In "Broke" - a masterful episode directed by Steve Carell - the upstart Michael Scott Paper Company is siphoning off business from Dunder Mifflin but losing money in the process because their prices are way too low. So this leaves both companies at an impasse, and leads to a high-stakes negotiation between Michael and David Wallace.
Before I begin the recap, check out this video of The Office crew celebrating 100 episodes. We were able to get interviews with Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson and many others. And in the case of Steve Carell, he's exactly what you'd expect: funny and seemingly the nicest guy in the world.
The cold open was great, from Michael starting and stopping the van so Ryan couldn't get in, to Michael picking up Pam and yelling "I go nuts for your donuts" to Jim, to Pam's translation of the Korean writing on the side of their vehicle. But the best was the befuddled Korean woman whom Pam stops from climbing into the van by yelling "it's not for the Church!"
Broke and Bleeding
Pam and Ryan convince Michael to look into hiring a delivery guy, since the 4:30 AM wake-up calls leave everyone wiped out. But when they consult their accountant, he gives them some sobering news: Their pricing model is not scalable. They're undercutting Dunder Mifflin and Staples, sure, but at the prices at which their selling paper, they'll never be profitable.
Meanwhile, David Wallace makes a visit to the Scranton branch to stop the bleeding. David wants Jim in on the discussion, but Charles - much to his later regret - insists that Dwight join the conversation as well, saying to David that "Dwight shows promise," while Jim has been "a disappointment."
In their strategy session, Jim suggests a temporary price reduction to further undercut Michael; Dwight meanwhile, says that that would make Dunder Mifflin look weak, and instead suggests a complex bee attack on the competitor since his "apiarist owes him a favor." I think it's safe to say that this was the moment when Charles realizes he made a huge mistake by inviting Dwight to the meeting.
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