The show opens with a very excited Erin entering the office. She’s happy because her boyfriend Andy is on his way back from a summer Outward Bound trip. New Sabre owner, David Wallace, sent him there to be more assertive and decisive. David sent his own son as well. Andy told Erin that they “both grew up a lot” this summer.
Dwight explains in a talking-head how that his summer was both good and bad. It was good because he invented a delicious energy drink made from beet run off. It was bad because he found out he is not the father of Angela’s son. If you remember at last season’s finale, Dwight stole DNA from Angela’s son and then took it to get tested. When Dwight found out his was not the father of the baby, he vomited his blue beet run off drink all over Angela.
To hear Kevin tell it, he had a great summer. Although I think his version of great and most other people’s version of great may differ a bit! Seems he ran over a turtle in the office parking lot. He brought it inside and tried to put it’s crushed shell back together. But the shell pieces wouldn’t fit, so he added a bunch of office supplies to fill the holes. Then, he accidentally stepped on it and crushed the turtle again. In the end, it didn’t matter because he admits the turtle was probably dead from when he first ran it over.
Oh Kevin, you just get stupider and stupider! Which people who read my recaps (all 5 of you…luv you guys!) know is a pet peeve of mine. I mean just how ridiculously stupid are they going to continue to make poor Kevin Malone? In the beginning of the show, Kevin had a steady girl (remember Stacy?) and was all involved in office drama. He was actually the person who pointed out the Pam and Jim were “totally hooking up”, when they were indeed, totally hooking up. Now, he’s been reduced to a drooling idiot. Stay tuned, folks, because as you see further along in this recap, Kevin can indeed get even more stupid.
Jim and Pam had a nice summer. Jim told us that Pam painted a really beautiful wall mural in their child’s room. And Jim was approached by his college buddy who is in the process of using Jim’s idea from back when they were in school to start a business. The idea is sports marketing based where athletes are the partners. He’s dying for Jim to be his partner in this venture, but he told his buddy no because it would require he quit his steady job at Sabre, and relocate his family to Philly.
Kelly’s pediatrician fiancé was hired as a medical professor in Miami. Not Miami, Florida, but Miami University in Ohio! Definitely not the same thing. Toby was convinced that up until the day she left, Kelly didn’t really understand where she was going. But it’s obvious she thought she was Florida bound, because they show a clip of her dancing through the office throwing her coats at people saying she was going to go hang with Gloria Estefan.
In an “unrelated move,” Ryan quit and also moved to Ohio. He’s shown at a bus stop, just arriving in Ohio with his trash bag full of clothes (instead of a suitcase). He tells us, “I’ve done the research. Southwestern Ohio is the new Silicon Valley. I refer to it as the Silicon Prairie”.
Pam and Jim end their talking-head by talking directly to the camera man, who is off-screen. I could be wrong, but I believe this is the first time we’ve ever heard anyone involved with the “documentary” speak? Pam asks him, “don’t you guys have everything you need at this point?” The camera man tells her that they finished up filming about the paper company a while ago. Now they’re more into following them. Really?! Kinda funny that they would do this without letting the people involved know that they switched their focus, but whatever… Pam laughs and says, “Oh yeah I guess Jim and I were kinda dramatic in the beginning. But not now. I don’t know why you bother. We aren’t doing anything new now. We are married with two young kids. There’s not much changing here!” Jim shoots the camera man a pointed look that says, “But it could be… if I take that job in Philly.” This is one of the main things I will miss about this show when it finishes up this spring. All John Krasinski did was look at the camera, no dialogue was needed from this character we all know so well. The awkward silences and pointed looks are an Office staple, and I will miss these utterly “real” moments.
Toby also had a nice summer. At work, he is really enjoying two new guys who sit near him now that Kelly and Ryan are gone. The new guys are in their twenties. And Toby feels that together, they are just three single guys “gettin’ into trouble”. The office staff has nicknamed the young’uns New Jim and New Dwight. Their real names are Pete and Clark.
Andy comes in after his Outward Bound trip. He is very pumped and can’t wait to tell everyone how great his trip was. He grew so much. Things like “clocks,” he now knows he can live without. Then, Andy’s eyes light on Nellie. Dun dun DUN! He point-blank asks her, “what are you still doing here?” She ignores his rude question and nervously replies, “just great, thanks!” As if he asked how she was doing. He didn’t! Then Andy tells her that while on his trip, he had a dream she had died. He says it in a way that lets the viewer know that he wishes the dream was true. Awkward!
But before things can get worse on that front, Andy spies the two new guys. He immediately gives them the nicknames “Plop” and “Fart” because on his trip, everyone had nicknames (his was Iceman). Darryl lets Andy know that the office staff has already nicknamed the new guys New Jim and New Dwight. Andy loves it, and makes Dwight go up next to New Dwight. Dwight definitely enjoys the comparison. I think he’s still stinging that Angela’s son is not his (although I smell a rat, and am curious to see if that gets revisited this season).
Then Meredith pipes up and tells New Jim to “sit on her face.” He tells her, “No thanks.” In a talking-head, Jim says that he “doesn’t see resemblance between him and New Jim, except that they both don’t want to sit on Meredith s face. And if that’s the criteria for comparison, then everyone could be New Jim.”
