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The Office “Crime Aid” Recap Thursday, October 23, 2008

Posted by dylancaseyjohnson in dcjrecaps.
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Jesse Grant/wireimage.com

Jesse Grant/wireimage.com

You might be asking yourself why Rainn Wilson is sniffing Brian Baumgartner’s cheek so intently. I wish the answer was as innocent as two coworkers clowning for cameras on the red carpet. Unfortunately my friends, this matter is far more serious. Dunder-Mifflin Scranton Branch has been the victim of office supply theft but fear ye not, Michael’s acronymous (made up word) charity event CRIME AID will right the world’s wrongs.

In other prominent story lines Jim runs across Roy, I’m pretty sure at the same bar he and his brother destroyed and Pam is getting ready to leave Jim. That second one was speculation, but after the jump, its just the facts.

A couple things before we get into this week’s episode: “The Office” will not be losing any characters to a rumored spin-off, but will be thematically replicated. (And maybe beaten into the ground.) As I was searching for this information, I stumbled upon the following Google Ads window:

chicagotribune.com

The Watcher, chicagotribune.com

The outline around that link means I clicked it, and I did so because Scranton University is apparently recruiting on association with the television show. I’m making no judgments as to whether this is good, bad, clever, cynical, or any other adjectives; it’s just strange to see that cross-promotional strategy nestled between banners for Chevy and snorgtees. I probably should have opted for Funny T-Shirts! instead of Cherish & Challenge. Per usual, I link to the full episode if you’d like to watch it.

Now my clumsy summary without the aid of DVR, because I am taping the Rays and Chaplin (Dan Aykroyd, Robert Downey Jr., 1992; UNIVERSAL NETWORK) which I have never seen before. Semi-errors and major plot holes likely to abound.

Michael and Holly: Paradigmatic Awkwardness

At the outset Holly and Michael enter and we learn that they went putt-putting and he “let her win.” Michael asks when she is next free and she eagerly says tonight, though she knows it’s overzealous. He says “it’s all good.” Then we have a confessional of Michael saying, “The third date is the one where you have sex. Does Holly feel that way? I don’t know, I’ll probably find out tonight. If she has sex with me, I’ll know for sure.” Our answer to this question comes later as Michael asks Holly bluntly and tactlessly if they’re going to have sex. She replies “hell yeah;” cut to Michael confessional talking about eating “soup or something light.” Presumably to not be weighed down during the sex they will indeed be having.

After work Michael and Holly play cards until time to leave for their date, then walk out holding hands, but she forgot her keys and they must turn back. Actually, she just didn’t want to make out with Michael in front of the cameras, so they went into a lobby broom closet but left their microphones on. Thank goodness there’s a commercial break, so I might catch up and actually put this in some semi-coherent order.

Andgela, featuring a side of Dwight

First Andy is handing out wedding invitations, Dwight gets upset and heads to the break room to start carving a knife. Phyllis tries to talk with him about his feelings because she knows. She breaks the 4th wall and says we the viewers know, then he says he doesn’t know and if he did know he wouldn’t tell Phyllis. In summation, I don’t know. Later Dwight stands at the open refrigerator, Phyllis at one of the tables. He says Angela introduced him to so many things, among them monotheism and prescription medication. He says he’s not talking to Phyllis, then turns and asks her why Angela is marrying Andy. To end the exchange, he tells Phyllis her salad is fattening.

Later Andy tells Angela they will be moving to Celebration, Florida, starts singing “Consider Yourself,” from Oliver, Dwight looks constipated and meets with Phyllis in the elevator to discuss his panic, then leaves her on the wrong floor. Dwight decides the best course of action is to give Angela an ultimatum and allows her until 6:14PM to choose between him and Andy.

The conclusion of this storyline inside the auction because it’s just too messy to try to dissect that line of thought.

The Obligatory PB&J, featuring a side of Roy

Early in the episode we learn Pam went out last night and unknowingly left a message on Jim’s phone all hammered, Jim is sad, I still predict a relationship failure. Darryl and the warehouse guys put up “going out for a drink at the bar” at the auction discussed below and Jim wins for $5; Michael was disallowed for “a conflict of interest.” At the bar, Jim goes to get another round for everyone and Roy walks in. “Relax man, I’m not gonna… hit you.” They’re good. I get the feeling they’re not really good. After some intervening auction scenes Jim and Roy are sitting next to each other at a table, Roy in a blue polo emblazoned with “The Vitamin Shoppe” insignia. Jim tells Roy that he and Pam are engaged, they shake hands. Then Roy makes him insecure about the phone message so he takes off to art school. We next see Jim somewhere between Scranton and art school as he u-turns because he is “not that guy and [they] are not that couple.” Maybe I’m wrong.

The Auction, featuring Bruce Springsteen

After a commercial break all the employees are looking over a pillaged office and Holly and Michael confer to learn they left the building unlocked. Michael and Holly clap almost unison to reassure everyone, then take 30 to furiously put together a hare-brained scheeme before a meeting in the conference room. Michael lets us know CRIME AID is like Farm Aid but “instead of farms fighting against AIDS, it’s us fighting against our own poverty.” Angela is doubtful, Oscar doesn’t want to spend more money on things because his stuff got stolen. Then Michael performs something like an Abbot and Costello routine by himself and everyone looks confused except adoring Holly. Oh, and Bruce Springsteen front-row tickets and backstage passes will be auctioned off. A cut to Michael and Holly in a giddy confessional, where both confirm they had sex. Twice

Bruce Springsteen was there as promised, on a CD that was actually Huey Lewis and the News, Tracy Chapman, and Randy Newman’s “Short People.”

