Managerial Immunity

Friday, March 27 by

Since Michael’s turned in his two weeks he can basically do anything he wants, so he he spends his days drinking scotch and splenda and wandering arun the office bugging everyone. He also comes up with an idea for a new business once he actually quits, and goes around the office trying to find investors for it. Meanwhile, Kelly and Angela are still obsessed with Charles, and Pam has to figure out how to make the new copier work, all after the jump

Episode 19: Two Weeks
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Storyteller
Michael is sitting in the kitchen, telling the story of when he quit right to David Wallace’s face, but he’s taking a really long time to tell it, inserting mundane details about the revolving door being broken and being in the wrong building. Pam says in a talking head, “He finally has a story we really wanna hear. And he knows it.” She shakes her head. Back in the kitchen, Michael tells them all that he looked at Wallace and said, “I quit. You have no idea how high I can fly.” Everyone asks him why he didn’t just give Wallace a piece of his mind, why he didn’t let Wallace know that he wasted fifteen years of his life. “You guys have thought about this a lot more than I have; I just winged it,” Michael said. Oscar’s talking head says to the camera that he loves a good quitting story – and maybe he’ll have one someday. He chuckles softly, falls silent, and trails of, “I dream…” Then he just stares at the camera. So it looks like, for starters, this episode is going through with the whole Michael quitting thing, a good sign.

Nothing to lose

“Surprisingly, there is a very big difference between Michael trying and Michael not trying,” Jim explains to the camera, as we watch Michael’s antics around the office, ruffling in everybody’s business without doing a drop of work, even drinking scotch and splenda right in the middle of the office and shaking it right next Oscar’s ear. He’s turned in his two weeks notice, and he has nothing to lose. “Maybe you should go into your office, close the door, and make some calls about jobs,” Stanley suggests. Michael says that he has a job, but Pam asks him if he actually has any leads. Michael explains that at his level, he doesn’t look in the want ads; headhunters find him. “Have you called any headhunters?” Jim asks. “Any good headhunter will know wh I am,” Michael says. Dwight scoffs. “Any really good headhunter will storm your village at sunset with overwhelming force and cut off your head with a ceremonial knife.” Charles comes out of the conference room and hands Michael something to do, but Michael merely walks back into his office once Charles leaves, crumpling the paper loudly into a wad as he goes.

Andy’s gift
In the kitchen, Andy meets up with Michael, who’s partaking of some pasta. He takes a bit and spits it out, mutters, “Phyllis!” and shoves it back in the fridge.  “I just wanted to tell you that…ooooh, oh what’s that?” he says, giving Michael a gift as a farewell present. “I hope I get to work with you someday…” Andy trails off as Michael shoves past him and starts to heads back into the office. Michael holds up the box, asks if it’s wine. “Busted,” Andy grins. “I already have some,” Michael says, leaving. In front of the receptionist’s desk, someone sits down next to Michael – he’s interviewing for regional manager, and he asks Michael if he is too. Michael, snickering, says he is, and the man replies back, “This is one of the few places that’s hiring. It’s brutal out there.” Michael doesn’t really say anything, and sits back in the chair with a sigh.

Big Idea
The copier mentioned earlier this season is finally being fixed, except the people who brought it in didn’t set it up, so it’s up to Pam to do it all by herself, and Kevin starts to bug her that it’s taking too long. “My day just got a little more interesting,” Pam says, holding up a massive instruction manual. From Michael’s office, sounds of unearthly roaring cry out. Jim, from his desk, says, “It’s Monster, no S.” “Thank you,” Michael says, the sounds cutting off. Later, we see him at his desk, telling the camera that if you’re in paper long enough you get to know the players. He calls up Prince Paper and finds out that they’re no longer in business, and he just gets a message. He crosses off their name from the list that’s two items long, the other one being “Other paper companies.” Desperate, he tosses objects at Jim’s desk until he comes into his office, and he tells Jim to close his eyes, Jim, reluctant, does, and Michael says, “I’m going to start my own paper company.” Jim’s eyes fly open. “You’re what?” Michael says that yup, he’s actually going to do it; he knows everything there is to know about paper. “Do you that the industry’s in decline?” Jim says. “I practically invented decline,” Michael unintentionally quips. “I have a name; close your eyes. Michael Scott Paper Company,” he says. “You wanna be a part of this?”  Jim says that no, he doesn’t, and he won’t let Michael do it either, because he needs a job at a company that a) exists, and b) has a salary. Charles comes into the office, asking Jim if he handed his two weeks notice in along with Michael, dismissing him when Jim responds in the negative.

