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The Office: The Promotion - Review

Opener:
Michael refuses to sign Dwight's expense report. Dwight goes to Jim, who suddenly has an office where I don't think there was one before. It's like they just threw up some walls by Creed's desk. Jim, predictably, won't help Dwight, and so Dwight tries to log a complaint with Michael.
Michael is embracing his new co-manager role as being in charge of big-picture stuff. Dwight tries to convince Michael that since Jim is the tallest person in the office and its a big complaint, Michael should deal with it.
Nope- it goes back to Jim, who fills out a complaint form against himself stating Dwight was in tears. And thus begins the Michael-Jim reign.
-------------------
Of course, people don't want two bosses, as no successful group uses two bosses.

"Where would Catholicism be without the popes?" Oscar quips.

Jim, trying to be as assertive as we've seen him since he told Ryan where to stick it, tells Michael his infamous conference room meetings are a waste of time. I don't know how the sexual harassment training was anything but a good use of time, myself. I thought it was golden.

Anyway, Michael surprisingly agrees... which is how you know something is up. Interesting to see how they play Jim and Michael off each other now, since Michael hates people challenging his authority, and Jim, once the slacker, now has to be an authority.

Meanwhile, Pam is dealing with wedding stuff (the wedding is next week). Pam wants people to give her and Jim cash for their wedding, but feels awkward asking for it. Instead of using a gift registry, Phyllis offers to give Pam a romantic birdhouse. And wh doesn't need one of those?

Michael sneaks in some workers into his office for a top-secret conference room-esque meeting, but Jim discovers it. He reminds Michael that corporate gave them equal power, which Michael doesn't believe. I'm not sure how Jim would have thought anything differently, or why he seems somewhat surprised things are going this way. You'd think he would have made corporate outline each person's duties.

Kelly gives her thoughts on duos gone wrong, going off track as usual until she settles on which "The Hills" star is better.

"L.C. Heidi is a bad friend and her skin is terrible," Kelly says. You forgot to mention she's terrible at "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here."

Just when things can't get more tense, David Wallace calls and tells the co-managers there's only limited money for cost of living raises- they'll have to decide how to distribute the small amount.

Jim and Michael have to decide together, which neither of them want. Michael, clearly, hates the idea of sharing the manager role, even pulling a Dwight-ian title change by calling himself a "senior co-manager" and then trying to text Wallace while he's talking on speakerphone to Jim.

Kevin talks to Pam about her request for cash as a wedding gift (You mean money, right? Kevin asks). Kevin, being the lovable guy he is, immediately writes a check to Pam, who is surprised her request works.

Pam feels guilty, but in the middle of saying all that, she notices who the check is made out to:

"Mrs. Pam Halpert. That's the first time I've seen it in writing!"- Pam. Cute moment in what has been a series of cute moments about a wedding storyline that could have easily been cheesy but hasn't so far.

Mr. Halpert, though, is so frustrated with Michael stalling on making a cost-of-living decision, he tells Michael what he really thinks- Michael can't make tough decisions.

Michael tells Jim if he feels that way, just make the announcement on his own, a shrewd move that you'd expect from Michael, who, despite being an idiot, still knows how to deal with people.

Jim's decision-- just give raises to sales staff-- doesn't go over well at all, irking everyone else in the office. I haven't seen a Jim decision go this poorly since he tried to consolidate birthday cake days. Michael tries to step in, and does his usual "talk circles" spiel that amounts to a bunch of nothing, and the entire staff gets irate. The non-sales staff hates the idea (well, and Dwight, who wants to undermine Jim and steal his job).

Jim and Michael go back to the drawing board. It's nice to see John Krasinski and Michael Scott share so much screen time together, isn't it? Well, eventually the two characters decide to do a merit-based raise, placing a bean on the photo of the person who deserves to get a raise.

Dwight, who is borderline unlikeable and a little irritating this episode, sneaks everybody into the conference room to see the cockamamie bean plan, and then asks everyone to stage a Jim coup. He might as well have asked them to all move to his beet farm- no one moves an inch.

In the mean time, Michael realizes it's nice to have another boss to make the unpopular decisions; Jim realizes Michael is his only friend left. That's what they call "building for the next episode." Michael even gives Jim his own "World's Best Boss" mug. Classic.

Thoughts:
The whole episode felt like it needed to be an hour long. It would have been interesting to hear more office talk about what they thought of Jim getting promoted to their boss-- this guy was their peer and all of a sudden is in charge of them.

And we haven't gone much outside the office in a while, either, which, given a wedding is coming up, is odd. I'd like to see Pam picking out a dress as Phyllis and Kelly second guess her. We've heard a lot about Jim and Pam struggling to make ends meet on the wedding, but we haven't actually seen any those struggles-- in TV, people want to see what the problem is, not just be told what it is.

If it's coming down to Pam asking for money from her co-workers, which I'm sure she loathes, couldn't we see more of what led up to that decision? Especially considering Jim just got a big promotion-- how are they still that worried about money on what will be a relatively small wedding?

Great lines, though, from Creed, Oscar and Kelly, while Dwight went from comedic office zealot to somewhat antagonistic, annoying employee that wasn't as funny as he was a nuisance. Maybe I'm off base, but they didn't make his lines funny enough to offset the disdain he had for Jim, our usual protagonist.

And I didn't think it made sense at the end for Pam to fall for Ryan's basketball gambling scheme. She's known for a long time he's a scheming loser, and yet she gives him $50? Can they write Ryan off the show yet?

Now we just have to see how all this ties into next week's wedding episode.

Favorite lines:

"In the memo, I'll put, 'To love's eternal glory'"- Kevin, on Pam's check.

"Why haven't we ever, uh..." Creed, after glancing across to Meredith with a once-over.
"We have..." Meredith responds matter-of-factly, and then goes back to work.


Posted by Andy Shaw on October 1, 2009 10:51 PM
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