The auction’s acronym we now learn stands for Crime Reduces Innocence Makes Everyone Angry, I Declare. Foghorn Leghorn approves. Michael hits his awkward pun stride with, “Lights camera auction” and we’re off. Michael overeagerly spends $300 on the first item, then some other things happened and Michael hits the gavel Phyllis, head of the Party Planning Committee, obtained for the event. Michael is so disappointed that the gavel “squeaks when you bang it” that he can not even pause for timing before spilling out “that’s what she said;” he is beginning to panic.

Kevin’s auction offering: “Hi I’m Kevin. I’ll do your taxes.”

The security officer gets on stage with some blues demos at 6:14PM and Dwight turns to his lass for an answer. Angela gazes towards Andy, who is rocking back and forth to the dulcet (cacophonous) tones of the security office. I think his guitar might have only had two or three strings.

After commercial David Wallace shows up to auction off a weekend at his place in Martha’s Vineyard, but as the bidding begins Dwight gets Phyllis’s attention by telling her some has let the air out of her tires, an homage to whichever episode it was where Michael let all of the air out of the employee’s tires and said Vance Refrigeration did it. Whoever cites the exact episode first, gold star for you. In the parking lot Phyllis tells Dwight he should move on, to which he says “Fine I’ve moved on. Now how do I get her back?” Phyllis tries to comfort him and gives him a there are plenty of fish in the sea kind of thing. His reply: “Wait that’s it, that’s your advice, move on? I thought you had some big master plan.” Dwight gets bitter and blames Phyllis, then she slaps him. In his subsequent confessional Dwight says, “What did Phyllis do wrong? She stuck her nose in my business and tried to help me.”

The crowd starts demanding Bruce Springsteen, so Michael pulls out of his pocket the tickets! But then he doesn’t pull out the “Front Row Tickets Backstage Passes” envelope that was “stolen” but actually never existed. In the following furor Michael attempts to close the auction when Phyllis reminds him that he has not begun bidding on her hug: “Well Phyllis, nobody really wants a hug.” Then the bidding goes up to $300 by Bob Vance, Dwight starts bidding everything everyone else does plus one penny to make Angela jealous, then Bob Vance bids $1000, which is too rich for Dwight’s blood.

After the final commercial Michael starts explaining the Springsteen tickets lie, Holly says “a lot of Michael seems too good to be true,” then they make out under the watchful eye of David Wallace who says, “No, I did not know that Michael was dating Holly.” End episode. Sounds to me like they’re setting up for a write off of Holly. Maybe during this episode. Do not click if you don’t like spoilers.

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Comments»

1. DougOLis - Friday, October 24, 2008

IMO, the first mediocre/subpar episode of the season.

I really don’t think they’ll go down the road of Pam cheating on Jim and them eventually breaking up. That’s way too sitcommie for the show; I realize the show is more sitcommie than the original but that seems like it’d be pretty extreme. I might actually break up with the show if that happens. Jim and Pam deserve to be happy and not some ratings ploy. That said, I thought Jim’s worries are pretty natural and not completely sitcommie.

Dwight looked absolutely destroyed a few times in the episode. I felt kind of bad about it but ultimately not because he’s still kind of a douche.

Is Celebration, Florida near Cassadega?

Highlights of the episode: Dwight carving a wooden knife, Darryl revealing Michael’s songs, Ryan trying to hide when David Wallace came up, and umm I’m sure there’s others but I forget. once again, mediocre episode.

The letting the air out of the tires happened when the two branches were integrated. I don’t remember the name of the episode but it must have been about 2 years ago now.

Amy Poehler’s going to be in the spin-off? I’m not real sure how I feel about that because she can be pretty annoying at times.

2. Jerkwheat - Friday, October 24, 2008

I love Poehler, but can certainly see the annoyance factor. I sit steady awaiting for the day when they give Kristin Wiig a show.

I missed Ryan’s reaction to David Wallace. I’m going to have to rewatch this over the weekend.

3. dylancaseyjohnson - Friday, October 24, 2008

I could have mistyped, but what I meant to imply was that Poehler is in some aspect of production. Original rumors were that she was to be the star of a spinoff with some crossover characters.

I also missed some pretty great lines because I didn’t have a rewinder, like “Nobody steals from Creed Bratton and gets away with it. The last guy that did that was named Creed Bratton.”

4. DougOLis - Friday, October 24, 2008

I also missed some pretty great lines because I didn’t have a rewinder, like “Nobody steals from Creed Bratton and gets away with it. The last guy that did that was named Creed Bratton.”

Ahh, yeah, that’s one I forgot to mention. Probably my favorite line last night.

The spinoff is called “Untitled Amy Poehler Project” right now so I have a feeling she will be star.

5. Rockabye - Friday, October 24, 2008

Celebration is not quite near Cassadega. It is Disney’s official little town. And it’s scary.

6. JB* - Friday, October 24, 2008

I still want to know why Creed needs three chairs.

7. dylancaseyjohnson - Saturday, October 25, 2008

@JB: there are a few random things Creed does that aren’t explained, like in “Baby Shower” we get a shot of him early on massaging his feet or ankle or something. I hope that before the series is over we get episodes that flesh out each character.

@Rockabye: They pump Disney-style music in through loudspeakers on the street. Depending on your attachment to reality, it’s either a dream or a nightmare.

@DougOLis: it’s about 10 minutes South of the theme park areas of Disney World, but since Walt bought up way more than the legal amount of swampland under various dummy corporations, they had enough land to build their own neighborhood complete with schools, church, etc.

EPCOT stand for Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow and originally Walt wanted to make it an actual city. If you see video of him talking about this idea, it’s downright scary. They have some models of the original plans in various Disney attractions. Some say Celebration is the compromise between Disney’s dream and the realm of possibility.

/Currently taking a class about Disney. In college. Effin’ sweet.


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