The Office: 10/4 "Dunder-Mifflin Infinity" (open spoilers)

I thought the first half hour was better than the second. Ryan is such a tool. As wrong as it was, I liked seeing Kelly lie to him about being pregnant just to see it wipe the smug off his face for a minute.

I saw the pass at Pam coming down the freeway but I think B. J. Novak played the scene with the perfect amount of smarminess. He played the whole episode well for that matter. I also like his little encounter with Jan and the way she wouldn’t let the little weasel get the better of her. I think this whole arc with Ryan trying to control the Scranton office is going in a good direction. Ryan gives the show a villain, which always helps with storylines.

The whole thing about Michael driving into the lake struck me as way too broad and unbelievable at first (no one is THAT dumb), but I think it makes a little more sense if Michael did it on purpose to try (in his mind) to prove something about over-dependence on technology. I do think that was the intention but the writing should have made it a little more clear that the action was one of Michael’s deliberate, stupid stunts and not just cartoon, slapstick stupidity.

I also like how they’re keeping the PB&J stuff in the background. We see the smiles and the goofing and the chemistry but it doesn’t have to be the A story every week.

The dumbest thing in this episode. Everything he does is becoming so dumb that it’s ruining the rest of the show for me. Going back to get the gift basket? The scene at the begining where he talked about the Pam and Jim coming out. Too dumb.

Did they throw the brakes on Andy after the first couple of episodes where he was evil because of negative fan reaction? His change is still very jarring and sudden to me.

This episode needed Michael to get those clients back to show us why he is a manager again and show us what he is supposedly good at. They opted for total failure and instead made him look totally incompetant again.

Get it together guys.

We missed about half the episode; we had a local election today, and results were coming in as the show aired, so every few minutes they would break away to tell us “Herenton’s still winning.”

Overall, I wasn’t terriby impressed with this episode. Was the show just not as good as I remembered? Do they have new writers? What the hell’s going on?

I did like Kevin sucking up to Ryan, though.

I agree that I would have rather seen Michael get some clients back than to go where they went with it. And they put in such a perfect setup for it too, by having him warn the guy about giving the nuts to his daughter with the allergy. Remembering something like that is so perfectly Michael and is exactly the kind of thing that makes him endearing and saves him from being an insufferable boor, especially since that’s the kind of thing that comes out unconsciously when he isn’t trying so hard to make people like him. I was expecting Michael to get a call on his cell phone saying that the guy had changed his mind. Instead we got the slapstick with the lake, which I think was an unsually bad bit of writing for this show.

Exactly my thought too. That little “Don’t let her eat those almonds…” was CLASSIC Michael Scott. That’s how he wins clients. Because he REALLY does care. But, for him to go back and “ruin” their couch and cause a scene like that… not very characteristic. I don’t think so anyway.

Not really like this season too much, especially with the way that Season 3 ended. Maybe there is not a real way to keep that much awesome going.

It might seem like an unbelievable idea, but people have blindly followed their GPS devices right into the water. See this article from The Times, for instance. In case you can’t access it, it begins:

But I was expecting the one customer to return, based on Michael Scott’s attention to detail, given his remembering details such as the nut allergy.

Despite some complaints, this episode had a lot of great moments. Creed coloring his hair. Michael re-using old photos for his presentation on the elderly because the printer was out of ink (pan over to Creed). Kelly lying about being pregnant :eek: followed by a talking head of her squealing “We have a date!”. Toby in denial about PB&J. Creed calling Meredith “that chick you hit with your car”.

There seems to be trouble brewing between some characters. Phyllis took a passive-aggressive dig at Pam, and the way Andy and Kevin told Jim he needs awesome lessons had a certain quality to it.

The Andy and Kevin scene was kind of cool. I think it actually makes sense that those two might bond. I also believe they would both be big Swingers fans. Kevin was even picking up on calling Jim “Tuna.” I think Andy might have found a friend.

I LOVE Ryan, or at least his “boss” attitude at work. Yeah, he did a dickish thing with the pass at Pam, and semi-dickish trying to get Kelly fired (she IS a psycho, after all…), but, in real life, someone would need to straighten that place out. Of course, that will make the show blow donkey balls, so it won’t happen.

And yeah, Michael is in the first stages of Homer Simpson disease. Driving into the lake? A weak episode.


Yeah, I thought, as he was saying that, “Ah ha, THAT’S what’s gonna get that client back!” No such luck…


My favorite lines of the night: Dwight talking about wanting to visit his German grandpa Mannheim in Argentina but “my visa was protested by the Shoah Foundation.”

Jim saying to the camera, “I guess he can’t get any girl he wants…”

And it was just like Kelly not to understand why Ryan would be angry that she lied about being pregnant.

I’m sorry to get all TWOP on you, but…word!

The driving into the lake and going to get the gift basket back were uncomfortably stupid. I was wincing, it was so bad. Not to mention my mother is staying with us and hasn’t seen much of the show. That episode was not a good one for a newbie to watch. Michael was too cartoonish. I enjoy his idiocy when it’s a little more subtle, but they made him like a complete buffoon, rather than an ignorant tool (yes, there is a difference).

Plus, it’s like they had different writers this week. I totally agree that they should have had Michael getting the customers back. That would have been consistent with the episode where they went out in teams of two to sell to new clients. In that case, Michael rose to the occasion and showed why he’s a manager (or at least a good salesman), but having him fail like that was lazy writing and was merely intended to show that Ryan is having an impact on the Scranton branch, continuity be damned.

