You knew it was going to happen sometime: the status went back to quo last night on The Office. But, as far as ends getting tied off cleanly, “Broke” was an inspired episode, full of tension, suspense, and yes, humor. And Michael finally got to stick it to everyone, as a threatened Dunder-Mifflin had no better choice than to offer the Michael Scott Paper Company a buy-out.

'The Office' Aftergasm: If It Ain't

In a rare moment of seeing the big picture, AND using the correct metaphor to describe it (“Wouldn’t you rather have a fishing pole than a fish?”), Michael successfully negotiated the $60,000 buy-out into a multi-million dollar deal to get his old job back, plus a sales position for Pam, a job for the disgraced Ryan, and even Charles Miner tossed out of Scranton.

The final moment of the episode was deservedly triumphant, as Michael,foot to desk, silently flaunted his stuff, and Jim gave his signaturepoint-and-smirk, in a sort of salute to this day, when Michael Scottshowed everyone that this idiot savant is a bit less idiot, and a bit more savant.

It was especially great to see a rarely glorious conclusion for Michael, since “Broke” was directed by Steve Carell. Under his hand what could have been a frustratingly straightforward wrap-up of the MSPC storyline became an outstanding vehicle for real character-driven comedy, at the end of one of The Office‘s most successful arcs to date.

With three episodes left this season on The Office, most major elements are back in their rightful place, but we do have some important questions to tackle, such as:

How and when will Holly return?

How will Jim deal with Pam’s new role as a salesperson?

Will Ryan sit next to Kelly, and will their “romance” rekindle?

Will we see Charles Miner again? We’re led to assume that he’s not fired… just relocated.

Stray observations/Best Quotes:

  • “Ever since I’ve gotten clean, there’s something about fresh morning air that just really makes me sick.” – Ryan
  • “Boner patrol! Arrest that man! Your donuts make me go nuts!” – Michael to Jim
  • “Come along, afterthought.” – Dwight
  • I want the Dwight “Idiot” ringtone. Special shout-out to anyone who can point me in the right direction…
  • The MSPC accountant made me LOL when he “crunched” the numbers again by hitting enter on his Excel document, just to get Michael off his back.
  • “When a child gets behind the wheel of a car and runs into a tree, you don’t blame the child. He didn’t know any better. You blame the 30-year-old woman who got in the passenger seat and said, ‘Drive kid. I trust you.’ ” – Pam
  • “Did I ever tell you about the day that Steve Martin died?” – Michael “Steve martin’s not dead, Michael.” – Pam  “I know. But I always thought that the day that he died would be the worst day of my life. But I was wrong. It’s this.” – Michael
  • “I will see you titans of industry upstairs.” – Jim “Yes well, we are not only tight ends, we are also quarterbacks.” – Michael
  • I didn’t quite “buy” that Charles would ignore Dwight’s tip about the MSPC being broke because of his stupid bee ideas, but I did love how Jim has such perfect knowledge of Dwight’s weaknesses that he can take him out in any situation. This week: by challenging his detective skills. “You don’t “crack” a case. That has a pejorative connotation, like calling a policeman a cop.” – Dwight
  • Phrase I plan to incorporate into conversation this week: “Well, well, well… how the turntables…” – Michael
  • Funnier, the Harder You Think About It of the week: “I don’t care if Ryan murdered his entire family, he is like a son to me.” – Michael
  • That’s What She Said of the week: “Our balls are in your court.” – Michael
  • YES! Moment of the Week: When Michael tells Charles, “No. No. You’re done,” in a perfect echo of what Charles said to him after Michael quit.

-Meghan Carlson, BuddyTV Staff Writer
Image courtesy of NBC

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.