What a perfectly-constructed little episode. They've done funnier episodes than this one ("The Injury" and "Conflict Resolution," to name two), but the design of this one played out so well.
With the exception of Jim and Dwight, the sales teams paired up characters who haven't had much to do together in the past, and even with those first two, we got to see them in a new way: well-oiled selling machine. But what I especially loved was the falling-domino quality of the sales calls, how great the payoffs were to set-ups that I didn't even recognize as set-ups. I just assumed that Phyllis was trying to bond with Karen in an unfortunate way, that Happy Stanley made an appearance because Ryan was going to be doing all the work for him, that Dwight was being angry and random because he was stuck working with Jim. In taking notes on the episode, there were a bunch of lines that began with, "Ohhhh!" as I realized what was actually happening.
There were a few more serious developments. Dwight quits Dunder-Mifflin, in a sequence evoking his resignation as a volunteer deputy. Not sure how I feel about that one. If Pam didn't know all of the details of what Dwight did, she knew enough to be able to go to Michael and assure him that Dwight's New York trip had nothing to do with him. Plus, while I totally believe that Dwight would never reveal their secret love without Angela's permission, is Angela really so awful that she would cost Dwight his job to avoid becoming the next Ryan and Kelly? Okay, so maybe she is. I'm sure Dwight will wind up back at work soon -- and that Angela will unleash some kind of Biblical vengeance upon Andy -- but this was unsettling.
Meanwhile, Phyllis goes and outs the history of Jim and Pam to Karen -- and, worse, Jim tries to deny it. He gave it up pretty quickly once he realized she knew something, but that's still not a good sign for this relationship. Or maybe not. I need a ruling: if you're the Karen in this scenario, do you want to know this stuff? And if you're the Jim, are you trying to keep it a secret because you're still in love with Pam, or because you're trying to spare both women some awkwardness over a situation that no longer exists? I'm too jet-lagged to untie this particular knot.
Some lines/jokes of the week:
- Ryan on Stanley: "I'm very flattered. I was his second choice after 'Pass.'"
- Jim: "Oh, Young Jim... there's just so much I need to warn you about, and yet... I cannot."
- Pam to Angela: "You seem so happy. I bet you wish you were like this all the time."
- Jan on Dwight: "Where he was asked to state his business, he wrote, "Beeswax, None of Yours, Incorporated.'"
- Dwight and Michael: "That's what she said." "Don't you dare!"
- Andy: "Oompa-loompa, doopity-dawsome! Dwight is gone, which is totally awesome!"
- Michael's computer: "Boobs!"