12: Scott's Tots
Meanwhile, back at the office, Dwight is continuing his "Diabolical Plan" (the same Diabolical Plan that he accidentally leaves in the printer for Ryan to find) to destroy Jim by rigging an Employee of the Month competition and turning everyone in the office against Jim. Dwight proceeds to call David Wallace while imitating his coworkers...
11: Product Recall
The main plot of the episode focuses on an obscene watermark that was placed on a shipment of Dunder-Mifflin paper. There are several plot lines that occur, so I'll try to explain them all separately:
-Michael tries to do damage control by hosting a press conference. In his words, "Alert the media, and then you control the story. Wait for them to find out, and the story controls you. That's what happened to O.J." Of course, his attempts spin out of amuck: only one reporter shows up for the conference, and the customer who Michael invites to the press conference demands that Michael resign. Michael refuses, the customer suggests that she's going to call the Better Business Bureau, and Michael replies that he's going to call the "Ungrateful Biotch Hotline." Michael then makes an apology video, addressing the United States as a whole and declaring himself to be "an escape goat." He then gives the nation 24 hours to accept his apology, or else every piece of paper in Scranton will have the F-word on it.
-Jim and Andy go to a local high school that sent out their prom invitations on the tainted paper. Jim is driven crazy by Andy's singing in the car and his requests that Jim "beer him" a water bottle. When they get to the high school, Andy sees his frozen-yogurt chef girlfriend, who he apparently didn't know was in high school. Don't worry though they "didn't do anything illegal. Expect knock over a mailbox with her friends." The salesmen end up botching their pitch to the school's principal because Andy is too distraught about his girlfriend lying to him. Andy does cheer up in the end, however, when Jim starts singing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" on the car ride home.
-Kelly, head of customer services, has to train the accounting staff to be competent customer service reps for the day. A scene that pretty much sums up each of the accounting department's personalities ensues. Oscar wants to get right to work ("I wonder how many calls you're missing while you're teaching us to answer calls"), Kevin tries (and fails) to use an Australian accent ("'ello, mate!...I like ice cream, too mate! Alligators and dingo babies."), and Angela has no time for any of the customers' problems("The company has already apologized, so you can take that apology or not. (hangs up phone) I think he had Tourette's or something!"). In the end, Kevin and Oscar rub how good they were and how bad Angela was at customer service in her face.
-Creed, head of quality assurance, "screwed the pooch," in Michael's words. Part of his job is to go to the paper mill once a month to make sure nothing like this obscene watermark happens. Creed stopped going to the paper mill years ago, and this slipped through and his incompetence at his job was put on display. Creed claims that he went to the mill, but his usual representative wasn't there. He's seen throughout the episode trying to figure out what representative wasn't there on the Wednesday when he supposedly went to the mill. When he figures out that a woman named Debbie Brown was off the day that Creed was supposed to be there, Creed blames her for the watermark. Debbie gets fired, and Creed gets off scott-free. Creed then goes around to the people in the office to collect money to put in a card for Debbie ("she's got some children"), and is seen pocketing the cash he collected as he left the building.
-Jim and Pam, obviously were getting married. Lots of nice little moments: the two of them taking "mental pictures" of each other and Jim cutting his tie in half after Pam tore her veil, for example. Jim was also giving a beautiful speech at the rehearsal dinner, up until he spilled the beans about Pam's pregnancy
-And finally, the entire getting involved in the ceremony in a way that only they can:
Michael proceeds to create his own diversity program, entitled "Diversity Tomorrow" (because today is almost over). He also made one hell of a video to promote the program that includes an all-time Michael Scott quote: "Abraham Lincoln once said that if you're a racist, I will attack you with the North, and those are the principles that I carry with me in the workplace." He then assigns each person in the office a race, and makes everyone treat each other like their assigned race:
8: Dinner Party
This is the episode that puts the dysfunctionality (is that a word? I'm gonna use it as a word) of Michael and Jan's relationship. Michael has to trick Jim and Pam into agreeing to come to their condo for dinner. You get to see Michael and Jan's bedroom, featuring Michael's tiny bed and a tripod and camera, and Jan's office and workspace (she needs both). Then we get to Michael's part of the tour, featuring his Dundies on display in the living room and his plasma TV:
7: The Convict
This episode is also great because of Michael's attempts to prove that the office isn't worse than prison. He allows the workers to have TV time (on a black-and-white TV that was, according to Martin the convict, smaller than the one in prison) and he allows them an hour of outside time. Speaking from experience, I wouldn't want to spend more than five minutes at a time outside in Scranton during the winter, so outside time fall apart quickly. Prison Mike is his last-ditch attempt to show the employees that the office is better than prison, and when no one takes it seriously, he locks the whole staff in the conference room so they can really see what prison is like. Eventually, Toby convinces Michael to free everyone, and Michael lets everyone off of work early.
