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Well folks, this is it for The Office. Tonight’s episode, titled “The Deposition” is the last new episode that will air until the writers strike is over. It’s a shame too because this week’s episode was hilarious. With Michael stuck in the middle of Jan’s dispute with Dunder-Mifflin Corporate, he has to decide where his loyalty lies? Is it the company that gives him a cushy job and a paycheck or the woman with whom he shares a bed? I’d like to say I was surprised by how things turned out but frankly, when it comes to Michael and Jan, nothing surprises me anymore.
Jan has decided to sue Dunder-Mifflin for wrongful termination. She believes they canned her because she got breast implants and that she’s now entitled to $4 million. I have to agree with Michael, that’s a lot of guacamole! Michael, being an employee of Dunder Mifflin as well as Jan’s boyfriend, is treated like a kid in a custody battle as the corporate attorney and Jan’s lawyer depose him about his relationship with Jan. I don’t totally get what Jan’s relationship with Michael has to do with why she was fired but apparently, both sides of the suit felt his testimony was relevant enough to get him up to New York to be deposed.
“And you were directly under her the entire time?”
“That’s what she said”
Jan should know that no amount of practice or line memorization could be enough to keep Michael from being Michael. Referring to Jan’s boobs as “the twins” and elaborating by saying they “hang off milady’s chest” during the deposition is only the tip of the iceberg. Whenever it seems like Michael’s answers are favoring Jan’s case, he goes and says something ridiculously boneheaded to undo it. It doesn’t help that the opposing counsel has a copy of the infamous Sandal’s photo to prove that Michael’s relationship with Jan started a couple of months before the “love document” (which Michael has with him, still in its frame) was signed.
In response, Jan and her attorney enter Michael’s journal into evidence. While everyone else is referring to it as a journal, Michael keeps calling it a diary, making himself sound like a 14 year old girl. A passage from the diary is read aloud. It should be noted that Ryan and Toby are both in the room, though neither smirk as the attorney reads from the diary about Michael’s feelings for Jan (and her refusal to reciprocate them) just after their trip to the Caribbean. This helps to prove that Jan didn’t consider their affair a relationship at that point. Everyone wants to read the diary though so they break for lunch.
Imagine you’re in junior high and you walk into the cafeteria and see everyone sitting around reading copies of your diary. This is pretty much what Michael must have felt like as he entered the lunch room. He finds a seat near Toby and begrudgingly sits down. Toby, feeling sorry for Michael, begins to talk about how his parents both tried to get custody of him after they divorced and how he didn’t know how to choose because he loved them both. Michael responds by slowly pushing Toby’s lunch tray off the table and onto the floor. Something tells me that this isn’t the first time this has happened to Toby.
Before they head back into the deposition, Michael and Jan argue quietly about the journal and the picture. Both seem pissed off at each other but before they part they sternly exchange I-Love-You’s.
The meeting only gets worse when the opposing counsel asks Michael about something she read in his diary. She wants to know who this “Ryan” woman is, whom Michael has described as “Just as hot as Jan but in a different way.” Toby breaks out into a fit of giggles as Michael tries to defend what he wrote. His man crush has been officially revealed – on the record. And speaking of the record, I have to point out that two of the funniest moments in the episode were when the court stenographer read back parts of the deposition. If they could find a way to bring that lady back in future episodes and show up to randomly read back the dialogue between Michael and whoever in that emotionless deadpan way, that’d be glorious.
“Mr. Scott do you realize you just contradicted yourself. I did? Yes, you did. Can I go to the bathroom? No. I really have to. I’ve been drinking lots of water. You went five minutes ago. That wasn’t to go to the bathroom that was to get out of a question. You still have to answer it. First can I go to the bathroom? No.”
Michael learns that Jan gave him a poor performance review a month after they were officially dating and then hears part of David Wallace’s deposition, in which he said he never seriously considered Michael for the corporate job. One would think that with $4 million hanging in the balance, Michael could get over Jan’s mean review of his job performance but in the end, Michael is Michael. It is more important to him to be liked than to be respected for his job. Wallace mentioned in his deposition that he thinks Michael is a nice guy. That was enough to swing Michael’s loyalty over to corporate. It seems unlikely that Jan will get much (if anything) from Dunder-Mifflin corporate. Strangely enough, though their relationship was put through the ringer, the two drove home almost as though nothing happened. They chatted about what they wanted for dinner. Jan says Chinese. Michael says something cheaper. Chinese was Jan’s cheaper choice. Fast-food it is.
“Trash talk is all hypothetical. Like ‘Your mama’s so fat, she could eat the internet.’ But smack talk is happening like right now. Like, ‘you’re ugly and I know it for a fact ‘cause I got the evidence right there!’”
Back in Scranton, Jim and Darryl are having fun playing ping-pong with each other in the warehouse. Kelly enjoys talking smack to Pam about how her boyfriend is better at the game. In truth, Darryl is a much better ping-pong player but neither he or Jim seem to care. It clearly means a lot more to Kelly than it does to anyone else. She’s relentless in smack-talking (not trash talking – there’s a difference) Pam to the point that Pam tries to push Jim to practice. She turns the conference room table into a makeshift ping-pong table and gets Kevin to practice with him. Eventually Dwight finds out and, after Jim tells him that he needs to get better at the game to impress a client, Dwight agrees to practice with him.
Ping-pong is a sport for little kids and geeks. As Dwight is the latter, naturally he’s great at the game and its no surprise to learn that all of his heroes are ping-pong masters. I’d list them here but I can’t even pronounce their names, let alone spell them.
Jim ends up playing a bit better against Darryl but Kelly’s smack-talk has gone too far and Pam challenges her to a game. Both of them suck and the guys decide to head up to the office to play in the conference room.
The closing scene is Dwight and Mose playing ping-pong in the dark warehouse after everyone else has gone. They’re like Forrest Gump and that Chinese champion. This is the classic Office hilarity that I’m going to miss. Please let the strike end soon!