Tami on October 19, 2007

I agree with Pamcasso..... I almost feel this was the best episode of any sesaon. Any doubt I had about the show jumping the shark after Ep 1, are completely gone. The whole thing felt natural to me, and so many things going on that were developed so masterfully. We got to see a lot of characters out of the office, which was interesting.

Also glad we got to see Dwights creepy brother again. I love the hour long format , and how all the characters aren't just one dimensional; Darell not putting up with Kelly's crap, Jan being a bitch and shallow, but sticking with Michael in the end, even if it means sitting on a train going nowhere. Well done all around!

I ....DECLARE ....BANKRUPTCY!!

25Posted by Matt on October 19, 2007

To correct anyone who's may be confused about this:

Mose is Dwight's COUSIN, not his brother.

26Posted by Philip on October 19, 2007

Correction for Tami: That's not Kermit, it's "Mister Froggy." (I worked at a Froggy station in West Virginia and cringed every time I had to say that name.)

I thought the hourlong episodes ended up batting .500. "Fun Run" and "Dunder Mifflin Infinity" seemed mediocre, while "Launch Party" and "Money" both left me wanting more. I guess it all depends on the material you have to work with from week to week.

Anybody notice that this season has a lot more camera crew/character interaction than before? It's reaching a point where these people that we never see are starting to feel like characters in the show.

27Posted by Adam on October 19, 2007

This episode almost felt like a season finale to me and in a way, the past 4 episodes have been like a mini-sesaon, and now the "real" season starts with the half hour longs. It kind of tied up the Angela/Dwight break up, and I think they did a very good job with that. To me it kind of seemed like Dwight was deciding to move on from Angela, although he may be deciding to fight for her. It would be kind of interesting to see Angela come crawling back to Dwight and how Dwight would handle that. Also, I'm not really sure what will happen with Jam this season. This episode just felt like validation that their relationship is rock solid. I don't doubt that there will be conflicts between the two but with the way Jim was just so flushed with love for Pam that he kissed in the middle of the office, and how he spoke to Dwight of how not being with Pam drove him crazy makes me doubt there will be any serious conflict/breakup between the two. Let's face it, they're totally in love with each other and will definitely end up together by the time the series ends. Any on-again off-again stuff is just to cliché for The Office. It will definitely be interesting to see how the writers fill in the massive gap left by the Jim/Pam angst, as that was such a huge part of the show. I'll admit what really sucked me in was seeing the heartbreaking angst between the two. ANyway I have high hopes for this season after seeing this episode.
And with all of that there is Michael. Sooo many good Michael moments in this episode. Did anybody else catch those looks he made when Jan says she needs the car that night and (basically) insults his improv? Or when she picks him up from his second job and asks how improv was? He just has this horrible defeated look of someone who sees that they are not happy and they are not chasing what they want to be doing. It was just so heartbreaking to see Michael like that, and in a way it reminds me of Pam's TH when shes says she's never going to her dream house and breaks down and cries. Jan almost had me lost there but she definitely made up for it at the end. She actually appreciates Michael and everything he has sacrificed for her. It was nice to see such a serious and touching moment involving Michael (and Jan), because you so rarely see that in his character, but when you do, you see that he isn't such a bad person at all.

Wow, super long post for only my second episode, but what can I say, it was pretty loaded.
Can't wait for next week and more material to agonize over with you guys.

28Posted by Hank on October 19, 2007

To MoneyBeets:
The high number of intra-office relationships used to bother me as well, even if the resulting comedy is gold. Here's how I rationalize it: Michael's leadership has fostered a middle school environment, so should we really be surprised if his employees pursue relationships like a middle school child would? Plus, it's funny.

29Posted by JimmyBond on October 20, 2007

Ahhh... I loved this episode! I wish they could all be an hour long.
I honestly don't miss the Jim/Pam angst at all. Yeah I loved the tension like everyone else, but really guys, how long can that go on? And now with Roy and Karen out of the picture, there is no reason why they shouldn't be together. And I LOVED when Jim ran up and kissed her last night. That was so sweet and pretty much summed up his feeling for the past few years.
Loved the Jim/Dwight interaction too. I'm sure the pranks will be back once Dwight gets over his heartache.