6: Beach Games
5: Stress Relief
This episode starts with another one of the greatest cold opens in the show's history: Dwight simulating a fire in the office because no one was listening to his seminar on fire safety:
The episode continues on with David Wallace and Michael both disciplining Dwight, and the office going through a CPR training course. Dwight, of course, ruins that too:
4: Fun Run
In the opening of this episode, the fourth season's debut, Michael is giving updates on his life and life around the office, including his relationship with Jan and how everything is running smoothly at the Scranton branch of Dunder-Mifflin. Then this happens:
"Maybe there's some sort of animal, that we could make a sacrifice too. Like a giant buffalo, or some sort of monster, like something with the body of a walrus with the head of a sea lion. Or something with the body of an egret with the head of a meerkat. Or just... the head of a monkey, with the antlers of a reindeer, with, ah... the body of a porcupine."
However, Michael sees the curse as being lifted when Dwight returns from his trip to visit Meredith at the hospital with the news that she has been given the rabies vaccine as a precaution after being bitten by multiple wild animals, including a bat that Dwight trapped against her head with a garbage bag in the "Business School" episode of season 3. Michael decides to host a 5K "Fun Run" to find a cure for rabies (even though a cure has already been discovered), and hilarity ensues. Michael makes flyers for the run saying that 5K meant 5000 miles, not 5 kilometers. When Pam knocks on his door to correct him, he tells her to come in and accidentally shows her his penis. Next, Michael donates the proceeds for the run to "Science" and gives the check to a stripper who's dressed up as a nurse. He then eats a meal's worth of Fettuccine Alfredo minutes before the race and rejects water throughout the run because rabies victims have an irrational fear of water, later throwing up the fettuccine and ending up in the hospital due to dehydration.
During the run, Andy's sensitive nipples bleed through his singlet, Kevin is forced to run in his suit because he didn't bring any athletic clothes with him, and Oscar, Creed, and Stanley take a cab out to lunch, then another cab to the finish line. Angela confronts Dwight about killing her cat, and they have an altercation on the course. In case you were wondering, Toby ends up winning first place in the race after Dwight accidentally puts ammodium in his coffee instead of a laxative.
This is another episode that has a ton of small jokes thrown in throughout the episode, and sets the tone for what was a very funny 4th season.
3: The Dundies
A few key side plots occur during this episode: it is seen that Pam called off her engagement with Roy just weeks before the wedding, coming right on the heels of when Jim kissed her at the office's Casino Night. This is also the first episode where we see Jim working in the Stamford, CT branch of Dunder Mifflin, leading to the introduction of Andy Bernard, the competitive salesman with an anger problem, and Karen Fillippelli, a smart saleswoman who ends up dating Jim.
After Michael outs Oscar, he and Dwight try to figure out if anyone else in the office is gay, and Michael suggests that maybe Angela was a lesbian and that she and Oscar were having a "gay affair." Dwight then brings up the fact that Jim once told him about a "gaydar." When Michael and Dwight call Jim to inquire about the gaydar, Jim tells them that it's sold out at Sharper Image, so they go back to square one.
Michael holds another meeting after hearing how upset Oscar was about being outed to give him a chance to formally come out, and Oscar, frustrated as we all would be, yells at Michael. This leads to one of the funniest, most cringeworthy moments in the series' history:
Coming off the heels of the somewhat heavy "Booze Cruise" episode, "The Injury" is the ridiculously silly counter to its predecessor. After Jim's breakup with Katie and his deep talk with Michael about winning Pam's heart, everything that happened is completely forgotten about and we're given a preposterous premise: Michael has managed to burn his foot on his George Foreman Grill and needs someone to come pick him up to take him to work. Dwight rushes out to go rescue him, and crashes his car into a pole driving out of the parking lot. How did Michael manage to burn his foot, you ask? I'll let him explain:
I enjoy having breakfast in bed. I like waking up to the smell of bacon, sue me. And since I don't have a butler, I have to do it myself. So, most nights before I go to bed, I will lay six strips of bacon out on my George Foreman Grill. Then I go to sleep. When I wake up, I plug in the grill, I go back to sleep again. Then I wake up to the smell of crackling bacon. It is delicious, it's good for me. It's the perfect way to start the day. Today I got up, I stepped onto the grill and it clamped down on my foot... that's it. I don't see what's so hard to believe about that.
Big thanks to YouTube, Wikipedia, and OfficeQuotes.net for making this whole blog possible