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Oh, how I’ve missed The Office! I don’t think I realized just how much I missed it until the theme song started playing. And speaking of which, was it just my TiVo or was there no cold-open in tonight’s premiere? Anyway, tonight’s episode was all about getting fit, or rather, losing weight. Actual fitness seemed less of a priority for most of the Dunder-Mifflinites. The real incentive was earning a few extra vacation days.
Corporate is offering whichever branch loses the most weight over the summer three extra vacation days. So the Scranton crew quickly gets to work on their diets. Before that, they enjoy one last feast, which includes a cheese fountain and some savory dumplings. When talk of leftovers comes up, Dwight quickly nixes the idea and then douses all of the food with bug spray.
At their first group-weigh-in, Darryl announces their collective weight but realizing that Pam wouldn’t be around for the summer, they have to re-weigh themselves and naturally most of the staff takes a minute to calculate Pam’s weight (subtracting the new weigh-in amount from the first one). Kevin, who is in accounting and should be able to do simple math, grossly miscalculates Pam’s weight, putting her at over 200 lbs. Holly praises him for his effort as she’s still under the impression that he’s mentally handicapped. She eventually learns that he’s not mentally challenged after defending him when Angela is yelling at him for messing up on something they were working on.
Everyone has different motivation for dropping pounds. Kelly wants to fit into her new bikini and Andy wants washboard abs so that he’ll look good for Angela the first time she sees him naked (so yeah, either these two aren’t doing it yet or perhaps Angela’s refusing to actually get naked when they get down. I’m thinking it’s the former). Stanley wants to look like he did back in the 70’s when he was busy fightin’ the power and as for Dwight, well he appears to be using the dieting as an excuse to boss people around and make them feel inferior.
Dwight replaces all of the snacks in the vending machine with fruit, which eventually gets rotten, moldy and covered in fruit flies. I think the first genuine laugh-out-loud moment for me in this episode was seeing Dwight hammer a peach into one of the slots. Dwight goes on to leave Phyllis in the bad part of town with no money or cell phone so she’s forced to walk five miles back to the office. And when he and Michael come upon a secret cheese cake party held for Stanley’s birthday in a secluded corner of the warehouse, Dwight stomps on the cake. Interestingly enough, while Dwight was all about enforcing the diet, he showed no indication of actually trying to lose weight himself.
Kelly needs no help with her part of the diet as she is doing everything in her power to lose weight, which includes drinking that ridiculous maple syrup/cayenne pepper concoction for days on end until she looks close to death and inevitably requires an 2-Day IV drip to get back on her feet. After that she buys a tapeworm (that isn’t really a tapeworm) from Creed, hoping the parasite will help her shed some pounds.
After the incident with Phyllis’ long walk through the scary part of Scranton, Holly calls a meeting with the staff to remind them of the rules of the diet, which include a no-extreme-measures policy. Michael takes over the meeting wearing the partially-inflated sumo-suit from the “Beach Games” episode to talk about fat people. The meeting goes nowhere as usual but he does include some photos showing famous obese people like the world record holders for heaviest twins, Elvis, Big Momma and Jabba the Hut. I was a little disappointed not to see the infamous Big picture up there again.
In the end, they Scranton Branch loses to Utica by eight pounds. Karen’s probably feeling pretty smug about that. Even Andy’s sweat-lodge tactic wasn’t enough to get the group to drop the necessary pounds to secure the win.
And speaking of Andy, he’s living out every young boy’s fantasy of planning the perfect wedding. Every time he brings up his ideas about the location and other details, it puts Angela in the mood to get it on… with Dwight. She and Dwight are meeting regularly in the warehouse to have a quick romp-session during work hours. Their little rendezvous get cut off after Andy tells Angela he’d marry her anywhere, as long as he gets to spend the rest of his life with her. She’s temporarily moved by his words and the sex with Dwight stops. Andy’s ok with “The Little Drummer Boy” being their wedding song but when he insists that his old Cornell A Cappella group Here Comes Treble play at their wedding, Angela goes back to paging Dwight for some more warehouse action. Oh, and since Phyllis spied the two of them getting it on at the end of last season, she’s now using the knowledge to keep Angela in check.
