In ‘The Seminar’ we are treated to glorious one-liners and even memorable soliloquies, as well as the much-hyped Ricky Gervais cameo and a hilarious, if not gratuitous, Kevin barfing scene.
Let’s start with the opening tag: Michael runs into David Brendt near the elevator. What the hell David Brent is doing in Scranton we don’t find out, but he’s clearly the same old guy, making politically incorrect impressions and all. I’m intrigued by his query of job openings. Obviously, this is a wink to Steve Carell’s departure, but could Gervais be more involved than we think? (Probably not, but one can dream.)
The episode’s main focus is on Andy’s seminar, “How to Grow your Small Business.” (I’m surprised Michael Scott didn’t quip, “That’s what she said!”) Jim bails on helping Andy out after spotting a childhood “friend,” while Dwight, Phyllis and Stanley flake because they think the pupils are a bunch of losers.
Fortunately, Creed, Kevin and Kelly come to Andy’s “rescue.” Kevin hypes up his appearance with a pre-show jam-n-jog, prompting his outta shape body to revolt in the form of violent vomiting while he’s trying to make an inspirational pitch. (His warm-up reminded me of David Brent’s on the original ‘Office,’ actually.) Creed makes a creepy reference to the loch ness monster, while Kelly cold calls a Yale professor she knows for business tips, though one senses he’d rather make inappropriate sexual innuendos.
Pam and Oscar, meanwhile, help Erin out in her Scrabble game against Gabe on her mobile device. She makes words like “moo” and “ape,” while Gabe uses his victories to inflict horrible horror flicks upon her. (Well, ‘The Shining’ and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ are great, but his “compromise” sounds revolting.) The sequence showcases Pam’s kindness and Oscar’s control-freakiness. And, um… I hate to say this, but Erin’s apparent stupidity.
And last but not least, Michael spends much of the episode as his Greek alter-ego, Mikenos, as a “plant” in Andy’s seminar. He gets Holly into the act as well, although she draws the line at kissing him on the lips in character. Michael’s marvel at the fun of the day – but disappointment in Holly’s resistance – is sure to lead to more sexual tension.
-As for Tom, Jim’s childhood friend who holds a grudge for being called dumb: Get over it, man.
-Speaking of dumb, I’m losing faith in Erin. At first she was just quirky, but the writers seem happy to make her a pure bimbo.
-Loved Darryl’s advice to Andy in the break room. Especially his use of the word “jackals.”
-David: “I do characters as well. I’ve got a Chinese fella. Not very politically correct… He’s called Holy **&^%.”
-David: “Comedy is a place where the mind goes to tickle itself. That’s what she said!”
-Holly (to Michael): “Is Mikenos Greek? He sounds Italian.”
-Pam (re: Scrabble): “It doesn’t have to be just cow stuff, right?”
-Woman at Seminar: “Hi, Nard Dog! I’m Lu Peacham!”
-Kevin: “There are people who have charm and some people who don’t. Guess which type I am? Charm type!”
-Kelly: “I’m Kelly Capoor. The Business Bitch.”
-Michael (as Mikenos): “I like the musical ‘Grease,’ or as we call it, ‘home.’”
-Creed: “Two eyes, two ears, a chin, a mouth, 10 fingers, two nipples, a butt, two kneecaps, a penis. I have just described to you the loch ness monster. And the reward for its captor? All the riches in Scotland. So I just have one question: Why are you here?”
-Michael (to Andy, as Mikenos): “You know, I like you! I’m going to give you my secret gyro recipe!”
-Andy (to Dwight): “Well, I guess when you look in me you forgot about my balls. They’re on the outside. Don’t know how you missed ‘em.”