Michael can’t handle the truth, but he sure can manhandle it. Jan brings suit against Dunder Mifflin and Michael is called to New York to be deposed, pitting his two most fundamental desires against one another: To be liked by his co-workers, and to be liked by a woman — any woman, anywhere, even one who smokes and manipulates him and won’t get a jobby-job. While teacher’s away, the children play: Darryl’s superior table tennis skill leads puts a bee in Kelly’s bonnet, and inspires Jim to take up practice to relieve Pam of Miss Kapoor’s trash — er, smack — uh . .. talk.
No food, no shelter, no fresh water, no tools… no camera crew. Well, two out of five ain’t bad. Michael strikes out into the deep dark Pennsylvanian forest armed only with his business suit, a roll of duct tape, a video camera, and a knife after being passed over for a corporate wilderness retreat in favor of Toby, his arch-nemesis. While he performs feats of tailoring sorrow, Jim makes an interesting management decision that has the office confusing him with someone no one should ever aspire to be.
I feel a great disturbance in the Force. As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. It’s the Return of Karen, attempting to hire Stanley away to the Utica branch of Dunder Mifflin, where she is now Regional Manager. Michael and Dwight go on the offensive, and drag a reluctant, mufti-clad Jim along with them. As the sparks fly in Oneida County, back in Scranton, Pam’s “Finer Things Club” is having some difficulty getting any privacy — especially from Andy, who would join a a pack of lemmings if he thought there was something to be gained at the bottom of the cliff.
Looking to expand their markets, Corporate has decided to buy some air time, hire an ad agency, and broadcast their existence unto the ether. Michael, of course, has his own idea of how things should be done, and isn’t afraid to risk it all on his dreams. Speaking of dreams, Dwight escapes further into his Second Life, Pam gets a gold star on her first steps away from receptionistdom, and Andy finally gets somewhere with Angela (or does he?).
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.
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 week’s recap introduces Karin’s equally talented partner in crime, Linus.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Well, not really, but I don’t get to quote Who lyrics without bending the truth sometimes, so there it is. Ryan struts back to Scranton with a new job title, a new suit, a new sense of self-worth, and, ye gods, a new beard. His radical ideas strike fear in the aging hearts of some Scrantonites: Creed comes alive, Phyllis comes apart, and Michael comes to water, even if they won’t let him drink. Meanwhile, new lovers are outed and old ones are riven in two.
Let’s have a warm welcome for Karin, the newest addition to the Northern Attack staff. I’ll let her impressive work speak for itself.
It’s the start of a new year, and what better way to start that year with a bang (or rather, a thunk, squeak, and thud). Michael’s inadvertent accident eventually leads to the formation of one of the longest-titled charity events ever, the Michael Scott Dunder-Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race for the Cure. Other changes are happening as well - Dwight makes a hard call that may have cost him a monkey, and Pam gets caught in the act picking up a tall dark not-so-stranger in her car.
The latest season draws to a close with the prospects of new jobs all around, promising increased pay and power for some and enhanced, um, attributes for others. It’s the latter for Jan, and just as well, since an ill-timed emotional collapse quickly ensures the loss of the former for both her and her newly-reunited ex-lover-ish. Meanwhile, the rest of the office copes with their new boss and the abolishment of all soft-minded dogoodedness. Jim gets enough of New York to realize that home is where the heart spends her day goofing around with Dwight, Ryan comes out of nowhere with one heck of a last word, and Creed’s blogging it all.
There are three things Michael does not need more of in his life: power, responsibility, and employees under his power and responsibility. But a fateful call from corporate affords him the possibility of all three, and a day on the shores of scenic Lake Scranton becomes the setting for the ultimate challenge: selecting the worthiest hypothetical successor. Courage may make a good manager, but it can do a whole heck of a lot for receptionists too.
Sorry, folks, no recap from Jamie this week. You’ll have to settle for my miniature recap below. Visual aids are included, as always.
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.
There are basically two perils facing the workers of Dunder Mifflin: getting caught bare-sleeved in the occasional draft, and Michael Scott. Determined to prove to the warehouse that hazards of the cubicle are no laughing matter, Michael enlists the help of Dwight and a towering turret of air for a mock suicide attempt. However, poor planning and even poorer execution make the rooftop threat a little too real and the rest of the office has to bet against the odds that his life is worth talking him down.
It’s Pam’s nightmare but Angela’s dream come true– Roy comes locked and loaded for Jim, but thanks to Dwight, the fastest draw in the office, the only thing fired is Roy. Darryl in turn tries to climb the ladder only to bump into Michael on the next rung. However, some fancy coaching and a road trip with Toby soon has Mike wearing the (lady) pants in the relationship, though only long enough to get a long overdue raise out of Jan.
