January 21, 2011

The Office Recap: Wheelin’ and Dealin’

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The Office has kept us waiting since the last episode (Classy Christmas), and boy, it was worth the wait. This season keeps getting better and better, and this episode was no exception. The witty humor and the eccentricities of the characters is the reason that I watch the Office.

As the episode begins, Jim looks around for his cell phone while Dwight holds a meeting for the “Knights of the Night,” a volunteer crime control group, which Dwight compares to the “guardian angels,” a volunteer group of unarmed, citizen patrollers.  In reality, the Knight couldn’t be more different.  Jim tries to listen to the meeting, and he sees what kinds of crimes the Knights are solving. So far, the group hasn’t really stopped any crimes, but, they have participated in a very serious game of flashlight tag.

I have to agree with Jim; the game does sound cool, only a little.

The main plot stems from Michael, sitting in front of a camera (that Erin is holding). He says, “Jan. 3, 2011: a day that will live in-famously. Holly Partridge Flax, otherwise known as Holly, otherwise, otherwise known as a living, breathing angel, is engaged to another man.”

Michael ponders Holly’s ultimatum to A.J. – you remember, right?  Holly gave A.J. until New Years to propose marriage OR she would end the relationship … Michaels sees this ultimatum as hope for him and Holly.

Feeling unpredictable in his current state, Michael creates videos for future use, for himself – the only person, capable of talking down Michael Scott, is Michael Scott.

The rest of the office gets excited when Pam enters, telling everybody about her new motivational idea – a resolution board, where everyone can put their New Years’ resolutions and share them with each other. This way, the office staff can also keep each other in check.

Sue, the office administrator for Vance Refrigerator Company, inspired Pam.  Sue has a huge motivation board for all of her colleagues, and Pam wants to do the same for her peers.  You can immediately tell that the project is destined for failure. The only person who seems excited is Phyllis, who later mentions, “I know Sue; she’s not that great. You know, her husband is in a wheel chair right?”  I love how defensive Phyllis gets over her husband.

Michael makes Erin put certain things in two boxes. One box has a smiley face on it, and the other a sad face. He has Erin differentiate between physical objects that might make him happy or sad. It’s really an ingenious idea, if you think about it – if things turn out the way you want them, you can go to the happy box that has party hats and champagne.  If things take a turn for the worst, you go to the sad box that has whiskey and depressing music CDs.

Erin appears happy for Michael, either way. According to her, if Holly is with him, then he’ll be happy, which will also make Erin happy. If Michael doesn’t end up with Holly, then he will “avoid making the biggest mistake of his life.” I still love how the show capitalizes on the father-daughter relationship between Michael and Erin.

The big day arrives when everybody will know: is Holly still with A.J.? Holly, however, enters the office, wearing mittens, and no one can see her hands.  Michael tries to feel her hands for the ring to no avail. After she finally takes them off, there is no ring, Michael Scott is the happiest man in the world; Holly, meanwhile, realizes that Kelly told everyone about her ultimatum, and as a joke, she sticks up her ring fingers to Kevin and Kelly. Kevin then gives Holly the finger, yelling, “Hey! Right back at ya, bitch.” I love how Kevin seems to hate Holly the most.

Michael celebrates the good news in his room with Erin. He lets out the champagne, dancing off with his pre-recorded self.

Pam collects the resolution cards. When she collects the card from Dwight, he refuses, telling her, “I’ve achieved plenty, and there’s no better than the best.”  All the other colleagues put up their resolutions. When Dwight realizes that they are all just things that people want, he decides to put up a resolution: “Find a loose woman.” Andy realizes that’s also what he wants, and Daryl enters with a brilliant idea. He suggests that the men go to a bookstore to meet women.

Daryl, imagining his responses to the women he meets, says, “Hey, what book is that? Dinner tonight? Sex already, woo.” In reality, we find out that Daryl just wants to go to the bookstore to fulfill his resolution: to read more books.  A very excited Daryl tells the camera, “2011 is coming up all Daryl.”

Michael goes back to Holly with his crazy ET (E.T. The Extraterrestrial) voice that Holly also does.  The voices annoy Kelly, and she tells them to shut up. But, that’s when Holly gets a call from A.J., and she confirms that they remain a couple. A disheartened Michael just leaves the room.

He tries to understand, what is going on? And he wants somebody to talk to Holly. Phyllis then offers to talk to Holly.