Andy pulls Toby into his office. He hates Nellie and wants her fired. Toby says he can’t do that. Andy is just going to have to deal with Nellie.
Angela looking to find a home for one of her cats. Kevin says he will take it, but Angela says no way “after the turtle.” Then Kevin, in a talking-head, where he speaks in a slow, idiot voice saying, “Angela’s cats are.. so cute you wanna eat ‘em. But you can’t eat cats… you can’t eat cats.” Really, Office writers?! I guess that answers my question of just how stupid the can make Kevin Malone.
Oscar says he can’t take Angela’s cat because, “he is more of a dog person”. Angela says, “if you pray really hard, you can become a cat person”. Oscar replies, “those guys always switch back, Angela”. Absolutely hilarious parody of the religious-right’s stereotypical solution for how to handle gay people. So funny, loved it!
Dwight is all proud of the father-son comparison between him and New Dwight (Clark). At the snack machine, he compliments Clark, and invites him to attend a Slayer concert with him. Dwight compliments him on his perfect round head, and then asks him what kind of farming he is into. “Are you a root man or a fruit man?” he asks. Clark asks, “is this code for gay stuff?” Clark tries to butter-up Dwight and tells him that if he wants, he can help Dwight out with his sales duties. He asks for Dwight’s sales contacts. Dwight immediately is upset that he is trying to take his job. He enlists Jim to help him so the newbies don’t take over.
Upset that he can’t have her fired, Andy threatens Nellie in his office. He tells her that if she stays on the job, he will torture her. Nellie says she’s not leaving.
Andy takes the staff out into the parking lot. He has invited one of his Outward Bound leaders to run a slack-line demonstration. At this point, I was wondering where this was going plot-wise, until he forced Nellie to “give it a try.” She didn’t want to take her shoes off, so there she is in heels, trying to walk on a slack-line. But before she even gets a chance, Andy shoves her off, face first onto the mat. The camera pans to the staff, who are cringing at the awkwardness of it all.
New Dwight, in an attempt to brown-nose the boss, tries the slack-line. He does it perfectly. Dwight now has to show him up. Multiple fails later, Andy says, “New Dwight is cool. Old Dwight is lame.” Dwight stalks off in anger.
Later, Pam is summoned by Dwight to the roof. He’s modified a bike, and has it attached to a slack line. He wants Pam to be the counter-weight to his high-wire bike. She refuses. He tells her why not, her life is so boring she should want some excitement. Pam tells him she loves her life, and won’t risk it for his stupid stunt. She tells him to ask Phyllis. He says,”are you kidding? If Phyllis was on here, she’s launch my bike into space. How insensitive, Pam!”
Angela is still trying to find a home for her cat, Comstock. She is interviewing Pete to see if he’s worthy to take the cat. She asks him about his hopes and future. Jim overhears and mocks him in a talking-head, because he “will probably end up working here forever.” Then Jim realizes that maybe Pete is the New Jim.
Oscar overhears Angela mention that Comstock is her husband’s favorite cat. They only have to get rid of it because the baby is allergic. Mysteriously, he changes his mind and says he will adopt the cat after all. He retreats to the stairwell for a private phone conversation. Who is he talking to? Oh my, it’s Angela’s gay husband! Seems he is having an affair with Angela’s husband. He adopted Comstock so the senator wouldn’t have to give up his favorite cat. I can’t wait to see how this plot-line unfolds!
Up on the roof, Dwight tapes a copy machine to his bike contraption to help weight it down since Pam won’t help.
It’s clear after his most recent talking-head, Jim wants to call his old buddy and take a chance on their business venture, but chickens out. Then he changes his mind and calls. He’s in! He’s so happy he air punches and then bites his nails in nervousness. What did he do?
Dwight calls to the staff as they are leaving work for the day to focus on his bike stunt. It is an immediate miserable fail. He falls and has to cling to the copy machine, dangling in mid-air, while the staff looks on in horror.
Creed’s outdoor talking-head explains his version of the events. “There was a circus in the parking lot at work today” with high-wire copy machines and ladies trying to give away babies that look like cats, etc… Then he wraps it up by saying it was a pretty good day at the dog food company. Dog food company? Ha ha. Love Creed!
The closing scene has Meredith throwing an empty soda can at Nellie’s head. What the…? Seems Andy has all the trash bins near her so that she’s constantly being hit by flying trash. She’s handling it firmly, but good-naturedly. I wonder how long her calm will hold out?
So, that was it ladies and gents. The first episode of the last season of The Office is over. Questions were answered from last season and fun new plot lines were introduced. I’m very excited to see how the Angela/Senator/Oscar triangle turns out. And I am also intrigued with Jim’s new venture, and hope they give us plenty of exit-time with JAM before they head off to Philly. The Kelly/Ryan saga is interesting. I can almost see Kelly messing up her perfect situation and going back to Ryan. I hope not, but with him in Ohio, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for those two emotionally-damaged characters. I guess we will just have to wait and see how it all pans out.
What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments below and as always, thanks for reading!