Jam stays at a romantic b&b with a quirky proprietor. Dwight practices for his Wookie recital. Jan spends Michael into the poorhouse. Michael becomes the Jim of the telemarketing world. Scrantonicity goes up in flames while Scrantonicity II rises from the ashes. And Stanley gets a mysterious call at home from a stranger.
Episode 404 - Money
Michael has serious money issues in this episode. Jan’s doing some redecorating back at the condo. Michael, being the proactive leader he is, starts a moonlighting career as a telemarketer selling diet pills. Michael is Mr. Popular at the new office and everyone loves him. He even mocks the boss, and Michael – now funny, charming and subversive – transforms, almost, into Jim.
The following morning, he dazzles Dunder Mifflin with his PowerPoint presentation and Ryan forces him to quit, or lose his DM job. We even get some confusing grammar lessons with Ryan saying he really wants Michael to be able to explain PowerPoint “to whomever,” setting the office abuzz with the proper usage of whomever. Does anyone really know this? I think Creed had it right when he states that it’s a word made up to screw with school kids. I’m still not sure I know when or how to use the word correctly.
We also learn that much like Pam's art show, no one from the office showed up to Kevin's new band - Scrantonicity II - as they rocked out the best Sting/Copeland/Summers covers in Northeast Pennsylvania. He pouts like a kid and, sadly, we don't feel nearly as sympathetic as we did when Pam's show went off with only Roy and Michael showing up.
Dwight answers his desk phone in German and we meet a new Dwight Schrute – the proprietor of Schrute Farms agrotourism b&b. Money problems or putting Angela behind him – we don’t know the reason for this new venture of Dwight’s, but it’s bound to be a success since Mose is on board as well! Jim and Pam immediately book a night with the intriguing Trip Advisor description and Mose greets them at the gate to the farm by running alongside them like a happy puppy as they drive up to the house.
Pam opts for the Irrigation Room. (How could she not?) We learn the farm is now wireless due to that rascal Mose hiding all the wires. They help make beet wine and Jim muses about how he imagined their first trip with slightly less manure while Mose flings some at Dwight…Those wacky kids. Dwight lulls Jam to sleep with some killer Harry Potter bedtime stories while Mose appears to be near-catatonic in his Jurassic Park jammies. Pam explores some crazy knocking, but finds it’s only Mose in the outhouse and asks the camera, “Oh my God, what century is this?!” Later, Jim responds to Dwight's wails and finds him rocking in his room clutching Angela's cherub figure he'd denied having. Homeboy needs to get over her!
Kelly uses Daryl to make Ryan jealous, but Daryl tells her to put her crazy in check after she pulls a psycho move where she throws a bunch of files on the ground. He puts her in check with a cool, “Slow down. Think it over.” Kelly ponders aloud, “Who says exactly what they’re thinking? What kind of game is that?” Daryl rocks.
Creed gives Michael some money tips on declaring bankruptcy which leads Michael to literally just…declare bankruptcy by yelling it out. It’s insanely unlikely, but funny as hell. Oscar offers legitimate help and we find Michael is equally – if not more – responsible for his money concerns with multiple magic sets and professional bass fishing equipment. But rather than face Jan’s scorn, Michael makes like a hobo and heads for the rails.
Andy recycles Garbage (the cat) and gives it to Angela. She’s won over and agrees to go out to dinner with him… “Nothing fancy or foreign. No bars, no patios, no vegetables. And no seafood.” How does a vegetarian survive with no veggies? And how did she and the beet farming, hunting, animal-indifferent Dwight ever find common ground? Love is a mystery.
After witnessing a melancholy rendition of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” on Dwight’s recorder, Jim and Pam leave a stellar Trip Advisor customer review of Schrute Farms. “Table making never seemed so possible. You will never want to leave your room. The architecture reminds one of a quaint Tuscan beet farm.” Of course, an actual listing exists for Schrute Farms on Trip Advisor. Have some fun with your own review!
Alas, it does little to lift his spirits, and he retreats to the stairwell to belt out a little Wookie rehearsal. Jim goes to his aid and offers a heartfelt confession of why he left for Stamford. Dwight reaches out for a hug, but Jim’s already gone…off to smooch Pam and ask her about dinner. We learn he really loves Italian food…a lot!
Jan chucks her keys at Oscar, apparently now a valet, and chases after Michael. We get an artsy shot of them sitting on the freight car – a train that’s going nowhere – while Jan, in a rare show of humanity, offers to help Michael through it. Happily for Michael, she agrees not to ditch her implants.
We’ve seen the first sign that Michael is on the road to recovery with that request!
Bonus: Check out the deleted scenes. My fave, Pam and Jim meet Mose.