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8-23: "urf Wa" 2012.05.03


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#1

CWBorne

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 8:36 PM

Somewhat surprised as I got a few laughs and am actually intrigued by where this Andy/Wallace story goes even if its something as minor as Dunder Mifflin becoming its own company again.

Mods, I have no idea what went wrong with the episode title but if someone could fix that I'd really appreciate.

Edited by CWBorne, May 3, 2012 @ 8:37 PM.


#2

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 8:50 PM

I thought that was one of the better episodes in quite some time, probably because it dealt with actual office stuff. It also answered some of my questions like "Are the other Dundler Mifflin branches still open?" and if they are "Why does Robert California spend so much time in Scranton?" I'm glad the Syracuse rep was asking the same questions I was, and I do have to side with him. Binghamton might be closer to Scranton, but the logistics of collecting different states' sales tax and dealing with interstate commerce would seem to support keeping clients within 1 state.

I thought the episode was retreading a bit on earlier storylines, namely closing Stamford and the Michael Scott paper company, but the ending with David Wallace made up for it (and explained his appearance last week, in terms of reminding the audience who he is). I want to see what the fully competent, new millionaire, former Dunder Mifflin executive armed with the company's former largest client can do against an the incompetently run shell of a company that's left.

Oh, and Andy calling his paper company Big Red was a nice touch of continuity for his Cornell love.

What I didn't like was anything with Nellie. Why didn't they just flash some text on the screen saying "We want you to like Nellie!!!"

Edited by futurechemist, May 3, 2012 @ 8:52 PM.


#3

lz1982

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 9:02 PM

I thought it was pretty good! I usually like Jim/Dwight storylines, and it's nice to have David Wallace back. It was also funny how Toby tried to take on a tough new persona but ended up running away.

#4

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 9:09 PM

I haven't watched this show regularly in a few years, but I did happen to catch tonight's episode and really enjoyed the Jim-Dwight relationship in this, specifically that they were working together to get Homer Simpson's(!) paper business ahead of the Syracuse dude, instead of competing against each other and Syracuse. I have always liked it when their relationship came off as more "annoyed sibling" and less out-and-out hostility and intolerance.

I also felt bad for them at the end when they looked at each other worriedly after the Syracuse guy stalked off. It may not have been either of their dreams to sell paper (no beet nationals or bike shop), but DM still represents their career at the moment.

Edited by Peace_47, May 3, 2012 @ 9:13 PM.


#5

miclogger

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 9:20 PM

What I didn't like was anything with Nellie. Why didn't they just flash some text on the screen saying "We want you to like Nellie!!!"


One of the ever so very many things that I don't understand about Nellie is why everyone else has to be made to look like a jerk in order for her to look remotely sympathetic. Pam has to turn into some phone stealing mole for Robert, and basically just ignore every single thing Nellie says, to give Nellie a beat of looking like a person I ought to feel sorry for? Do they really feel like they wrote themselves that strongly into a corner with her? And if they do, isn't that just poor form on the part of the writers? Why do I need to suffer through them trying to fix it?

Even in those moments where they evoked sympathy for Michael, they did it in a way that felt organic to the story, and didn't make everyone else around him look deranged. I'm not sure why they can't pull off the same thing here, but it's getting tiring watching them try.

Edited by miclogger, May 3, 2012 @ 9:20 PM.


#6

JanLevinsonScot

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 9:32 PM

I found that last line to be very meta... "We wont be doing this in six months anymore." I wont be surprised if Robert DOES end up driving the business into the ground, so that when they retool the show for next season, half of these characters will be gone to their respective spinoffs or other ventures. It seems like theyre setting up the end of the season and the end of this version of The Office.

#7

reggiejax

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 10:40 PM

but the logistics of collecting different states' sales tax and dealing with interstate commerce would seem to support keeping clients within 1 state.


I only saw the last 10 minutes of the show, so maybe I am missing something, but filing sales tax returns for another state isn't really a big deal. Especially since the DM branches would already be doing it anyway, what with all the previous branch closings and the other branches absorbing their clients. Scranton would almost certainly have been filing returns for Connecticut for years, having absorbed Stamford. So I don't see why that would suddenly be a problem now. Filing sales tax returns in multiple states is normal for any business that has out of state sales. And frankly I don't know what other interstate commerce issues would even be remotely compelling as to be a factor in decisions such as closing a branch. Unless regulations about the interstate sale of paper are more complicated than I think.

Edited by reggiejax, May 3, 2012 @ 10:41 PM.


