It’s Meet The Press, Scranton style, when an anatomically-correct watermark leaks past quality control and brings Dunder Mifflin under not-so-public fire. Michael scrambles to save from being the escape goat while Creed, the real escape goat, launches his own damaging brand of damage control. Angela’s policy is not apology; Andy’s is to card all future girlfriends, especially those with close ties to the frozen yogurt industry.
Michael : Everybody in here, stat. No time to lose. Cri-Man-Squa. F and C, doubletime.
Dwight : Cri-Man-Squa?
Michael : Crisis Management Squad.
Ryan : F and C, doubletime?
Michael : Front and center, twice as fast as you would normally go. Any other questions?
Jim : One more. Why are you talking like that?
Michael : To save time, Jim.
Karen : Actually I think you could make the argument that it wastes time.
Pam : Yeah, she has a good point. I mean, for example, with the last thing you said, by the time you explained it, it actually took up more time.
The picture of efficiency, it’s not, but Michael still manages some managerial competency as he helms the crisis and gets the troops to their battle stations. And then, true to form, it all comes apart at the seams.
Mrs. Allen : I’m calling the Better Business Bureau!
Michael : Yeah, well, I’m calling the Ungrateful Bee-yotch Hotline!
Not exactly the guy to send in when it’s time to cut losses.
It was only a matter of time before Jim walked through that door, hair parted, gold tie ensemble, bobblehead and all. In fact, I’m kind of surprised it’s taken him this long, especially since the sum total of Dwight’s identity can be purchased for $11 and summed up in three points: bears, beets, and Battlestar Galactica. But impressive as it was, the punchline most definitely belonged to Dwight.
For some reason, I was reminded of one of my favorite visual gags of the show: first season, The Alliance, when Dwight’s voiceover on politics, baby cuts away to him as a peroxided platinum blond. And while it’s really not the same at all, having him walk into that tag scene in full Halpert gear was about as unexpected and awesome as it comes.
Each week I am loving Ed Helms more and more, for reasons not unrelated to how Jim plays off of the ever-unraveling Andy.
Andy : [to the school official] One of your students is a bitch.
Jim : Andy is having a real rough day today.
Andy : I want to take out an ad in your yearbook. Full page, two words.
Jim : “Good luck.”
Andy : That’s not what I had in mind.
Dwight need not worry, but you have to admit, the chemistry is undeniable.
Pam : Michael likes me to run the camera when he makes his apology videos. He says he needs a woman’s touch.
There are many things in the world that qualify as needing a woman’s touch. This, however, would not be one.
Michael : [into camera] If I could leave you with one thought, remember, it wasn’t me. They are trying to make me an escape goat. If I am fired, I swear to god that every single piece of copier paper in this town is going to have the F-word on it. The F-word. You have one day.
Pam : One day for what?
Michael : That’s– they always give an ultimatum.
Pam : Okay.
Michael : Good, cut?
Pam : Cut. That was your best apology video ever.
Michael : Thought so too.
Not to say she doesn’t do the job justice, because she most assuredly does.
One thing has been proven in this latest vacuum of Jim/Pam interaction; the show isn’t necessarily dependent upon it to stand on its own comedic two feet. However, if you were to poll the audience for “with” or “without,” I’d guarantee it would heartily be the former.
But for now, vacuum it is, and Product Recall is so void of contact that, even with the season’s end dangerously close (don’t remind me!), it warrants a move Down. Three weeks in counting, assuming that without a wedding there is still some sort of deadline, and it’s anybody’s game.
Creed has a title!
Creed : Every week, I’m supposed to take four hours and do a quality spot-check at the paper mill. And of course the one year I blow it off, this happens.
A title that means absolutely nothing whatsoever.
Has the superstar ever been decided by the 30-second tag scene? Dwight was on the ball throughout the episode but closing it out as “Jim” was the whole heap of cherries on top.
Jim : Question. What kind of bear is best?
Dwight : That’s a ridiculous question…
Jim : False. Black bear.
Dwight : That’s debatable. There are basically two schools of thought…
Jim : Fact. Bears eat beets. Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.
Dwight : Bears do not– what is going on? What are you doing?!
I enjoy watching how long it takes Dwight to notice something amiss with the mirror image.
Michael : We have a lot of angry customers out there. This puts us at Threat Level Midnight.
I smell a mission for Agent Michael Scarn.
Michael : [to Jim] I want you to bring a partner.
Ryan : I’ll go.
Michael : No, sweet cheeks. We need somebody who’s actually made a sale. Andy, you go.
Andy : [Cockney accent] William Doolittle at your service. A.k.a., Will Do.
Jim : Yeah, I’m definitely going to go alone.
Michael : No, no, I need two men on this. That’s what she said. No time! But she did. NO TIME!
No matter how many times Michael battles himself over that joke, it never gets old.
Kelly : Look, I know the reason that you guys became accountants is ’cause you’re not good at interacting with people. But guess what? From now on, you guys are no longer losers. So give yourselves a round of applause.
[Kelly and Kevin clap]
Oscar : I wonder how many phone calls you’re missing while you’re teaching us to answer calls.
Kelly : I know, right? Probably a lot.
So… catch 22?
Dwight : Hi. Hello. Dwight Schrute. You must be from the Washington Post.
Chad Lite : Scranton Times. Chad Lite, “Lighter Side of Life.”
Dwight : And “Breaking Corporate News…”
Chad Lite : And obits.
Dwight : Oh, dear god. Okay, here are your credentials. You’ve been granted level 3 security clearance. Don’t get too excited, that’s out of 20.
And restroom access isn’t granted until level 4.
Creed : When I went over Wednesday for the spot check, I got a call from Debbie Brown, saying she has an emergency dentist appointment.
Dwight : Emergency dentist appointment?
Brilliant smirk at the camera there, Dwight.
Dwight : First rule in roadside beet sales: the most attractive beets on top. The ones that make you pull the car over and go, “wow, I need this beet right now.” Those are the money beets.
Poor Phyllis is not a money beet.
Kelly : Ask where he’s from.
Angela : [on phone] Where are you from? Ohio? That’s nice. So what do you want? [to Kelly] He’s upset about the watermark.
Kelly : Okay, now tell him it was an unfortunate error, and we’re doing everything we can to fix it, and you’re sorry.
Angela : [on phone] It was an unfortunate error. We’re fixing it. And you already got your money back…
Kelly : And you’re sorry.
Angela : [on phone] And the company has already apologized, so you can take that apology or not. [Abruptly hangs up] I think he had Tourette’s or something.
This week was one of the hardest yet to choose a supporting nod, and you could probably say Creed’s case was helped by not having to make the choice between Angela Martin and Kelly Kapoor. By all means, put these two together more often.
Michael : [into camera] Let me tell you something, something from the heart. I am not leaving this office. It will take a SWAT team to remove me from this office. And maybe not even that.
Dwight : Uh, you could never withstand a SWAT team.
Michael : That’s how devoted I am to this job…
Dwight : I’m just saying.
Michael : I know.
Dwight : They would flank you, throw in a concussion grenade–
Michael : I understand that, Dwight.
Dwight : You’d be on the ground, blind, deaf, dumb–
Michael : You think you’re taking it a little literally, Dwight?
Dwight : If you want it to be–
Michael : And now we’re wasting tape, I’m going to have to cut this all out. Can you say cut? So I know where to–
Dwight : Cut.
Pam : Cut.
Michael : I’m asking Pam to do it, please.
Pam : Cut.
It turns out taking control of the camera away from Dwight does not guarantee any smoother of a production.