I could relate to a lot in this episode. For starters, I frequently run my space heater and fan at the same time, at top speed. Don’ t judge me. What can I say? I’m hot-headed, and I’ve got cold feet! Ba-dum-bum-shhhh. Also, I’m not naming any names or companies, but let’s just say I have personally witnessed social media bandwagonry and what we’ll call “marketing without substance.” But the part about lacking motivation to work and the boss trying to convince you that you don’t do it just for the money? Nope. Don’t know anything about that. Definitely not.
/whistles nonchalantly and walks away with hands in pockets
Aaaaaannnnyyyhoo, so, Ryan has come up with WUPHF.com, a service that harasses you at all communication points when someone wants to send you a message – so, basically, what Facebook will be in about six months. He’s convinced most of his Dunder Mifflin coworkers to invest, and now he’s got enough cash for nine days and a strategy that amounts to “throw WUPHF-branded condoms out of a helicopter during spring break.” Michael is the prime patsy, of course, and is starting to plan for an investor ski weekend before he finds out that the company is broke and everyone wants their money back.
Meanwhile, Dwight has opened “HayPlace” in the parking lot, where he is rectifying a childhood injustice of not being named “Hay King” while Angela finds a new man right under his nose (Hey HRG! Good to see you on another floundering NBC show!) Other than finally seeing the Dwight/Angela storyline go somewhere, this plotline was pretty uneventful. Meanwhile, back in the Dunder Mifflin offices, Michael begins his sales pitch to the office
Michael: “SEX! Now that I have your attention….”
Stanley: “You don’t have our attention.”
Stanley, perking up: “I’m listening.”
Kevin: “You had me at sex.”
In early seasons, this would’ve been a pretty standard, high-humor exchange, but given where The Office is these days, this was downright milk-out-of-your-nose funny. It turns out, Stanley is already an investor, because he has a dream to live isolated at the top of an abandoned lighthouse (yet another thing I can relate to in this episode) that will then go into space (you lost me there).
Blah blah blah – Ryan’s a douche, Dwight’s a psychopath. Michaels’ an idiot. Blah blah blah. The investors meet and decide they want to sell, and Andy turns out to be surprisingly business savvy – maybe it’s that college degree (Where did he go to school again?) But as the majority investor, Michael refuses to sell, saying, “I’d rather go broke betting on my people.” It’s another one of those great, albeit brief, redemptive glimpses into Michael’s psyche.
In any event, it made me want to see something good happen to Michael – and I was even secretly hoping that WUPHF would be come a huge success, even if it meant success for weasely Ryan, if only to see Michael’s faith in people rewarded. Sadly, no. They sell, but Michael leaves us with a great, classic Office monologue:
The world sends people your way. Ryan came to me through a temp agency. Andy was transferred here. No idea where Creed came from. The point is you just have to play with the cards that you’re dealt. Jim – that guy is an ace. Dwight is my king up my sleeve. Phyllis is my old maid. Oscar is my queen. That’s easy. Give me a hard one – that’s what Oscar said. Toby is the instruction card you throw away. Pam is a solid seven. And yeah, you know what? Ryan is probably, like, a two. But sometimes twos can be wild, so watch out. And I am obviously the joker.
I thought we were going to see another callback to The Office’s good old days with an awesome Jim prank at the end – he had been cutting dialogue from Jo Bennett’s biography-on-tape, and I thought he was going to find a way to get his hard-earned commission from Gabe and Sabre. Disappointingly, it was just a prank on Gabe, and a pretty mild one at that, though I guess I can’t fault the writers for not wanting to turn Jim into an embezzler. I do wonder though if Jim might’ve found in Gabe a new target for his pranks … it wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying as sticking it to Dwight (that’s what she said?), and Gabe’s a pretty sympathetic (but still annoying) character, so it might not work. But, Office writers? A change (a change) would do you… would do you good (A change would do you good)