The Meeting (The Office)

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"The Meeting"
The Office episode
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 2
Directed by Randall Einhorn
Written by Aaron Shure
Production code 602
Original air date September 24, 2009
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Gossip"
Next →
"The Promotion"
List of The Office (U.S. TV series) episodes

"The Meeting" is the second episode of the sixth season of the American comedy television series The Office, and the 102nd overall episode of the series. It originally aired on NBC in the United States and simultaneously on CTV in Canada on September 24, 2009.

The series—presented as if it were a real documentary—depicts the everyday lives of office employees in the Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. In the episode, Michael plots to sabotage Jim's plans after Jim and David Wallace have a secret meeting without him. In the end, Jim is promoted to co-manager. Meanwhile, Dwight and Toby become suspicious of an injury Darryl supposedly got at work, and Pam tries to get RSVPs from the office for her wedding to Jim.

The episode was written by Aaron Shure and directed by Randall Einhorn. According to Nielsen ratings, "The Meeting" was seen by 7.33 million U.S. households during its original broadcast, a drop from the previous week's season premiere episode, "Gossip". The episode received mixed reviews, with some commentators claiming it focused too much on plot development rather than humor.[1][2][3]

Synopsis[edit]

Michael (Steve Carell) becomes nervous when Jim (John Krasinski) has a suspicious meeting with CFO David Wallace (Andy Buckley). He constantly tries to intrude into the meeting, with his last method being sneaked into the meeting in a cheese cart made by Andy (Ed Helms). David asks to see Michael after finishing up with Jim, and David tells him that Jim had an idea to make the branch's workload more feasible as the Scranton branch had taken a set of clients in the wake of the Buffalo branch's shutdown, an idea that included Jim being promoted to Regional Manager. Michael, not wanting Jim to leave, tells David that Jim wouldn't be suitable for that position by showing David a file on how much Jim slacks off. However, David mentions that Jim suggested that, in addition to his own promotion, Michael also be promoted to oversee all Northeast sales, but if Michael would not take the promotion, then Jim would accept a job offer somewhere else. Michael is surprised, but David asks Jim to walk him to his car, where he tells him that he has changed his mind without explaining why. Michael, watching Jim and David from his window, notices a downtrodden Jim and says to the camera that he feels "partially responsible".

Meanwhile, Darryl (Craig Robinson), wearing a green football jersey, is talking to Toby (Paul Lieberstein) about how he fell off a ladder trying to reach a particular item and broke his leg when the ladder fell on him and wants to put in a claim for workers' comp. Dwight (Rainn Wilson) overhears him and tells Toby that there's no way that could have happened. When they go to the warehouse to see where it happened, they see that the ladder he would have used to get what he wanted is too short to reach the top shelf, and Toby starts to believe that Dwight may be right. Dwight and Toby stake out Darryl's house where they share a nice moment before finding someone wearing a green football jersey carrying a big bag of dog food without crutches. Thinking that person is Darryl, they drive to the house and Toby shouts an obscenity, but they see that the person is not Darryl and the real Darryl comes out, still on crutches. They try to flee the scene, but crash into Darryl's trashcans on the street. Dwight and Toby drive back to the office where Darryl confronts them, angry at the fact that Toby shouted at his sister, the other person with the green jersey, and threatens to file complaints on both of them. (Darryl's jersey is #94 and a lighter shade of green; his sister's jersey is #12 and a darker shade of green.) Dwight and Toby go back to the warehouse to apologize, where Dwight sees that employees are misusing a lift as an elevator and a railing at the top of the stairs was replaced, leading Dwight to believe that Darryl misused a lift. Darryl admits this and Dwight decides to complain about Darryl's falsified complaint. Darryl retorts by deciding to complain about sexual harassment against his sister. Toby tries to convince them that they should let it slide rather than drown in paperwork. Later, Toby, with a bruised forehead, is shown writing up both complaints.

Pam (Jenna Fischer) is trying to get her co-workers to RSVP that they can't attend her and Jim's upcoming wedding, as their plan--scheduling the wedding on a weekend in Niagara Falls so that people in Scranton wouldn't be able to attend and get back in time for work on Monday--was torpedoed when Michael closed down the office on the Friday before AND Monday after the ceremony was scheduled. Kelly (Mindy Kaling) says she will only go if Ryan (B. J. Novak) goes, because she wants to support Jim. Ryan says he will go so Pam checks off both Ryan and Kelly. Meredith (Kate Flannery) asks Pam to send her directions via text message on the morning of the wedding. Additionally, Meredith says she wants the fanciest meal there, unless there are ribs. Pam and Angela (Angela Kinsey) comment on how unreasonable Meredith is being. However, as Pam sits down, moving a purse, Angela rudely notes she had put her purse on the chair.

Jim confronts Michael after coming back in, and Michael ultimately says that he believes Jim should be promoted. Jim asks Michael to call David back, and David is confused as to why Michael changed his mind after citing Jim's previous work ethic. When Jim hears this, he becomes upset that Michael would try to sabotage him. When Michael tries to apologize, David calls Michael back and asks to speak with both him and Jim. David proposes that Michael and Jim be co-managers of the Scranton branch, with Michael handling clients and Jim handling day-to-day operations. Michael and Jim accept the offer and announce it to the rest of the office, and Dwight is shown screaming in anger and astonishment.

Production[edit]

"The Meeting" was written by Aaron Shure and directed by Randall Einhorn. The episode included the promotion that established Jim as co-manager of the office along with Michael, which for a brief time drastically changed the hierarchy of the office.[4]

Cultural references[edit]

Michael said he would have to discuss a possible promotion with his consultant from H&R Block, a tax preparation company.[4] During an evaluation of Jim's work performance, Michael compares Jim to Big Bird, a character from the PBS children's show, Sesame Street.[5] While discussing Darryl's suspicious injury, Dwight says they are not living in Sweden, which he incorrectly describes as a communist country. In response, Darryl says the injury would not be a problem there due to Sweden's universal healthcare.[3] When Pam asks Ryan about coming to the wedding, Ryan can be seen reading the 2006 Tucker Max book, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.[6]

Reception[edit]

In its original American broadcast on September 24, 2009, "The Meeting" was seen by 7.33 million viewers. It received a 3.8 rating/10 share among viewers aged between 18 and 49.[7] It marked an almost 800,000-viewer drop from the previous week's premiere episode, "Gossip", which itself was seen by 18 percent less viewers than the fifth season premiere.[8] "The Meeting" received generally mixed reviews, with some commentators claiming it focused too much on plot development rather than humor.[1][2][3]

Entertainment Weekly writer Darren Franich called the episode "an instant classic". Franich said he was excited about the new co-manager plotline, and he particularly praised the cold open between Michael and Oscar, as well as the comedic chemistry between Dwight and Toby.[9] Tara Tanzos of The Express-Times said she was interested to see where the co-manager plot development went in future episodes. She particularly praised the scene in which Michael spies on Jim and Wallace from underneath the cheese cart.[5] Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club said "The Meeting" advanced the show's overall plot drastically with the Michael and Jim co-manager plot, but not at the expense of humor. He particularly praised the pairing of Dwight and Toby, the look of Darryl's sister and Dwight's scream of rage at the end of the episode.[10]

North by Northwestern writer Sarah Collins said the co-manager and wedding preparation stories were dull, despite advancing the show's plot. However, she said the Dwight and Toby subplot provided most of the episode's "high moments", and said Darryl's sister added more dimension to his character.[1] Dan Phillips of IGN said the episode was high on plot summary both low on laughs, which he said felt like a step back after an excellent sixth season premiere. Phillips said the biggest laughs came from the "outrageous cold opening".[2] Yvonne Villarreal of the Los Angeles Times called "The Meeting" a lackluster episode. She said it was more low-key than recent episodes, and that "when the office antics go on the back burner, so do the laughs".[4] Caitlin Fairchild of The Flat Hat said the episode was "not that funny", mainly because of the focus on "actual plot developments rather than ridiculous antics".[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Collins, Sarah (2009-09-26). "The Office: "The Meeting"". North by Northwestern. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  2. ^ a b c Phillips, Dan (2009-09-25). "The Office: The Meeting" Review". IGN. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  3. ^ a b c d Fairchild, Caitlin (2009-09-26). "The Office: Swedish communism". The Flat Hat (Williamsburg, Virginia). Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  4. ^ a b c Villarreal, Yvonne (2009-09-25). ""The Office": Where did the funny go?". Los Angeles, California. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  5. ^ a b Tanzos, Tara (2009-09-26). ""The Office" stays behind closed doors in "The Meeting"". The Express-Times (Easton, Pennsylvania). Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  6. ^ "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell on NBC's The Office". Dagoosh. 2009-09-25. Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  7. ^ Seidman, Robert (2009-09-25). "Updated TV Ratings Thursday: FlashFoward flashes brightly, Grey's annihilates CSI, The Mentalist". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  8. ^ Gorman, Bill (2009-09-18). "TV Ratings Thursday: Strong: Bones; Weak: Parks, Office, Survivor; Good Start: Community". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  9. ^ Franich, Darren (2009-09-25). ""The Office" recap: Movin' on up". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  10. ^ Rabin, Nathan (2009-09-24). "The Office: "The Meeting"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2009-10-29. 

External links[edit]