Seems like Ryan/Kelly are ramping up for serious screen time this year. I guess I’m totally out of it, but I only just learned that the actors who play those characters (and the actor who plays Toby) are also writers for the show. (At least, that’s what Wikipedia says.) Maybe they’re nudging their own characters into a more prominent position. In any case, I wish Jan would go away. You leave a company under incredibly humiliating circumstances in front of several underlings, and you keep coming back like that? And suddenly, she seems to have redeveloped her frosty A-game. She’s sharp again, but a few months ago she was insane enough to get herself fired and escorted off the premises. Frankly, I find myself rooting for Ryan.

Creed should have his own show. A five-minute talk show used as late-night filler all over the place on NBC. People would keep NBC on in the background at night, hoping for a good Creed moment.

I’m going to disagree about not retaining the clients. In past episodes we saw Michael retain clients thanks to his salesmanship but this was a different scenario where the client had already left for a cheaper competitor. In order to get the client back, there had to be some sort of price reduction or something to make Dunder-Mifflen competitive again. The gift basket idea may work to retain a client but getting a client to return is whole different kettle of fish (or basket of gifts).

Or maybe I’m just saying because I love the new Ryan and I loved when he snapped at Michael. I hope he provides a strong foil to Michael this season because last year Michael didn’t have one once he started sleeping with Jan.


I ditto the complaints. Sadly, the shelf life of this series has reached its expiration. Aside from a few LOL moments (Kelly telling Ryan she’s pregnant, followed by a shot of her shaking her head), most was “meh” and the rest was just bad.

This episode reminded me of Phyllis’ wedding episode last season, which was the perfect set-up for a great episode but fell flat because they focused way too much attention on Michael. There was so much potential there…Kelly and Ryan attending a wedding, Jim & Pam slow dancing at the reception…Scrantonicity! Why ruin it by having Michael act like such a clueless and obnoxious jerk?

The BBC version lasted, what?, 12 episodes? The US version is in the mid-50’s. Before they kill the show with that horrible writing, they should really just end it already.

(Which begs the question: Do these 2 “hour long” weeks count as 4 episodes or 2?)

There were definitely some funny lines in this episode (“Ryan, this is still MY office. Sit down.”). I always liked Kevin and Andy, and I hope they do bond and become more in focus. Jim and Pam are in the periphery, which is nice and some awfully clever writing.

But overall, I did not like the episode at all. The 97% idiot:3% great guy ratio didn’t happen. It was 100% idiot in this episode for Michael Scott. I was hoping that he and Dwight would take the baskets and win a couple clients back. In past episodes, we saw them both be extremely competent salesmen, but in last night’s episode, they were terrible. They couldn’t have sold heroin to a junkie. They had very awkward meltdowns.

Perhaps others in this thread saw something I didn’t before.

I liked when Michael commented that Ryan had a gay crush on him. Something that Michael has obviously had for Ryan since his first day at DM.

Creed is beyond awesome. That reminds me, I need to ask my office manager to stock our vending machine with Red Bull.

Phyllis’ comment to Pam about “not giving new customers to whomever she’s sleeping with that week” seemed out of character.

Toby’s jealousy over Pam and Jim was awesome. “Somebody complained.” and “Oh, those forms are just for people in relationships…since you guys are more casual…”

I actually felt bad for Dwight when Angela dumped him.

Ryan’s last talking head was great too: “If they knew how much this haircut cost, they wouldn’t be giving me nugies… It cost $200.”

That was my favorite part and it went by in a flash. My wife was in the kitchen and I was laughing my ass off. The explanation of the joke took longer than the joke itself.

Every office should have a Dwight.

Ugh, ditto what everyone said about Michael this episode. Last week I was arguing against the Homer Simpson disease theory, but I now totally retract my objections. You know, driving into the lake wasn’t even that bad - it at least dovetails with Michael’s reactant/demand resistant response to Dwight. The thing that makes me mad is going back to the client, demanding the basket, and vandalizing the place. The reason this series has survived so much longer than the British version is that the boss has *some *balance - he’s not 100% tool, and you get an idea how he got where he is and avoids being fired. If they lose that, this will prove in retrospect to the the shark-jumping episode.

They also missed a golden opportunity, to have Michael win a couple clients back by (in his own head at least) capitulating and talking up the new techno-savvy that will cut costs. Then he could return triumphant and crow about the gift baskets working, conveniently leaving out the rest of the story. That would work the same way his silly video presentation to corporate did - when he actually had the appropriate business information to back it all up. I just don’t understand why they started to set this plot up, then did a 180.

I do think the writer(s) lost sight of the characters overall in this episode. Phyllis talking to Pam like that, and telling Michael outright that his idea was “stupid?” Totally out of character. And while Toby’s angst is kind of funny, I thought his actions were too aggressive and dickish for his character.

I still have hope for the show. High points:

Grampa Mannheim
Creed’s hair reveal
Kelly and Ryan
Ryan generally being a tool
Jim reveling in Ryan getting shot down

I also think an arc showing Jan’s return to competence could be fun, if they handle it right. I never minded her being a basket case, because I figured it would be temporary.

(not looking at the thread not looking at the thread not looking at the thread)

… gaah! When is going to put this episode up!