Being with the wrong person seems to be a theme in The Office right now. Michael’s still with Jan and preparing to father her sperm-donor-baby. This hasn’t stopped him from flirting with Holly whenever the occasion arises and he also seems to be working hard to keep his jokes in check, passing up a great “That’s what she said” moment early on in the episode. Holly’s definitely into Michael but when she learns about the Jan situation, she decides she’ll go out on a date with Oscar’s yoga instructor.
Michael doesn’t like Holly dating but obviously he doesn’t say that outright. Instead, he groans loudly when he hears her talking about the guy. Fortunately for him, the guy Holly dated doesn’t see all of the great qualities about her that Michael does because he doesn’t call her afterwards. Holly purchased Counting Crows tickets in the hopes that she’d be able to take Yoga-guy to see the band (which did actually play Scranton this summer, incidentally). She tells Michael about this and instead of doing the obvious thing, which would have been to casually invite himself to accompany her to the concert, he does the next best (translation: worst) thing. He buys them off her and then tears them up, thinking he just did her a favor. What an idiot. Though I have to say this is classic-Michael Scott and I think part of me would’ve been a little disappointed if he’d actually played the whole thing cool instead of totally botching it and thinking he played it cool.
As Pam is off in New York studying graphic arts (we’ll get to that in a bit, I’m saving the best for last!), there’s a new receptionist filling in for her. Ronny is a regular looking woman doing a regular receptionist job the regular way. This makes her pretty boring and we can add “a little weird” to the personality description as she suggests they all dance to the easy-listening music that’s playing during Stanley’s birthday party.
Michael gets rid of Ronny eventually and has the agency send over a new temp. The temp. That’s right! Ryan’s back… in temp form! Having been fired from the VP corporate job after misleading the shareholders, he’s now back to temping to make a living. Ryan’s keeping a list of all of the people who wrong him so that he knows who to destroy once he’s back on top. Kevin makes the list for calling him “Fire(d) guy” and Jim makes it for pointing out that the “volunteer work” Ryan’s doing is really court-mandated community service.
Michael responds to Ryan’s return by sporting a matching goatee. Dwight copy’s Michael’s new look by growing a goatee of his own. Ryan shaves off his goatee. Kelly’s reaction to Ryan’s return is to act indifferent and then make-out with Darryl in front of him. Ryan is clearly interested in getting Kelly back as he points out how perfect she is when Michael uses Kelly as an example during the weight-loss meeting. He tried apologizing to her and at some point I’m pretty sure he blamed 9/11 as the reason why he was such a total douche of a boyfriend. We’ll see how long she makes him wait before taking him back.
And finally, there’s Pam and Jim. Pam leaves for New York to attend Pratt for the summer. She’s living in a dorm and trying to acclimate to college life. This includes accidentally attending and advanced class and then feeling too intimidated to walk out. Jim goes to visit her in her dorm and we get one of those rare moments when the cameraman makes himself known. This almost never happens in the show but it’s always great when it does. When Jim wants some alone time with Pam, he distracts the camera guy then shuts the door, which allows us to hear a loud, defeated sounding sigh from said camera guy.
Jim misses Pam though so he decides to set up a meeting halfway between New York and Scranton at a rest stop. When he gets there, it’s pouring outside and they’re both getting drenched. What better time to pop the question? He drops to one knee and asks her. She, of course, says yes and the two share a sweet, wet kiss in the pouring rain. Yay! They’re finally engaged! Let the (real) wedding planning begin!
Just one final question. Did anyone notice Meredith’s face during the second weigh-in? It looked all red like she had some kind of allergic reaction but I don’t remember seeing anything explaining that. Maybe she took some of that bug-spray in the face and we just didn’t see it? A mystery…
Oh! And I almost forgot to mention Toby! He's easy to forget. Toby is in traction in Costa Rica after a bad fall due to a broken harness while zip-lining. He's been laid up with a broken neck for weeks and he never even got to see the beach. Will Toby be returning to DM?