TV Recap: The Office - Broke

So some of us saw this coming. While it was fun watching Michael try to start up his own company, I doubt anyone’s really thought the was going to hit the big time with it. All the same, I think he exceeded some of our expectations in that he did manage to score quite a few of Dunder Mifflin’s prize clients and that was something that David Wallace couldn’t ignore for long.

After last week’s episode, my husband wondered out loud (as he often does) how Michael was getting his paper to the clients. Sure enough, this week we see Michael cruising around in the wee small hours of the morning in a Korean church van packed with paper. He stops to pick of Ryan and then Pam, whom we see get a kiss goodbye from Jim, who is good enough to get up to see her off and kiss her goodbye.

So the paper’s making it to the clients but here’s the real problem. The Michael Scott Paper Company isn’t making any money. Not only can they not afford a delivery driver but based on the numbers crunched, there’s no mathematical way they’re going to be able to stay in business with such low prices. And of course, it’s these low prices that are landing them the clients. Perhaps if they considered requesting cab fare from the random Korean people who keep hopping in the delivery van whenever it stops somewhere they'd be able to stay afloat but no one seems to have thought of that.

Michael’s solution to this problem is of course to call their clients and ask for more money. Right. He’s not just talking about raising prices. He’s actually asking the clients to pay them more for the paper they’ve already received. Of course, this doesn’t go well but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is David Wallace.

Wallace shows up in Scranton to talk to Charles about what’s happening with TMSPC. Wallace suggests that Jim sit in on the meeting but Charles thinks Dwight would be better. Yes, for some reason Charles sees promise in Dwight, whereas Jim has rubbed him the wrong way too many times. Wallace is confused by this and invites both Jim and Dwight in. They talk about how TMSPC has poached ten of their clients and how they need to figure out a way to fix the situation. Dwight suggests putting bees in Michael’s office. Already we can tell Charles is wondering if he should have supported Dwight in front of Wallace. Later Dwight ups the ante by suggesting they capture a queen bee, extract its pheromones and get it on Michael, which I guess would turn him into some kind of crazy bee magnet.

During a recess, Jim learns from Pam that TMSPC is broke and they have about a month left before they’re completely busted. Jim returns to the meeting and when Wallace suggests that they buy TMSPC out, he supports it. Jim is sent to see if Michael, Pam and Ryan will go talk to Wallace about making a deal. Of course, they agree and on their way to the office, Ryan and Pam continue to remind Michael not to mention that they’re broke. If Wallace knows they’re about to go belly-up, they won’t get a good deal (or any deal at all). And of course I’m sure most of us were expecting Michael to screw this up. Even he thought he was going to screw it up as they went into the office.

Wallace offers Michael $12k for his company. He remarks on how he doesn’t think it’s possible that they can stay in business with the prices they’re charging and that he knows the industry well enough to know the company’s not worth more than that. Michael’s insulted by the offer and instead of screwing everything up by saying something completely boneheaded and childish, he turns around and tells Wallace that he knows there’s a shareholders meeting coming up and if they find out that their most profitable branch is bleeding, they might want to start shopping for a new CFO. It’s not a good time to be unemployed, Wallace.

Michael called Wallace out and Wallace’s back was against the wall. So he offers Michael a tentative deal for $60k for the company. That’s a pretty steep jump from twelve thousand, I would say. Michael says they have to think about it and we can see Ryan spending all $60k of that money in his mind. While this is going on, Dwight gets in touch with the client Michael stole from him and learns that Michael was trying to get more money out of him because they’re broke. He brings this information to Charles but after the bee stuff, added to Dwight (goaded by Jim) bragging about solving the case of the beet bandit, Charles has had enough of Dwight’s idiocy and tells him to stay away from the conference room.

When Wallace and Charles return, Michael tells him that instead of the money, he wants his old job back. He wants Pam back and promoted to sales and he wants Ryan back too. Now sixty thousand dollars is a lot of money but that’s nothing compared to what the combined annual salary, benefits and everything else Michael’s asking for comes to. Still, Michael would rather have a fishing pole than a fish. Ryan’s not so sure this is the right way to go but Pam is clearly excited about having not only a stable job situation again but a promotion.

Wallace isn’t happy about the deal or that fact that Michael put their balls in his court. It would mean that Charles would have to go, that he’d have to rehire Ryan, who cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars for misleading the shareholders with that Dunder-Mifflin Infinity scandal and it would mean he’d have to find a Sebring for Michael. But he agrees.

As if it weren’t amazing enough to see Michael make every possible right move he could when handling Wallace, he has the opportunity to shoo Charles out of the office without giving him the chance to say farewell to the office. My, how the turntables…

Other random things from the episode:

In one of those “The plane’s going down so let’s all reveal our deep dark secrets” scenes, Pam admits that she applied to a bunch of chain stores, including Old Navy and never got a call back. Ryan admits that he never went to Thailand and that instead he went to Fort Lauderdale.

Michael takes his coffee with milk and sugar… hold the coffee.

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.