|The Office episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Harold Ramis|
|Written by||B. J. Novak|
|Original air date||April 12, 2007|
"Safety Training" is the twentieth episode of the third season of the American comedy television series The Office. Written by B. J. Novak, who also acts in the show as sales representative Ryan Howard, and directed by Caddyshack and National Lampoon's Vacation director Harold Ramis, the episode aired in the United States on April 12, 2007 on NBC.
In the episode, Michael attempts to prove life in an office is dangerous after Darryl berates him about the dangers of the warehouse. The attempts lead him to the roof of the building, where he tries to show that depression caused by an office can lead to desperate circumstances. Meanwhile, gambling between the other employees of the office leads Karen to discover that she is still an outsider.
When Michael Scott (Steve Carell) repeatedly disrupts Darryl Philbin's (Craig Robinson) warehouse safety training session, Lonny Collins (Patrice O'Neal) and Darryl mock the office workers' safety session in retaliation, claiming that office work does not entail physical danger. Offended by Darryl's disdain for office safety training, Michael decides to demonstrate the risk of depression and suicide by jumping off the roof, landing on a hidden trampoline. When Michael tests out the trampoline by dropping a watermelon from the roof, it bounces off and hits an office worker's car, prompting it to be replaced by a bouncy castle hidden from the general view of the parking lot. From the roof of the building, Michael talks dramatically about the dangers of depression. When the bouncy castle is discovered, Jim and Pam realize that Michael is "going to kill himself pretending to kill himself." The employees collectively talk Michael down from the roof, with Darryl doing most of the talking, to assure Michael that he is brave simply by living as himself. At the end, the car that was hit by the watermelon is revealed to be Stanley's (Leslie David Baker), who is shocked to see the mess.
Meanwhile, the office staff begins betting on various things, from counting the jelly beans in Pam Beesly's (Jenna Fischer) candy dish to whether Creed Bratton (portrayed by the actor of the same name) will notice that his apple has been replaced with a potato. Karen Filippelli (Rashida Jones) loses every bet and realizes that she is still an outsider. Also, Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) returns to the office after several weeks in anger management training, determined to make a fresh start with his co-workers. His attempts to go by the name Drew are unsuccessful, and Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) decides to shun Andy for three years, although he often "unshuns" him to inform him of Michael's plans.
"Safety Training" was the second episode of the series directed by Harold Ramis. Ramis had previously directed the episode "A Benihana Christmas" earlier in the third season. The episode was the sixth of the series written by B. J. Novak. Novak also acts in the show as Ryan Howard.
Brian Baumgartner, who portrays accountant Kevin Malone, stated that while director Harold Ramis didn't make any major changes in the script of "Safety Training", his input changed other points of the script. Baumgartner said that "...our structure and how the show is written is all there and pretty much doesn't change. Harold (Ramis) might have ideas or specific changes that would change a moment." The hand movement used by Dwight Schrute to "shun", and then "un-shun" Andy Bernard was improvised by Rainn Wilson.
"Safety Training" received a 4.1/11 in the Nielsen ratings among people ages 18–49, meaning that 4.1 percent of all people 18–49 watched the episode, and 11 percent of all people 18–49 watching TV at the time viewed the episode. "Safety Training" received 7.7 million viewers overall.
The episode was almost universally praised by critics. Abby West of Entertainment Weekly complimented the writing of B.J. Novak in the episode, saying that "This was another gem... [Novak] kept a very nice light touch on the whole love triangle thing, only giving us that one wonderfully uncomfortable moment at Pam's desk when they were betting on how many jelly beans were in the container." IGN's Brian Zoromski rated it 10 out of 10, making it only one of two third-season episodes he deemed a "masterpiece". He stated that "Another truly brilliant episode of The Office aired this week, with more humor packed into the half-hour than you get in many feature-length comedies." Zoromski also praised the acting by minor characters, such as Creed Bratton and Mindy Kaling, who portrays customer service representative Kelly Kapoor.
BuddyTV Senior Writer Oscar Dahl stated that "What can you say? The Office is, if anything, only getting better. Last week's super-sized episode was absolutely spectacular, but tonight's might have been even better." Dahl went on to say that both storylines of the episode were the main contributors to the success of the episode. In a poll taken by OfficeTally.com, an Office fansite, "Safety Training" was ranked by viewers of the show as the 19th most popular episode of season three.
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