In an episode worthy of following the Superbowl "The Office
" takes their comedy to a new level of ridiculously funny in a special one-hour installment.
Dwight decides that since his fellow employees did not heed his warnings by paying attention during his fire safety lecture he will stage a drill to test their survival skills. He locks everyone into the office, puts a flame torch to all of the other exit doors and then lights a garbage can full of trash on fire in a hallway.
Sadly no one notices until Dwight gets Pam's attention on him and she happens to see the smoke billowing up from under the hall door. She tries to call for help but the line has been cut. Panic ensues as everyone tries each door in succession as Dwight screams for them to test the doorknob and if it is hot then fire must be on the other side. After they realize they are trapped Michael screams, "Everyone for himself," and his co-workers finally listen to directions.
Dwight continues to bark out orders and offers advice like, "Have you ever seen a burn victim?" and "Cover your mouth with a damp rag." Angela grabs her cat, which she apparently keeps in a bottom drawer of her filing cabinet all day, everyday while she works at her desk. There's nothing more annoying than an animal lover who abuses their animals and calls it love. Oscar pushes out a ceiling tile and climbs up in order to go for help. Angela tells him to pull her up. He tells her he can't lift her because she's too heavy. She answers back that she only weighs 82 pounds and then she throws her cat up to him saying, "Save Bandit!" The cat busts through another ceiling tile and ends up on the floor, unharmed and angry.
Michael tries to break the conference room window with his chair. Kevin decides the best course of action in an emergency when death is on the line is to bust into the candy machine and steal whatever fits into his pockets.
Pam asks Jim, "What do we do?" Dwight answers "Use the surge of fear and adrenaline to sharpen your decision making." Jim responds by saying, "I am not dying here." Then Dwight lights some firecrackers and throws them on the ground. Andy points to them and screams, "The fire is shooting at us." Phyllis is coughing and yelling, "What is going on?" Then Dwight pulls the fire alarm. Jim and Andy use the copier to try and bust through a door. Looks like Jim will finally be getting a new copier with or without a surplus. Michael finally busts through the conference room window and screams for help. Oscar busts through another ceiling tile and ends up back in the office, so much for him getting help. And just when all hope seems lost Dwight announces that the entire scenario has been nothing more than a drill and Stanley drops to the floor from a heart attack.
Michael tries to save his life by screaming, "No Stanley! You will not die! Barack
is President, you are black, Stanley!" Then he tries to stuff his wallet into Stanley's mouth so he won't swallow his tongue. The good news is that the taste of leather and sweat revived Stanley until the ambulance could arrive.
David Wallace reprimands both Dwight and Michael. Dwight cannot figure out why anyone would be upset with him when he was just doing his job as "Safety Officer." If anything he should be upset since no one would heed, or as Dwight and Michael surmised, "No one heeded of, head of, take heading of" his instructions. Michael's answer is to strip Dwight of his title as "Safety Officer" and take a portion of his salary and donate it to a charity that Dwight hates. Dwight chooses PETA.
David Wallace doesn't like that idea. He makes Michael take responsibility for Dwight's actions and says that Stanley had a heart attack because of the stunt. Then he asks Michael, "Do you want that on your conscience?" Michael looks at Dwight and asks, "Yeah do you?" David has to redirect the question back to Michael. Michael's response is a well composed and thoughtful, "What?"
The seriousness of the situation hits Michael on the drive back to Scranton. Dwight asks Michael, "What's wrong? You hungry?" Michael says, "No, a man's life is in my hands." Dwight tells him not to worry, he has a bomb scare planned that will really get the blood pumping. Michael tells Dwight he's on longer the "Safety Officer" and that Michael will be taking over the position himself.
Michael tells the camera, "Nobody should have to go to work thinking this is the place where I might die today. That's what a hospital is for. An office is for not dying, an office is a place to live life to the fullest. An office is a place where dreams come true." If that office is the Oval Office then yes, anywhere else he might be pushing it.
Stanley is welcomed back to the office quietly. He admits to camera that he has been harsh to his co-workers in the past. Then they roll a montage of him yelling at his fellow employees. Then he says, "But the doctor said that if I cannot find a way to relate more positively to my surroundings I'm going to die." They cut in Andy rolling up to Stanley in a wheelchair that Michael insists that he use. Then Stanley says to camera, "I'm going to die."
Michael decides to bring an expert into the office to teach everyone CPR. Her first lesson is to remember their ABC's: airway, breathing and circulation. Michael points out that this could be confusing to sales people because in the sales world ABC stands for "always be closing." Dwight screams out, "I should be teaching this course!"
