This episode had one of those "oh, this is not going to end well" vibes to it. And how could it not? Somehow Michael Scott got himself into a situation that transcended mere embarrassment. He made a promise that he couldn't keep, and it affected a lot of lives.
"Of all the empty promises I've made, this is by far the most generous," Michael said, and he was right. The whole time I was watching the Scott's Tots storyline play out, I was cringing, waiting for the moment of truth. But, surprisingly enough, things didn't turn out as bad as we thought. And for that, we have Erin to thank.
We haven't seen much of the office's newest member, have we? Besides her stumbling "relationship" with Andy, her desire to take her job much more seriously than Pam ever did, and her role in the band Subtle Sexuality, we don't know much about her. But she really stepped up in this episode; as much as Michael wanted to rely on Pam to be his human shield, Erin not only did a nice job of getting him out of that high school in one piece, but her assurance to him that he really did help the Tots was one of the most self-actualized moments I've seen in this show.
Back to Michael for a second. I loved seeing Stanley laugh his ass off and go "has it been ten years already?" when he realized Michael's 1999 tuition pledge was coming home to roost. As the kids from that third-grade class praised Michael and told him how much his gift meant to them, all I could think of was, "this is so wrong." That rap that parodied the Cops theme song was especially painful to listen to -- as catchy as it might have been: "Whacha gonna do when your dreams come true?" -- and the pain on Michael's face was palpable. I had the same expression.
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