#8

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 11:48 PM

The real problem is that Robert closed the Binghamton branch on a drunken whim, and not because it needed closing. So there was no transition in place. It doesn't really matter who takes their business, it matters that they closed a branch for no reason and without warning. If they had been doing it rationally, the clients wouldn't be being fought over, they'd be assigned to new reps, as was done when past branches were downsized.

I agree that Jim and Dwight working together is more fun. Ever since Jim saved Dwight's ass in Florida, I think there's been a shift. Their rivalry was played out and now there's a little residual tension but mostly they have adopted a grudging tolerance for each other which I think has been a good shift for the show.

I guess it makes sense that Robert inappropriately sided with Nellie over Andy, and is also apparently pursuing her inappropriately in a personal way; she talked her way into her job exactly how Robert talked his way into his. He probably sees her as another version of himself, and he does appear to be all about himself.

#9

ikar

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 12:55 AM

NBC LA's audio went out for me during the scene with Robert and the Syracuse guy, and then the following scene where Andy gets out to his car. (and then several commercials; alas it wasn't artistic expressionism on The Office.)

No, this isn't one of those "hey, what happened?" type of posts. I think since I was watching on tivo-delay I was at first perplexed, and then thought...it's a way to drive up viewers who'll need to visit hulu! Kabletown will try anything won't they?

ps- and for years I thought Michael Scott would kill Dunder Mifflin! It seems Robert will finish the job up instead.

Edited by ikar, May 4, 2012 @ 12:58 AM.


#10

Laney123

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 5:45 AM

I found that last line to be very meta... "We wont be doing this in six months anymore."


Agreed. The whole "what do you really want to be doing" conversation seemed to set the stage for how they are going to wrap up the series, or write off Jim if John Kransky (sp?) doesn't re-sign. I thought running a bike shop was strange. While he was at the Stamford branch, didn't Jim only start riding a bike briefly because the branch manager did? From that brief bike-riding period, he has a secret dream to run a bike shop? Maybe I missed something that pointed to this, but otherwise it seemed really out of left field.

#11

NiceGuyEddie

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 7:43 AM

I thought running a bike shop was strange. While he was at the Stamford branch, didn't Jim only start riding a bike briefly because the branch manager did? From that brief bike-riding period, he has a secret dream to run a bike shop? Maybe I missed something that pointed to this, but otherwise it seemed really out of left field.


Well maybe he meant a bike shop as in a Harley shop? ;-) Even more left-field for ya.

#12

Westy8283

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 8:17 AM

I thought that was one of the better episodes in quite some time, probably because it dealt with actual office stuff.


This. With the white hot heat from a thousand burning suns. Why this show can't stay in the office and find humor while touching on character is the question I've asked since Jim and Pam's wedding.

The ending was the most fantastic part of an Office episode in years. Seeing Andy fight through the crazy emotional rollercoaster of being not only fired but ostracized and insulted, to actually come up with a business concept that might work, and to pitch it exactly the right way to David Wallace - who just happens to have the funds and the motive to assist. Just perfect. Where has this been for the past four years?

Edited by Westy8283, May 4, 2012 @ 8:17 AM.


#13

Jporr0121

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 8:27 AM

Jim has made references before to his biking. Back when Pam made up that fake/new office to threaten Dwight, she told Jim it was near a bike path to get him on board. Plus him imitating Josh's biking habits was back in season 3, so there's been plenty of time for that to coalesce into a true hobby by now, although it still does seem a bit out of the blue.

I'm glad David Wallace is back! Although the plot thread to bring him back was a little ham-fisted. If Dan Castellaneta's company is such a big client, why would he be so desperate for appointments, and why would he go with such an unsure supplier like "Big Red Paper Company"?

Dwight screaming as he slid into the elevator was one of the funniest things I've seen in this show. I skipped back and watched that scene 4 times in a row. The show may be a sloppy remnant of its former self, but it can still bring the laughs every now and then. Makes it worth tuning in every week.

Also, Robert California has really become a filthy beast, as Nelly put it. It can't be easy for James Spader to have to act like such a fool.

#14

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 8:30 AM

Last night's episode was good! I really like Jim & Dwight joining forces (even grudgingly) & it was comic gold how Dwight used his belt to lock the doors & then his pants fell down by the time he got to the receptionist.

Andy is a wierdo goofball but I love occasionally seeing that he's far capable of more (like how he went on his own to secure that client & now is enlisting David Wallace's help). I'd like to see a lot more of this Andy then the constantly singing goofball one.