It’s a night full of drama as the company’s elite converge for a shindig with the CFO and the rest of the branch flock to Poor Richard’s for what quickly becomes a not-so-happy hour. Dwight makes known his devotion to structural integrity while Michael makes known his devotion to Jan with almost no integrity at all. Pam learns that honesty has its price, and that price is now on Jim’s head.
It’s back to school for Michael when he accepts an invitation to speak to Ryan’s class, and what was meant to be an honor soon turns into an attack on all that Michael holds sacred: paper and Dunder Mifflin. In his absence, a wayward bat has run of the office and Dwight has reason to suspect Jim of undertaking a very spooky supernatural journey. Pam’s first art show puts her through a little transformation of her own.
Mr. and Mrs. Vance Refrigeration tie the knot at last, in a ceremony with more than an eerie resemblance to the one Pam abandoned just months before. Dwight polices for wedding crashers and preys on Uncle Al’s dementia, Scrantonicity finally gets to rock the house and Michael goes to excessive lengths to ensure his second appearance at a wedding is met with just as much success as his first. Hypothetically, love should conquer all, except when it doesn’t, and walks out the door hand-in-hand with the past.
The countdown for Phyllis’ wedding is on and the traditional celebrations take an unceremonious turn under the influence of one Todd Packer. Pam’s only success of the day is capturing the wandering eye of Benjamin Franklin, unless you count giving Karen plenty of lines to read between, and a last minute change of heart puts Michael in the very slim ranks of men to have their relationship saved by a stripper. Secret secrets, anyone?
Oscar returns from his extended vacation (or, “gay-cation,” per Kevin) to an office unhinged. Dwight’s recent dismissal has left a vacuum of epic proportions, in which uptight accountants break down, plant life perishes, and not even a fly on the wall is safe from Andy’s fisted reign of terror. Michael reaches the end of his rope and takes a surprising stand, while Jim reaches another end and does his own part to spark a little unexpected twist.
Hidden agendas abound as the Dunder Mifflin sales team sets out to proselytize the Electric City on the merits of all things paper. Andy bends Michael’s ear in an elaborate vendetta against his arch-nemesis while Phyllis just sees what needs to be done and does it. Dwight’s good deed gets punished and he finds his place in a long history of men brought to ruin for the sake of true love, but it’s Stanley that gets the last laugh and then some.
Michael returns from vacation brimming with a new zest for life and a tenuously guarded secret, and armed with enough incriminating evidence to guarantee the ruin of both before the day’s end. Meanwhile, the warehouse demands an inventory and Angela’s party planners are called upon to transform the proceedings into an impromptu luau, during which much more than just paper is taken stock. In the end a confession is made, a reprieve is granted, and Kevin snags a bargain on a fine piece of art.
The halls are decked at Dunder Mifflin but Michael’s questionable Photoshop skills and two unredeemed tickets to paradise threaten to throw the holidays into jeopardy. The timely prescription of Nog-a-sakes works a little too well and not a waitress is safe from the aftermath. Dwight cooks his own goose, Phyllis learns the hard way that orange is the new green, and Pam and Karen become unexpected allies in a party planning war with Nutcracker Angela. Drunken karaoke for all, and to all a good night.
Under the influence of Martin’s questionable past, Dunder Mifflin gets cast in the light of prison with mostly unfavorable results. Morale reaches what could be an all-time low and a second Stamfordite concedes defeat to the volatile regime of Michael and his incarcerated doppelganger. Meanwhile, Andy sets his sights on the receptionist and Jim sets things right with a return to his mischievous roots.
The world of Dunder Mifflin gets turned on its head when the long-anticipated merger goes from rumor to reality and the refugees straggle into Scranton not unlike sheep to the slaughter. Or, to hold to Michael’s more romantic analogy of marriage, well, let’s just say the matrimonial bliss doesn’t outlast the coupon-laden welcome wagon. It’s a tumultuous day for all concerned, as expectations and intentions are met with varying degrees of failure. New lines are drawn in the sand and very few survive the day unaffected. R.I.P., Stamford.
All of that diversity training pays off when Michael accepts an invitation from Kelly on behalf of the entire office — albeit under the conception that it is a chance to don costumes and celebrate a Hindu Halloween. Instead, the lavish Festival of Lights becomes a setting of triumph for some, disappointment for others, and the worst kind of disgrace for one man who will never learn to not play with fire. Meanwhile, two-thirds of the Stamford sales staff enlist the help of alcohol to burn the midnight oil, thus ensuring “one cra-azy night” all around.
Ryan’s first sales call takes him to places he never imagined he’d find himself. Dwight serves as his errant guide, a wellspring of spoiled platitudes and crackpot advice. Meanwhile, it’s business as usual back at the office where Pam is entrusted with duties hardly becoming of her talents. In return for her tireless efforts, she receives a special surprise at the end of her day: an opportunity to relive better times.
