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"Crime Aid" is the fifth episode of the fifth season of The Office and the 77th episode overall. It was written by Charlie Grandy and directed by Jennifer Celotta. It first aired on October 23, 2008. It was viewed by 7.74 million people.

Cold open

Pam finds that living in New York has become too expensive. Michael assists her by getting her a job at the Dunder Mifflin corporate office, though she believes he did that so he could call her constantly.

Synopsis

It is revealed that Michael and Holly are happily dating. One night, the two have sex in the stairwell in the office building and forget to lock the building door when they finish. As a result, thieves break in to the building and the Dunder Mifflin office and steal the computers and various other belongings.

Realizing the robbery was their fault, Michael and Holly decide to set up an auction in the warehouse to raise money to match the value of items stolen. Jim finds a message from the night before on his work phone from an intoxicated Pam, who was out with friends at the time, and Jim jokingly remarks that she is the "future mother of [his] children".

Michael allows all the staff to auction off any item they choose.  For his part, Michael has let it be known that he possesses two front-row seats and backstage passes to a Bruce Springsteen show, which generates buzz for the event. Holly decides to auction off a yoga lesson, which Michael is the only one to place a bid for, and Phyllis decides to auction off a hug. Darryl auctions off an opportunity for someone to join him and the rest of the warehouse workers at a bar for beers at that exact moment. Michael tries to make a bid, but Darryl denies his bid, saying it would be a "conflict of interests". Jim makes a bid, and Darryl immediately accepts it and they leave. The auction seems to be a complete failure until CFO David Wallace arrives to help raise money by auctioning off a weekend at his place in Martha's Vineyard.

Meanwhile, Angela and Andy have set a date for their wedding, which upsets Dwight. Phyllis, knowing Dwight's connection with Angela, attempts to console him. She suggests that he give Angela an ultimatum: call off the wedding or lose out on him. Angela ultimately says no to Dwight, so he asks Phyllis for more advice. Phyllis tells him that since she rejected him and his ultimatum that he should move on. Dwight then becomes bitter towards Phyllis, but later realizes she was trying to help, so he shows his appreciation by bidding for her hug in the auction, which he loses to her husband, Bob Vance. The hug actually sells for one thousand dollars, making it the most successful item at the auction.

At the bar, Jim encounters Pam's ex, Roy, who joins him and the warehouse workers for some beers. Jim reveals to Roy that he is engaged to Pam, which Roy congratulates him on, and also mentions that Pam is at art school in New York. He tells Roy about the night before which she spent with friends, to which he responds that Jim was also once her friend, suggesting that Pam may do to Jim what she did to Roy. Jim then decides to drive to New York to visit Pam, but just before getting onto I-80 towards New York turns around because he is not "that guy" and he and Pam are not "that couple".

When the time comes to open bidding for the Springsteen tickets, Michael claims he can't find them and tells everyone that they were stolen in the robbery. At the end of the episode, Michael tells Holly that he lied about the tickets being stolen and about the tickets in general. They kiss, catching the eye of a visibly displeased David Wallace.

Deleted scenes

  • Michael calls Pam and asks her to get him a slice of pizza from New York. Later, Michael opens an overnight envelope and takes out a slice of pizza, which he eats.
  • Pam and Jim talk on the phone about an episode of The West Wing they watched together. In a talking head interview, Pam explains that The West Wing was a compromise: Jim wanted Battlestar Galactica, and Pam wanted Cranford. Pam confides, "Next, we're gonna watch, Cranford." In a separate talking head interview, Jim says, "We're never going to watch Cranford."
  • Michael asks Jim to hear out his date ideas. He has one wild card and two sure things. He starts with the wild card which was dinner and a movie. Jim can tell that the sure things will be absolute disasters. The first sure thing is Michael blindfolds Holly, they go to the Houdini museum and then she ties Michael up, Jim stops him right there because he knows where it is leading. The second sure thing is that Michael and Holly go to the mall and go to the bed store, she picks out any bed and they have sex on it. Jim tells him that the wild card is the best one and he should use that, but Michael obviously thinks it isn't special enough because it's a "big" third date.
  • At lunch, Dwight tells Phyllis about his first date with Angela. They went to the Anthracite Coal Museum and acted as if it was their first visit, even though each had been there many times before. Even the tour guide recognized them. They then corrected the tour guide when he got things wrong. Dwight then offers Phyllis a fox meat sandwich.[1][2]:20:04
  • Dwight offers crime scene tape to the officers investigating the crime. They are surprised that he has crime scene tape.
  • Stanley says that the robbers stole a bottle of cream sherry he had been saving to drink on his last day at Dunder Mifflin.