#15

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 9:54 AM

I'm not that excited about Jim and Dwight committing white collar crime by creating a fake salesman. Also, remember when Sabre came along and Jim realized he could make more money as a salesman instead of "co-manager" because of their commission policy? Why the need for Lloyd Gross now? Additionally, maybe the end of the series is everyone going to jail for their various crimes and misdemeanors. Then we could have a show called "Prison Break: Office Style" where Pam and Jim try to get their kids back from social services after being sent to jail for theft and embezzling. Also, still not feeling sorry for Nellie. The more this season progresses, the more I hate Andy. The cooking in the office, the ridiculous stealing of a sale like that (remember when Andy was the worst salesman in the office?).

#16

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 10:35 AM

I'm not that excited about Jim and Dwight committing white collar crime by creating a fake salesman. Also, remember when Sabre came along and Jim realized he could make more money as a salesman instead of "co-manager" because of their commission policy? Why the need for Lloyd Gross now?


It was after Jim returned to sales that a yearly cap was placed on commissions. There was one episode where Jim, realizing this, spent the rest of his time goofing off. I guess the creation of Lloyd Gross is what kept him from being completely idle for the rest of the year.

#17

mansfolly

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 10:36 AM

The ending was the most fantastic part of an Office episode in years. Seeing Andy fight through the crazy emotional rollercoaster of being not only fired but ostracized and insulted, to actually come up with a business concept that might work, and to pitch it exactly the right way to David Wallace - who just happens to have the funds and the motive to assist. Just perfect. Where has this been for the past four years?


Agreed. I am a bit excited again about this show. Have always loved David Wallace... hope they keep on track with the story line.
Loved Jim's face to the camera in the opening. I also like Jim/Dwight together. And... HOMER!. Gotta love Dan C.
Well, it's working on me.... I am actually starting to like Nellie.
I really liked this epi.

#18

Shanna Marie

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 10:36 AM

Also, remember when Sabre came along and Jim realized he could make more money as a salesman instead of "co-manager" because of their commission policy?


There was a whole episode about that. After all their talk about being sales-focused and how much money a salesman could make, it turned out that they also put a cap on commissions, so after a certain point in the year, no matter how many sales Jim made, he didn't make any money from them -- and he learned this after closing a huge deal. And yet they expected him to keep working, and Gabe was a real jerk about it. So Jim worked very diligently on a prank to get back at Gabe. Apparently they're getting around that by having an extra salesman to allow them to actually get paid for the work they've done. Not entirely ethical, but then that's the foolishness of putting a cap on commissions paid to people who work for commissions -- they're penalizing their top performers and essentially sending the message that the sales staff should only sell so much. The company probably comes out ahead anyway because the sales staff then has a reason to keep selling.

#19

Stalkmylife82

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 11:25 AM

Besides, at least for me, I wouldn't stop wanting more money just because i'm making good income. More would always be appreciated. Also, Jim has another kid now. So, he could use any extra money he could get.

And yes, the company benefits from more sales as well, so I don't have a problem with it.

#20

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 11:28 AM

I have no idea how much credit to give the show for this final arc, which is pretty good aside from them not knowing how Nellie fits into it, because I have had no sense throughout the season so far that they understood how bad Robert was at his job, and this sudden acknowledgement doesn't feel like a pay off but more like a redirection. But seeing Andy be awesome is pretty satisfying.

#21

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 11:41 AM

I thought it was a funny episode, enjoyed it! I guess I'm just a Pam fan, but I thought it was esp good when Robert California challenged her to come up with a list of what she had to do that made her too busy to help him with his Nellie situation.

#22

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 11:59 AM

I'm glad David Wallace is back! Although the plot thread to bring him back was a little ham-fisted. If Dan Castellaneta's company is such a big client, why would he be so desperate for appointments, and why would he go with such an unsure supplier like "Big Red Paper Company"?


Well, this is The Office, so we have to account for the fact that anything resembling realistic business practices and/or situations left the Scranton Business Park quite a long while ago. I think they rode out in a huff with Amy Adams after the Booze Cruise.

But it is rather insulting of the writers to go ahead and recycle the extremely unrealistic plot of an ex-employee (an imbecilic one each time) creating their own paper company and actually doing damage to Dunder Mifflin. I hated the Micheal Scott Paper Company, but at the very least we could believe Michael was a good salesman, if a rank amatuer at running a business. Nard Dog is not good on either front. Yet somehow he seems to be doing even more damage to Dunder Mifflin.