It’s a sad day in Scranton for more reasons than one. News of his former boss’ death prompts Michael to assume a role as a savior of wayward birds, a responsibility that proves to be horribly misplaced until Pam lends her delicate hand. Meanwhile, a new alliance is forged in Stamford, one born out of a mutual contempt for douchebaggery.
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.
Ready, set, go! The race is on to claim Pam though beware, men: wandering eyes are liable to get you ousted from the running. Michael and Dwight head to Philadelphia for an office supply convention and run into a familiar face. Pleasantries are exchanged, followed by a heavy dose of inquisition and absurd posturing. Michael’s plans for a raucous evening are derailed by the conspicuous absence of his right-hand man, no doubt engaging in some debauchery of his own.
Summer was kind to some and cruel to others. Pam’s decision to call off the wedding leads Roy to personal ruin while Phyllis inches closer to becoming Mrs. Vance Refrigeration. Determined to make a new life for himself, Jim forges ahead and finds a new sap to terrorize. Meanwhile, Toby experiences an uncharacteristic lapse in judgment and entrusts Michael with a bombshell. Innocent lives are almost lost. Thanks a lot, Toby.
The season finale finds us sending our crew off in high style with a charity casino event hosted in the warehouse. Michael inadvertently ropes in two dates to the fashionable affair: Carol, his real estate agent, and Jan, who attends against her better judgment and discovers that her judgment is something that she should listen to more often. With the night underway, Dwight lets his emotions get the better of him and has a swollen cheek to show for it, Kevin discovers how far he has fallen from his days of yesteryear, and Jim stuns all of Office Nation with a bold display of last minute heroics.
Michael decides to fill Toby’s shoes as chief mediator for a day, which, as it turns out, is just enough time for him to decimate the morale of his troops. His destructive influence is inescapable as deep rifts are opened in every imaginable direction. The disastrous affair leaves the office in tatters, casting even the strongest of friendships to an uncertain fate.
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.
Threats of terminal illness and birthday celebrations don’t mix well, a lesson that is made all too apparent during this week’s episode. Michael spends the day recounting sad tales from his childhood and subjecting the office to ill-advised festivities in an attempt to make up for lost time. People are hardly in the mood to celebrate, however, as Kevin anxiously awaits potentially grim test results. Meanwhile, a concerned Jim and Pam head out to pick up some things to lift his spirits and end up repairing a few other things along the way.
Children of all shapes and sizes invade the office during an eventful Take Your Daughter to Work Day. Some view it as an opportunity to exercise their hormones, thereby provoking the ire of their overprotective fathers, while others are content with general mischief and tomfoolery. Still, others manage to make it through the day without uttering a defiant word, and, in the process, reveal a wisdom far beyond their years.
The student outshines the teacher when Michael accompanies Dwight to the annual North Eastern Sales Convention, where the immortal words of Benito Mussolini resurface at the most unexpected of times. Back at the office, the accounting staff wrestles for dominance over the thermostat as Jim bites the bullet and makes plans to fly himself across the globe mere days before Pam’s upcoming wedding.
Love is in the air in Scranton, but mainly just around Phyllis’ desk. The flood of gifts from Vance Refrigeration puts the neglected women of the office in a foul mood, leading some to consume vast amounts of liquor and others to reconsider their choice of suitors. Meanwhile, Michael heads off to New York to deliver a financial presentation devoid of financial information and is rewarded for his efforts with a Valentine’s Day surprise.
Gender lines are drawn in the office when Jan decides to gather the women in the conference room for a Women in the Workplace seminar. Eager to make a power play of his own, Michael leads the men of the office down to the warehouse, where he comes in contact with heavy machinery and practically everything else down there. The day turns out to be a complete bust for both camps with the exception of Pam who discovers that there is life beyond the reception desk, but only for those willing to take the plunge.
Business takes a turn for the weird when Michael finds a toxic package waiting for him at the office. In an effort to escape the stench, he commandeers Jim’s desk where he spends the rest of the day making false promises and inciting general mayhem. Meanwhile, Jim sets up shop at the back of the office and barely makes it through the day. Just when it seems like all hope is lost, inspiration arrives from a familiar source.
Spring cleaning at Dunder-Mifflin reveals more than just old papers and dusty records. Jim spends the majority of his day at Michael’s side in hopes of containing his feelings towards Pam, a secret that Michael vows to protect for as long as he possibly can, which turns out to be not nearly as long as it should have been. Meanwhile, Dwight makes a discovery of his own about Oscar, but is too Dwight-ish to realize it.
