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"The Office": Triumphant

By admin Published: April 24, 2009

As I have said here more than once, one of the things I very much like about "The Office" is that Michael Scott is not a complete idiot. He's out of his depth as a manager, but he's a terrific salesman. And last night he did one of his greatest selling jobs ever.

We could kind of figure where things were heading. As I said a week ago, "To hazard a guess, I suspect that Charles's reign is going to end when the new sales figures come in, and corporate discovers that the dollars have dropped considerably since Michael left. Not only is he pirating clients — and the Dwight/Michael war was a gem — but the office itself just isn't running as smoothly." But the end of Charles was by no means a guarantee that Michael would win; in fact, he was in the middle of disaster, and I could see him crawling back to DM even as David Wallace was preparing a generous offer to buy him out.

But it's the genius of the show that it found a way for Michael to win while not only having him completely in character -- from the hardnosed negotiations to the loyalty to Ryan and Pam -- but having the others' character traits come into play as well: Charles's obtuseness about Dwight and Jim meant that David would not be listening to him, Dwight's bee madness and Jim-induced beets rant meant that Charles wouldn't listen to Dwight, Jim got back on game as an office-politics player. And, in the midst of that, we had things like Phyllis reminding David that he had set these events in motion, and Kelly's recreation of what she could hear through the glass.

The on-the-floor confessions at Michael Scott Paper. The Korean church van bits. The "balls" line. The way Charles turned into a suck-up the moment that David arrived. Michael's farewell to Charles. The "nothing" speech. Solid in every way, and setting up some intriguing things for the future; with Pam in sales, won't that put a competitive wedge between Pam and Jim?

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