Treachery knows no bounds as office politics and competitive streaks threaten to disrupt both branches. A failed attempt to usurp Michael’s authority draws doubt over where Dwight’s true loyalties lie while exposing his grievous flaws to those who would judge him for it. Meanwhile, the betrayal at Stamford is of a different sort, one involving virtual bullets and honest mistakes rather than deceit and underhanded tactics.
This episode was a battle of the idiot masterminds. Watching Michael and Dwight scheme behind each others’ backs was almost like watching them square off against one another in The Fight.
[Michael has just convinced Dwight to have some M&Ms after his crown operation]
Michael : Hey, I thought you weren’t supposed to eat anything for a couple of hours after you’ve had a crown put in.
Dwight : They have this new kind of quick drying bonding. So…
Michael : Sounds like a good dentist.
Dwight : Oh, yeah.
Michael : What’s his name?
[Dwight struggles to come up with a name]
Dwight : Crentist.
Michael : Your dentist’s name is Crentist. Huh. Sounds a lot like dentist.
Dwight : Maybe that’s why he became a dentist.
I stand corrected: Michael is not as incompetent as he looks. His tone throughout this interrogation was actually kind of menacing.
[Dwight is clearing off Michael’s desk]
Michael : Well, I, uh, guess it’s time that I turn over the keys to the famous Sebring.
Dwight : No, thank you.
Michael : It’s a corporate lease, Dwight. You’ve earned it.
Dwight : No, thanks.
Michael : What?
Dwight : Not my style.
Michael : But you said you liked it. You’ve always admired it.
Dwight : That was before. I’m thinking about getting something German. Something with decent gas mileage. Plus the convertible is a ridiculous choice for this climate.
Michael : Take it back.
Dwight : No.
Michael’s intentions during this whole exercise are a little unclear. What exactly was he hoping to acheive by lulling Dwight into a false sense of security? My guess is that he was angry with Dwight at first, but being the vain person that he is, part of him enjoyed watching someone else take his position. Much like the wicked witch who stares into her mirror, Michael delighted in seeing what it was like to be him. That is, until his mirror started flinging insults his way.
[Dwight is cowering in Michael’s office]
Michael : I don’t know if I can trust you.
Dwight : You can’t. You can’t, but I promise I’ll never betray you again. What can I do, Michael? What can I do? What can I do? What can I do? What can I do?
Michael : You can get up. Get up.
[Dwight stands up slowly]
Michael : And you can hug it out, bitch.
[The two hug]
I don’t watch Entourage or Friends, so this was the first time that I had heard this expression. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed to learn that Michael had not come up with it himself. It sounded so… Michaelesque.
We all knew Dwight’s ambition would get the best of him eventually. It was only a matter of time.
[Dwight and Angela are speaking in the break room. As usual, their backs are turned to one another]
Angela : Michael is going to get us all fired! You sat back and let him play that dumb movie and now Jan is peeved off, and we’re all going to lose our jobs!
Dwight : That’s not going to happen.
Angela : You know she has it out for him now!
Dwight : That’s not his fault! He had to follow his heart!
Catching two co-workers having a conversation in the break room would have been suspicious, but two co-workers facing opposite directions, one speaking to the refrigerator and the other to the ladies room door… yeah, nothing strange about that.
Angela : Dwight, you should be running this office.
Dwight : Michael would never let me.
Angela : It’s not up to Michael. It’s Jan’s call. Talk to her.
Dwight : I could never do that.
Angela : Fine, sit back and do nothing and let us all get fired!
Shame on you, Dwight. Sith lords musn’t be so easily manipulated.
[Dwight calls Jan from the parking lot]
Jan : Hello?
Dwight : Is this Jan?
Jan : Who is this?
Dwight : This is Dwight Schrute. I am calling about an extremely sensitive matter.
Jan : You should talk to Michael and he’ll talk to me, and that way we don’t have to speak to each other.
Dwight : It’s about Michael.
Jan : What about him?
Dwight : I can’t talk here. It’s too sensitive.
Being a former volunteer sheriff’s deputy, Dwight knows the ins and outs of how to properly execute a snitch.
[Dwight is still on the phone with Jan]
Dwight : Pull over at Exit 40. There is a Liz Claiborne outlet. I know you like that store. Go inside and shop until I can meet you.
Jan : How do you know I like that store?
Dwight : Many of your blouses are Claibornes.
Jan : How do you know that?
Dwight : It’s part of my job.
Jan : No, it’s not. It’s officially not.
Dwight : Noted.
Hmm, I’m not really sure what part of Dwight’s job description could possibly have led him to believe that it was his responsibility to know Jan’s taste in apparel. I suspect Michael had something to do with this.
Being somewhat of an avid gamer, I was happy to see Call of Duty featured in The Coup and very well represented. I’m guessing there are a few Call of Duty diehards in the writing ranks.
[Everyone at the Stamford branch is playing Call of Duty. We watch as Jim kills someone on his screen. Andy slams his fist into the desk and turns around to speak to Jim]
Andy : Why did you do that?
Jim : I’m just killing Germans any way I can.
Andy : We’re on the German team. Shoot the British.
[Jim turns around to Karen]
Jim : Wait, are we playing teams?
Karen : Yeah.
Jim, you crafty dog. Feigning a pathetic lack of skill at video games to woo the ladies. Very sneaky.
[Josh has called Jim and Andy into the conference room]
Josh : This is not working, ok? We are getting slaughtered out there.
Andy : It’s the new guy.
Jim : Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t know… what we’re talking about.
Andy : See what I mean?
Josh : We just need a strategy, ok? We’re gonna set up a trap in the gun room. Alright, Jim, are you using the MP-40 or the 44?
Jim : Um, sniper rifle?
Josh : Snipe-
Andy : What?!
