January 30, 2011

The Office Recap: The Meeting of the Minds

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The Office gave its viewers one of the best surprises of the season. The host of the Golden Globes, the creator of the original Office and, quite possibly, one of the funniest men alive opened this week’s episode. If you didn’t guess already, I’m talking about the enchanting, the delightful and the ever controversial, Ricky Gervais.

Ricky and Michael meet in an elevator, where they immediately hit it off … in all their awkwardness. In perhaps the best line, “Comedy is a place where the mind goes to tickle itself. That’s what she said.” Michael looks like he is about to cry when he hears his own humor played back to him, and the two hug.

Once again … we are taken into another great episode of The Office.

Andy hosts a very important business seminar entitled, “How to Grow your Business.”  Michael offers to be a “plant,” someone that makes the speaker look good by being an insightful audience member. Jim, Stanley and Phyllis join Andy to participate. However, when a normal-looking guy enters the room, Jim backs out. Soon enough, when Stanley, Phyllis and Dwight discover that Andy’s plan might not be successful, they back out as well. So, Andy is left alone, and he admits that he might be the worst salesman … he’s not exactly the type of person who should be leading a business seminar.

Unlike Andy, Michael is actually very happy because Holly officially ended her relationship with A.J.  Holly isn’t doing so well initially, but Michael wants to win her over.

Erin, meanwhile, continues a game of scrabble with Gabe. The winner gets to pick the movie of the week, and so far, she hasn’t won once. The movies she’s seen? The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby and The Ring – all my personal favorites, but we have to remember that this is sweet Erin, who enjoys watching movies like WALL-E.

Like Erin, Andy scrambles to find help – someone who will help him with his seminar. Of course, he picks the three classiest people as his guest speakers: Ryan, Kevin and Creed. Clearly, Andy is not in his right mind.

The seminar starts off with Kevin’s amazing entrance. The song, Let’s Go, plays in the background as Kevin runs around the room. Shortly after, he collapses and starts throwing up in the trashcan. Although it’s not the best way to start a seminar, it does make for a great office moment.

A better one comes when Ryan, as expected, flakes, and Kelly Kapoor enters to replace him. Kelly Kapoor (a.k.a the office bitch) actually saves the day. She gets the president of the business school at Yale on the phone, and he gives her the top 10 tips for having a successful business. What does Andy say? “That brilliant bitch.”

Michael and Holly meanwhile reconnect while doing their weird voices. They team up as a Greek couple for Andy’s seminar.

Creed, meanwhile, enters for his part as guest speaker, and starts naming body parts. He gets cut off immediately, though I kind of wish he hadn’t. I mean Creed’s moments are possibly some of the best.

Back to Erin’s intense scrabble game … Pam and Oscar have volunteered to help her, and she seems to be doing really well. The only thing that Gabe can say is, “Erin is playing up the Slumdog Millionaire scenario, and every word is a connection to her orphan past.”  He’s sort of mean, and I like it.

Since Andy’s seminar seems to be taking off and once they realize that the people in the seminar are serious business drive folks, Dwight, Phyllis and Stanley want to come back.  Naïve Andy is about to let them back until Daryl stops him. Daryl calls the three of them ‘jackals’ who want in. His advice is to leave them out, since Andy was the one who got everything together. It’s actually very sound advice, and all the more reason that I love Daryl. He’s a definite candidate for Michael’s job.

Meanwhile, Erin plays scrabble, and all she must do is place the last word.  Of course, she loses. Poor Erin. No one seems more pissed than Oscar, who can’t seem to stand stupidity.

Back at the seminar, all seems to be going well until Andy messes up his speech. He starts off very positive, and then, immediately becomes threatening. Leave it to Michael to save the day. He smoothly pulls Andy outside, and gives him one of the best pep talks. He tells Andy that he has faith in him, and that Andy has the potential to do really well. I actually can’t get over how protective and caring Michael is towards people he really cares about. With support, Andy heads back and finishes the seminar strongly.

Michael can’t seem to get Holly back, however. When he tries to go in for a kiss, Holly leaves immediately, and you can tell that Michael is in pain.

The entire episode, Jim seemed to be missing. He hides in his car for his “meeting.”  The reason he was hiding? One of the members who came for the seminar was Jim’s childhood friend, Tom.  Unfortunately, and encouraged by his parents, he told Tom that Tom was too dumb to be his friend. Ouch. You would think that one would forget these grudges. Not Tom. He and Jim have an awkward run-in, where Tom clearly remembers what Jim did. I have to say, I felt really badly for Jim.

I felt worse, however, for Erin’s situation with Gabe. Since she lost yet again, Gabe enters with a movie. You would think that any decent boyfriend would just let his girlfriend take the win. However, he comes in with a “compromise,” another rather brutal movie with tons of violence. Andy comes from behind with Shrek 2 and gives it to Erin, once again reminding all of us how perfect they are for each other.

This episode had a very strong opening with a guest appearance by Ricky Gervais. The chemistry between him and Steve Carell was one I’m sure audiences have been dying to watch. The episode then focused on the emotional aspects of some of the relationships. Whether it was Michael and Andy or Michael and Holly or Erin and Andy, everyone is just more lovable. The best parts are the small moments that some of the minor characters play. Creed’s insane intro, Kelly’s office bitch moment and Oscar’s puzzlement over Erin’s ability to play scramble are the perfect moments.

Overall the episode get’s an A-.

Original Author: Aishini Thiyagarajan