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The Office: "Casual Friday"

Casual-Friday.jpgOn The Office "Casual Friday," Kevin starts out with a discussion of his (only?) talent: Cooking "Kevin's Famous Chili".

As he spills the beans about the secret ingredient ("undercooked onions"), he then literally spills the beans, all over the floor, next to Jim's desk. In perhaps one of Brian Baumgartner's funniest moments this season, he scurries about in vain to save the food, shoveling it back in a giant pot using clipboards from the receptionist area. He ends up slipping and sliding like a Kevin Gone Wild.

Michael makes his triumphant return, optioning in typical Michael style for a grand entrance. His return quickly turns into confusion and frustration by his reunited staff, though. They aren't pleased that Pam and Ryan get to A) be on the sales team and B) keep their clients they stole from Dunder-Mifflin while with The Michael Scott Paper Company.

Phyllis (to Pam): I wish I had more time to talk to my clients, though.
Pam: What?
Phyllis: Isn't that what you said to a bunch of my clients when you were stealing them, that I didn't have enough time?
Pam: I, um...
Phyllis: Close your mouth, sweetie. You look like a trout.

Michael tells them to suck it up and deal, and then switches the subject to the return of Casual Fridays. Angela thinks it's disgusting that she has to look at Oscar's feet. "It looks like he just got off the boat," she tells Toby, who doesn't look like he could give a crap. Toby reveals he doesn't love H.R., and only came to Scranton to chase a woman he wanted to sleep with, after a failed stint in the seminary. H.R. was the first job he found. Can you imagine Toby as a priest?

Dwight orders a secret meeting, using invisible ink (Well, it's urine, he says... gross!) to code a message for the sales team, minus Ryan and Pam. They all meet in the warehouse, where Dwight says something fishy is going on. Jim says they should all just talk to Michael, but Dwight demands action.

As former MSPComp. (I can't keep writing it out, c'mon) employees reminisce in Michael's office, Jim comes in to warn them about the pending mutiny.

Michael says he's not going to take it. When the Mutiny on the S.S. Scranton crew return to the office, they lie and say they were out to lunch. Michael calls their bluff and destroys their packed lunches.

Casual Friday, meanwhile, takes a (hysterical) turn for the worse. Toby tells Meridith her minidress is too, well... slutty. He tells her to pull it down. She does, revealing her boob. Everyone tells her to pull it back up, so she does... revealing her crotch.

Kelly: Damn it, Meredith, where are your panties?!?!
Meredith: It's Casual Day (bends over, revealing her butt. The blur guy must have had a field day.)

Jim has been hiding it in the lunch room, playing chess with Creed, who somehow has become the sane one in the office on this otherwise crazy day. Jim realizes how strange this all sounds.

Jim: I feel like I'm describing a dream I had.

The sales feud hasn't ended. When Ryan tries to talk to one of Dwight's long-time clients, Dwight freaks and start shouting beside Ryan, as they both try to coax the client to stay. Of course, the guy hangs up. Dwight, Phyllis and Stanley think it's Ryan's fault; Pam says Dwight shouldn't yell at clients.

Then the emotions start flowing. Michael says the sales team should get over their hurt feelings about Ryan and Pam getting clients, but they threaten to quit and start a new paper company. Michael calls their bluff again, saying if they want to go, great, but if they want to stay, they better apologize.

Phyllis is near tears. She says Michael screwed them, not corporate, when he left. That gets Michael to realize he was wrong. He ends up giving Phyllis, Stanley, Dwight and Andy their old clients back (guess he's not a new man after all, and that he's learned nothing the past few weeks).

Now Michael has to let go either Ryan or Pam (yeah, like he'd let go of a main character like Pam). He asks Jim for advice, who is busy playing Scrabble with Creed.

Creed: So I want to set you up with my daughter.
Jim: Oh, I'm engaged to Pam.
Creed: I thought you were gay?
Jim: Then why would you want to set me up with your daughter?
Creed: I don't know.

Jim and Michael go through pros and cons of Ryan (Pro: He has nice hair; Con: He defrauded the company) and Pam (Pro: She's a fast learner; Con: She has a "weird voice," Michael says).

Michael goes with Pam (first, he tells her she didn't get it), and offers Ryan his temp job back, although Ryan isn't thrilled with that. While he's on a roll, Michael fake fires Erin, the receptionist (who is really cute, don't you agree?).

Toby, by the way, cancels Casual Friday. It's a shame, because I think he, in effect, caused the TV Censor Blur Guy to get laid off. Tough economy.

Favorite moment: Everything about the opening scene with Kevin.

Thoughts:
This was a fine return-to-form of sorts. Lots of laughs, but nice character development. Meredith, Kevin, Phyllis, Andy, Creed and Toby all got to shine. You can almost hear the conversation during that read-through: "Hey, we all get to do something for once other than play solitaire in the background!"
It was also a nice transition from the mini-story arc of the MCPComp. to Dunder-Mifflin. Steve Carell played off his old crew well, and it was like old times. What did you think of this grand return?


Posted by Andy Shaw on April 30, 2009 11:39 PM
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Kevin spilling chili was one of the funniest things ever. I haven't laughed so hard like that in a long time. The Meredith thing was also hilarious. Bravo!

-- Posted by: Ernie at May 1, 2009 11:04 AM

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