Apparently when Stanley had his heart attack Michael had no idea what to do so he thought a CPR training class would be a good thing for everyone. Unfortunately he could not get the training dummy by itself, a trainer had to come with it. Which he thinks is a racket.
Kevin gives up CPR after only 20 seconds saying, "Call it." Michael thinks Stanley should take a turn. Phyllis thinks he should rest. Michael disagrees saying, "No rest for the sick. We are not always going to be there to coddle your heart back when it disappears to be working. What are you going to do if you're by yourself and your heart stops?" Stanley answers plainly, "I would die." Michael asks, "And you're okay with that?" Stanley replies, "I'm okay with the logic of it." Michael won't take that for an answer. He forces Stanley to perform CPR on the dummy.
Stanley says to camera, "Yes I had a heart attack. I would quit but I'm too old to find another job and I don't have enough savings to retire. I feel like I'm working in my own casket." So does most of the middle class.
Michael decides Stanley is not doing a quality job on the dummy so he takes over but before he is able to perform CPR he questions why the dummy has no arms and legs. Then he asks if a person's life is worth saving if they have no arms and no legs because he feels as if that is no life at all. Kevin says he would want to live even with no legs. Michael accuses him of living as if he had no arms and no legs and says he does nothing. The instructor says Michael is pumping too fast. She says he needs to pump to the beat of "Stayin' Alive." Michael says he knows that one and begins to sing "I Will Survive." The instructor begins singing, "Ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin' alive, stayin' alive." Andy chimes in, Kelly starts dancing, then the entire office joins in, expect for the instructor who tells them they did not maintain 100 beats her minute and the ambulance did not arrive because no one called 911 so their patient died.
Assessing that the victim is dead only after being told so, Dwight explains that if he is an organ donor, which Creed and Michael tell him he is, they only have minutes to harvest the organs. He tells someone to get him some ice in a Styrofoam bucket then retrieving a buck knife from his ankle holster he plunges the knife into the dummy's chest and saws it open from stem to stern. Then he cuts the dummy's face off and wears it like a mask a la Hannibal Lecter.
Dwight and Michael end up back in David Wallace's office. David asks Dwight why he felt it necessary to cut the face off the dummy. Dwight says, "I didn't think it was very realistic in the movie, turns out it was pretty realistic." "Nuff said.
David informs them that they have to pay for the dummy and it costs $3500. Michael is appalled that the dummy would cost five thousand three hundred dollars. Not too good with the math type things. Then he explains that this is how people learn. They practice with the dummy and make mistakes. Now they know not to cut the face off of a real person.
Meanwhile Jim, Pam and Andy settle in for an illegally downloaded movie during their lunch hour. Jim and Pam explain they don't normally download movies illegally because they are hardworking, honest people who also don't know how to download movies illegally. But Andy does so they have to watch them with Andy and as Jim puts it, "Let the punishment fit the crime." They watch a film called "Mrs. Hannaday" in which Jack Black
makes a cameo as a man who falls for the grandmother of the woman he's dating.
Pam's Dad has been staying with her and Jim because her parents have been fighting. While watching the movie Pam and Jim analyze Pam's parent's relationship but Andy thinks they're talking about the movie and that they are very wise about such things. He begins to feel inferior about his ability to analyze the subtext of the plot.
Dwight is on thin ice with corporate so they make him state his regret to the office. He needs everyone to sign a sheet stating they heard him make his statement. Phyllis refuses to sign saying he isn't sorry and he caused Stanley's heart attack. Dwight answers, "Yes I filled him full of butter and sugar for fifty years and forced him not to exercise." No one will sign so he starts yelling, "Sign, sign it now," as if he is a Nazi and he has ways of making them sign. Turns out he does because throughout the rest of the episode he tricks people into signing the form except for Phyllis. He finally gets her to sign when she think she's receiving a package and it turns out to be an empty box and a ruse to get her signature.
