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Office Fodder

The Office: New Boss

Jim-Krasinski.jpg Jim. Dwight. Karen. Toby.

The common trait?

After Thursday's premiere of "New Boss," all of those characters have at one point or another quit or asked to be relocated.

And now, you can add Michael to the list.

Yes, Dunder-Mifflin's most loyal employee told David Wallace he was quitting.
But before I get ahead of myself, let's recap the moments of last night's episode leading up to that:

The Party Planning Committee of Michael, Dwight, Jim, and Pam convened to discuss how best to celebrate Michael's 15th year with the company. Jim, pulling a classic prank, had dressed up in a tux for the day to mock Dwight's recent memo on workplace attire. To further irk his nemesis, Jim shot down all of Dwight's party ideas as not being classy enough (as in, not classy as wearing a tux).

In walks in the newest vice president, Charles Miner (Idris Elba). He's got slutty, greedy shoes to fill, being that Jan and Ryan last held that spot. Michael says he recently met Charles and liked him, so he eagerly presents Charles to everyone in the office.

Michael even put together a breakfast party, including C-shaped bagels- "Took me all night," Michael says. It took him all night to turn O's into C's? Wow. Glad it was a Charles and not a William or an Xavier.

Charles, it's clear, is not into Tom Foolery (or any Tom's, I bet. Tom Cruise. Tom Hanks. Tom Tom GPS). He tells the office there will be cutbacks in the budget, and that includes a freeze on discretionary spending.

Discretionary spending for you or for me would be extra office supplies. In Scranton, it means money for an endless array of parties. Michael hears that and start turning on Charles, getting more and more agitated that corporate is invading Scranton and telling him what to do.

Michael tries to call David multiple times so he can get Charles in trouble, but David won't answer the phone. Dwight says Michael's not asking the right way, and calls David's secretary one more time:

Dwight: "My name is Michael, uh, Scotch, and I just wanted to say that I've got David Wallace's son in the trunk of my car. If he doesn't get on the phone in five seconds, I'm going to..."
Michael: "Idiot, what are you doing?...(Calls secretary) Hey, Stephanie, it's Michael Scott again. I just spoke with Michael Scotch and the son's going to be returned."

Charles also buys everyone lunch, which makes Michael look bad, considering he brought in broken bagels. Michael complains, and Charles tells him "If you don't like it, I think there are still some bagels left over from breakfast." Oh, snap!

The last straw is when Charles dissolves the party planning committee. This committee, mind you, has helped create the parking lot carnival, the Christmas parties, and other iconic moments in Scranton. This is like dissolving U2.

Michael freaks out, first by being childish and repeating everything Charles says repeating everything Charles says. Then, by announcing he's driving to corporate to tattle on Charles to David in person.

With Michael gone, Jim tries to smooth over his relationship with Charles. You see, when you meet your new boss for the first time and you're wearing a tux to make fun of another employee, you don't make a good impression.

Jim tries to dig himself out by saying how he's a valuable No. 2 in the office. Charles points out that there is no actual assistant manager position, and that it's silly Jim is touting his fake title. Jim slinks away. It's always funny when normally smug Jim gets put in his place.

The girls in the office are cooing over Charles like fresh meat in the water. Angela and Kelly both hope to seduce him, but Angela only freaks Charles out and Kelly is too busy putting on lipstick and talking about their unborn babies to notice Charles left for the day. The two end up running around the parking lot fighting over the scarf Charles left behind like he's a Jonas Brother or something.

Angela: "He is a sophisticated man. He does not need to go dumpster diving for companionship." Says the woman who cheated on her fiance with Dwight.

That leads to the final scene. Michael confronts David and says he deserves more respect after 15 years with the company. David apologizes and agrees to reinstate Michael's 15th anniversary party.

Michael replies, "I quit."

Cue dramatic music.

One of the funnier episodes of "The Office" this season. I laughed out loud several times, from Jim's bumbling attempts to look good, to the girls fighting over Charles, to the interaction between Charles and Michael. It really was uncomfortable to watch at points, in a good way, because you just knew Michael was so upset that Charles was changing the way Michael runs his ship.

Unlike past corporate heads, Charles won't let Michael get away with anything. Will Michael come back? You'd have to think so, but it might take a couple episodes. Based on this episode, I just wish Idris Elba was on for more than a six-episode arc.

Line of the Night: (Charles is walking out the door. Jim tries to make a good impression one last time)
Jim: See ya. (Charles keeps walking). See ya. (Nothing). Bye! (Gone).

Posted by Andy Shaw on March 19, 2009 11:11 PM
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