Michael has another one of his brilliant ideas, this one involving sending out five golden tickets randomly to their clients, entitling the finder to 10% off their paper for that fiscal year. Unfortunately, he hides all of them in one shipment, so one company gets 50% off, as Michael wisely failed to include "limit one per customer" on any of the tickets. He must figure out a way to pin the blame on somebody else before a pissed off David Wallace shows up, and you can find out exactly how in this week's Office, right ater the jump.

Episode 17: Golden Ticket
Full Episode Online: NBC Official Site

the office KGB
Michael walks up to Pam, trying to tell her a knock knock joke while she’s on the phone.  She refuses to listen to him and finishes her call, and he tells her the joke. “Who’s there?”  “Buddha.”  “Buddha who?”  “Buddha this bread for everyone,” he says, plopping down a piece of bread and a stick of butter onto the desk in front of her.  Dwight has one too. “The KGB.” “KGB Who?”  Dwight slaps Michael across the face. “Ve vill ask the questions!”  Michael is pissed and tries to slap Dwight several times, and Jim pops up with one of his own.  “Ding dong.” Michael tells Dwight to answer, but he refuses.  Jim slaps him across the face. “The KGB vill vait for no one!” “It’s true,” Dwight says to the camera, gingerly cradling his cheek.

Golden twinkle in the eye
Michael walks in dressed as Willy Wonka, and Pam hands him his messages in a deadpan manner. Apparently Michael has had a new idea: he slipped five golden tickets into various boxes of paper the previous day that give the bearer 10% off their order for the whole year. He’s obviously enamored with his idea, so he calls everyone into the conference room to brainstorm on ideas. Andy’s? He just run through a bunch of greatest hits: “Golden girls….Golden grahams….” Michael isn’t impressed with anybody’s ideas, and ends the meeting. Later, Kevin asks Andy if he should call the girl he met at the singles mixer.  Pam, Jim, and Andy all have different ideas on what to do. Kevin’s confused by the ideas coming from all sides, not much helped by anybody’s advice.

Golden ticket blues

Later, on the phone, one of Jim’s clients and Dunder-Mifflin’s biggest, Blue Cross has apparently found a golden ticket; actually, he’s found five – entitling him to 50% off his order, which will cause a major dent in DM’s finances.  Michael’s worried as hell, and tries to blame Darrell for the mix-up.  He then tries to tell the camera that the Golden Ticket idea could have come from anyone in the office – there’s a one in thirteen chance it could have been him.  He calls everyone to the conference room to deal with the problem, and informs them all that they can’t fire all of them, so at least they have that on their side.  Oscar tells him that yes, they can – has he ever heard of closing down a branch?  Michael’s determined to come up with a new Golden Ticket idea, and Pam asks glibly if that means coming up with another idea that’s going to backfire in their faces.  David interrupts the conference with a call, and Michael heads to his office to take it.

Not-so-great minds think alike
“Why did you okay this Golden Ticket idea?” David asks him.  “We’re going to lose a fortune.” Michael tries to weasel his way out of it – by saying they might have hired an outside marketing consultant. backpedaling and saying maybe it was an inside department. David asks if it was the sales department, and Michael says yes, and when he asks if it was Jim, Michael’s answer is no. David asks if it was Dwight, and Michael replies yes.  Dwight comes into the office for Michael to congratulate him on his Golden Ticket idea, and Dwight denies it. When Michael starts to read from his diary to prove to Dwight that it was indeed him, Dwight rushes out of the office and fetches his own diary to review that same day entry – where, indeed, he finds that Michael came up with a great idea, not Dwight.  Michael invites him to lunch, and Dwight says he accepts with all his heart.


Meanwhile, Kevin’s still wondering what to do about the girl, getting conflicting advice from Pam, Jim, and Andy, who argue in front of the camera about what to do.  At their lunch, Michael tells Dwight that he wants him to fall on his sword for him, and Dwight refuses. Michael points out that it doesn’t matter if Dwight gets fired for taking credit for the Golden Ticket idea, because he you know, doesn’t really wanna work at Dunder-Mifflin, whereas if Michael does, it would be the end of him.  When they get back to the office, Michael announces to everyone that he had fun with his best friend Dwight on his walk. To the camera in a talking head, Dwight says that he never wants to leave, and when we pan out, Michael tells the camera that Dwight’s made the decision to take credit for the Golden Ticket idea, but Dwight denies it. Outside of Michael’s office, Jim tells Dwight that he shouldn’t take the fall for him, but Dwight says that Michael said he would do  the same for him. Jim points out that Michael could do the same thing, right then, right there, by taking the fall.  Dwight says he knows what he’s going to do – write Jim up for insubordination. “There he is,” Jim says, smugly, pointing at Dwight and looking at the camera.

Taking the fall
The moment arrives – David Wallace comes into the office and Michael hurriedly calls Dwight into his office to ask him what he’s going to do – but Dwight doesn’t have an answer.  David comes into the office, and Michael tells him that they’ve been having an unfortunate discussion, and David’s reply?  He apologizes to Dwight, and informs him that Blue Cross, so excited about the Golden Ticket idea, has now decided to make Dunder-Mifflin their exclusive paper provider. There’s a long moment of silence before Dwight turns to David and says, “David……you’re welcome.” Michael stares on in shock, and later, in front of the whole office, David congratulates Dwight on his excellent initiative and great idea.  Michael pops out of his office and asks Dwight how he came up with the idea, and Jim and Pam and Creed all get in on congratulating Dwight on his great idea, Jim commenting how he’s sorry he made fun of Dwight for wearing a Wonka costume the day he came up with the idea.

And they all came a-tumblin' down
Later, David, Dwight, and Pam are on the phone with New York to talk about Dwight’s brilliant idea, with Michael listening in from his office. Dwight starts to talk about “the golden ticket” scene that inspired him so.  Michael bursts into the office and shouts out at the trio that it was his idea and explains everything that happened, and how he asked Dwight to take the fall for him.  They shout back and forth for several minutes before David asks Dwight pointedly if this is true.  Dwight admits that it is, and Michael also admits that he wants all the credit and none of the blame.  “When they look back on this in the history books, all that will be remembered is that I had a good idea,” Michael tells the camera in a talking head.  “And that is what I will write down in my diary.”  The camera pulls back and we see Dwight standing behind him, writing in his own diary what happened Michael futilely trying to snatch it from his hands.  As for Kevin?  In the parking lot, he approaches Lynn and tells her she has the best smile and he’d like to take her out for dinner and a movie.  She agrees, and Kevin grins, nods, and says, “Boobs.” She smiles and half-giggles back, and from the window up above, Andy turns to the camera, shrugs, and says, “It’s his funeral.”

Another Thursday, another solidly hilarious half hour of TV, reliably delivered from our buddies at the office. What's interesting about this episode is that it follows basically immediately after Michael's tour around the different branches (last week's Valentine's Day episode didn't count, as it was released nearly a month late), a tour which he has taken because Wallace had been so enamored of him lately.  With this incident, we're right back to square one, which is a little disappointing, but only slightly so because Michael's stupidity has remained unchanged througout this entire ordeal, basically - merely Wallace's perception of him has changed, so it's not like Michael is back to square one; after all, he's the one who came up with the idea, even if its success was entirely accidental. Kudos in this episode to the cold open, one of the best they've had in awhile.

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