Tori’s Review: Dunder Mifflin Infinity

This week on The Office, new collided with old, and small business was knocked down by mockups, thumbnails, and splash frames. Oh, and Michael drove his car into a BLEEPing lake.

Dunder Mifflin is transforming into Dunder Mifflin Infinity and with it, came Ryan’s return to Scranton. Michael had high hopes for Ryan from the minute he walked through Dunder Mifflin’s doors. He dreamed of mentoring him, hanging out on the weekends, and if we are being totally honest here, kissing him full on the lips — just once.

But this week, as Kelly so perfectly named him, “Fancy New Whatever” moved those hopes and dreams to the recycle bin. Ryan came to town with a beard and a plan: to sleep with Pam and put this paper company on the Internet.

There are a couple of things wrong with Michael: 1) he is crazy, and 2) he doesn’t like change. In his mind, the Internet isn’t for business; it’s for WebMD and sending a video of a monkey peeing in its own face.

But once again this week, we also got a small glimpse as to why Michael is a terrible boss, but a great salesman. He knew details about former clients’ lives that a big business website would never know. Of course, he negated the positive by rubbing lake sludge onto their leather furniture, but that goes back to the crazy part.

Ryan never made a sale while he was in Scranton, but his broader business sense shows he has potential to be a good boss. He made it through an entire presentation without referencing Tom Hanks or insulting anyone in the room. Impressive. Now if he would stop trying to sleep with every woman in the office, we’d be in business.

While Michael and Ryan were fighting to mark their territory, Jim and Pam were busy being so freaking adorable I want to carry them around in my pocket. The kiss, the lunch, the high-five — everything. I know there’s concern now that they are together they will lose the tension and chemistry. I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but I could watch them all day — like puppies in a store window. Toby, however, has lost some of his charm.

Now that Jim and Pam can finally be cute, it looks like Angela and Dwight will be sacrificed — at least for now. When most boyfriends do something stupid like commit pet homicide, they give flowers; Dwight gave Angela a squirmy barn-cat named “Garbage.” I hope Dwight can turn this around and eventually melt his cold “Monkey.” It was sweet to see him so upset over their break-up — and her adequate accounting skills.

Michael seems less scared of Jan these days. I enjoyed that he confided in her — until she taught him a new word. Michael’s idea of fighting ageism is to insult the Dunder of Dunder Mifflin and then endanger his life. I’ll admit, it was still a better course of action than Creed turning into Fancy New Crazy-Old-Guy.

Michael’s disdain of computers and inability to change only resulted in seven rejections from former clients, pockets filled with lake algae, and probably a restraining order from Stone, Cooper & Grandy. Gift baskets are only good for Easter … and the Emmys.

I think after Michael goes home, takes a nice hot shower, and maybe has a heart-to-heart with Harvey, he’ll come around to realize that if he and Ryan can find a middle ground, they might finally get along after all.

I’m not holding my breath for that kiss.

Tori Weber is a Web Producer and writer for a television news station in Orlando, FL. Writing keeps her sane, and ice cream makes her happy. Dogs are good too. Visit her here.

44 comments

  1. The thing I love is that whole “Is the magic gone?” conversation between Jim and Pam…A clear tease of the fans from the writers, and an answer to all the fans’ conversations about whether having Jim and Pam together is too much of a good thing. (Which, by the way, it’s not.)

    :)

  2. The episode was no doubt complex. Greg Daniels consistently and expertly produced episodes that contain multiple plots, but can still be watched individually and enjoyed by people that have never seen an episode (as with several of my friends this week). That is genius!
    I felt that Michael was most endearing this week, I rooted for him and reveled in his small victories agianst the “Temp” (exp.-“this is still my office”). Michael is also undergoing a transformation, as much of as a kid as he is, many things in his life are beginning to ground him.

  3. Excellent Review!! Also did anyone notice that when Michael said that the printers were out of ink because Creed used it to dye his hair, I didn’t notice till the second time I watched it. It also seemed to me that Dwight and Michael did a background check on the man from Stone, Cooper & Grandy, but I could be wrong.

  4. Wonderful review! I think that Fancy-New-Crazy-Old-Guy, is by far the best description of Creed I have ever heard, however, for Ryan, but I am partial to Kevin’s: “Bearded-Little-Old-Man-Boy.”

    Is it wrong to admit that if Michael came to me, asking me to come back to Dunder Mifflin with a gift basket of Peanut Brittle, that I most definitely would?

