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Office Fodder

The Office: Mafia - Review

Intro:
Michael has everyone, minus honeymooners Pam and Jim, in the conference room to talk business fundamentals, as in, "you're mental if you don't have a good time." Toby wonders why Michael didn't just underline "fun," and, in a funny move, he immediately leaves before Michael can kick him out.
Michael says he could write a book about all the stuff his staff doesn't know. Ryan dares him to do just that. Michael tries to tape record the opener for his book, and gets stuck after, "The business man..."

Main:
An insurance man, Mr. Grotti (Mike Starr), wants to speak to Michael. Erin, thinking Michael's morning-long "creative space" can be interrupted, says Michael is available, which Michael hates because he likes everyone to think he's so busy he can't be disturbed.

I'm not even quite sure what Michael does, as he never seems to be working. Anyway, he's not impressed with Grotti's sales pitch, one with all the finesse of a door-to-door Ginsu knives dealer.

Dwight and Andy are convinced Grotti is a mobster using insurance as a front. I'm liking the developing bond between the two, because their eccentricities play well off each other- Andy's eager-to-please, brown-nosing personality and Dwight's manipulative, control-seeking goofiness.

Oscar is the lone voice of reason, with Jim and Pam gone, and can't believe anyone thinks Grotti is in the mob.

"What mobster would change his name from Gotti to Grotti? It weakens it" - Oscar
"I disagree. R is among the most menacing of sounds. That's why they call it murder and not muckduck" - Dwight

Michael, Dwight and Andy agree Michael needs to meet Grotti for lunch and show him who's boss. Andy wants to have a weapon, so, as if he's on "Clue," he brings a tire iron. To cover up the weapon, he dresses as a car mechanic. Love it. You know, I almost forget Andy came from the Stamford branch and not Scranton- he fits in so well these days.

Andy's plan backfires- a mom asks Andy to jump-start her car. Andy has no clue what he's doing and ruins her engine.

"You've got a leaky, uh, spark tube" - Andy, after he causes sparks to fly on engine.

Michael gives in and signs up for the insurance, scared of the mob guy making him swim with the fishies. Dwight and Andy decide the best thing to do is lie and tell Michael that Grotti really isn't in the mob - you get it? Covering up something that wasn't a problem in the first place? Eh? No? Yeah, I didn't laugh, either.

Michael falls for it, and calls back Grotti to cancel the insurance and tell Grotti he can stick it. Of course, in typical Michael fashion, he tells the office a much grander version, that he threatened Grotti's life, etc.

In the subplot, Kevin has taken over Jim's office during the Halpert honeymoon, explaining he first came in there to fart, and then just decided it's awesome to have your own office. Wow, Kev. Wow. But at least Brian Baumgartner is getting his own subplot, after his masterful job last week wearing tissue boxes for shoes and being Oscar's non-boyfriend.

When Jim's credit card company calls, Kevin, freaked out, confirms Jim's account info and that leads the credit card company to believe Jim's card has been stolen, since it's being used in Puerto Rico. Kevin calls Pam in a panic, but realizes they don't know he did it. Kevin lives to see another week.

Thoughts:
Grotti was a good antagonist to Michael's protagonist- Michael, though clueless, still seems like he's a better businessman than Grotti, who uses bullish tactics. After all the wedding shenanigans, this was a good way to ease back into day-to-day office activities, and not have to rely on John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer to carry a plot. Baumgartner excelled, and Oscar Nuñez got a few good ones in there, too. That's why an ensemble cast works- everyone pulls their weight.

But the plotline was almost like an extended comedy sketch. It's plausible Dwight and Andy would convince themselves a mob guy is after Michael, but after a while, the irony of the situation (actual irony, not the usual misuse of irony) seemed to wear thin- we get it, he's not in the mob, but they think he is, and he keeps doing mob-ish stuff. It did get laughs, and in the end, I guess that's what matters.

I'm not sure where the subplot went about Erin messing up one of Pam's paintings, as was listed. Maybe they made a last second decision?

Nice touches:


  • Kevin bringing his beloved jar of M&Ms into Jim's office.

  • Andy's Cornell cap

  • Jim faking bad reception to get out of helping Michael

Best quotes:
"Why would I love jail?" - Oscar
"Because... you would love it." - Kevin, with a smile toward the camera.

"Small things: Peas, ball bearings, dimes..." - Creed, on small talk subjects.

Now tell me what you thought in the comments, and answer the poll!


Posted by Andy Shaw on October 15, 2009 10:07 PM
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