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"The Promotion" was the third episode of the sixth season and the show's 103rd episode overall. It was written and directed by Jennifer Celotta. It originally aired on October 1, 2009. It was viewed by 7.28 million people.

Cold open

Dwight enters Michael's office to ask him to sign his expense report and Michael tells him to take it to Jim instead, as he only deals with "big picture" matters instead. Dwight goes to Jim's new office, but Jim insists that Dwight say "please" first, prompting Dwight to storm out and back to Michael's office. Dwight tells Michael that he wants to complain about Jim, but the latter insists that he only deals with "big picture stuff". To get Michael's interest Dwight says he wants to "file a huge, enormous, massive complaint about the tallest guy in (the) office." Intrigued, Michael tells Dwight to proceed, only to realize what Dwight is doing after he brings up the expense report again. Michael tells Dwight to once again take his issue to Jim, who tells Dwight that this matter shall be taken seriously. Jim writes a false report in front of Dwight detailing how he is crying as he makes the report to Dwight's annoyance. In a talking head Dwight describes how he believes himself to be better suited for the promotion as opposed to Jim and how he would want to put Jim in a triangle choke hold then in a hammer lock. Dwight then gets lost in this fantasy and imagines this to take place in a wrestling competition in front of an audience, upon which he wins and has "$18,000 and a chance at the title! Ooh hah!" Dwight excitedly stands and poses for the camera, as Erin walks into the conference room and tells him that Jim has asked that he be more quiet.

Synopsis

The office is still trying to adjust to having both Michael and Jim as bosses, with Jim getting a newly built personal office space in the main section. Michael and Jim constantly find themselves at odds with each other as Michael keeps having "conference room meetings" while Jim wants to keep productivity in the office place. They get a call from CFO David Wallace who tells them that not everyone in the branch will get their desired raise and that they will have to decide how to disperse it among the employees. Michael gets annoyed when Jim keeps making pros and cons lists for each idea. Jim decides to give the raises to the sales staff since they bring money to the company. Michael is against the idea, but invites Jim to announce it to the office.

Jim tells the office that they are only going to give raises to the sales staff, which clearly upsets the non-sales staff. Dwight, not wanting Jim as a boss, complains about the unfairness of Jim's decision despite being a salesperson. Michael, who was scoffing at Jim, is then asked to give his idea, but he does not speak coherently about it, leading everyone to say that Jim was at least being direct despite having a bad idea. Michael and Jim go back into the conference room to decide how to handle the raise issue. They ultimately decide that the raises should be performance-based, and decide to take turns placing beans on employee pictures to determine how much of a raise each person deserves. Jim believes that it is a good idea, but when Michael and Jim leave the conference room, Dwight goes into the conference room and shows the employees their plan. Everyone gets upset at Michael and Jim for this, particularly Pam, whose picture did not have any beans, as Jim was trying to remain unbiased.

With the entire office now upset with both Michael and Jim, Dwight uses this opportunity to start an uprising against Jim personally. However, everyone in the office refuses to as they are more concerned about the raise issue. Michael then goes into Jim's office to check on him. Michael explains he felt terrible having to make those kinds of decisions on his own and he leaves to get Jim something. Jim comments that Michael is currently his only friend in the office at the moment, as everyone else, even probably Pam, is upset at him about the raise situation. Michael returns to give Jim his own new "World's Best Boss" mug, fianlly recognizing Jim in his new position and they share some gin together.

Meanwhile, Pam is trying to discreetly ask everyone to give cash as wedding gifts instead of actual gifts. She first tries Phyllis to no avail. She then manages to get Kevin to write her a check, and starts to feel guilty about asking people for simple cash, but she gets ecstatic when she sees that the check is made out to "Mrs. Pam Halpert." At the end of the episode, Ryan gives her an offer of either having $100 now or $5,000 in a year. She initially wants the $100, but after he tells her about an algorithm that can determine the winner of any college basketball game, she agrees to the $5,000. However, this allegedly requires a $50 investment from her, which she gives, later regretting it.

Trivia

  • Kevin's check to Pam was for $40.
  • This is the first episode to feature the second manager's office.
  • Jim's office occupies the space where Creed's desk was, Creed's desk is now pushed against Meredith's.
  • Pam has moved to Jim's desk.
  • While Jim and Michael are using the conference room, talking heads by the office staff are held in the annex.
  • Jim's solutions on how to handle the raise issue are in fact good practical solutions. The issues are mainly that Jim and Michael were expecting that the news of there being less raises or no raises for some of the staff to be well received when it would not be possible.

Amusing details

  • Oscar likens the absurdity of having two managers in the office to there being two presidents of a country, two captains on a ship and two popes in Catholicism.
  • When Jim and Michael are trying to figure out ways to distribute the limited bonus money and Jim says that Michael has a lot of weaknesses, Michael tells him to “enliven” him instead of “enlighten” him.
  • Michael refers to the pun "Your anus" of "Uranus".
  • Kelly is evidently only just returning to the office after shopping, walking in while carrying shopping bags.
  • Kelly asks how Ryan's car will be fixed without a raise. Ryan is a temp, and does not get annual raises, meaning she was intending to use her planned raise to fix Ryan's car.
  • As Michael runs to Jim's office and the rest of the office starts yelling at him, Kevin can be heard in the background asking again, "What does a bean mean?"
  • Both Michael and Jim lower the blinds of their offices after the office staff express their unhappiness at their bean merit system.

Connections to previous episodes

  • The "World's Best Boss" mug is seen in nearly every episode and was introduced in the pilot. Michael apparently bought two, a callback from a deleted scene in Dwight's Speech.
  • When Jim and Michael are debating with each other over the bonus money shortage, Michael continually calls Jim a “nerd”. Later on, in the season 9 episode Here Comes Treble, Dwight is shown eating Nerds candy, and he then proceeds to say he is eating “Jims”, which is the second time Jim is referred to as a “nerd.”
  • Despite making fun of Michael in "Stress Relief" because of his innocence when it comes to internet schemes, Pam seems quite prone to schemes as well, having previously crashed her computer in "Fun Run" after paying to download an alleged celebrity sex tape. She appears to fall for Ryan's investment scheme as well.
  • Jim also suggests Michael creates a Pro and Con list during Casual Friday when Michael is deciding to keep Pam or Ryan for the sales position.
  • Dwight's speech to attempt to rally his co-workers against Jim is similar to that of Aragorn's when rallying the dead men of Gondor in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Dwight previously referenced the series when convincing Michael to send David Wallace the information on Prince Family Paper Company in the titular episode.

Cast

Main cast

Supporting cast

Recurring cast