If you were wondering why Steve Carell would not cross the picket line once the writers’ strike started on Monday, tonight’s episode of The Office is one of the reasons: Carell wrote it.  This is the second episode of The Office Carell has written, the first one being the very famous second season finale with the big Jim-Pam kiss.  Tonight brings lighter fare, but not by much.  What seems like a one-and-done episode without much character work at first turns into much more by the end. 

The Office: Episode 4.7,

Michael learns that Toby was invited by Ryan to join him and some other Dunder-Mifflin executives on a camping trip over the previous weekend.  He went and Michael is pissed that he wasn’t invited.  Most of the office staff are secretly pleased that Michael wasn’t invited.  In response, Michael decides to imitate one of his favorite cable shows Survivor Man, and head out into the Pennsylvania wilderness with only a knife and duct tape to help him survive.  Dwight drives out into the woods. 

Jim has been given control of the office while Michael is away.  It’s Creed’s birthday, but it’s also birthday month at the office, with four different staff members having birthdays during the month.  While usually everyone’s birthday is celebrated with its own party, Jim thinks it’d be a good idea to celebrate everyone’s birthday at once with a bigger, more fun party.  He sends out a memo explaining his plan.  The office passive-aggressively goes along with it, each coming up to Jim to discuss the different kinds of cakes they want and then talking about him behind his back.

The point is, that once Jim is put in Michael’s shoes, not only does he act differently, but the people around him act differently towards him.  Finally fed up, Jim speaks to the entire office and asking who has a problem with his birthday plan.  Everyone does.  They go back to the way it was.

Dwight blindfolds Michael and drops him off in the forest and promises to leave him alone.  Dwight can’t though, and follows him at a distance.  Michael films himself doing various “survival techniques” like cutting up his dress pants and creating a pants shelter with duct tape.  Dwight continues to watch him.  Michael is about to swallow poisonous mushrooms, but Dwight comes to his rescue.

Michael and Dwight show up in time for Creed’s celebration.  Jim and Michael have a nice talk in which Jim realizes he is following Michael’s exact path to middle management and that, perhaps, he’s not too upset about it.  He is a little freaked out though. 

Top 5 Quotes of the Night

“…like Broken Mountain.” – Michael

“They would call me the overcoat killer.” – Dwight

“Blacks do crack.” – Michael

“I have hemorrhoids!” – Michael

“If I don’t eat some cake soon, I might die.” – Stanley

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of NBC)

Oscar Dahl

Senior Writer, BuddyTV