Posted by Brian McCullough
There’s good news and bad news about this episode.
First, the bad news. Since the WGA strike shows no signs of abating any time soon, this might be the last time we get to see our friends from The Office for a while. Apparently, this show did not get enough episodes “in the can” before the strike began. The S is really beginning to hit the fan here, people. What will I have left to TIVO? Might I be reduced to restarting my NetFlix subscription? They don’t make good movies anymore! TV is all I’ve got!
But the good news is that even if this is the last episode we get for the foreseeable future, it’s a great one!
This episode had bits and pieces of almost everything we love about the show. Kelly at her wacky best. Dwight at his idiot savant best. Some great Michael-isms. Oh, and perhaps the pinnacle of the Michael/Toby feud.
I didn’t hold much hope for Micheal testifying in Jan’s lawsuit against Dunder Mifflin. I can usually only take Jan in small doses, and the thought of having an entire episode revolve around her left me cold. But right away, I could see the writer’s had something special up their sleeves.
I believe Michael went into the deposition completely on board with Jan’s plan for victory. Michael’s attempts to give line readings as testimony backfired as hilariously as you would expect. But slowly it becomes apparent that the Dunder Mifflin legal team has done it’s homework and Michael is completely unable to improvise.
It becomes clear that the deposition will represent, in a way, Michael’s greatest ever crisis of faith. Who should he betray? “M’lady” or Dunder Mifflin? For Michael, whose’ perverse but fanatical personal code of loyalty is often his best and worst feature simultaneously, the question could not pierce deeper. In his own heart, he’s not even capable of betrayal. But he’s going to have to make a choice. Is he a good employee or a good boyfriend? Which is more noble
But by the end of the episode, the great truth that Michael has always been blind to is been made obvious even to him: no one respects him. His boobery and incompetence are only foils that the people around him suffer through or use to their advantage. And so he ends up cleaving to Dunder Mifflin, if only because he never expected Jan to be so devious. As he puts it, in the Line of the Episode: “You expect to get screwed by your company. You never expect to get screwed by your girlfriend.”
A bonus summary of Kelly’s “smack”
- “You’re ugly and I know it for a fact cause I’ve got the evidence right here.”
- “What has two skinny chicken legs and sucks at ping pong?”
- “Jim couldn’t hit a ping-pong ball if it was the size of the moon.”
- “Were Jim’s parents first cousins that were also bad at ping pong?”
- “The floppy haired girl you date won a point.”