It is a well known fact that there are certain things that should never be placed at the foot of your bed: nails, poisonous snakes, and George Foreman Grills. Michael learns this lesson the hard way. Dwight speeds to his rescue, but not before running his car into an electrical pole and developing a brand new personality. Pam enjoys the company of her altered officemate, but the friendship is short-lived: a midday crisis rattles the office and leads to a visit to the hospital where we learn of Michael’s true intentions.
Boats and Michael Scott are two things that were never meant to come in contact with one another, but our fearless leader chances it anyway to semi-terrible results. Michael’s decision to host this quarter’s retreat on the not-so-high seas of Lake Waullenwaupack is met with resounding apathy. While onboard, Michael says several things he regrets, Jim regrets not saying enough, and Meredith mistakes a life preserver for an appropriate piece of clothing.
Christmas at Dunder-Mifflin brings with it a host of shocks and surprises. Phyllis makes a gift in the true spirit of the season but is spurned by Michael who turns Secret Santa on its head in an effort to spotlight his own extragavant contribution. Pam wins the iPod in the ensuing struggle, but comes to her wits before the night’s end and walks away with something infinitely more valuable. All that, plus Packer joins the fray, Dwight finds himself the victim of a torrid love triangle, and Michael comes face-to-face with Meredith in the flesh.
See what everyone is like outside of the office. An e-mail surveillance campaign leads to some unwelcome discoveries for Michael, including his absence from the guest list to Jim’s barbecue. All signs point to a budding office romance between Dwight and Angela. Pam enlists the camera crew in her for pursuit of the truth, but drops the investigation when her own implication is brought to light, and a fiery doom is narrowly averted when Kevin steps between Ryan and the grill.
Job performance is anything but the topic of review during performance review day. Michael uses the evaluations as an excuse to wring dating advice from his employees, but things come to a head during the first ever suggestion box meeting. Dwight prepares for his own review by rocking out, while Jim and Pam delight in toying with his perfect attendance. Plus, Angela dresses to kill, and Phyllis reminds us that sometimes a bullet to the head is the only escape.
A meeting with a potential client leads to some unexpected sparks between Michael and Jan. Back at the office, Pam unearths a screenplay written by Michael. Jim rounds up the rest of the office employees for an improptu table reading, but a botched search-and-replace leads to some hurt feelings and an abrupt end to the proceedings, which frees up just enough time for a nice, candlelit dinner on the rooftop.
The gloves are off after Dwight delivers a devastating one-two punch to Michael’s gut for the entire office to see. Dwight channels Ralph Macchio in the ensuing brawl, but not very well. Progress on the Jim/Pam front hits a roadblock when Jim gets too close for her comfort, and Ryan staves off Michael’s advances after making the mistake of giving him his cell phone number.
Let Michael Scott guide you in the ways of feeble and ineffective management. Also, Dwight makes a special appearance as the scourge of a land far, far away, and Jim and Pam join forces to have him shipped out even further. Kevin reveals his alter-ego, Oscar lets his hair down, and a catfight almost erupts in the conference room.
Season Two opens with a not so strictly red-carpet affair. The annual Dundies Awards are fast approaching, much to the delight of Michael and dismay of everybody else, except for Dwight who still clings to aspirations of becoming the world’s only D.J. volunteer sheriff’s deputy. Awards night finds us at the prestigious neighborhood Chili’s, where Pam shares a tender, slightly alcohol-clouded moment with Jim and Ryan learns that it’s not always good to be sexy.
ally (v.): 1297, from Old French alier, “combine, unite”, from a differentiated stem of alier (source of alloy), from Latin alligare, “bind to” (see alloy). The noun is 1598 in the sense of “united with another by treaty or league”, from the verb. — Online Etymology Dictionary
Faced with the possibility of layoffs as belts tighten around Dunder Mifflin, Dwight asks if Jim wants to form an alliance in an attempt to save their jobs. Jim’s response? “Absolutely I do.” As Jim and Pam conspire to turn Dwight’s desperation into their humor, Michael struggles to turn his own desperation into felicitations: He plans a very merry un-birthday for Meredith. When that fails, well, let’s just say that money heals a lot of wounds, especially those in Michael’s ego.
Racial harmony is the name of the game when corporate sends a diversity instructor to the office to host a seminar, but things quickly turn ugly when Michael decides to take matters into his own hands. Dwight reminds us again why people like him are relegated to beet farms, and Jim finds an unexpected surprise waiting for him at the end of an otherwise rotten day.
Meet Michael, Dwight, Jim, Pam and Ryan, all employees of Dunder-Mifflin Paper Products. Michael leads. Dwight follows. Jim just gets by. Pam wonders what she did wrong in life to deserve this. And Ryan, well… Ryan was screwed the moment he landed here in Scranton. Welcome to The Office.