The Office: Branch Wars (open spoilers)

Not too bad. I liked seeing that Karen has landed on her feet. I also liked that they gave her the little of seeing Jim humiliate himself in front of her.

Did anyone else think that the “Finer Things” club was just a little bit snotty? I don’t see why they culdn’t have let Andy join.

Utica, Utica, Utica!

I’m really surprised at your assessment, Dio, just because in the past I’ve so often agreed with your opinions on the episodes. This one just seemed contrived and forced to me from beginning to end; all the subplots were a bit too, I don’t know, out-of-nowhere and/or over the top. [The Finer Things Club? Why not do it during off-hours? The fake moustaches? Talk of assault and bombs and breaking an expensive copier? To me all that was worse than Michael driving his car into the lake.]

I don’t know, none of it sat well with me at all, especially compared to a relatively strong season thus far.

This was easily the best episode of the season so far, and one of the best ever.

“Aside from having sex with men, this is probably the gayest thing I do” and “I think I cut my penis on the can” are two of the funniest lines I’ve ever seen on television.

Michael’s “dying” requests that Jim “make love to Karen-it doesn’t have to mean anything” and “host the Dundees” had me in stitches.

Michael’s reaction to Toby’s bow tie was priceless.

I also thought that they should have let Andy into the club and not let Jim in. It showed that both Jim and Pam can be pretty mean from time to time, and that they think they’re better than the others in the office. Also, this episode could have used some more Andy.

And I don’t understand why Jim went to Utica and didn’t call that cab. Anyone think he really wanted to see Karen? God, I hope not.

Sweet Baby Ray’s, I love this show.

ETA: “The eyes are the groin of the face.”
ETA2: “Aren’t you the guy who hit that woman with your car?”

My inpression was that he did it to monitor Michael and Dwight and keep them from doing anything really, REALLY stupid (like trying to make any bombs or set any fires).

I agree it was more “sitcom-y” than usual and I didn’t like the FTC (which, in true sitcom fashion, has never once been mentioned before), but I laughed at some of the lines and I always liked Karen.

You’re probably right, Dio, and I hope you are. I don’t need any more PB&J(&K) drama.

ETA: I thought the impression was supposed to be that the Finer Things Club was a fairly new club.

They might as well do away with the whole documentary thing. This episode felt more like an episode of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing…just…that’s not what I want this show to be.

What Michael said was, “Just climb on top of her and think of Stanley.” Hilarious.

I don’t think Karen is over Jim. Her little rant there when she had him cornered in her office sounded bitter and shrill. She’s still pissed about the Pam thing. I’m not saying she’s wrong to be, but it doesn’t sound like she’s quite over him yet.

As for why Jim went, I don’t think it was to see Karen. It was the idea of a prank that hooked him. That’s what made him decide to go. He can’t resist a good prank. Too bad this wasn’t one.

Don’t get me wrong; there were classic lines as usual [“the groin of the face”]. You’re right in that it did have a different sitcom-y feel. I think that was what rubbed me the wrong way.

I still like the show, but when is enough enough? How does Michael still have a job there? You can say all you want how he’s a great salesman, he’s got a heart deep down, he’s great with people-- who gives a rip! In just this season he’s hit an employee with his car on company property while being negligent, he drove a company rental into a lake, he constantly insults his superior in front of the employees, he had a meltdown in front of a former (and potential) client, he “pranks” another branch manager and destroys company property? I’m even getting the impression that this branch is the laughing stock of other DM branches, and it’s because of Michael.

The man needs to be fired, which I don’t want to happen.I seriously think the writers need to just turn down the wacky. It’s becoming totally unrealistic.

Dwight cutting his penis on the can was awesome though. :smiley:

Why is Michael still there? Well. As Stanley said (I paraphrase) “Maybe he is some kind of genius.” And, that’s why Michael is still there as branch manager.

Loved the episode. Lots of funny moments, and a few cringeworthy moments as well. This time, they didn’t involve Michael, but the interaction between Jim and Karen. I loved Pam mouthing “SORRY” to the rest of the finer club members.

Some funny lines, in addition the ones already mentioned: (Paraphrased, again.)
“The other microwave smells like popcorn”
Karen’s line about crying for weeks and feeling good about him in the outfit getting out of the car.
“I’ll sit here in the common area reading the same book as you.”
“Well, most of the time I will be out with Ryan. Or Daryl”

Fun episode for sure. Oh another cringeworthy moment is when Jim realizes he is in a PT Cruiser to UTICA UTICA UTICA. Although, I thought it was sweet that they stopped by the side of the road to get his phone. And, I think it is sad that Karen doesn’t get to find out that he was there to kind of save her from too much trouble (Her and her eyes.)


I’ve been a defender of the writing, and don’t really think its fair to make too much of Michael’s obvious incompetence (yes, it the real world he would have been fired long ago) because you can forgive a certain amount of implausibility if the comedy works.

But I agree with Happy; the wacky is getting a little out of hand, and I probably noticed it more this evening because the episode was (for me) profoundly unfunny. Yes, there were a few amusing bits/lines–though unfortunately a lot of these were during the copier prank and delivered over a walkie-talkie, so I had to back up on the TIVO to get most of them; bad production decision IMO. There just wasn’t much driving the main storyline other than Michael being ridiculous, and the FTC storyline was pretty much filler (c’mon, interruptions from both Kevin and Phyllis? How lazy was that? You couldn’t have done something with Toby’s secret crush on Pam?).

The series has been going well this season–the “Local Ad” last week was an excellent episode–so I’m chalking this one up as a mis-step. It happens…

Yeah, but Stanley couldn’t even finish the line without laughing at the absurdity of it.

In a woman’s unform, to boot. Apparently Michael still can’t tell the difference.

Anyone else do a double-take when they saw “Directed by Joss Whedon” in the opening credits?

I loved how the camera guy got him busted. He pulled him down and gave him a “WTF?” look. lol

“Do it for Stanley”

No, but I’m just happy Jim didn’t kill Pam or something.

Seemed like a bit of a shout out to the fansites. They always have Michael accidentally, or maybe intentionally, doing superior things in his position. To have Stanley actively comment on it and laugh seemed a little self-referential. I liked it.

For the first time on the show, there was a cringeworthy moment that did NOT involve Michael (Jim in the car with the mustache). That’s history.

Another funny moment: When the three bozos are in Karen’s office and she’s grilling them: Dwight’s still wearing the mustache. :slight_smile: