Ready…set…DIE (laughing)! Tonight’s episode “Threat Level Midnight” was the level of comedy we have been wanting for quite a while. Everyone (seriously everyone—even former cast members) had a chance to shine in the long-awaited screening of Michael’s action-spy thriller. The Michael Scarn action hero persona goes all the way back to season two, when Jim and Pam discovered a script in Michael’s desk and the office crew stuck around late one night to do a table read. And it has been referenced to varying degrees over the past few years. Therefore, what better way to prepare a send-off for Michael Scott than to finally get to see his masterpiece? I am not sure who got a bigger kick out of it: the cast or me!
Erin announced to the office that Michael had finally finished his movie. According to Michael, it took some time to make his dream come true: “After three years of writing, one year of shooting, four years of re-shooting and two years of editing, I have finally completed my movie.” Pam and Jim are beyond excited, as this truly is the great lost film of Michael Scott and is practically a home movie for the office gang since they filmed various scenes years ago. They all decide to try to keep a straight face while watching, since Michael gets upset when they laugh. Threat Level Midnight is serious business.
And then we were treated to lengthy footage from this amazingly cliché-filled action film masterpiece. Threat Level Midnight—a true brainchild of its creator—was brimming with hilarious details. There are far too many moments to cover, not to mention the general cheesiness of the acting, music and special effects. But here is a running list of some of the highlights (I encourage you to add others in the comments):
- Michael Scarn’s opening shoot-out with the security guard
- Stanley as the narrator = perfect choice
- Realtor Carol’s face appearing in front of the Scarn Manor (Michael’s ex-girlfriend and realtor)
- Michael Scarn’s dead wife—Catherine Zeta Scarn
- Dwight’s quasi robot butler
- Daryl as the black President of the United States; which he had only agreed to do years ago so his daughter could see a black president…”what a waste of time.”
- Jim’s face painted with the villain’s “Goldenface” make-up, and his so-called evil laugh
- Heads or tails…best out of 7. That certainly builds the tension…
- “Cleanup on aisle 5”—one of Scarn’s catchphrases
- The classic Karate Kid training montage so that Scarn can learn hockey. (Also reminiscent of Team America’s montage song).
- Creed as Michael’s sensei, “Cherokee Jack”
- The speed-skating shoot-out between Goldenface and Scarn, featuring Oscar and Jim in skater unitards.
- Jan!!!! As if it isn’t enough just to have Jan in a scene, she played a jazz singer named Jasmine Windsong at The Funky Cat. I actually think that Jasmine Windsong is pretty darn close to the Jan Levinson we know and love/loathe. And that is exactly why present-day Jan is so flustered opening her car door.
- Toby’s head getting blown off, shown many, many times in a row. This completely reminded me of another classic Team America scene…Alec Baldwin’s head getting blown off, shown multiple times.
- “Hey Goldenface, go Puck yourself”
- Even Pam’s mom Helene got talked into playing the sexy nurse!
- “Beer me, Billy” (Scarn to Andy the bartender). Plus the fact that Andy still remembers his lines and mouths them while watching.
- “Ever banged an entire bachelorette party?” (Karen with the other ‘bachelorettes’ in the bar…Phyllis, Angela, Meredith).
- We got to see a new dance “The Scarn” performed by the “bachelorettes” and warehouse workers.
- Andy’s amazing closing credits song, Will Smith style, featuring lyrics such as: “Threat level what? Midnight!” Threat level who? Michael Scarn!”
Interesting that this was by far one of the finest episodes of this show in recent memory, and yet all our characters were playing other characters. But, what truly made it great was that we got to see their unique personalities and quirks shine through even more in their ridiculous roles. The oddest part of the whole episode (and I don’t even mean the movie, which SHOULD be entered into festivals…or carnivals) was the fact that Holly was just not digging the movie. Really??? That seemed very against character for Holly, who loves quirky humor and Michael’s creative projects. I guess they had to have their mismatch moment so they could kiss and make-up?
Ultimately, this was a fantasy episode not only because the movie within the show was a dream-like creation, but because next week we will probably be back to reality. I just wish Michael Scarn’s next assignment from the President would be to save the integrity of The Office…or put it out of its misery.