Michael Scott Paper

Pam’s trying to read the instructions to set up the copier, but she can’t figure them out, so Dwight offers to read the German ones. He flips through the manual, and starts to read. “There’s either an incense dispenser or a ceremonial sarcophagus.” In a talking head, Dwight says, “My German is pre-Industrial and mostly religious.” Pam, later, at the desk, is approached by Michael, who asks her how he can get the Dunder Mifflin Paper to say Michael Scott Paper. “This is a dream that I’ve had since lunch and I’m not giving up now,” Michael says, determined. “You could give it up now, and no one would know,” Pam suggests, shrugging.  “Before you got here, I’m the one who landed all of these clients. Half of ‘em, at least. I know he market, the price points, I’m on it, don’t worry,” Michael says. He shows the paper to Pam, who tells him he can scan it and edit on his computer, but Michael’s idea is to just tape some paper over it with transparent tape. Pam smiles and hands him some tape.

Hunt for Investors
Meanwhile, in the conference room, Kelly is explaining to Charles why she needs to leave at five on Tuesdays, because she and her sister are really tight and she needs to take care of her. Angela butts in, and despite Kelly’s attempts to shove her out of the room, she inserts herself in. “Did Michael let anybody in his office anytime?” Charles asks. The two women bubble out that yes, Michael always welcomed anyone in his office. Kelly dismisses Angela quickly, and then closes the door and turns to Charles. “She’s such a special person. She’s turning fifty this year.” In the kitchen, Michael approaches Andy and tells him about his startup paper company, asks Andy if he wants in. “Well, it’s a very intriguing concept, isn’t it?” Andy says in a thick British accent, elongating each subsequent word, drawing out the awkward silence, until he’s saved by Dwight walking in. Andy tells Dwight about Michael’s idea, and heads off (nice save, Andy!), while Michael asks Dwight if he wants in. Dwight blubbers his way out of it, too, saying that he has the farm to take care of and stuff, but he’ll think about it.

Talent
The copier is finally fixed, as Pam announces to everyone within earshot. She’s standing right by the machine, and proudly presses a button, but the thing whirrs for a second and stops working. “G44,” Pam mumbles, examining something on the panel. She goes over to the instruction booklet and flips through it, angrily snapping at Kevin behind her, who’s inching toward the copier, “It’s not ready, Kevin.” In a talking head she confesses that she’s poured four hours into the copier, and she’s not going to let it beat her like the wireless router did. She finally does get it working, though, and is giddily happy over Phyllis being satisfied with a copy well done. “I did it, I learned everything about this machine. I know all the buttons, even the inside ones. I know all the error messages. I could do a bound book, in plastic, with offset colors, which feels……” She stares at the floor, her look saddened, but only slightly, very subtly. With a hint of realization.

Road blocks

In the breakroom, Oscar finds a note in his sandwich from Michael to meet him outside the building. He does, and asks Michael if he has a plan, or anything necessary to start a business. Michael continues to reply “no” to all of Oscar’s inquiries, still seemingly not the least bit troubled. Oscar starts to rattle off about how most business don’t make a profit until at least two years, and it’ll be five years until Michael can get salaried. “Okay, you already have the job, you don’t have to convince me,” Michael says. “It’s just not prudent, Michael,”  Oscar says, shaking his head. Stanley doesn’t even bother listening when Michael approaches him in the bathroom.

“I am free!”

Charles comes into Michael’s office, accompanied by Hank, showing him one of the papers on which Michael had Scotch Taped his company’s name. “I can’t pretend I haven’t seen this.” He tells Michael to leave, even when Michael tries to claim immunity because of his two weeks.  “Not when you’re starting a competing paper company,” Charles growls. “Hank,” Charles says, turning to the guard. Michael chuckles, and asks if Charles really thinks that Hank is going to take him away. Michael tells Hank to escort Charles out of the building, and Hank’s only response is to laugh. “Come on, man, let’s go,” he says to Michael. Michael stands up and leaves his office, pausing for a speech on the way out, but Charles cuts him off and tells him he’s done. Michael goes outside and talks to the people watching from the conference room, who can’t hear what he’s saying at all. He gets into his car, and the last thing we hear him say is, “And I feel free!” He drives off the lot, and then we see him sneak in through the bushes and inside a backdoor.