I can't be the only one hoping that Robert California mops the floor with Andy in this "street fight", as California put it. Andy is no match for Robert California, not even this bloated, queasy, drunken version of California who posseses even worse taste in women than Andy.

But alas, I know it is not to be. You don't have to be a fly on the wall at the Office showrunners meetings to know how this one ends.

Besides, at least for me, I wouldn't stop wanting more money just because i'm making good income. More would always be appreciated. Also, Jim has another kid now. So, he could use any extra money he could get.

And yes, the company benefits from more sales as well, so I don't have a problem with it.


I could see all of that being part of Jim's justification for creating a fictitious salesperson whose commissions he collects. But I somehow doubt the IRS will see it that way as well.

Edited by reggiejax, May 4, 2012 @ 12:16 PM.


#23

miclogger

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 12:04 PM

I found that last line to be very meta... "We wont be doing this in six months anymore." I wont be surprised if Robert DOES end up driving the business into the ground, so that when they retool the show for next season, half of these characters will be gone to their respective spinoffs or other ventures. It seems like theyre setting up the end of the season and the end of this version of The Office.


I think you're probably on to something. As of the last I heard, there were alot of people on the show still left to resign new contracts, and now there's been talk of a Dwight spinoff, and now some talk of retooling the show even. So just with one little throw away line, they left the option on the table for any number of changes to the show. It was smart writing, I think.

#24

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 12:18 PM

Enjoyed the episode, especially the ending.

But what is with Gabe's new haircut?

#25

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 12:21 PM

I can't be the only one hoping that Robert California mops the floor with Andy in this "street fight", as California put it. Andy is no match for Robert California, not even this bloated, queasy, drunken version of California who posseses even worse taste in women than Andy.


Does he have to be? If David Wallace is going to be the money behind Big Red Paper? If Andy is backed by a multi-millionaire (and is, I believe, also from money?), wouldn't that be a lot for California to contend with?

Given that we've seen that Robert California is pretty much doing worse to this company that the Dunder Mifflin CEOs ever did (and I don't think we ever saw that was David Wallace's fault, he came in at Eleventh Hour to clean up, and got a bad rap I think), and that James Spader has a
Spoiler
, I suspect Andy will win.

Edited by karra, May 4, 2012 @ 12:46 PM.


#26

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 12:38 PM

Wouldn't it be easy, especially after the drunken closing of the branch, to get Robert fired by going to the Board of Directors? Hell, they should replace him themselves. The CEO is not the dictator of a company

#27

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 12:47 PM

Wouldn't they just have to go to Jo? I mean, it's her company still. I would think, if she has the ability to make sure Nellie stays on, she can hire/fire him.

I have a feeling him "taking her job" was less him swindling her somehow, and more her wanting to retire.

#28

Col Bat Guano

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 1:16 PM

There is no way Robert California wins this battle. Drunkenly closing a branch is the kind of thing that gets a Board of Director's notice.

#29

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 2:25 PM

To say nothing of the potential sexual harassment lawsuit if what he left on Nellie's vm was bad enough.

Nard Dog is not good on either front. Yet somehow he seems to be doing even more damage to Dunder Mifflin.


Point taken, but sometimes, the person who has the most to lose has to pull out all the stops to make sure he comes out on top. Andy isn't an idiot. He knew enough about California's personality to know he wasn't going to make a decision about the Binghampton branch's client which gave him enough time to race out there and grab them for himself. He also knows where to find the money.

On the other hand, something I do wonder about, and have ever since the MSPC got absorbed back into DM, is what happens to the promises made by the rogue paper company when it becomes DM again?

I mean, all those clients Michael, Pam and Ryan stole from DM just ended up being DM clients again, right? And Prestige is just going to end up with DM, too, I would guess. What do they think about going with the new guy only to end up with the same old, same old within a very short period of time?

Edited by PJWatcher, May 4, 2012 @ 2:28 PM.


#30

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 2:30 PM

Frank Sobotka! So good to see Chris Bauer again and he joins Amy Ryan and Idris Elba as Wire/Office alumni.

I'm glad David Wallace is back! Although the plot thread to bring him back was a little ham-fisted. If Dan Castellaneta's company is such a big client, why would he be so desperate for appointments, and why would he go with such an unsure supplier like "Big Red Paper Company"?


I actually thought that was kind of funny, with Andy being able just walk right into his office, to the point of DC literally saying, "Oh boy, I have a visitor!" Guess it's lonely in the junk mail business.