The Office recap: “The Inner Circle”

By | May 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm | No comments | Audio/Video, TV/Movies | Tags: ,

The Office

We open on a sobbing Will Ferrell, trying desperately to hide a lifeless body wearing a Dundler Mifflin baseball cap.

I’m just kidding. But could you imagine?

We open on Deangelo, giving a speech to the entire crew. He is trying to sound like a tough boss while saying incredibly positive things. He tells Darryl that he will be getting a full ride to business school, which Darryl requested.

Deangelo interviews that does not want the employees to figure out who he is. He starts elaborating, and… makes a lot of sense, actually, saying he doesn’t want people to figure him out enough to say things just because they know he wants to hear them.

Back in the meeting, Deangelo is still trying to sound strict. He explains that his office policy is “I don’t care what your favorite flavor is, here is a bowl of ice cream.” That is also not a metaphor, because there will now be Ice Cream Thursdays. Erin is elated at this news. Kevin says he is excited about these changes. Deangelo glares at him. Kevin continues, saying he “could see why some people may not be happy about them.” Deangelo stares. Kevin says, “I’m confused. I don’t know what to think,” sinking into his chair. Deangelo interviews with uneasiness and shock that Kevin has him pegged.

Credits- a new opening sequence!

Pam recommends her friend Carla as Deangelo’s executive assistant, then goes back into her chair and complains to Jim that Deangelo hates her. Jim says he doesn’t hate her, but Pam is weird and nervous around him, and there is discussion on whether or not there is “an inner circle.” (Andy says yes, Jim says no. Kevin says yes and no- he is in the inner circle, which requires him to deny there is an inner circle.)

Dwight is cold and uninterested in anything Deangelo-related. Deangelo says he can relate, because he is the exact same way to his son. Deangelo metaphorically talks about “sausage people” to Dwight, who points Deangelo to Oscar’s direction.

We learn Ryan has “heavily implied” that he is Kelly’s supervisor. Kelly is not happy, until Ryan manipulates her into playing along- which, of course, doesn’t take very long.

Deangelo and Dwight have a fight in the break room regarding whether or not Deangelo will win Dwight over.

While going over resumes, the inner circle chuckle over “juggling” being listed as a special skill. Deangelo gets angry, saying he is a juggler himself. He goes to prove it, but his “juggling equipment” was not in his car. Andy provides some balls, but Deangelo says he never juggles with another juggler’s instruments, and opts to perform his juggling routine to Evanescence-sans balls.

In the break room, Pam mocks him, and Angela accuses him of sexism. Andy says that, if Deangelo was sexist, he could totally tell, because he took “a crapload of Womens’ Studies courses” and wrote a Vagina Monologues-esque play entitled The Penis Apologies, which I would totally watch.

Angela makes her case, which causes them to decide he is, indeed, coming off as sexist, and needs to be confronted. Andy says, if he doesn’t stop, the girls will snip off his penis. No one agrees. He looks at them, awkwardly, and says “right, girls?”

Jim tries to speak to Deangelo regarding the accusations, but, within seconds, other members of the inner circle assume there is a meeting and start taking notes on legal pads. Jim awkwardly tells Deangelo what’s up. Kelly is on the phone, saying that Ryan will be meeting her and the mystery-phone-talker for dinner, and, no, he won’t be standing them up again. Ever again. Ryan is really miserable.

Deangelo addresses the staff, explaining that the office can not be effective if people think he is someone he is not… which is a direct contrast to his opening interview, but okay. He says he is not “a sexist,” and Andy looks none-too-convinced. Deangelo tells the employees to raise their hand if they have a vagina. He himself raises his hand- and is the only one to do so. He asks that they raise their hand if someone they love has a vagina. He raises a second hand, and all the men raise their hands except for Stanley. You would think it would be Oscar, but I guess they used up their gay joke quota with the sausage thing. Deangelo marvels at both of his hands being up. Some of the men put up both hands to look extra tolerant.

Phyllis confesses that, although she is a not a feminist, she believes that the men are given more opportunities with Deangelo. Deangelo asks Dwight for his take. This is what he says- “What is the argument here? NBA, WNBA. One is a sport, one is a joke. I love sports. I love jokes. Room for all.”

Deangelo marvels at his intelligence, and, for a split second, I thought he was going to tell Dwight that he’s “so wise, like a miniature Buddha covered in hair.” If you don’t get that reference, shame on you.