Departure

“The whole office feels darker, it’s just a sad dark day,” Andy says. “Andy, he’s gone, you don’t have to kiss his ass anymore,” Phyllis points out. Toby, in a talking head, compares Michael to a movie on a plane – not great, but something to watch., and when it’s over, you’re left feeling, “Now what?” Toby can be so profound sometimes, and he’s always so compassionate towards Michael despite Michael’s incessant hatred towards him. In the main part of the office, Michael is crawling around on the floor, trying to stay out of sight of Charles, who’s in the conference room. He goes around the floor and eventually stop sby Jim’s computer, getting his attention, and he asks him if he thought about the offer. “I am 100% leaning towards passing,” Jim says. Charles comes out of the office right then, and Michael ducks out of the way, behind Jim’s desk. “Did anyone see the client list that Michael was supposed to be working on?” Charles asks. “No,” Dwight says, standing up and shaking his head.  Charles goes back into the conference room and shuts the door behind him, and then Michael crawls back around Jim’s desk and sits against a desk of drawers in front of the window to the conference room. He addresses everyone and tells them to look up, not too much up, just eye level, so they won’t look like he’s talking, as he’s whispering very loudly. “Hello, I am your future. You’re older and you are very happy now, because you went with Michael Scott. So everybody, come on down, and let’s crawl out of here together. Are you doing your best here? Are you being the best that you can be?” Everyone in the office looks slightly uncomfortable, except for Pam, whose frown goes deeper as Michael talks. ‘Stomp your foot once if you’re with me,” Michael says, but nobody responds. Michael, not any less desperate, crawls forward and takes a hold of Phyllis’s chair, dragging her backward. From the conference room, Charles sees Phyllis trying to keep her chair still, so he comes out and can’t believe his eyes. Michael quickly gets up and tries to rally everyone around him, but still, nobody responds. “What are you doing?” Charles demands. “I think Hank should be here,” Michael says. “You gonna mess with me? I have nothing to lose.” Charles starts to walk forward aggressively, and Michael drops the papers he had been carrying in front of him. “Not worth it,” he says, leaving the office without another word. Charles walks back into his office, slamming the door loudly behind him, and Pam stands up from the desk, muttering, “Oh no.” Jim looks concerned. “What?” “I’m going with him,” Pam says, grabbing her coat and rushing out the door. Jim runs after her. “What?!  You can’t be serious!” Pam catches up with Michael outside and tells him she’s coming with him. Michael grins and says it’s gonna be great. Pam’s demand, though – she won’t be a receptionist. “Executive assistant, then,” Michael says. “Salesman,” Pam says. “Deal,” Michael says, and they shake hands. “Jim?” Michael asks Dwight. “Still no,” Jim says politely. Michael thinks they should go, but Pam points out that all her stuff is upstairs. Michael wonders if people are watching, and inside the conference room everyone is staring intently out the windows. In the parking lot, Jim tells Michael that that’s not how you leave a company. “Jim, Jim, we’re having a company meeting,” Michael says. Pam hugs Jim goodbye, and the two of them simply walk off the parking lot, not saying a word, and then cut to black. Back inside the building, everyone’s in the usual conference room format while Charles tells them Stanley will be the Productivity Czar and Kevin will answer phones because Pam is gone. He says all this lightning-quick, and then the meeting is over in less than a minute, everyone kind of surprised.

Review
Instead of copping out and having Michael chicken out because of the economic climate, it’s good that they’re letting him and Pam start his own company. It’s a little out of the blue for Pam, as she’s seemed relatively happy in the office for the past couple months, and the copier used as an example of Pam being sick of her job was a clever idea but didn’t have much foreshadowing in previous episodes. Another good thing about this episode was how, now that Michael has quit, it lets him do anythihng and everything he wants, allowing for more hilarity and more ridiculou situations to pop up, culminating in the scene where he crawls across the floor of the entire office.On the whole, it wasn’t really that amazing of an episode, but they should be given kudos for not chicken out and have Michael come running right back into Dunder-Mifflin’s arms. It will be fascinating to see where Pam and Michael’s venture goes – the season is only a few more episodes long; will they end on some kind of a cliffhanger that has to do with this business of theirs? Only time will tell.

-Thomas Anderson
aka MovieBuzzReviewDude. Check out his movie/media/pop culture blog here.

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