I can’t believe this is my first recap of the final season of The Office. Just look at this bunch of goofy characters; I’m going to miss them so much **Sniff**. Well enough of my lamenting, we still have plenty of season left to enjoy. Apparently, there is still much we have yet to learn about our favorite group of misfit co-workers. For example: Nellie does have a softer side, Pam really hates rhubarb pie, Kevin can actually do math in his head (but only when pie is involved), lastly, that the writers have the ability to make the office crew look like a bunch of infantile campers by putting a whole lot of chanting into one script. That’s really my only complaint, other than that, I thought the episode was a good one and Kevin had some really great lines, even though they all pertained to pie. So let’s get right to it, shall we?
The Cold Opening is set in the conference room where Andy is commending his staff for an amazing softball season. To show his appreciation, he has prepared this highlight video, à la Michael Scott, showcasing everyone’s epic fails of the season:
Since it turns out that the video is just regular footage with Andy adding some vulgar sound effects, Jim pipes up and asks Andy where the video he sent him was. Andy says that Jim’s video wasn’t appropriate material for the highlight reel. Jim disagrees, and to prove it, goes to cue it up on the lap top. We see Andy appear on the screen heading for the Gatorade cooler. He lifts it up in an apparent attempt to pour it over someone’s head, but it’s too heavy and he loses his balance. He falls with the cooler landing on top of him and spilling its contents all over his head; EPIC FAIL! Here is where the chanting theme comes into play which is strung throughout the entire episode: Andy insists that the Gatorade incident wasn’t a fail because it was a serious accident and he could have really gotten hurt, but the rest of the staff isn’t buying it and a chant of, “Fail! Fail! Fail! Fail!” fills the room. Andy gives up trying to defend himself and just congratulates them all on their Fail for trying to effectively use the term Fail.
We see everyone coming into the office in the morning to find Dwight and Toby testing for EMF (Electromagnetic Frequency) in the walls, floors and ceilings. According to Oscar, high levels of EMF can be found where there are a large concentration of wires that are not properly insulated. Dwight says that they are just wires and he is not buying them a fur coat. He claims that the entire building is up to code, but according to Toby’s EMF reading device, the wall are going to have to come down in order to fix the problem. This could shut the office down for at least an entire week. Jim has been trying to do something nice for Pam to show his appreciation for her support of his new side job in Philly and getting her a week off work sounded like a perfect gift to him, so he sets out to prank Dwight into agreeing to the repairs.
Meanwhile, the B story begins with Nellie coming into Andy’s office and announcing that she is trying to adopt a baby; a human one. However, she needs a character reference from her employer and offers to write it so that Andy wouldn’t have to do any work, he’d only have to sign it. After she convinces him that she’s not planning a plagiarism entrapment scheme, he agrees to read her letter, but he’ll only sign it if she tells the truth, which is that she is a horrible person and would make a terrible mother.
Jim announces that he’s worried about what harmful health issues could be caused by the prolonged exposure to EMF and while Dwight’s internet search showed that studies on any adverse reactions were inconclusive, Jim conveniently found a web site that said that prolonged exposure could cause headaches, breast pain (to which Dwight replies, “No knobbies, no probbies,” Nice) and infertility. Upon hearing the latter, Dwight attempts to cover his nether region with his mouse pad. Jim pretends to look for his bag of microwave popcorn and spots it under Dwight’s desk. When Dwight retrieves the un-popped bag he notices that some of the kernels have “crowned”. Jim says this is impossible because it’s a brand new bag, but then suspiciously looks up at an ominous red tape ‘X’ on the ceiling tile right above Dwight’s head, indicating a strong EMF reading. Dwight freaks out and runs into Andy’s office. Jim fakes a “nothing but net” basketball swish, mission accomplished.
However, his victory is short lived when Dwight announces that his contract with the company obligates him to provide a temporary work space if any building repairs leave the building uninhabitable and that replacement will be there within the hour. Jim and Pam are flabbergasted; there go their plans to drive up to the lake and stop by Laverne’s Pies, Tires Fixed Also on the way.
Everyone files out into the parking lot just as the work bus arrives. The bus bears the company name M. E., Mobile Exec (it could also be mistaken for Medical Examiner, better not pull up next to any crime scenes). The office mates attempt to squeeze into the cramped space, but this proves difficult as the close proximity causes endless collisions and phone conversations become a futile effort due to the elevated noise level when too many people try to talk at once. Hilarity ensues as Pete turns on a fan, blowing all of Angela’s papers off her work station and Erin bumps into Meredith trying to distribute the mail to which Meredith hollers back, “Lose weight.” Erin replies that she’s trying. Yeah right, If Erin lost any weight she would disappear. I wish I were as fat as Erin, I’d be half my body weight.