Pam asks Jim to talk to her Father for her and try to help them work things out. Jim does so and Pam's Dad ends up getting his own apartment and making the separation official. Pam is shocked and angry. She's totally freaked out over whatever it is that Jim said to her Dad that would make him leave her Mother and she's just dreading the day he says it to her. Pam confronts her Father and learns the truth. Turns out Jim was just being honest and saying how much he loves Pam and how he is reminded of that every time she walks into a room and how he's never doubted for a minute that she's the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. Aww. It also turns out that Pam's Dad never really felt that way about her Mom. Bummer. But the good news is that someday she'll be able to tell her kids that their Mom and Dad are soul mates. Just when we start to worry they pull this totally romantic thing we never saw coming. Again Andy overhears Pam talking to camera and thinks she's deconstructing the film they were watching. He says to camera that he could never be a movie critic but maybe a food critic. "That muffin is bad. Or an art critic, that painting is bad." Yeah that pretty much sums it up. It's not only Kevin and Michael who get paid to do nothing.
We also never saw a roast of Michael coming but he suggests one. Michael figures out that he is causing everyone in the office a great deal of stress so he decides that the only way to cure it is with laughter. He sets up a roast in the warehouse and lets everyone say any mean thing they want to about him. They lay into him bad with burns like Angela's, "If you ever put sun block on a window you might be Michael Scott." Jim chimes in with, "Michael is always saying words I don't understand. Remember spiderface? The quote was 'cut off her nose to spiderface.'" Dwight tries to defend Michael but Michael calls Dwight an idiot. Dwight gets offended and says, "Don't ever talk to me that way you pathetic short little man. You don't have any friends, or any family or any land." Pam wants to talk to them about something very important, "once every hour someone is involved in an Internet scam and that someone is Michael Scott. He's supporting about 29 Nigerian princesses." He apparently never does any work himself and she walked in on him naked "and his thing is so small." Kevin asks, "How small is it?" Pam answers, "If it were an iPod it would be a shuffle." Wow, wonder if Steve Jobs ever envisioned his creation becoming a way to relate penis size in an office slam? Someone should ask him.
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Darryl points out that Michael says the office is a family but Michael can't remember that one of the warehouse employees has the same name as him, Michael. Michael guesses Roy, who left years ago and Jefferson. Apparently Michael gave Michael a ride home a week prior and they spent an hour stuck in traffic but Boss Michael couldn't remember the occasion. Then Andy sings a modified version of the song "What I Like About You" but he rewrites it to become "What I Hate About You." This sends Michael over the edge. He tries not to cry. Holding back tears he tries to address the crowd but he is overcome by his emotions and he flees before breaking down.
He doesn't go into work the next day. He texts in to say he is taking a "Personal Day." Creed thinks he might be dead. Jim reminds him that Michael just texted in. Creed asks what a text is.
Michael spends the day trying to feed pigeons in a park and thinking about life while feeling sorry for himself. Michael comes into the office in his street clothes. Everyone is really happy to see him. Oscar tries to apologize and says he thinks he was a little too hard on him. Michael says he wants to share some thoughts with the office. Then he says, "Jim you're 6-11 and you weigh 90 pounds, Gumby has a better body than you. Boom roasted. Dwight you're a kiss-ass, boom roasted. Pam you failed art school boom roasted. Meredith you've slept with so many guys you're starting to look like one. Boom roasted. Kevin I can't decide between a fat joke and a dumb joke boom roasted. Creed your teeth called, your breath stinks, boom roasted. Angela, where's Angela? Oh there you are I didn't see you there behind that grain of rice. Boom roasted. Stanley you crush your wife during sex and your heart sucks. Boom roasted. Oscar you're gay. Andy Cornell called they think you suck and you're gayer than Oscar boom roasted." To which Stanley starts laughing deeply and loudly. Then in all seriousness Michael says, "You guys are the reason I went into the paper business so goodnight, God bless, God bless America and get home safe." And everyone claps. Better late than never.
Michael says to camera, "They say laughter is the best medicine so Stanley you can throw away those pills cause you're cured. Actually you better hang onto those pills, just in case." That's what we love about Michael he can get over anything. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he really does want everyone to be happy. Genuine people are hard to find and for all of his faults Michael is a great guy, not the brightest bulb, but great.
One last note, Jack Black and the Grandma played by Cloris Leachman
did not end up together as some of you may have assumed. Instead she bedded another young gentleman caller and dumped Jack because he lied to her. By the way, Jack Black is either the most in demand actor of the moment or he's calling producers and telling them he'll be happy to work for free. He's shown up at every awards show, in every cameo and in nearly every comedy television show or movie that has been produced in the past five years. It's not like we're sick of him or anything it's just odd to see him pop up as often as he does. He's almost becoming a joke and playing that joke as a joke at the same time because he's aware of his over-exposure. We'll just have to ask Andy to analyze it for us and let us know what it all means.