TV Recap: The Office - Did I Stutter?

“Force it in as deep as you can” – Dwight

“That’s what she said” – Michael mumbles through a mouthful of Vaseline and cement.

Why is it no surprise to me that it’s been a life-long dream of Michael’s to leave his mark on the world by vandalizing wet cement on the sidewalk? Last week, The Office’s cold opening involved Dwight lathering up Michael’s hair with peanut-butter. This week, Dwight gave Michael a Vaseline facial in preparation for the walk-of-fame-style face-print Michael plans to make on the ground outside the office, on Jim’s suggestion. Usually people just do a handprint or their name in wet cement. How many people do you think will be injured by tripping in Michael’s cement face-hole before someone’s called to fill it in?

“Now. Now. Now. Say it. Do it."

Here’s a mad-lib for you. Angela is probably the most painfully dull mad-libber in the history of mad-libbing. But her glee over hearing Andy read back the sentences, complete with Angela’s chosen “goods” and “nices” was adorable. Too bad Dwight had to witness this happy moment between the usually tense love-birds. He got his revenge though.

When Dwight saw that Andy was trying to sell his car, he made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. I don’t know if he got some book-on-tape or video on how to negotiate or what, but Dwight’s tactics were surprisingly effective. Almost Jedi-like, actually. After giving Andy some less than enticing options that included driving the car off a cliff or donating the car to someone he wants to see die in a car accident, Dwight tells him that he could sell it to him for next to nothing. Andy doesn’t think those are great options but Dwight keeps pushing.

Next time you want someone to give you something, try counting down backwards from five a couple of times. Get in their face and start saying “Now. Now. Now. Say it. Do it. Do it now. Shake my hand.” For some reason, this totally works on Andy. He sells Dwight the car for less than blue book value, after which Dwight promptly puts the car up for sale on eBay, much to Andy’s dismay. Point to Dwight.

Did I Stutter?!

Usually Stanley’s “sassiness” is more indifference than anything. Oh sure, we’ve heard him complain about Michael before. We all know how much he loves his crossword puzzles, mystery shows and nighttime baths but never has he really snapped at anyone. Tonight, angry-Stanley came out to play.

During one of Michael’s pointless meetings, he calls on Stanley to contribute to the conversation about how to urbanize the outgoing messages on their voicemails. Stanley’s doing his crossword puzzle and doesn’t want to be bothered. He tries to tell Michael he doesn’t want to offer a suggestion but Michael keeps pushing until Stanley angrily says, “Did I stutter?!” It wasn’t his usual agitated drawl but more of a bark. Michael hushes up after that. A normal boss would’ve pulled Stanley aside and told him to save the crossword puzzles for his lunch break and keep his anger in check but Michael’s never really been a normal boss.

Later, Toby (who didn’t really go to Costa Rica, apparently) comes to Michael and tells him that he needs to address the Stanley situation. Michael tries to say he and Stanley were just joking around and that Stanley’s just being the beautiful, sassy, powerful black man. He then says he can’t talk to Stanley because he might be going home sick because his stomach hurts. Toby points out that his daughter says that when there’s a mean girl at school. Michael realizes he needs to deal with Stanley so he sets out to figure out how.

If there’s one person in the office who’s completely aware of the chain of command, it’s Dwight. In fact, he even has a chart, which maps out the ranking order (and menstrual cycles) of the people in the office. He presents the chart to Michael, in an effort to help him figure out who else might be able to help discipline Stanley. Dwight begs Michael for the responsibility and even tries his “Do it. Say it.” technique but the Jedi-mind-trick doesn’t work on Michael.

Michael goes to see Darryl (Yay! Darryl! Where have you been?!). He asks him if he’s ever been in a gang. Darryl says yes, he’s been in all the major gangs, including the Crips, Bloods, Warriors and Newsies. Apparently, Michael’s never seen the Disney film about the singing/dancing paper-boys because that last one gets right by him. He tells Michael that when two gang members are having a dispute, they sometimes handle it with the fluffy-fingers technique. That involves tickling each other until they end up laughing and hugging. Then they go to church and then get ice cream. I have heard that fluffy-fingers is an effective way to “fleece it out” in the gang world.

Michael eventually decides that the best way to handle Stanley is to pretend to fire him. He tells everyone the plan, then when Stanley comes out of the men’s room, he tells him he’s fired. Stanley pretty much flips out and tells Michael that after all the stupid things he’s witnessed Michael do, he could sue. Michael quickly realizes the fake-firing was a bad plan and un-fires Stanley. He then tells everyone except Stanley to leave. Once alone with Stanley, Michael starts tearing up and begging to know why Stanley’s so mean to him. Stanley explains that he doesn’t respect him. Kind of a gutsy thing to say to your boss, especially considering a minute ago he thought he was fired.

Then Michael seems to have one of those rare moments of clarity. He tells Stanley that even if he doesn’t respect him, he still can’t treat him the way he did today. Stanley accepts this and the two shake hands.

“It’s just noise coming out of an ugly scientist.”

Pam spent the night at Jim’s and because she forgot her contact lens solution, she had to wear her “back-up glasses.” Not only are the lenses of these glasses coke-bottle thick but the style of them is absolutely hideous. Michael makes a point to tell Pam how ugly she looks in them and considers them a backward step in the evolution of her hotness. Kevin, on the other hand, has a librarian-fantasy and digs Pam’s glasses. As both Michael and Kevin are equally willing to share their opinions on the subject openly with Pam, I’m not sure which comments she appreciated least. Creed, at least had the decency to keep his opinions about the glasses to himself and the camera-crew when he explains that he’d like to see if Pam could play the piano without her glasses. He’d also like to see her topless.

Jim doesn’t seem to mind the glasses. He even gives her another fake-out non-proposal during Michael’s staff meeting. I’m thinking that with each non-proposal he does, Pam’s guard gets lower and lower (as does ours.) Sooner or later, it’s going to be real. I just hope it’s as great as the build-up!

Speaking of Jim – it looks like he’s got a rival on his hands. Last week, Ryan made a passive-aggressive remark to Jim about the conversation Jim had with David Wallace about the importance of customer service being placed higher than the website. Add that to Ryan getting shot down by Pam and finding out it’s because she’s dating Jim and I’m thinking little coke-head Ryan is threatened by Jim. Can I just say, I absolutely adore BJ Novak and what he (and the other writers) have done with Ryan. Quiet temp-Ryan from the old days was funny but douchy a-hole Ryan is hilarious.

Anyway, Ryan gives Jim a formal warning about his job performance. He makes a comment about Jim spending too much time goofing around with Dwight, hanging out with Pam and not caring enough about his job. Toby does nothing to defend Jim and why would he? Every second Jim spends making Pam laugh is probably like a knife in Toby’s squirrelly little heart.

Ok, so we know Jim doesn’t really have a lot of passion for his job. We even saw him earlier playing solitaire on his computer and he does spend a lot of time goofing around with Dwight (though sadly, not nearly as much as he used to) and chatting with Pam but where is this thing with Ryan going? I wonder if Ryan’s aware that Jim almost had his job. Something’s brewing here and I can’t wait to see where this little side-story is headed.

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.