Erin continues on and notices Nellie’s adoption form. She contemplates never having been adopted and agrees to help Nellie fill out her paperwork since she knows the system.
After Angela accidentally spills coffee all over Pam after attempting to retrieve paper from an overhead bin, Pam gets fed up and leaves the bus. Jim is dismayed that he big plan for getting them all a week’s paid vacation at Dwight’s expense has not worked out the way he expected. He tries to convince Dwight to at least drive the bus someplace to help lift morale all around and Dwight replies that it’s not his job to fix his marriage problems using his money for gas. Jim decides to appeal to a higher power, namely Andy. Jim riles up the troops with a chant of, “Pies! Pies! Pies! Pies!” Andy folds announcing that the fat people have spoken and Dwight should get the bus moving. Pam boards and Jim announces that the next stop is Laverne’s Pies, Tires Fixed Also. Pam gets excited and the crowd cheers. Dwight pulls out of the parking lot inadvertently leaving Darryl and Clark behind.
On the road, the co-workers (except Angela, who keeps making disapproving faces) pass the time with a game of “Shabooya Roll Call“. I personally have never heard this one, but remember playing similar singing games on the camp bus as a child such as Telephone and Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar. Dwight stops to pick up an apparent hitchhiker, only to discover a well dressed Creed playing hooky from work. Creed is dismayed when he encounters a bus full of his co-workers.
At a pit stop by a giant Rooster for a photo op, right next a sign that reads “Littering is a Cock-A-Doodle Don’t”, Pam notices that Dwight is not with the group, but rather sulking on the roof of the bus. She mentions to Jim that Dwight is acting strange, but Jim shrugs it off saying that he’ll be fine, he’s just upset that the rest of them are having fun.
Back on the bus, Erin gives tips to Nellie on how to word her adoption form and they have a sweet moment. The rest of the crew re-boards with a chant of, “Next stop pies! Next stop pies!” (yeah, the chanting is getting just a little out of control at this point); Jim urges Dwight on saying that Laverne packs up the pie wagon at 5:00 pm. A worried Kevin consults a map and calculates that it’s 4:40 and the pie stand is still 13 miles away. At 55 mph, that will only give them 5 minutes to spare. Angela looks at Kevin with surprise and exclaims that when it comes to pies, Kevin can suddenly do math in his head! It seems that if Angela converts all figures to pies, she’d have pretty productive underling. Oscar gets out his calculator and asks Kevin a complicated division question, saying the figures are pies, which he answers correctly easily, but given the same problem using salads, he just can’t seem to come up with the correct answer.
Dwight announces that he hates to ruin everyone’s good time, but they’re almost out of gas. Jim says he saw a station a mile back, so they can just turn around and fill up. Dwight argues that the station was a name-brand place with inflated prices and he doesn’t want to spend the extra money. Jim pushes him saying that he’s doing this on purpose just so they don’t make it to the pie stand on time. Once again he riles up the troops with a call of, “What do we want?” To which they answer, “PIES!“ “When do we want them?” Instead of the correct response of “Now!”, they again answer “PIES!” to which Jim makes a face to the camera. I wonder if the cast ever wants to hear the word ‘pie’ ever again after this episode. Looks like they’ll be eating pumpkin ‘tart’ on Thanksgiving this year.
Dwight throws his hands up and surrenders to Jim. He says that they’ve been going head-to-head for years and Jim has finally won. He drops the keys in Jim’s lap and tells him to go buy his wife a pie, in fact he should go buy the entire world a pie. When Jim replies that this is impossible, Dwight gives up and climbs up the roof hatch back onto the roof of the bus. After Dwight’s display, Kevin then delivers my favorite line of the episode, “Now I don’t even feel like pie… Wait, it’s back.”