Josh : Jim! In Caren–
Andy : Are you playing for the other team?
Josh : You don’t snipe in Carenton, ok?
Andy : Saboteur! Saboteur!
Er, scratch that. It looks like you really are that terrible at Call of Duty, though maybe that’s for the best. If all you have to do to land Karen is make a fool of yourself in a video game then I’d say fortune smiles upon you, Jim Halpert. It’s about time.
Pam’s delayed experimental phase continues with a foray into the world of dressing oneself outside of work.
Pam : Kelly really likes to online shop. So I felt like I wanted some new clothes. I mean, I just… I wanted to… I jus–I felt like it was time to maybe, um… just get new clothes.
Only Pam would consider it necessary to explain herself for something as innocent as purchasing new clothes.
[Pam walks out of the ladies room dressed in her new clothes. Phyllis, Kelly and Meredith are waiting for her outside]
Meredith : Wow.
Kelly : It’s so sexy. You look so hot.
Phyllis : It’s really something.
Pam : It’s too much.
Kelly : What?
Pam : I’m gonna return it.
Kelly : No, you have to keep it today. Just see how you feel.
You know, for once I agree with Kelly. Hot stuff.
We’re now three weeks into the new season, and all evidence suggests that Jim and Pam won’t be reuniting anytime soon. The Jim/Pam element, for the lack of a better word, has been dwindling with each episode, with The Coup limiting our helping of the golden couple to a brief remark from Jim.
Jim : We didn’t play many video games in Scranton. Instead we’d do stuff like, uh, Pam and I would sometimes hum the same high pitched note and try to get Dwight to make an appointment with an ear doctor. And, uh, Pam called it… Pretendinitis.
Now that the writers have sufficiently distanced the two, we find Jim drawing the attention of his new co-worker rather unwittingly, an arrangement that I find myself supporting with great enthusiasm and not just because Rashida Jones is a Freaks and Geeks alumna. Introducing a new character who could potentially drive a wedge between Jim and Pam was bound to draw the ire of many Jim/Pam supporters, although I think they may have found the perfect character to serve as that wedge.
Karen has the same sort of attainable beauty that Pam possesses. Although she lacks the demure quality of our unassuming receptionist, I imagine that she shares her appetite for innocent mischief, a quality which combined with their kindness makes for something quite irresistable. Men will have a difficult time finding fault in a woman who plays video games, and her sincerity strikes me as something that women would appreciate.
Although I still consider myself firmly in the Jim/Pam camp, I wouldn’t mind giving this new pairing a little time to develop. There’s a chemistry I see between Jim and Karen that I’m willing to entertain, and as a result the Jim/Pam Index rates a Down for the second consecutive week.
Ryan, who delivers several priceless expressions throughout the episode.
Dwight, who steps out of Michael’s shadow if only for a brief moment. That, and check out what he does to his meal during his meeting with Jan. Wow. That was elegant and primordial at the same time.
Dwight : Not everyone approves of Movie Monday. I won’t say who.
[Cut to interview with Angela]
Angela : I don’t approve. I don’t.
Behind every great man lies a stern, disapproving woman.
Jan : How would a movie increase productivity, Michael? How on earth would it do that?
Michael : People work faster after.
Jan : Magically.
Michael : No. They have to, to make up for the time they lost watching the movie.
Jan : No.
Best use of logic from Michael yet.
Dwight : Ever since Michael dumped Jan for Carol, Jan’s been bitching out on him. Reject a woman and she will never let it go. One of the many defects of their kind. Also, weak arms.
Sorry, Dwight: put you and Angela in a ring and she wins five times out of five.
Angela : I know that patience and loyalty are good and virtuous traits, but sometimes I just think you need to grow a pair.
It’s a good thing Angela’s amassed so many Get into Heaven Points.
[Dwight meets up with Jan in the parking lot by the outlet store]
Dwight : Did you get anything good?
Jan : Yeah.
Dwight : New blouse? Halter top? Camisole? Teddy?
That’s not creepy at all.
[Dwight has just finished pitching his takeover idea to Jan]
Dwight : Oh, by the way, there’s a new Ann Taylor outlet store near here. I know you like their earrings.
[Jan pauses for a moment]
Jan : Where is it?
Jan’s dignity continues to erode at an alarming rate.
Michael : What was Dwight thinking? That he could turn Jan against me? She’s my ex-lover-ish.
Well, at least there’s an “ish” in there. That’s progress.
Michael : Business is like a jungle. And I am like a tiger. And Dwight is like a monkey… that stabs a tiger in the back with a stick. Does the tiger fire the monkey? Does the tiger transfer the monkey to another branch? Pun. There is no way of knowing what goes on inside the tiger’s head. We don’t have the technology.
Apparently, Dwight isn’t the only one in the office with a fixation on wild animals.
[Michael has just announced to the office that Dwight will be taking over]
Michael : Ok, Dwight, would you like to say a few words to everybody about loyalty?
Dwight : Thank you, Michael. I just want to say to the few of you who will remain under my employ, that I intend to lead you into the black with ferocity.
Who knew menial office work could be so intense?
[Angela and Dwight are by the vending machines]
Angela : It’s really happening.
Dwight : Yes.
Angela : We can make a difference here.
Dwight : I will make a difference here.
Angela : You alone? ‘Cause I thought together…
Dwight : Oh, please, don’t be naive.
[Dwight turns around to head back to work. He pauses before leaving the room]
Dwight : You can be in charge of the women.
Dwight, you are so dead.
[Creed walks up to Pam’s desk and stares at her. Pam is still wearing her new clothes]
Pam : What?
Creed : I’m just looking.
Pam : Please go back to your desk.
Creed : In a minute.
Kind of makes you want to laugh and call the police at the same time.