The Office's "Did I Stutter": I am Man, Hear me ROAR!

This week's The Office didn't do much follow-up to all the disasters of "Night Out," which seemed a bit necessary, but it looks like that will be dealt with later considering the finale episode's focus on Toby.

So last week we were left with Toby hopping the fence after touching Pam's knee, Jim realizing he was an awful manager, and the discovery of Ryan's drug problem.

Ryan did appear this week, but he was still in hot-shot mode, including a a nasty power play on Jim, which I guess was about the only thing dealt with from last week. Ryan told Jim he was getting a warning for messing around more than he works - where would he get that idea?? While it was sad to see Jim discouraged, it was pretty hilarious to see Toby who's usually all about being fair and P.C. completely go along with knocking Jim down.

Oh that Pam is a powerful woman in this office! She also has some pretty hideous glasses that detracted Michael, but attracted Kevin. Good stuff there for Kevin asking Pam to play librarian... creepy?

It was actually quite a power play evening with Dwight playing Andy as he bought his car for far less than Andy wanted to sell it for, then flipped it right before Andy's eyes.

Also, we had the focus of the episode all power play-ful with Michael and Stanley. Now this was maybe a little too much. The great part of Toby making a big deal out of Michael and Stanley's "did I stutter?" moment in a meeting was that it was very classic hilarious Office humor to see how incredibly much worse Michael made it.

Michael asking Darryl about being in a gang and what they do was pretty priceless - my favorite has to be Darryl's list of the gangs he's been in including the Newsies. And of course Michael's belief that gangs really tickle each other to work out their problems, though for some reason, he didn't actually try this on Stanley.

Instead, all Stanley's under-the-breath moments came out in one big explosion as Michael tried to fake fire him to teach him a lesson. Oh, Michael. This is when things felt awkward.

Sure, it's funny to see Stanley come out of his shell and to see Michael get yelled at for all his stupidity over the years, but the horror of how it'd feel to be sitting there watching that was a little overwhelming.

But the interesting twist was actually getting some resolution including Michael acting like an actual boss and telling Stanley firmly but respectfully that Stanley simply couldn't talk to him that way because he is his boss. And Stanley respected him!

Turns out a little man-to-man talk actually worked for Michael! Will this mean the end of Stanley's snarky Michael comments?

This episode had me laughing out loud probably more than the rest since The Office's return, but was it up to par with the hilariousness we expect from The Office?

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Default avatar cat
May 2, 2008 6:35PM EDT

I guess the Office isn't very good with continuity when it comes to storylines - except for ones dealing with relationships - so perhaps they'll ignore the drug problem/fence jumping/man sleepover indefinitely. To be honest, I wasn't all that invested in those storylines in the first place - so I feel like it would be OK if they just moved on.
Otherwise, I agree with you! Michael actually gaining respect from his employees and putting his foot down to Stanley (after trying some very unconventional Michael-like techniques first, of course)? It was a side of Michael I'm glad exists!
And yes, he totally needed to try the gang problem solving technique (tickling) in order to make that whole conversation even worth it! The Office I know and love would have gone there - and yet somehow they didn't!

Default avatar cat
May 4, 2008 12:13PM EDT

I wouldn't be so harsh on the writers for avoiding what happened in the episode previous to this one. Ryan's drug problem is probably something that will get re-visited and Toby's obsession with Pam was still indicated. The cold opening with Michael cementing his face into the wet pavement was golden in my opinion.

Default avatar cat
May 4, 2008 2:30PM EDT

they actually did show ryans coke problem. When he was parking at dunder-mifflin he was wiping his nose and checking it in the mirror to make sure it was clear of coke.

Default avatar cat
May 5, 2008 12:27AM EDT

i thought this was honestly one of the weaker episodes so far. i found most of a teensy bit boring... it couldn't compare the night out or the dinner party at all in my opion.

Default avatar cat
May 12, 2008 9:10AM EDT

A very uncomfortable episode--the disparity of Toby & Ryan's discipline towards employees was unfathomable, unless you take into account that both Toby and Ryan want Jim out of the picture. How else could you explain that they BOTH came down hard on Jim for some pretty minor things, yet for Stanley's viciously disrespectful and insubordinate outburst, Toby only recommended to Michael, in private, that he talk to Stanley about it, and Ryan didn't deal with it one BIT. The imbalance there was almost too much for me. I went to bed angry. At a TV show! Sheesh!

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