Michael’s plans to start his own company may seem like nothing more than a pipe dream and while he suffered a number of setbacks during tonight’s episode, he did manage to pull himself together in the end, enough to not get himself evicted from his condo and to secure one more employee in addition to his trusted saleswoman Pam.

Pam, having recently quite Dunder-Mifflin to take a promotion at Michael’s new company (despite Michael having no money to pay her right now), shows up on Michael’s doorstep for her first official day of work. Michael answers the door wearing his bathrobe and proceeds to procrastinate by making a ridiculously huge stack of French toast. Pam knows Michael’s avoiding facing his new responsibilities and after a tug of war match with the bowl of raw eggs, Michael ends up dripping with eggs. I guess it worked out well that his business attire consists of a bathrobe and a set of crocs.

Pam sees that Michael needs some motivation so she proceeds to make a list of things they can do while Michael works out, still wearing his bathrobe. As it turns out, Michael set up a meeting with some potential investors, so he gets dressed. Their first piece of official company mail is a letter from the condo association telling Michael he can’t run a business out of his home. So they need an office but there are other things on the list that need to happen before that.

First order of business (besides song parodies) is assembling the dream team. Michael stops at his old telemarketing job and convinces top salesman (and former surgeon) Vikram to join them. Claiming he has to use the bathroom, Michael stops at a bowling alley. His real reason for visiting the lanes isn’t to pee or even to bowl. He’s there to get his other team member. Ryan Howard is apparently back from Thailand (though I wonder if he ever went in the first place) and sporting a 90’s-style bleach-blonde (dark roots) hairstyle as he works the shoe counter at the bowling alley.

Pam goes in to see what’s taking Michael so long and finds him trying to convince Ryan to join the dream team. Given the choice between being shoe-bitch at the bowling alley or taking a non-paying sales job at Michael’s start-up venture, Ryan opts for the latter, stealing bowling shoes for himself, Pam and Michael before deserting his post and joining the team.

And they’re off to the investors meeting, which is set to take place at a retirement home. Michael’s potential investor is his nana and her investment club. They’re unimpressed by the team and Michael’s “I won’t be beat” pitch. Even Ryan’s flirtatious wink at Nana isn’t enough to sway her. Michael proceeds to beg Nana but she’s firm. The answer is no. Vikram quits and returns to the telemarketing place. The rest of the team heads back to Michael’s condo so Ryan can watch something on TNT and Pam can have a nervous breakdown in the car. While it was Pam who was motivating Michael at the start of the day, it’s Michael’s turn to give old Pammy some much needed inspiration. She says she’s always getting bored and then letting it build up until she does something stupid and impulsive… like quit her job where she had a salary, benefits and sat ten feet from her fiancé.

Michael steps up and talks to the office park manager Billy about hooking him up with an office. Billy comes through, giving Michael a room in the same building as Dunder Mifflin. While this might be humiliating for Michael, it’s great because it puts Michael, Ryan and Pam back with the DM people… kind of.

And speaking of the rest of the office, everyone is trying to impress Charles. Kelly and Angela are in lust with him and Andy is his usual suck-up self, pretending to have an interest in soccer so that he and Charles have something in common. Everyone jumps aboard the soccer bandwagon except for Jim, who admits he’s not a fan of the game. Jim caves after he sees Charles’ unimpressed expression and tells him he plays soccer. Technically, he did play soccer from second to fourth grade. Jim was on the orange team.

Dwight wants to see Jim proven as a liar so he throws the idea of an impromptu soccer game in the parking lot after work. Jim attempts to avoid the ball at all costs, resulting in Phyllis getting hit in the face with the ball after Jim ducks out of the way. Charles is even less impressed with Jim. I’m loving this. As much as I adore Jim, I know this is building up to something good.

And that pretty much closes out the episode. We’ve got another new episode of The Office set to air after NBC’s premiere of Parks and Recreation.

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