Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Office - Scott's Tots, or Michael Scott: Life Ruiner

I knew almost immediately that I would detest this episode. For reasons previously mentioned, the sight of Michael Scott systematically ruining lives does very little for my funny bone. Watching those sweet kids get all worked up about their free college tuition broke my heart. But, thank goodness, Michael got his comeuppance and couldn't avoid telling the kids the truth. They, of course, were outraged and appalled, and Michael felt serious guilt. Good! After trying to buy their sympathies with laptop batteries, Michael finally gives in and agrees to pay one of the kid's book fees for the four years of college. Well, it's something.

On the way back, Erin tries to console him with the high graduation rate of the class, and that these kids now have a better shot than they would have without Michael's false promise. Even Michael realizes how little this makes up for his huge transgression, and shuts her down. But, they share a strange moment of closeness where Michael vaguely agrees to give her a raise because he has a "feeling" about her. And who else has he had a "feeling" about? None other than Kevin Malone, ladies and gentlemen. And we all know how well that worked out.

Meanwhile, Dwight has a multi-step plan engineered to get Jim fired that revolves around an Employee of the Month award. To Dwight's credit, he really makes things tough for Jim, rigging it so that Jim unknowingly picks himself as the winner, collecting money for a cash prize, and doing eerily precise imitations of his co-workers on the phone to David Wallace. Unfortunately for Dwight, the whole plan backfires to due David and Jim's newly close relationship. At the end of the episode, when all looks lost, Ryan outs himself as a fellow Jim hater, and Ryan joins Dwight's diabolical plan to get rid of Jim. Duh, duh, duuuh!

So, not only did Michael (self-admittedly, even!) ruin lives, Jim looked back. It was a tough episode for those of us who dislike both situations on The Office, but gratifying to see Michael get his just desserts. And, of course, to see Jim finagle his way out of another managerial disaster. At some point, however, we're all going to have to face up to the fact that Jim just isn't great as co-manager, and that will truly be a sad day for all. Until then, like the hijinks ensue!

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