Phyllis tells Jim to just drive away, but Pam, ever the voice of reason, tells him to go up to the roof and talk Dwight. Jim naturally bends to Pam’s whim and climbs up the hatch after Dwight. Jim approaches Dwight and asks him why he’s being such a jerk. Dwight just goes ahead and blurts out what’s been bothering him: he’s barren! He then delivers my next favorite line of the episode: “My trouser hives are void of honey. I had congress with Angela and the child, and the child that she bore did not issue from my lions. I thought I would be a father, but instead I am a eunuch, neutered by my own building. “ Pretty pathetic, but verbiage is priceless. Jim wants to know if this is about the popcorn or the ‘X’ on the ceiling; because that was a prank. Dwight thinks that Jim flooded the building with EMF as a prank, and declares it to be genius and the best prank he’s ever done. Jim starts to protest, but then decides he’d take the compliment.
Meanwhile, back on the bus, Nellie brings her adoption letter to Andy to sign. Andy looks it over and declares in un-signable. He calls letter inaccurate, dishonest, and dung-water. He wishes Nellie luck on her impossible dream. Nellie retreats back to her side of the bus and pulls a partition curtain to hider herself from Andy. Erin looks on at the scene in horror. She’s clearly upset by Andy’s reaction to Nellie’s request for his help. Andy makes his way to the front of the bus and overhears crying from behind Nellie’s partition. He tells Pete that British women are over-emotional and Pete replies that he doesn’t think that it’s Nellie crying. He leans in closer and hears Nellie consoling Erin telling her that it’s not her fault, that she was so kind and it doesn’t have anything to do with her. Andy goes back to the other side of the bus before Erin and Nellie can catch him eavesdropping.
In parallel up on the roof, Jim is trying to console Dwight by telling him that sometimes it takes couples years to conceive. Dwight just mocks him by asking how long it took for him and Pam to conceive and what positions he used to conceive. Jim tells him that he’s missing the point and since he owns the building, aren’t the people in it almost like his children? Dwight responds by telling Jim that there’s a phrase in German called, bilden kinder, which was almost exclusively used by childless landlords to make them feel better, but now, he can almost understand it. Jim says that he has an entire busload of bilden kinder, that are dangerously close to not getting pie and only Dwight can save them. This convinces Dwight to come down and continue the journey. Jim comes down first and while he’s explaining to Pam how the talk went Dwight comes down the hatch and lands on Jim’s head yelling that’s what happens when you don’t get out of the way. Pam asks him if he’s feeling better and Dwight takes her by the shoulders saying that he’s better than OK and he’s going to make sure she gets that rhubarb pie. As she’s trying to explain that rhubarb is the one pie she doesn’t like, Dwight gets in the saddle and yells for everyone to hold on. He takes off like a bullet and everyone falls back as the bus accelerates.
Everyone is happily sitting around eating pie. Nellie notices a mother and daughter having a sweet little pie picnic. Andy comes up to her and tells her that he’s changed his mind. He had to add a few lines before he could sign it, but as it turns out, everything he added was complimentary including a line about how she’ll make a wonderful mother. Nellie is elated.
Kevin has finished his pie and is coveting Oscars. He comes up with a plan to insult Oscar to his face so that Oscar will smash his pie in Kevin’s face. Oscar figures out Kevin’s plan relatively quickly, but decides to indulge Oscar and smashes his pie in Kevin’s face. Kevin raises his hand in triumph. It looks like everyone is on a pie-induced high. What’s interesting to note is Erin and Pete having a conversation in the background during the whole pie in the face exchange. It seems like Erin doesn’t know that Andy has soften towards helping Nellie and she seems to be unloading on her new confidant. I hate to see Andy as the “Roy” in this budding triangle, since Andy really is loveable. But if they are going to move forward with this Andy/Erin/Pete story line, they are going to have to make Andy look bad in order to gain sympathy for Erin and Pete. It’s pretty subtle and this is only the second time we’ve seen them having some kind of private conversation, but it’s definitely there. I’m curious to see how this story plays out.
Jim and Pam have a sweet moment where Pam, once again, hails Jim as her hero. Jim says, “We did it.” giving the whole group credit, but Pam says that it was Jim that did it. I think Pam is beginning to realize what she’s known all along, that Jim has great leadership ability and he should be using his talents to attain a much loftier goal than just being a paper salesman.
In the tag scene, we see everyone back in the office. The work has been completed and everyone is back at their own desks. Andy starts a “Roll Call” from his office and comes out brandishing his banjo. After a lively banjo solo, everyone sluggishly says, “Roll Call.” Creed looks up and says, “What?” I love it when Creed gets the last word. Looks like the magic is gone, people.
Other than the endless chanting, I pretty pleased with this episode. Let’s here what you thought. Sound off in the comments or join our discussion on the boards.
Catch ya next time,
Suri (aka HDF)