Deleted scenes not on the DVD

  • After Michael says "So much for sex without consequences," he adds "Well, I guess with great sex comes great responsibility."[2]:29:33
  • Several deleted scenes showing Jim's increasing suspicion. First, an extension of deleted scene about watching West Wing together: Jim asks Pam if they want to watch another episode tonight, but Pam says that she's tired and is going to bed early. In another deleted scene, Pam leaves Jim a message saying that her friends dragged her out to go have fun in the city. Finally, Jim gets a message from Pam saying that she didn't get home until 8:00 the next morning.[2]:50:52
  • A scene between Michael and Holly where we learn that the insurance had a $5,000 deductible for personal items. Since their losses were less than that, it was not covered by the insurance policy and they had to have a fundraiser instead.[1][2]:34:29
  • Meredith auctions something, but no one knows what it is because of her drunken slurring. Oscar buys it for a dollar, and Meredith tosses him a a brand new iPhone.[1][2]:39:39
  • Kelly auctions lessons to learn the dance from Soulja Boy Tell'em's "Crank That". Ryan buys it for $40. In a talking head, Kelly says that she plans to drive Ryan wild with lust but not sleep with him.[1]
  • In a talking head interview, Jim says that Pam loves Bruce Springsteen, but he also knows that Bruce Springsteen is not currently touring, which is why he's leaving to have beer with the warehouse guys.[2]:39:39
  • Angela talking head after she lets Dwight's 6:14 deadline pass: "I'm not the type of person who breaks engagements. You should go talk to Pam."[2]:52:52

Connections to previous episodes

Amusing details

  • During Phyllis and Dwight's first conversation, Dwight tells her that Angela introduced him to "Monotheism", "Pasteurised Milk" and "Preventative Medicine".
  • Dwight suggests that the thieves might be "vintage HP computer collectors", implying that the office computers are out of date.
  • After Dwight talks to Phyllis in the elevator, the door closes right after Phyllis left even though Dwight never pressed the close doors button.
  • The picture of Hank on his CD is of Hank in his security uniform, in front of the Scranton Business Park building, with the same guitar he's playing at the fundraiser.
  • The fundraiser sign has the goal set below the top of the thermometer. According to the script, the thermometer goes up to $1 million, but the goal is only $3,400.[2]:41:05
  • Kevin offers to do someone's taxes during the auction, though in another episode he admits that he has Oscar do his taxes.
  • Ryan hides his face when David Wallace enters.

Trivia

  • After this episode aired, fans repeatedly created fake Wikipedia pages for "Office Robbery Statistics", Ultimately, the web site created a page that permanently redirects to the "Crime Aid" page.[3]
  • After one take, Angela Kinsey teased Oscar Nunez that his delivery of the line "I want my laptop" sounded like Jimmy Stewart. This got into Nunez's head, and he couldn't not deliver the line like Jimmy Stewart. The line "I want my laptop back" became a catch phrase on the set for years.[2]:25:56
  • The scenes with Dwight and Phyllis in the elevator were complicated because the elevator was fake. Once the doors closed, crew members changed the carpet and added a chair and potted plant to make it look like a different floor. They didn't quite finish in time before the doors open: If you look closely, the leaves on the potted plant are still moving.[2]:31:10
  • The title of Hank's CD is Hank Doyle Is the Blues, even though Hank's name tag reads Tate. It is unclear whether this is intentional. (Perhaps he performs under the name Hank Doyle?)
  • Kelly's outfit for the auction is explained in a deleted scene in which she auctions lessons to learn the dance from Soulja Boy Tell'em's "Crank That".
  • The black-and-white cameras in the elevator were pre-existing security cameras which the documentary crew gained access to.[1]
  • Roy and Jim met at the bar by coincidence. He was not invited by Darryl. The idea was that these characters frequent the same places and are likely to run into each other occasionally.[1]
  • Dwight bid on Phyllis's hug to repay her for her kindness to him. The fact that it annoyed Angela was a bonus.[1]
  • After Jim has left for his drink with the warehouse guys the next item is Creed's. In the cut to the shot of Creed, Jim is still sitting behind him.
  • Creed reveals that the last person to steal from him was a person of the same name implying that he killed him and stole his identity.
  • In the scene in which Holly covers Michael's mouth, Michael starts laughing, and then Holly starts laughing. Director Jennifer Celotta ruined one take because she thought the actors had broken character, so she started laughing to. Steve Carell explained that they hadn't broken. They were acting. (This clip is on the blooper reel.)[2]:55:03

