"I have made some empty promises in my life, but hands-down, that was the most generous." -MichaelBecause of the nature of Michael Scott's personality, "The Office" sometimes walks this fine line between comedy and tragedy. I thought that Michael making an ass of himself at Phyllis' wedding was the worst we would ever get in terms of Michael spending an episode obliviously hurting other people's lives.
I was wrong.
What Michael did to those 15 kids - whose lives (and parents' spending/saving habits) over the last 10 years have been driven by the belief that he would come through for them - was by far the worst thing he's ever done. It's maybe the worst thing any sitcom character has ever done. If I hadn't just gotten done watching a season of "Sons of Anarchy," I might start wondering if it was the worst thing a TV character, period, had done.
Erin put something of a good face on this big lie by pointing out that Scott's Tots probably worked harder in school because of him (and we did hear from the one kid who stayed out of trouble because of him), but I'm sorry - most of this was unbearable to sit through. If it wasn't for the infectious joy and sweetness that Ellie Kemper has brought to the show as Erin, I might have just shut the episode off after five or 10 minutes.
As for the Dwight/Jim story, I'm with Rick Porter that the writers had to remove Jim's brain to get this to work. Beyond that, it feels like turning Dwight into pure evil, and then teaming him up with the pre-existing evil of Ryan, is a bit much. Rainn Wilson's impressions of his co-stars were very good (his Kevin in particular was spot-on), but Jim needs to nip this stuff in the bud, now. We have to suspend disbelief on this show enough as it is(*) without wondering why Dwight, even with his sales figures, still has a job when Michael hates him, when he's undermining his other boss, and when you figure in all his previous transgressions (notably the fire safety drill).
(*) And why did no one from the Scott's Tots school ever once try to get Michael to offer up some more concrete details about how the college funds were going? Even if Michael kept ducking them forever, wouldn't that have been a trouble sign in and of itself?
Outside of the Michael/Andy teaser, not good times at Dunder-Mifflin Scranton this week, I'm afraid.
What did everybody else think?