Ahhhhhhhhhhh Oscar!!!!!!!!! That was your moment!!! How many readers were really, genuinely rooting for Oscar to just lay into the Dunder-Mifflin execs, totally validate Michael’s faith in him, and usher the company into a new era with the Wallace-Michael-Oscar arm triumphantly leading the way? All of you, right?
(By the way, I gave up feeling the need to explain “Yes, I know these are not real people…” when talking about this show like three seasons ago, in case anyone was wondering. Though I don’t imagine you, as a reader of this site, were wondering that.)
Unfortunately, Oscar keeps his mouth shut, because of The Office’s stupid good, believable writing and because that’s exactly what Oscar would do in that particular situation. LAAAAAMEEEE!!! Why couldn’t the show writing just get sh*ttier for one moment so Oscar could tear the CEO a new one and have him respond “No one has EVER talked to me like that! Clean out your desk young man…because you’re our new CFO!!!” Oscar: “Huhhhh???” Michael: “Three ARRIBAS for Oscar! Celebration in the limo!” Shareholders: “ARRIBA OSCAR!!!”
Ah well. So, Dunder-Mifflin is screwed, currently collapsing under the double-strain of the economic collapse and the shrinking need for paper merchants in general, and the executives have absolutely zero plan other than to unknowingly display Michael to the shareholders as a vague hard-times hero, and describing other nice-sounding initiatives to placate a rowdy crowd of investors. They fail miserably.
The funniest part of the episode comes when Michael — in a rare moment of non-awkwardness in front of a crowd — seizes the mic and wins over the shareholders with a series of outrageous off-the-cuff promises, including the 45-day, 45-point plan (“One point per day!”) that doesn’t exist in any way:
Ultimately, the execs aren’t impressed with “the twirl,” then Oscar chokes, and Michael and his Scranton accomplices are run out of the building, escaping back to the limo with one final bottle of liquor because they’re the “only ones who have anything to celebrate.” Last season’s Michael Scott Paper Company episodes were probably the most engaging episodes plot-wise in the show’s history, but this season appears to really be heading for something huge, with the possible entire dynamic of the show and everything about Dunder-Mifflin being threatened.
Will the producers allow for a dramatic change in the show, like Dunder-Mifflin going under or massive layoffs (bad news for Jim & pregnant Pam), or will the dilemma resolve itself nicely before the season’s end? I’d love to see the former, but I’m assuming the latter.
Meanwhile in the side-plot, Jim’s crash-course on boss politics continued during a conflict with an exceptionally A-holey Ryan, who attempted to inspire the rest of the office to apathy by telling them that Jim wasn’t actually a real boss. A laughing Stanley, a drunk Phyllis, and a meekly supportive Pam later, Jim ultimately solves the Ryan issue by relocating him to a storeroom “office,” and Jim shows some rare, sadistic satisfaction when Ryan pleads for mercy and Jim shuts the door on him. This is essentially Jim’s first boss action that doesn’t result in the officemates rioting or laughing at him, so maybe he’s finally turned a corner.
And one final detail, because it didn’t fit with the other plot points — Andy Bernard once rallied 500 high school students to protest standardized testing by skipping the SATs, then chickened out and took them anyway. How lachrymose, indeed.
Episode thoughts? Favorite parts? Favorite quotes? Predictions for the grim Dunder-Mifflin year to come? Leave ‘em all in the comments.