Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Office - Shareholder's Meeting, or RECYCLOPS

Can we please talk about how wonderful that opening segment was? I want Recyclops to come to my work every Earth Day. And the montage of how Recyclops evolved over the years, complete with different receptionists to match the year? Priceless. Just. Priceless. Also, it served the important purpose of setting the episode on April 22nd, just in case you like to know these things. It doesn't make sense for them to do themed episodes this year (like Thanksgiving) because they have to keep a constant timeline, what with the Halpert baby on the way.

The main event this episode revolves around a shareholder meeting in New York, to which Michael is invited, as the manager of the highest yielding branch. But, when he arrives, with Oscar, Dwight, and Andy in tow, the mood is far less celebratory than Michael anticipated. The mood only worsens after Michael reveals that he was driven up in a limo and treated to free food before the meeting. Needless to say, this did not go over well with all the workers faced with the prospect of losing their jobs. After being hounded by boos, hisses, and shouts of dismay throughout the first half of the meeting, the board motions to take a 15 minute break. Unable to take it anymore, Michael bursts forth with a string of empty promises, including a 45-day plan to turning the company around. Of course, there is no such plan, and Dunder Mifflin is headed for bankruptcy.

Back in the board room, Michael calls Oscar in to come up with a plan, since he had vocally expressed his dismay with the foolishness of the company, and how he could run things more efficiently. Faced with an opportunity to shape the future of the company, Oscar balks, mumbles something about "being in the best of hands" and leaves. Poor Oscar, normally the pinnacle of honor and forthrightness, reduced to a servile grunt in the face of the Dunder Mifflin board. If anyone was going to show them what's what, I knew it would be Oscar, and the fact that even he was powerless shows just how poorly Dunder Mifflin is faring.

After calling the president of Dunder Mifflin an idiot, Michael is run out of the board room, and he, Andy, Dwight, and Oscar made a mad dash to their limo and ride back to Scranton.

While they're away, Jim is forced to deal with his sub-par managerial skills and his reputation as an ineffectual office clown. Ryan refuses to do data entry work, Phyllis takes a two hour lunch, and no one listens when Jim reprimands them. Jim, in a show of power, decides to set up an office for Ryan in a storage closet as punishment, until he does the work that Jim has prescribed. Not the most mature of approaches, but at least he now garners a modicum of respect.

Well, things still seem to be headed down for old Dunder Mifflin, which I did not expect. The ominous last shot of DMI's stock plunging downward suggests that no miracle cure is in the future. But I still don't know how they can pull off the continuation of the show without Dunder Mifflin. Perhaps the writers are planning a finale at the end of this season, which would be fitting. We're grown a lot with these guys over the years, and with Jim and Pam together, what office angst is there left to plumb? Although, I should know better. There's almost more workplace drama, and if it's anywhere to be found, it's at Dunder Mifflin, Scranton.

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