The Office: "Heavy Competition" (Open Spoilers)

I think the MSPC arc has rejuvenated this series.

I always like to see Michael do well, and this episode did a good job of showing him at his most competent (when he’s trying to make a sale), while still managing to use his dorkiness and eccentricities in a way that works. Michael “color coding” everything he wants to remind himself not say worked great.

In last week’s episode, Michael said something to the effect of “who would have thought the thing that would save this company would be WORK?”

I think that same thing held true this week. True, Michael was getting it in gear just to get revenge on Dwight, but he still got out and worked it and made a legit score off of D-M. If he can just keep getting motivated to WORK, he might even be able to make a go of things.

I loved how Michael was able to jujitsu Dwight’s date recall gambit. It really showed Michael in his element, being able to think on his feet and do the one thing he’s good at without screwing it up, and doing it with such comfort and ease.

“Orange means 'Orange you glad I didn’t say that.”

I also love his comparison to Civil War that slowly felt apart. I love the moments where Michael realizes that what he’s saying is actually pretty dumb. Like the “If a baby was President.” speech.

I completely agree that the MSPC is the best thing about this show in a long time, but I have to state that this week’s b-story, with Jim and Andy, was absolutely idiotic. When Jim was crying on Andy’s shoulder I started to wonder if I had missed an episode – like, maybe they had aired one at 8:00 PM again – and Jim, in a shocking twist, was really beginning to doubt Pam. And then it turned out to be a big twist. It was just stupid, and I wish that they had just removed Jim entirely from this week’s episode, and maybe given Ryan more screen time.

But otherwise, yes, I really enjoyed Michael and Dwight. Everyone expects Michael to eventually return to his old role as the manager of D-M, but I’m wondering now if he and Dwight will be able to reconcile. After all, the last time Dwight betrayed Michael, Michael made Dwight do his laundry for months, and that betrayal was a lot smaller than this one.

Did Dwight say “Spinmove!” when he twirled past the receptionist at his clients office?

If so, I’m completely enamored. I thought the guitar playing a couple weeks back sealed the deal, but “spinmove” was brilliant.

Cheeseballs! How can nobody mention cheeseballs?!

Best part of the episode.

The cheeseballs were just fantastic. I love the teamwork being developed, and I can’t wait for the inevitable “I can’t stand everyone in this office right now” episode where they all temporarily revolt against each other.

Looking back on the series, my favorite moments have been the Michael-in-his-element episodes. This is one of those. And the best thing about them is they serve to reel him in from some ridiculous Homer Simpson man-child period. Can’t wait to keep this arc going.

I loved this episode, definitely one of the best they’ve done in a long time. “How’s your gay son?”

“Be that as it may, but I’m going to eat your meatball sub.”
“HA! I ordered that because it’s obviously the worst thing on the menu!”

Pretty classic all the way through for me.

I liked that we got a peek into how Michael achieves his success (keeps personal notes on his clients families, likes/dislikes, taboo topics).
It’s hard to tell if he purposefully hides this method from others or if he never mentions it to David or during his regional training tour because he’s unaware that it’s the secret to his success.

“How is Brenda, age 4, ponytail, and Simon, age 7?” And *synchronized *cheeseball tossing!

I loved how Jim, after pranking Andy all day, finally reassured him that he would eventually find a nice woman who wouldn’t do him wrong like Angela did. I’m just sorry that Jim and Pam didn’t decide to pay the $9000 to have Here Comes Treble sing at their wedding, because that would be all awesome.

I think he’s completely unaware of his salesman abilities. And I think he might even be a stronger salesman if he doesn’t get his rolodex back - he won’t be as complacent.

I thought the main plot of this episode was fantastic, one of the best in a while. However, I agree the Jim-Andy plot was terrible and really dragged the show down.

Anybody know how many more episodes Stringer Bell is signed on for? I know he only signed a six episode contract, so this MSPC storyline will probably be tied up soon once he exits.

“…say hello to your black wife for me.”

You may have missed a line or two, because it wasn’t a “twist” at all. Jim was annoyed with Andy’s suggestions that Pam was behaving like Angela and that Jim would be better off without her. He then declared to the camera that he’d planned to spend the day dealing with his Inbox, but had thought of something more fun to do. He proceeded to play his prank on Andy the rest of the day. I don’t know how they could have made it more clear that Jim wasn’t serious, especially since Jim is ALWAYS playing pranks on people and his “depressed” behavior was pretty over the top.

I think maybe you did miss something. Andy (in well-meaning but clueless fashion) was trying to get Jim to dump Pam. When Jim told Andy he relied on Pam for emotional support, Andy offered to let Jim come to him for support. Jim then decided to prank Andy by going over the top with mock emotional neediness.

I was only surprised that Charles didn’t catch Jim in the midst of clowning around with a fake tantrum or crying jag, and reinforce, yet again, his image of Jim as a buffoon.

How long do you think Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, and BJ Novak had to practice to get that cheeseball the mouth move down? Must have done a million takes, but it looked really cool. I like that things seem much happier at MSPC than at DM, and that Michael is still the sales master. Dwight will always be a mere apprentice because he just doesn’t have any people skills. I would love to see the scene where he and Charles go out for that drink.

I wasn’t a big fan of the Andy and Jim story either, but agree with the Dio that the MSPC is the best thing to happen to the show in a long time.

When I go to fan sites, everyone HATES it when they see Jim in peril, which is annoying. Maybe the writers had that in mind with the b-story? When Jim told Andy he lost a client, that’s when things got a little confusing for me because that COULD have been real. I think a part of me thinks it would have been cool if Andy did offer Jim ‘a ear’ if he needed to talk to someone, (not specify it being about Pam), and Jim making a joke out of it until he’s hit with the realization that there are, (must be), a lot of stressors in his life, and actually requires Andy’s services. That would have been more effective for me. The writers may also be responding to how much they ignored the breakup after it happened.

Great episode though. Not as good a last weeks, (IMHO because the b-story, which wasn’t THAT bad), but the Dwight and Michael made this episode another classic for me. :smiley:

Here is an interview with Idris Elba in which Elba indicates that the door is being left open for his character to return. I’ll spoiler these quotes because they contain some hints about where the season is going:

I would too. I wonder if it’s among the deleted scenes online. I would just love to see Charles try to absorb Dwight telling him all about his beet farm and the danger of bears, over a Grey Goose and a . . . what would Dwight drink?

Pam mentioned she spent a month transferring it to his Blackberry (which he uses as a nightlight), so that might be a way he gets it back.

“…which is highlighted in green. For ‘go’. As in, ‘go ahead and avoid that topic.’”

“Most of them mean ‘don’t say it.’”

I like how Michael’s color coding system almost unwittingly uses his goofiness to his own advantage. It’s like he knows he has no filter, so writing this stuff down and “coding” it works counterintuitively to STOP him from saying it. It allows him to use his people strengths (and I think one of Michael’s real secrets is that his interest in his clients as people is genuine, not faked. He really does remember their kids’ names and really does want to know if their daughters made varsity) while being self-aware (or sub-aware) enough to self-monitor his weaknesses.

It’s also something that’s far too idiosyncratic to be of any use to anyone else.