Synopsis: Michael arrives for his first day of work at the Michael Scott Paper Company’s new office, which is actually just a closet in the Scranton Business Park. Still, he’s feeling rejuvenated and ready to make a comeback just like Britney Spears, whose music he’s blasting while trying to park his car. He crashes, which puts him on the right course — Britney is a bad driver, too. [Ryan’s note: My wife tells me that the song isn’t by Britney at all, but “Just Dance” by Lady GaGa. But who the hell can tell the difference, anyway? That’s the joke.] His enthusiasm doesn’t last long, though, because the office — despite sporting a poker table, a Nerf basketball hoop and clocks labeled Paris, London and U.S.A. — is terribly cramped and less than ideal. Plus, he can’t get either of his employees to make copies, because Pam and Ryan are engaged in a power struggle to avoid being at the bottom of the office totem pole.
Employee relations are suffering at Dunder Mifflin, as well, where Dwight and Andy are creepily now friends, Kelly is jealous of the new receptionist — who also happens to be named Kelly — and Jim seems poised to disappoint Charles once again. The first scenario becomes imperiled when Dwight and Andy almost renew their rivalry over the new Kelly, but they bond over a raucous rendition of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” with Andy on banjo and Dwight on acoustic guitar and German vocals. Charles offers a solution to the second problem, by offering to refer to the Kellys by their middle names — which works out fine for “Erin” but no so well for “Rajinigandha.” The third issue results in Jim faxing an almost certainly botched client rundown to his father, with Charles being none the wiser because he seems to have no interest in anything Jim does.
A few of Michael’s former employees pop over for his new company’s pancake luncheon, at which he serves paper-shaped pancakes to prospective clients — or rather client, singular. In the end, though, he has a 100 percent success rate, since Pam is able to make a sale. And suddenly working in an office where you can overhear Toby making bathroom phone calls overhead isn’t so bad.
Best Moment: Andy and Dwight’s debate about the merits of a cappella music. Who knew that “Cherry Pie” by Warrant, “Enter Sandman” by Metallica and “Rebel Yell” by Billy Idol were better when sung without instrumentation? My second choice would be Dwight trying to woo the new receptionist by making up a story about a prostitute named Hattie McGonagall being bludgeoned to death. He is a smooth operator.
Best Quotes: “I used to hate him, hate him, hate him, hate him. I studied him to figure out why I hated him so much. But that blossomed into a very real friendship, as these things often do.” — Dwight, explaining his relationship with his former “sexual competitor” Andy
“‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take — Wayne Gretzky’ — Michael Scott” — Secondhand wisdom written on the Michael Scott Paper Company’s dry erase board
Employee of the Week: Creed. He may be weird, but he’s not going to steal your square pancakes if they’re not delicious. Plus, I’m obligated to pick Creed every time he appears in an episode. Runner-up: Ryan’s mom, for picking him up from work.
Best Moment: When that little bit of blood rushed into Andy’s penis after his encounter with Kelly Erin.
Best Quote: “Maybe the Michael Scott Paper Company was a huge mistake. I should leave. I should go and start my own paper company. That’ll show ’em.” — Michael
Employee of the Week: P. She’s a 6 in New York but she’s a 7 in Scranton. She could be hot if she made any effort.
Best Moment: For my money, the “Take Me Home, Country Roads” jam session on guitar and banjo is going to catch on in office break rooms everywhere. OK, so maybe not. But it still was funny to see Dwight and Andy go from trying to woo the new girl, to wooing each other.
Best Quote: “Ryan, enough with the texting machine.” — Michael Scott, always up on his technology
Employee of the Week: Michael Scott. He’s so crafty, giving Pam and Ryan nicknames so they don’t know he’s talking about them on his calls with his mother. Especially when P is being a big B.