30Posted by Erin on October 20, 2007

That was a great show. I am glad that the coupling of Jim and Pam seems so natural and the show is showing us that there is life beyond JAM.

31Posted by Kyle on October 20, 2007

My question this week:

So what the hell happened with Scrantonicity?

32Posted by Rebecca on October 20, 2007

I would guess that they kicked Kevin out. That's why he's so pissed.

33Posted by Kyle on October 20, 2007

Okay I have a very serious question. Where/when can I catch the Office from last week? Because I missed it, and:

1. iTunes is out.
2. Youtube used to have the episodes, until I tried recently and got "removed by NBC due to copyright infringement."
3. The NBC online player is slow as molasses (on a cold day, uphill, etc.).

I'm desperate.

34Posted by Grass Roots on October 21, 2007

You can get episodes of The Office at Amazon.com through their Unbox service:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000XI3SIU/ref=atv_dp_se_4_4/002-1360784-8682407

I bought an ep from Season1 that i had missed from Amazon. Its pretty good quality.

35Posted by MoneyBeets on October 21, 2007

Also, I believe you can watch the full episodes through NBC's website. They are available Friday afternoon after the show airs.

http://www.nbc.com/The_Office/video/episodes.shtml

Amazon's Unbox service is not the greatest:

-Their episodes are approx 700 Mb per hour episode, twice that of a HD avi rip.
-The video quality is sub-par, akin to normal (non-HD) broadcast quality.
-Their Unbox player is not compatiable with Macintosh (thank god after a nice email to their customer service center they now say that on the purchase screen.)

Just FYI. I am of the opinion that watching the episode over the nets is better than paying for the crap Amazon is trying to sell.

36Posted by Jim on October 21, 2007

Amazing episode. I love Jim & Dwight's relationship. I really do enjoy the sort of twisted bond that exists with Pam/Jim/Dwight. It's as though Dwight is their annoying older brother. Yeah they mess with him, but underneath they do care about him and will try to protect him from getting hurt.

I also love the Kelly/Darryl interactions. It'll be interesting to see how Kelly deals with a man she can't control.

37Posted by Melissa on October 21, 2007

Anybody notice the row of Dundies on the mantle in Dwight's Farm, funny stuff.

38Posted by jackalope on October 21, 2007

Good eye jackalope... I'm going to have to go back and look. I love the little details like that.

39Posted by Denise on October 22, 2007

This was not my favorite episode, but was filled of some of my favorite moments in the entire series:

1. Dwight lying about Angela's figurine
2. Dwight crying at night to said figurine
3. Every second Mose was onscreen.
4. Andy standing spread eagled in front of Pam at the reception desk
5. America, Irrigation and Nighttime
6. I...declare...BANKRUPTCY!!!
7. Ryan wiping the essence of Darryl (or something) off his suit
8. "But I couldn't do that to Dwight. Or Angela. Or Andy."
9. Dwight reaching out for Jim and finding only air.
10. Dwight using his ruler to evict Jim's files from his desk as a throwback to the Pilot.

What bothered me: How could Jan not know she was running up Michael's debt? Michael said she poses, but is she really that clueless? Aside from that, Michael's hiding his debt from her is both admirable and reckless.

Note to writers: Please give Mose at least one line this season. Please!

40Posted by emstevens on October 22, 2007

Oddly enough, my funniest moment was after the show, looking at TripAdvisor and seeing Dwight's Farm's page. There's that comment by "JandP" which we saw on telly, but the one that made me laugh was the comment made by "sprinklesmom". :D

41Posted by Fiz on October 22, 2007

Denise, you can see them in the montage at the farm when Jim and Pam are reading their TripAdviser review.

42Posted by jackalope on October 22, 2007

emstevens-
Regarding Michael's debt...I actually don't think Jan is the one who ran up Michael's credit cards. If you'll notice, when Oscar was going over Michael's expenses, they were all ridiculous things that Michael had bought...like the Muppet Babies DVDs. I think at the beginning when Jan said "It costs what it costs." she was saying that because she was paying for it. I think Michael is that clueless as to running up his own debt and was just blaming it one Jan. I think this has been coming for awhile. How much has he spent at joke shops in the last couple seasons??
That's just my theory. Any other thoughts?

