|The Office episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||David Rogers|
|Written by||Anthony Q. Farrell|
|Original air date||October 30, 2008|
"Employee Transfer" is the sixth episode of the fifth season of the television series The Office, and the show's seventy-eighth episode overall. The episode aired in the United States on October 30, 2008 on NBC.
In this episode, Michael struggles with the fact that his girlfriend Holly is being transferred back to her old branch in Nashua, NH, after CFO David Wallace discovers their relationship. Meanwhile, Pam and Jim's two brothers play a prank on Jim, and Dwight irritates his romantic rival Andy by taking an interest in Andy's old school, Cornell University.
Pam (Jenna Fischer) is embarrassed when she is the only person at corporate wearing a costume on Halloween. Pam's costume is Charlie Chaplin, and cannot be removed since her mustache was applied with grease paint. In Scranton, Stanley (Leslie David Baker) wears a Creature from the Black Lagoon mask in order to sleep at work and not get caught while Creed (Creed Bratton), Kevin (Brian Baumgartner) and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) dress up as Heath Ledger's version of the Joker from The Dark Knight. Kelly (Mindy Kaling) dresses up as Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, and Ryan (B. J. Novak) tries to woo her. Ryan dresses as Gordon Gekko from the film Wall Street. Oscar (Oscar Nunez) dresses up like Uncle Sam, Meredith (Kate Flannery) is a cheerleader, Phyllis (Phyllis Smith) is Raggedy Ann, and Andy (Ed Helms) is a cat from the Broadway show Cats. Angela (Angela Kinsey) is in the same kitten outfit as she was in "Halloween". Jim's (John Krasinski) outfit is minimalist as usual, dressing up as a guy named "Dave" (a costume consisting of his normal attire, with a name tag).
Holly (Amy Ryan) has been transferred back to her old branch in Nashua, New Hampshire after CFO David Wallace discovered her relationship with Michael (Steve Carell). Michael and Darryl (Craig Robinson) help her move using Darryl's truck. Michael and Holly want to continue their relationship, but as they get closer to Nashua, Holly comes to the realization that their relationship is not going to work with the long distance. Michael begs her to keep their relationship alive as he fears he will go back to Jan. Michael had intended to spend the weekend with Holly before heading back to Scranton, but after they move her stuff into her new house, he changes his mind and heads back with Darryl. Michael and Holly share a last embrace before he leaves. In the truck, Darryl tries to console Michael by teaching him to sing the blues, which Michael does not understand.
Jim meets Pam in New York for lunch with his brothers, Tom (Blake Robbins) and Pete (Tug Coker). Pam, Tom, and Pete arrive early to discuss a prank Pam wants to play on Jim that involves her engagement ring. Tom and Pete, however, think of playing a prank involving her interest in art. When Jim arrives, Tom and Pete begin mocking Pam's interest in art, and Jim continuously comes to her defense. When the argument becomes heated, Tom and Pete reveal it was a prank, and Jim and Pam stare awkwardly at each other. Later, when Jim and Pam are walking outside of the restaurant, Pam explains her original idea for the prank, which Jim appreciates much more than his brothers' idea. Moments later, Jim receives a text message from his brother stating his approval of Pam and welcoming her to the family.
Back in Scranton, Dwight comes in wearing a Cornell sweatshirt, which irritates Andy, who thinks Dwight is mocking him. Dwight tells him that he is going to apply to Cornell, and installs a Cornell pennant and a Cornell mascot bobblehead in his area. In retaliation, Andy calls the university and is given permission to give Dwight his interview for admission. Andy has no intention of allowing Dwight to pass, but during the interview, Dwight notices inconsistencies with Andy's questions such as asking who was Cornell's 8th president, which Dwight answers correctly as Dale R. Corson, but Andy replies with Cornell's 7th president, James A. Perkins. He writes down a critique of Andy's interviewing skills, which he tells him he is going to send to the university. Dwight additionally gets to Andy by proclaiming his newfound desire to change his application to the "vastly superior Dartmouth". After a heated physical struggle with the conference room table, Andy gives up. At the end of the episode, Andy comes into the office in overalls, a farmer's hat, and a basket of beets, saying he is starting his own beet farm, hence trying to be like Dwight. Dwight, however, is quick to point out Andy's knowledge of beets, or lack thereof.
Creed, Dwight and Kevin all dress in the style of Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker in the 2008 film, The Dark Knight. Actor Creed Bratton said of his costume, "I worked pretty hard to get him down. A lot of people said it was really eerie and kind of uncomfortable."
Holly's transfer to Nashua ranked number 4 in phillyBurbs.com's top ten moments from the fifth season of The Office. However, "Employee Transfer" was voted the fourth lowest-rated episode out of 26 from the fifth season, according to an episode poll at the fansite OfficeTally; the episode was rated 7.20 out of 10.
Reviews were mixed. Though CinemaBlend called the episode "weird" and the opening Halloween party "hilarious", it discussed at some length Holly and Michael's road trip with Darryl, which became a "painful breakup process" for the couple, with "poor Darryl" forced to listen to Michael begging not to break up. IGN gave the episode a grade of 8.4 ("Great"), and described Steve Carell as adding "another dimension" to his character. Noting "a bunch of great moments" during the truck road trip, IGN singled out Darryl trying to teach Michael how to sing the blues as he "both laughs and cries" as taking "the prize" and "a pitch perfect moment and a beautiful scene". Adam Sweeney of Film School Rejects wrote, "the strength of the episode came, not surprisingly, in the road trip Michael, Holly, and Darryl (Craig Robinson) took to move Holly following her transfer. There is nothing more entertaining than a man that is desperate not to lose his girlfriend". But Sweeney summarized that it "may have been the weakest episode of season five." In a later review in TheTVCritic.org, Robin Pierson wrote "Michael and Holly’s break-up is all too real and brings forth some excellent acting from both. Michael breaking down and crying and admitting that he will go back to Jan and that he hates her is particularly effective. Without any context his whiny voice might seem like overacting but it feels like the embodiment of Michael Scott and is very moving to hear."
- Eng, Joyce (April 29, 2009). "The Office's Creed Bratton Gets Casual, Shares Wonders of Ginseng Suppositories". TV Guide. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- Wielgus, Jen (May 14, 2009). ""The Office": Top 10 moments from Season 5". phillyBurbs.com. Archived from the original on September 14, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2009.
- Tan, Jennie (May 19, 2009). "The Office Fan Ratings, Season 5". OfficeTally. Retrieved May 21, 2009.
- West, Kelly (October 30, 2008). "TV Recap: The Office – Employee Transfer". Cinema Blend. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- Fickett, Travis (October 30, 2008). "The Office: "Employee Transfer" Review – Michael and Darryl take Holly to her new office – 7 hours away". IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- Sweeney, Adam (November 1, 2008). "TV Review: The Office 5.6 – Employee Transfer -Holly (Amy Ryan) and Michael (Steve Carell) take the long trip to Nashua after they get some shocking news from corporate". Film School Rejects. Archived from the original on July 9, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- Pierson, Robin (March 29, 2012). "The Office, Season 5, Episode 5: Employee Transfer". The TV Critic.org. Retrieved November 23, 2012.