You know? I’m kind of glad that Toby’s buried in paperwork over the squabble between Dwight and Darryl. Let’s call it some appropriately timed Karma for the report he wrote about Jim that nearly cost the father/husband-to-be a much deserved promotion.
Tonight’s episode had Jim sitting down in the conference room with David Wallace to discuss something important and private. Michael opted out of the meeting and immediately regretted it. He attempted to casually reinsert himself into the discussion and inevitably ended up having Andy hide him in a cart and wheel him into the conference room under the guise of delivering a savory cheese spread. Goldfish and bleu cheese? I hadn’t thought of that but as I’m a believer that bleu cheese is good on most things, I might have to try that one someday when I’m willing to get my fingers covered in creamy dressing.
By the time the cheese was delivered, Wallace and Jim were done with their discussion. Jim seemed pleased with how things went and left, letting Wallace pull Michael into his office to talk about the meeting. Wallace wanted Michael’s input on Jim’s job performance, so the “World’s Greatest Boss” produced a report written by Toby. As I recall, back when Ryan was overseeing the Scranton branch he and Toby teamed up to knock Jim down a peg by giving him a formal warning over some of his interoffice shenanigans. As Ryan was getting off on pushing his subordinates around and Toby was insanely jealous that Jim and Pam were dating, they seemed to enjoy that little ambush. I’m guessing that’s the report that Michael read to Wallace tonight. Wallace took the report seriously and after he told Michael that Jim’s idea was for Michael to be promoted to oversee all of the Northeast sales departments at DM and Jim would be made the Scranton Branch manager, he determined that it might not be the best idea given Jim’s track-record at the office based on Toby’s report.
When Jim found out that Michael botched both of their chances at a promotion, he encouraged Michael to call Wallace and try to sway his decision. That only resulted in Wallace getting pulled over for talking on his cell phone, which obviously made the situation worse instead of better. Jim had some leverage though. When he pitched his idea to Wallace, he mentioned that he had a job offer that he was seriously considering. As the big guy is going to have a family to support, it’s understandable that he’d be exploring his options, even if it means leaving DM and moving in a new direction.
Not wanting to lose Jim from the company, Wallace talked to corporate and presented an idea to Jim and Michael, which might solve everything. Essentially, Jim would be promoted to co-manager, putting him at an equal level with Michael. He’d oversee the day-to-day office life and Michael would resume managing the client-end of the job. Since Scranton absorbed the now shut-down Buffalo branch’s clientele, there’s more than enough work to be managed. While Michael was surely happy to be able to unload half of his job responsibility on Jim, he was apprehensive to share the title of boss with Halpert.
David put the decision on Michael, telling him that if this didn’t work for him, they could try something else but that they really didn’t want to lose Jim. Whether it was Michael’s loyalty to Jim that sealed the decision or his nervousness that corporate might decide Jim’s a better fit for manager than he is, we don’t know. If you note the alternative offer to Jim’s plan, Jim was still the manager in that scenario and Michael’s promotion had vanished from the table, so I’m thinking Michael might have done the math and saw that things weren’t looking so good for him. In the end Michael decided to accept the offer that Wallace presented.
What does this mean for the office? Well, for one thing, Jim’s now in charge of “day to day life” at the office, which means all of the DM staff people will be coming to him whenever there’s a problem. And he’ll be responsible for making decisions that pertain to his coworkers. We saw a sampling of that back when Michael was off surviving in the woods and Jim was left in charge of handling the birthday parties (“Survivor Man”). While Jim’s definitely competent, it’s a proven fact that common sense isn’t always the best approach when dealing with the DM staff.
And with Michael having to share the boss-seat with Jim, you know there’s going to be a power struggle on his end. The man lives for his title. I can’t imagine he’s going to be comfortable watching Jim call the shots around the office. Dwight, who reacted to the news by screaming will also likely have a hard time accepting that Jim is now his boss.
Speaking of Dwight, the B-story in tonight’s episode involved Dwight and Toby investigating Darryl’s personal injury claim. After Darryl reported that he hurt his knee falling off a ladder in the warehouse, Dwight refused to believe him and insisted that Toby look into the matter. Testing the ladder and determining that there was no way it could be used to reach the top shelf in the warehouse, Dwight convinced Toby to swing by Darryl’s house to see if he was really hurt. While discussing their mutual appreciation for trains, they cruised by the house and spotted a person whom they believed was Darryl carrying a big bag of dog food. Toby, enraged to have been duped, screamed something about eating all of that dogfood themselves at the person, who turned out not to be Darryl but rather, Darryl’s rather masculine looking “baby sister.”
Darryl and his sister showed up at the office to file a complaint about the harassment. When Dwight and Toby went to confront them in the warehouse, Dwight saw two of the warehouse people using the lift as an elevator and quickly deduced that this was in fact how Darryl really hurt himself. Darryl tried to deny it but when Dwight insisted they look at the security camera footage, Darryl confessed. If Dwight had just done that from the beginning he might have spared all of them the added drama but what fun would that have been?
Toby tried to resolve the issue by convincing Dwight and Darryl to drop both matters but naturally, neither was willing to do this, which meant Toby had to file a ton of paperwork on the harassment and the misuse of company property issues. And to that, I say good. Normally I’m sympathetic toward the squirrely little HR man but after the Jim-report nearly cost him his promotion, Toby deserves a little extra papaerwork.
And finally, Pam spent the duration of the episode trying to get RSVP’s to her wedding, which is taking place in Niagara Falls. She and Jim thought that by doing a destination wedding, they could avoid having to include their coworkers in the celebration but after Michael offered Friday and Monday off to whoever wants to go to the wedding, it looks as though we’re going to see at least some of the staff up at the Falls as Pam becomes Mrs. Halpert. Getting the RSVP’s proved to be a challenge though. Kelly refused to RSVP with a yes until she knew that Ryan was going. She even admitted that there was no point in going if Ryan wasn’t. Meanwhile, Meredith said she’d probably go but that instead of responding to the formal invitation, she’d just have the fanciest food on the menu (unless there’s ribs) and that she’d text Pam on the morning of the wedding to get directions. Yeah, I’m thinking the Jam-wedding is going to be one to remember.
Let’s end this recap at the beginning with a little chuckle over tonight’s cold open. Is it bad that I knew the moment Michael called Oscar into his office to ask him some advice about a medical procedure that he was going to say he was getting a colonoscopy? Leave it to Michael to make such a ridiculously offensive inquiry, believing that because Oscar’s the lone homosexual in the office and would therefore be the one to advise him on what kind of safe-word to use or how to make the procedure “more pleasurable.”