43Posted by Emily on October 22, 2007

The Amazon Unbox thing works pretty well (reminds me of the old iTunes days). Only drawback is the too-large filesize. Much better player than Apple's though, I thought.

By the way, MoneyBeets, NBC's player is out, way too slow.

44Posted by Grass Roots on October 22, 2007

Well, I messed up my signoff again. That should be "beyond his wildest imaginings". At least I spelled my email address correctly this time.

One of these days, I'll get that right.

45Posted by Linus on October 23, 2007

Also, I just wanted to note for the reading public: James no longer has the time to write these recaps, but don't imagine for a second that his effort is anything like minimal. I can't speak for Karin, but I think we have the privilege of doing the fun part, while our host still does the yeoman's work -- finding the screen caps, making our piddling words look pretty, and correcting our signoffs (well, mine, at least). He makes us look good. Two weeks ago, I got a lot of thanks for the recap. Never forget the man who makes all of this happen.

And it was his birthday last week. So happy birthday, and thanks, James.

46Posted by Linus on October 23, 2007

Thank you, Linus, you are far too kind. Really, it's my pleasure. It would be a crime to let your and Karin's work go unnoticed.

47Posted by James on October 23, 2007

Thanks Linus for another great recap!!!
Happy Belated Birthday! Had I known, I would have sent you a gift basket. This is an awesome sight. I check it several times daily.....and now when I watch the show, I'm thinking "oh I have to mention that in my post" or "I wonder what everyone else is going to say". Thanks again Jim, Linus and Karin.

48Posted by Denise on October 23, 2007

Happy birthday, doggo! A+ for starting this site (and of course for letting us add to it).

Tiny thing re: Pam's nighttime bra - I've noticed that nearly every single female shown on TV at night in pjs is wearing a bra. I can't think of any truly good reason to sleep in a bra, so I think it's just insurance that the actress looks good and perkily supported while in whatever costume she may be wearing. That, and the bra was neutral in tone (maybe it was even a clear strap?), which I feel lends further creedence to the idea that it's not really meant to be there.

What I'm saying is, the nonregulation homemade twin mattresses have more to do with any lack of action for Jim and Pam than any amount of discreet underwear.

49Posted by Karin on October 23, 2007

But yeah, woooo recap! I also don't intend any kind of Kerryl recaps (Darryl wouldn't approve).

50Posted by Karin on October 23, 2007

- Slightly OT, but after seeing many random comments by recappers and commentators alike, I had to mention it: I love it that Pam is a success among the male population. I mean, of course she would be. But not considering the character's (or the actress's) personality, it's just that Jenna Fischer isn't your typical Hollywoodian beauty - she has a fairly "normal" or "average" type of beauty, like most of us in real life, and it's refreshing to see that this type of woman is admired and desired.

- Agrotourism is indeed very real and it's actually a consistent and successful form of tourism (in Italy it's a thing of beauty, what with all the magnificence of their countryside, be it tuscan or sicilian or... actually, the whole country is awesome.) ...Now that I think of it, I don't know if you were being sarcastic, but, well, aren't vacations about time-off? And why not spend that time away than in a beautiful and quiet place in the middle of nature?

- Dude, Michael's crotch in the screencap of him sitting on the train. I'm sorry, I couldn't ignore it.

- "Money" brings to the world the 439874897234957th reason that Every Girl Is Madly In Love With Jim.

- An episode that shows us a serious and subdued Michael Scott usually becomes a favorite. Takes me back to that final moment of "Halloween", which always makes my heart ache a little bit. And reminds me why Steve Carell is so ridiculously charismatic and loveable.

- Linus, I just wanted to say thanks for your kickass recaps. They're great. Also, I think they're sexy. I don't know, maybe it's the way you write. So. Yeah. Hi.

- And, finally, happy belated but very sincere birthday to James, who is responsible for the prolongation of my joy, laughter and wistfulness days after watching an Office episode. Thank you for Northern Attack!

