This episode was strange.
It was dark, but I don’t mind dark. “Money” was dark, and it is my favorite episode of Season 4. This was just a little strange.
“Night Out” begins with Ryan making a visit to the office to, once again, try and get the employees of Dunder Mifflin, Scranton, to embrace the website. The only people who have embraced it so far are not allowed to live near schools or playgrounds — or are named Creed.
Much like Jan, the pressure of corporate life has affected Ryan. He was hyper, paranoid, and let Michael make full-body contact with a hug. It also probably doesn’t help that he is now a coke head. Good job, intern.
I’m not sure why this character twist caught me so off guard. I know better than to ever think there is anywhere The Office won’t go. We have been laughing at Meredith’s alcoholism for 4 seasons. I am never above laughing at someone with a problem.
The difference is Meredith has always been presented to us as a drunk. She hid vodka in a Big Gulp, slept with the Captain of the Booze Cruise, and took her shirt off at the Christmas party. When we see her lick hand sanitizer to get a fix, it is awesome — not sad. (Okay, maybe a little sad.)
But with Ryan, we have watched him grow up. He started out as a little, wide-eyed, pompous, ass, and has now gone all “Bright Lights, Big City” on us. It is a little strange.
I can only hope this will eventually lead to a Michael Scott version of A&E’s Intervention. But, that’s the thing about Michael: he calls his mother from a nightclub, and he doesn’t understand The Wire. Ryan could act out the last scene in Scarface (I’m really dating myself now, aren’t I?), and Michael still wouldn’t get that he has a drug problem. Dwight might figure it out.
Drugs aside, in the long run, I think I am more worried for Jim than Ryan. When Michael and Dwight aren’t around; he completely loses his cool. It is like he needs them in his universe to stay balanced. And, now it is spreading to Pam.
What if Jim and Pam are only cool in comparison to Michael and Dwight? What if on their own they are both as awkward and weird just in different ways? If they ever leave Dunder Mifflin, they are going to have to keep Michael and Dwight chained in their basement so they aren’t total idiots. We might need two interventions.
As awkward as it was, when Pam hit Meredith in the face with the football, it was my one laugh-out-loud moment. (Maybe things are just funnier when they happen to Meredith?)
And now Jim has a reason to hate Toby just as much as Michael. Pam definitely has power over men. She caused one guy to cry and move to Connecticut, and another guy to throw himself over a fence and move to Costa Rica. All while wearing sensible shoes! Girl has got some super powers. Sorry, Toby.
Unlike Jan, Michael cannot be held responsible for Ryan’s downfall. As much as he may have wanted to, I’m pretty sure Michael never slept with Ryan. Ryan did this to himself. Michael may not be the smartest guy, but he has made it to 40-something without ever waking up next to Dwight, covered in cocaine sweat, in a 150 square foot apartment.
I’d like to think the overbearing mother on the other end of that cell phone had a hand in that.