Erin walks in with a woman named Jordan Garfield. Pam says where she worked before Dundler Mufflin. “A law office…?” “No,” she interrupts, “Anthroplogie.” That’s not a place to be reckoned with, though. Could you imagine having to deal with rich hipsters all day? Kelly can not believe anyone would turn down a job at Anthropologie to work with them. I kind of agree. I can not fathom leaving an employee discount for Anthro. Their stuff is as amazing as it is overpriced. But I digress.

Ryan orders Kelly to stop and get back to work.

This is Jordan’s first office job, and first corporate job. I can tell by her perfectly tousled, wavy ombre hair we are supposed to find her attractive, but meh.

The inner circle is meeting again, and Andy gets a text that he is now a member. He is psyched. Jim does not want to go to the meeting, but Pam says Deangelo should at least like one half of the Jam team. Or is it Pim? I don’t read fanfiction.

Jim reluctantly goes into the meeting, sitting next to Jordan. Deangelo gives him a “what the fuck are you doing here” look and silently breaks up with him. Jim leaves, defeated. Dwight asks if he was dropped from the inner circle. Jim: “There is no-” Jim’s voice goes somber, mourning “-inner circle.” Come on, Jim. Cheer up. I believe Groucho Marx recapped this scene the best when he said: “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”

Jordan walks out of Deangelo’s office, telling Dwight that Deangelo told her to ask if he needs anything. Dwight looks at her for a split second, then yells directly at Deangelo, “tell your WHORE to leave me alone.” Will Ferrell makes one of those deadpan Will Ferrell faces.

Cut to a Jim deadpan face, of the bored variety. Andy is holding a meeting with Jim, Phyllis and Dwight about nothing important. Jim looks miserable, and then interviews miserably.

Ryan is yelling to Kelly in mid-fake fight, and Deangelo agrees with Ryan. Kelly plays along, and then gives up, telling Deangelo that Ryan is not her boss, and that he doesn’t have a real job. She compares him to Rango, and it’s lost on me, because I refused to see that movie. Will Ferrell, by the way, makes the best pause button faces. I paused this scene three times, and, every time, his face spoke a novel. Not in the way Jim Carrey’s face will pause button to look like he is having an aneurysm, though. That’s different.

Deangelo asks if this is true, and Ryan shrugs. “I didn’t see Rango.”

Deangelo says he is not sure if he can believe Kelly, because he likes Ryan, and “you seem kind of hysterical to me.” He means it in the mental health way, not midget-tripping-on-banana-peel way. (By the way, if that’s actually laugh out loud funny to you, please reconsider your sense of humor.) “Ryan’s your supervisor. Let’s just leave it that way.” Kelly protests, and Deangelo walks away. Ryan exhales, relieved, and reminds Kelly about dinner.

Pam interrupts an inner circle meeting because they are being extremely loud. Deangelo is giving all the men basketball lessons, and Darryl calls Deangelo his “brother.” He then interviews that Deangelo is paying for him to take Chinese lessons, so he will say anything Deangelo needs him to say. And, soon, he’ll be able to say it in Chinese.

Pam continues to complain, and Deangelo barely pretends to care. By the way, there is no correct place to note this, so I’ll just put it here: Deangelo is wearing a tie clip with an actual turquoise stone on it. Like some sort of mid-western lesbian business woman. Deangelo invites Jim to join the basketball game, and Jim challenges the inner circle to an exhibition, since there is a hoop downstairs. Deangelo agrees and the inner circle do that “hey-ooooooo” cheer that men do that I will never understand.

Angela does some incredible freeze frame acting, looking completely annoyed at everything and everyone. Dwight says he’ll pass, and calls the game a pissing contest. Deangelo snaps, “I’VE HAD ENOUGH. GET YOUR ASS DOWNSTAIRS, OR FIND A NEW PLACE TO SELL PAPER.” Dwight follows obediently. He interviews that he responds to strong leadership.

The inner circle members use painters’ tape on the warehouse floor to map out the basketball court. Deangelo has changed into sneakers and sweat shorts. He’s still business from the waist up, though, like a human mullet. The entire office is observing the game, and Deangelo asks Jordan to sit under the hoop. She refuses, and Kevin agrees. Angela and Oscar refuse to sit on Kevin’s lap.

Deangelo runs, throws the ball through the hoop, and holds on to the hoop as it falls under his weight onto the ground. Cut to the ambulence.

Cut to Deangelo walking into the office in a hospital gown, a bandage on his head, and an IV dragging from his bare feet.

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Mallory Katz

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