  5. I just need one thing to be mentioned. When they went into the lake, Michael opened the door for the cameraman. How cool is that?
    Ok, one more thing, I love Pam and Jim and I am not worried at all about their chemistry. It has doubled, if anything.
    I’m still, however, unsure about Pam’s new appearance. I see a little more Jenna Fischer in her than I’d like.

  6. “There are a couple of things wrong with Michael: 1) he is crazy, and 2) he doesn’t like change. In his mind, the Internet isn’t for business; it’s for WebMD and sending a video of a monkey peeing in its own face.”

    This made me laugh hard. You managed to wrap Michael up in so few words. Awesome job.

    I am completely with you on the Jim and Pam front, Tori. I, too, could watch them all day. It is awesome to finally see them so happy together.

    Thanks for the re-cap, Tori. Great job, as always. :)

  7. Great review, Tori! I agree, I could watch Happy Jam all day long. Even the worst Office is better than most other television. I may be simple, but I like every episode and LOVE most of them.

  8. Great review for a great episode. My favorite part was when Ryan arrived in the office and everyone is calling him the fire guy, so Andy walks up joins in on the fun, only to be told by Kevin that he “wasn’t there.” Hilarious. Speaking of Kevin, does anyone else like that he is getting a lot more face time? Of course, it helps that episodes are an hour long these days.

  9. Once again, an excellent review from Tori. I think that this is going to be a great season. And I agree, I cannot get enough of Jim and Pam. They are so adorable!

  10. Yeah. Toby has kind of lost his charm to me too. He was so annoying and kind of creepy. I alwaya thought he was kind of like a sad little puppy, but now I’m just annoyed at him. I mean, come on! Where was the whole “Toby! Yeah”-thing? I miss it.

  11. After a heart-to-heart with Harvey! Ha ha ha! Tori, I love reading your reviews every week–thanks for writing these!

  12. I never really considered it before, but Michael’s salesmanship, combined with Ryan’s potential for good leadership…might just be the perfect beast.

    And that, my friends, is a horrifying thought.

  13. Great review, Tori! Love your contrast of Michael and Ryan, and your observation that there seems to only be a finite amount of happiness to go around in Office-land. I’m with you on Jim and Pam (too adorable!), but my heart broke for Dwight when he was channeling his grief over Angela during the gift basket mission. As with Matt (#3), I empathized with Michael in his struggles to resist change (surely most of us have felt the same way too, at some point?). I think the episode played this down a little, but I really felt bad for Pam when it seemed to turn out that Ryan was praising her graphic design skills just to get on a date with her; she was so excited about it, and Jim was so happy for her. Or did I read this wrong and Ryan really did want Pam to come up with a logo for DMI? Also noticed upon second viewing that Michael opened the door to let the cameraman out at the end of the driving-into-the-lake sequence; props to the show for its attention to detail! Again, wonderful review, and thanks for the hard work in putting it together!

  14. What a great review! I didn’t comment on the episode yet b/c we only just got to watch it late last night. We loved it ~ nary a complaint! Definitely heavily saturated w/ the standard painfully awkward Office moments.

  15. Excellent review Tori. Upon a second viewing, I’m positive Michael drove into the lake on purpose and not like a complete buffoon. He clearly said to Dwight, “It knows the way Dwight!” as in making sure Dwight understood what he was going to do. After he drove into the lake however, I believe he woke up from his rage and realized what he did. What made me laugh more was the fact that the cameraman started freaking out as you can clearly tell by the movements during that scene.

    And Jim made me laugh so much in this episode. I do believe Jim has finally “come back” in that he is feeling comfortable. It was nice for him to see what he could have become had he accepted the job… like Spiderman’s reaction to Venom and realizing what he would have become had he not gotten rid of the symbiote.

  16. Great review! There was only one thing missing though, the fact that the camera guy did a fantastic job of filming while being stuck in the back seat of a sinking car. For me that was the most impressive part of the episode! Go and re-watch the episode if you didn’t catch that whole sequence the first time. It’s genius.

  17. I agree, that was a really great review. I always look for episode reviews after they air (TV Guide, EW, etc…) but it’s always the coolest to read reviews by someone who’s really into the show and gets all the intricacies and subtle references. This one was spot on as far as I’m concerned! I think once people with intitally ambivalent reactions to this episode may lighten up a bit towards it after repeat viewings. I thought there was so much greatness to it, and a little absurdity at the end shouldn’t subtract from that fact. Bottom line is- it was freakin’ funny.

  18. Harvey! Of course, he’d just be talking to himself… he’ll love it. ;)

    I think some tension is brewing between Jim and Ryan (not because of Pam, though I did I love the “not any girl” line).

Comments are closed.