I must admit that when I saw the description for tonight’s episode on the DVR, I was skeptical. Let’s face it, The Office has been extremely hit-and-miss lately, and I figured it would be asking too much to have two solid back-to-back episodes. I am happy to WUPHF that tonight’s episode, aptly titled “WUPHF,” was positioned for success (unlike Ryan’s business plan).
We have heard Ryan mention his side Internet business a few times in the past year or so, but this episode brought it to the forefront. It turns out he already convinced a few coworkers to become investors in WUPHF—a social media synthesizer that, actually, makes just a little too much sense. Imagine just updating one status and having every single piece of technology you own buzz, ping, alert etc. as the message is posted, tweeted, synched etc. Yeah—sounds both amazingly convenient and sadly real for our over-reliance on self-promotion technology (said the girl writing this blog for you all to read my thoughts!). Anyways, Michael dreamed of the promised investor ski trip, Pam dreamed of a dining room set, and Stanley actually had a strangely imaginative dream of living at the top of a lighthouse with a button that can blast it into space. Kelly, on the other hand, wanted everyone to know that WUPHF was actually her idea.
When the office investors learn that Ryan is about to run out of money (and thus lose their money) they encourage him to sell out now. The buyer only wants the domain name, but still—it’s an opportunity to get their money back. The roadblock to this plan, as you would expect, is Michael and his one-sided bromance with Ryan. Pam actually has a quiet and honest conversation with Michael to explain to him that Ryan abuses Michael’s devotion. Michael then admits to everyone that he knows what Ryan’s flaw are, but that he also has faith in him and his creativity. I, for one, appreciated this moment for Michael’s character—this is when Steve Carell allows us to see that while Michael may be socially inept, he is capable of deeper understanding and awareness every now and then. I think this is why we all loved Michael with Holly, because we got to see more of that character balance when he was with her. Ultimately, Ryan WUPHFed that he decided to sell the business—and Michael (and everyone else) can breath a sigh of relief. I guess WUPHF was not in their deck of cards (and Michael certainly knows his deck of cards—he thinks of each person in the office as a different card in his deck of life).
Jim’s b-plot was probably one of the most intelligent and well-executed pranks in a long while—and it wasn’t even on Dwight. Fortunately for Jim, Gabe is a new worthy victim for his pranking skills, especially when Jim learns that he has hit his commission cap for the year and therefore has zero incentive to work. Unfortunately for Gabe, he is an easy target. After wandering aimlessly through the office, looking for something to do, Jim stays busy by cutting sound clips from CEO Jo’s obnoxious audio book. By the end of the episode, we are treated to the masterpiece: Jim calls Gabe and presses play, unleashing an edited string of comments “from Jo” telling Gabe to shut up and listen to her revised book chapters…and then the audio book starts playing for hours to come. Nice work, Jim, really nice work.
I could have done without Dwight’s Hay (or should it be “Pay”) Place. However, it served to be a useful meet-cute for Angela and a new suitor. Stone cold Angela did not understand his laughing and flirting at first, but by the end of the day she had warmed up to this man (a single father no less!) and felt good enough to return the baby-making contract to Dwight. Oh, and Kevin got lost in Dwight’s hay maze—surprise.
Now for a quick roll in the hay to look for some needles:
- The cold open where the office tries to figure out the server password that was set-up 8 years ago by one of the IT guys…Glasses, Turbin, Ear Hair, Fatty etc. And the correct password? bigboobz
- When Ryan comes in that day solely to talk with more potential investors, Michael asks, “Don’t you work here every day?”
- Gabe: “Is this job really about the money for you, Jim? Isn’t this where you fell in love?” (When Jim complains he met his commission cap for the year already).
- “It’s not a digital rape whistle” (Ryan on WUPHF being fun, not a security device)
- Erin’s peeved looks at the camera whenever she sees Ryan’s flashy color posters from the office printer.
- Michael separating recycling into whites and colors.
- “Hey, kid, I hear you’re looking for work” (Creed to Jim, sketchy as always).
Did anyone else start to think that Michael would remain the sole investor in WUPHF and it would really take off and make him major money—allowing for him to leave the show on a wealthy high note? Also, was it strange that Jim was not involved in the investor talks for WUPHF (especially since he was bored AND since his money would be tied up in it too…assuming he and Pam share their money)?