Behind the scenes

  • The man sitting next to Angela during the auction is Stephen Saux, a stand-in who occasionally makes on-screen appearances. He previously played a restaurant customer in "A Benihana Christmas".[4]
  • An early idea was for Michael to auction off a magic lesson for $800, but the writers felt it was too similar to Holly's yoga lesson.[1]
  • The "hey batter batter" and "one million dollars" auction banter was scripted. The other banter was improvised.[1]
  • There was never any version of the script in which Jim actually drives all the way to New York. The intention was always for him to turn around.[1]
  • The highway onramp sign actually was for I-95, but was digitally altered to read I-80.[1]
  • The writing staff were always looking for ways to bring Roy back onto the show, and writer Charlie Grandy considers himself lucky to have had the opportunity to write for the character.[1]
  • Mindy Kaling came up with the idea that Roy worked at "Vitamin World".[1]
  • Charlie Grandy had a high school teacher who would hit students on the head with a squeaky gavel when they said something stupid. He thought it would be funny for Michael to have one. The "that's what she said" line grew out of that decision.[1]
  • Hugh Dane had never played guitar before the day of filming.[1] They gave him a guitar and shot the cover of his blues album with it. This explains why he is wearing his security guard uniform on the album cover.
  • In an earlier version of the story, Oscar and Kevin believe the robbery was an inside job and ask Hank if he has "a record." Hank says that he does, but it's a blues record, not a criminal record. This idea came from Jennifer Celotta and led to the version in the final episode.[1]
  • Writer Charlie Grandy's original joke was that the only Bruce Springsteel song Michael knew was "Secret Garden" from the Jerry Maguire soundtrack. The joke then changed to Michael listing several songs that aren't even Springsteen songs. When Aaron Shure pitched "Short People", the writers knew they had a winner.[1]

Cultural references

  • Michael calls out Paaaaamolaaaaa, in the style of the advertisements for Ricola cough drops.
  • According to Michael, the third date is the one where you traditionally have sex. This rule was popularized by the character of Charlotte York from the show Sex and the City.
  • Andy calls Dwight "D-Money" and makes up other "Money"-suffixed nicknames for the other employees. The naming pattern of a letter followed by "Money" is popular among rappers.
  • Vous is French for "you".
  • Jim says "You can take the girl out of Philly..." "Philly" is a nickname for the nearby city of Philadelphia. The phrase "You can take the X out of Y" is the first half of a snowclone pattern (with the second half usually left unsaid) that finishes with "but you can't take the Y out of the X," meaning that even when the person X leaves their home Y, they will still act like a person from Y.
  • Andy tells Angela that they will one day move to Disney's Celebration Village, a Disney planned community adjacent to Walt Disney World in Florida. The rules of the community are rather strict, which would appeal to Angela's sensibilities.
  • Michael suggests auctioning off people "like in the olden days." Michael is referring to the auctioning of slaves.
  • Michael claims to have tickets to see Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen's nickname is "The Boss", and Michael and Holly make "boss"-related puns.
  • At the auction, Hank performs The Heart of Rock & Roll by Huey Lewis and the News, even though Michael identifies it as a song by Bruce Springsteen. Darryl notes that Michael also listed Fast Car by Tracy Chapman and Short People by Randy Newman among his favorite Bruce Springsteen songs.
  • Michael says that Crime Aid will be like Farm Aid, except for the stopping AIDS part. Farm Aid is an annual benefit event to support American farmers, not to combat AIDS. Farm Aid was one of many fundraiser events inspired by Live Aid.
  • Michael attempts auctioneer patter but mixes it with baseball taunts ("hey batter, swing batter").
  • Donovan McNabb is a former American football player.
  • The beers that Jim drank at the bar were Lionshead and Stegmaier Gold Medal, which are both produced by Lion Brewery, Inc in nearby Wilkes-Barre.
  • Davidd Wallace's vacation home is in Martha's Vineyard, an island in Massachusetts known for being a summer destination for celebrities and affluent families.
  • One of the foods for which New York City is known is its pizza.
  • The West Wing is a television series about a fictitious president. It ran from 1999 to 2006.
  • Battlestar Galactica is a television science fiction series that ran from 2004 to 2009.
  • Cranford is a 2007 television series set in Cranford, England in the 1840s.

Cast

Main cast

Supporting cast

Special guest cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast

References

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