Episode Four (The Office series 1)

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"Episode Four"
The Office episode
Episode no. Series 1
Episode 4
Original air date July 30, 2001
Episode chronology
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"Episode Three"
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"Episode Five"

Episode Four is the fourth episode of the first series of The Office. "Training" is an alternative title for the episode. It was originally broadcast on 30 July 2001. The DVD extras for the series reveal this to be the favourite episode of almost the entire cast.

Synopsis[edit]

It is staff training day at Wernham Hogg, and an outside facilitator, Rowan (played by Vincent Franklin), has come in to educate the Slough branch about customer care. David, naturally, is determined to undermine him at every opportunity by offering unhelpful suggestions and needless interruptions. Meanwhile, Dawn and her fiancé Lee are having trouble in their relationship.

During the day-long training session, frustration builds for all, including Rowan and Tim, who grows mildly annoyed and bemused. The "training" begins with an educational video espousing the core values and benefits of good customer service. Peter Purves makes a cameo appearance in the video, playing himself. Roleplay is next on the agenda and the chosen scenario is Rowan playing an uninterested hotel manager and David a disgruntled guest. Unsurprisingly - this being Wernham Hogg - it all goes pear shaped.

Trust, ambitions and motivation are all briefly discussed before the conversation digresses to David's songwriting. Brent breaks into song, singing self-penned titles such as "Spaceman" and "Freelove Freeway". The latter song proves to be a quite a hit among the employees especially Gareth who eventually sings along after encouragement by Tim and earlier in the song Gareth tries to encourage the employees by saying "everyone" to no avail. He also comforts Dawn with a composition about Princess Diana, contending that the lyrics have specific application to her present tiff with Lee. Somewhat aghast, Dawn masks her disgust by thanking David anyway, which encourages him to break into "Every Breath You Take".

Meanwhile, unbeknown to Tim, Dawn and Lee reconcile their differences and appear to return their relationship to normal. After more team building exercises fall on deaf ears, Rowan finally loses patience with Brent and his constant interjections, with the fatal one being this fable about a dog who dropped his bone in a lake, thinking the reflection of himself was another dog and that his bone looked better than his, only to lose it in the water when he opened his mouth. He ends the training session abruptly. Tim, equally frustrated with the situation and the futility of his job at Wernham Hogg, very publicly quits while lambasting Gareth. Before he goes, he publicly asks Dawn to accompany him for a drink, now that she is single. Quietly, she informs him that she has made-up with Lee, and Tim attempts to play the entire request off as a friendly offer. In this episode Gareth is asked what his fantasy is and he reveals that it is "two lesbians probably... sisters... I'm just watching;" the next-in-line Tim expresses his amazement that he wants to "hear more from Gareth."

Freelove Freeway[edit]

During the employee training seminar, Brent's singing/songwriting in the rock band Foregone Conclusion years ago becomes the focus

External links[edit]