Outside of the office, Dwight, Andy and Daryl enter the bookstore. Andy wants the romance and travel section; Dwight wants the rest of the floor; Daryl wants the cutie at the register. He leaves Dwight and Andy very confused, but we all know what he’s really in for. Daryl is infatuated with the eReader that can hold about 10,000 books. He feels guilty since he works for a paper-supply company. But, I mean, come on. 10,000 books? If my resolution was to read more books (which it isn’t), then of course, I would get the kindle too.

A guilty-looking Daryl comes back with the kindle in a plastic bag, and as Dwight tries to pry it from his hands, Daryl blurts out that he has old lady porn in his bag. Dwight and Andy don’t even bother asking anything else. As they leave, Dwight pulls into Temptation – the strip club. Dwight admits that he’s tired of being the “Mr. Perfect Role Model,” and he wants to let loose. However, Daryl lets him know that no one good will be there. It’s the Monday, noon shift. Ultimately, the boys drive over to the roller rink, where they think they will meet tons of single moms.

Back at the office, Holly admits the entire ultimatum idea was her fault – it wasn’t fair to put A.J. in that kind of a position. Michael, however, can’t take it anymore.  Pam arranges a mandatory office meeting, where everyone reveals whether they have met their new year’s resolutions. This builds up for one of the best scenes in the episode.

Erin starts with her goal: to learn a new word, everyday. She tries to use her word of the day by saying, “It is going immensely.” Creed wants to do a cartwheel, but can’t get motivated.  Pam admits that most people fudge their resolutions, and that most resolutions are abandoned by February.

Please. I didn’t even make a resolution.  There’s no point when you know you won’t keep up with it.

Kevin admits, “Well, I said I’d eat more vegetables, and I haven’t yet but it’s okay. I still have time, since last year, I ate none.” That’s actually a very scary thought, but coming from Kevin, it’s very believable.

Michal is pissed that so many people couldn’t keep up with their resolutions. He’s really just venting about Holly, but he takes it out on poor Kevin and Creed. Michael’s resolution was to floss more, and at “12 am, bam! Blood everywhere.” Kevin retorts Michael’s claim with, “Not all of us are Michael Freakin’ Scott.” It’s true.

He immediately orders vegetables for Kevin, and forces Kevin to eat them. Kevin eats stem first, since he has never eaten broccoli before. Since he hates the taste, Kevin begs for Cheese whiz or for Michael to just stop. Kelly even yells, “You’re killing him, Michael.” Kevin, eventually, spits everything out.  Michael just yells about how pathetic it is that people can’t stick to what they say, all the while, talking to Holly. She gets it, and leaves the room.

Later, Michael brings Creed, Kevin and Holly into the room, and he apologizes to Creed and Kevin, all the while, trying to apologize to Holly. He tells them, mainly Holly, he cares about all of them and that’s why he crossed the line. Holly knows Michael refers to her ultimatum with A.J.

At the skating rink with no women, Daryl hides and reads his eReader.  Dwight skates away to the strip club, and poor Andy is left, skating around by himself. At the very least, Andy does have the choice in the music – he asks for the Dave Matthews Band.

Pam drinks soda, breaking her resolution to avoid caffeine. Meredith brings out a pack of cigarettes, and she feels that it’s okay if she breaks her resolution as well.  Kelly points out that it might not be safe to smoke around her, since she might be pregnant. Kelly’s resolution? To get more attention, by any means necessary.

Meanwhile, Erin counts off, and she does a cartwheel, to which Creed yells, “Fuck you! Fuck you, god!”  Kevin also messes with the board, and finally Pam gets fed up. She takes the board, and throws it away. Lesson learned.

Back at the rink, Andy, Daryl and Dwight seem to end their skating, but the minute the strobe light turns on, all three go back and start dancing crazy moves.

Michael looks miserable. He mentions his new resolution: “I never want to make Holly cry again, unless it’s from laughing too hard or making love too beautifully.”

Afterwards, the camera pans over to Holly, who admits that she does not actually have faith in A.J.  She decides to go on a break with him. She leaves the building with a smile, and suddenly, it seems, there is hope for Michael and Holly.

The episode ends with Creed, attempting to do a cartwheel. He doesn’t really do it, but of course, Creed doesn’t care. He stands there, beaming.

This was a great episode – overall, I’d give it an A. The characters were in fine form with witty dialogue. Daryl stepped forward again as the cool person, who knows everything, using Dwight and Andy for his selfish needs. It’s perfect, because he seems to be a potential candidate for Michael’s position (after Steve Carell’s departure). Overall, I would give this episode an A.

Original Author: Aishini Thiyagarajan