S8:E1 Well, it’s certainly been a bit of time since you’ve had a The Office recap to read, hasn’t it? Indeed it has! Well, all things considering (like the fact that Steve Carell won’t be on this season and the fact that Steve Carell lost the Emmy for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series to someone named after what might as well be Duane Reade’s version of Vegemite), I’m pretty excited for what lies ahead of us this year and I think we’re going to get some good recaps out of it! Even though we’ve already had a few spoilers revealed to us about the upcoming season (which, hey, is now THIS SEASON!), I’ve got a feeling this is going to be an exciting adventure for everyone involved. That is, of course, unless you believe that Jim Parsons deserved the Emmy for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Things might get a little dicey if that becomes an issue. And not the good kind that can pass for okay if you just put it in a nice gold frame.
But I don’t mean to impose any divides so early in the game! Let’s focus instead on the material that unites us, like the greatness that was last night’s premiere episode. Things began rather quickly!
“He talked her out of her own job.” – Jim
We started with Jim, who explained that since we last saw him, he and Pam had conceived another baby… and it’s a boy this time. Angela also married her State Senator boyfriend and she is also expecting. But more importantly, you’re probably itching to know who the new manager is! Right, well, the search committee gave Robert California the job, but then on his first day he walked into the office and the atmosphere was too depressing for him and so he flew down to Florida and told Jo that he would be a better CEO than she would. And so Jo quit and made Robert California the CEO. And then ANDY BERNARD became the Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin Scranton. Everyone else that I didn’t mention spent the summer getting really good at planking.
“It’s just a list of our names split into two columns.” – Jim
Things got awkward, though, when Robert California was doing his routine walk around the office and looking for someone to talk to so he could judge them for what they said. He finally stopped at Erin’s desk, and then after reminding her that she should never start describing her day by saying that she woke up that morning, he was called into Andy’s office for a meeting. Erin noticed that Robert left his notebook at her desk and when she picked it up to go deliver it to him in Andy’s office, she saw that it was opened to a page that had the names of everyone in the entire office divided into two columns. So once Andy’s meeting was over with Robert, Erin brought the notebook to Andy and told him that he should ask Robert what each category meant. So Andy did as he was told and when he confronted Robert about why he divided the office in half, Robert said it was just his way of doodling, like the way Jonah Hill’s character in Superbad used to uncontrollably draw penises.
“I guess they are losers.” – Robert California
Andy was convinced that the list was harmless until Robert California announced that he would be taking some people out to lunch (that included Dwight, Jim, Creed, Toby, Phyllis, Darrel, Angela, Kevin, and Oscar) and that everyone whose name he did not call was not invited. At the lunch, Dwight got Robert to admit that everyone sitting at the table with him was someone he respected and that everyone back at the office was someone who he considered a loser. This, of course, did not sit very well with Jim, or Toby (who hilariously got up from the table and said Robert had made a mistake in confusing him for a winner). While the winners were out eating a fancy meal, Andy was pressured into doing something special for lunch as well and so he ordered pizza, and Ryan complained that the crust was too sharp. But when the “winners” came back from work, it somehow got out that the people Robert took out to lunch were the employees he had high regard for, and that everyone who was at Andy’s pizza party wasn’t worthy of Robert’s attention or praise. This did not sit well with Andy because he considered all of his employees to be winners and so he barged into Robert’s office (which was the conference room) and confronted the CEO for a second time about his list with the two columns. Robert then addressed everyone in the office publicly and admitted that yes, the people who he ate with were people he admired and those who were not invited were people he did not admire. He closed his statement with asking the group he ate with to prove his assumptions about them right and then told the group that stayed in the office for lunch to prove his assumptions about them wrong. But the entire exchange seemed very wrong to Regional Manager Andy, who then barged back into Robert’s office for a third time and sat down and showed Robert that not one person in the office was a loser by going through each and every one of them and informing him of their strengths. For example, he claimed that Robert wrongly assumed Pam was a loser because she was, in fact, kind and the most creative person in the office. Andy also argued that Meredith wasn’t a loser because she was the best customer representative and she never takes no for an answer. In the end, everyone high-fived Andy on their way out for defending them and Jim made his own list on a piece of paper that had “Pam,” “Cece” (their daughter) and “new baby” written in one column and then had “everyone else” written in the other column. And Pam cried about it because it was sweet and she was so mega pregnant.