51Posted by Ree on October 23, 2007

(Well. "Halloween"-Michael is neither serious or subdued, but the point I was trying to make was about those deeper glimpses into the good guy that he intrinsically is.)

52Posted by Ree on October 23, 2007

Linus, great recap but I have to disagree with on one point, he doesn't live in a Faulkner novel despite Mose, if anything he lives somewhere just east of the Twilight Zone. And is Dwight the most normal member of the Schrute family?

53Posted by jackalope on October 23, 2007

By the way jackalope......I saw the Dundees at Dwights place, thanks. The camera focused right on them, duh me!

54Posted by Denise on October 23, 2007

Nice recap, Linus! One thing that you didn't mention, but i think is one of the more important plot elements in this episode is that Dwight is back to being Dwight after the talk-to by Jim.

It might be a front where Dwight is trying to one-up Jim by not losing it after losing the girl, but I would bet he is relieved by the idea that things aren't totally over, and that if just acts like himself then one day he may win over Angela.

55Posted by Jim on October 23, 2007

I don't know, to me it seemed like Dwight might have moved on from Angela. The way he acted after the talk with Jim seemed like he might have decided to move on. It could be that he is just resolving to fight, or wait, for Angela. We'll see.

Anyway nice recap!

56Posted by Hank on October 23, 2007

I can almost see the appeal of agro-tourism. It's just the whole "working on a farm" part of it that I don't get.

But I'm a city boy. I'm biased.

57Posted by Linus on October 23, 2007

Back to the bra while sleeping. I was wondering about that. I think that Pam was also wearing a bra under her bathing suit for "Beach Day." Regardless, the episode was good. Not my favorite, but does it get any better than Jim and Pam listening to Dwight reading them Harry Potter stories under Mose's watchful eye? Before this episod I may not have loved Italian food but all of a sudden it is my favorite.

58Posted by Elizabeth on October 23, 2007

I can remember at least one episode of "Buffy the Vampire" in which Buffy wakes up in the middle of the night -- and not only is she wearing a bra, she's wearing a padded bra. I think, perhaps, costume departments are more interested in cleavage than they are in verisimilitude. I suppose you can see (quite literally) why.

I've been wondering if it's a bad thing that I knew exactly which Harry Potter book, and which part, Dwight was reading from, even before he finished. Probably.

59Posted by Linus on October 23, 2007

Slayer. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". Ugh.

60Posted by Linus on October 23, 2007

Greaaat recap, Linus! This was such a smashing episode - LOVED it. I adore your comparison of Dwight's life outside the office to a Gothic novel. That description is exactly what I was thinking when I watched the scene with Jim and Dwight in Dwight's bedroom. Also, your Many Faces of Jim was right on. It was exactly what JAM fans have been waiting for. Some kind of real acknowledgement of what is going on by one of the characters involved. Now we need something from Pam...

I'm on the fence about going back to half hours tomorrow. On the one hand, I agree with the general opinion that the hour length kind of messes with the pacing of the show. But 30 more minutes of Office a week is a hard habit to break.

So, tomorrow... will Kelly be accessing her uncrazy side? Will Michael be back up to his regular crazy shenanigans (as opposed to his over the top crazy shenanigans). And what's in store for us with PB&J?

Steve Carell is on Fresh Air with Terry Gross on NPR today. I think Dan in Real Life is going to be good!

61Posted by Pamcasso on October 24, 2007

I just read this on yahoo....
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071024/ap_en_tv/tv_the_office_convention

Sounds fun...wish we could ALL go!

62Posted by Denise on October 24, 2007

Linus - I totally knew which HP it was from too! Book 4, chapter 1 when Harry dreams/witnesses Voldemort killing the caretaker of the old Riddle house. BUT you may notice that the book that Dwight is holding in the show is actually book 7...

63Posted by Carly on October 24, 2007

And I am now somewhat/very ashamed that I know all that....

64Posted by Carly on October 24, 2007

Great recap, Linus. Gotta love the Johnny Cash.

65Posted by Anne on October 25, 2007