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"Two Weeks" is the twenty-first episode of the fifth season of the television series The Office, and the show's 93rd episode overall. It was written by Aaron Shure and directed by Paul Lieberstein. The episode aired in the United States on March 26, 2009, on NBC at 9:00 p.m. EST. It was viewed by 8.45 million people.

Cold open

The Scranton branch gathers around Michael as he tells the story of how he quit in excruciating detail; including being on the highway, the revolving door being broken, having to take another door and being in the wrong building. Pam then exclaims in a talking head that this is the first time Michael has a story everyone wants to listen to: "and he knows it." Pam urges Michael to tell the story quicker and Michael describes how he quit in the last scene of the previous episode. The Scranton branch then asks him if he didn't instead insult David Wallace with names, suggesting that it was what they would have said to Michael if they had quit. Oscar then reveals in a talking head how he finds the stories of other people quitting inspiring, as he hopes they may one day inspire him to quit himself, but notes that he can only dream.

Synopsis

Having submitted his two weeks notice to Dunder Mifflin, Michael begins goofing off and drinking around the office, while new company vice president Charles Miner plans to hire the new regional manager from the outside, for "obvious reasons." The employees suggest that Michael start looking for another job. Michael is unworried at first, until he learns how poorly the economy is performing. He first tries Prince Paper, but they had been run out of business by Dunder Mifflin. After finding no available work, Michael decides to start his own paper company and unsuccessfully tries to convince others around the office to join him. When Charles catches Michael labeling Dunder Mifflin customer lists with his new company's name, he orders security guard Hank to escort Michael from the building. Michael drives out of the parking lot, but is later spotted sneaking back into the building.

Meanwhile, the office has received a new copy machine, but it is not assembled, so Pam spends the day putting it together as the rest of the employees hassle and tease her. Meanwhile, Angela and Kelly continue to flirt with Charles, who claims to be aware of the effect he has on women.

Michael sneaks back into the office, crawling on the floor below the desks so Charles, who is sitting in the conference room, will not notice him. Michael grabs his customer list and makes a final desperate offer for the other employees to join him. Charles notices Michael and physically threatens him, prompting Michael to leave without the customer list. After Charles angrily closes the conference room door, Pam follows Michael out of the building, announcing that she's leaving with him. However, she tells Michael she wants to be a salesperson at his new company, not a receptionist. Michael agrees, and the two leave together, feeling both exhilarated and apprehensive.

At the end of the episode, Charles, who still knows very little about the employees at the Scranton branch, decides to make Kevin the temporary receptionist and make Stanley the office's "Productivity Czar," much to the surprise of the whole office. As everyone leaves the conference room, the two men remain in their seats with a bewildered expression on their faces.

Trivia

  • When Michael is asking the office to leave with him, Pam can hear him from across the room, but Charles doesn't hear anything from the other side of the wall.
  • B.J. Novak (Ryan Howard) is credited but does not appear in this episode.
  • This is the last episode where Pam is the receptionist.
  • No explanation is given for Prince Family Paper going out of business but it is likely that their demise is the result of Dwight and Michael stealing their customers or the owner likely retired.

Connections to previous episodes

  • Michael drinks "Scotch and Splenda", a drink he accidentally invented in Cocktails.
  • The new copy machine is probably a replacement for the one damaged in Stress Relief. In “The Surplus”, the office chose to get new chairs instead of a new copier.
  • Michael had hoped to join Prince Paper, a company he regretted destroying in Prince Family Paper.
  • Angela's cat Bandit is seen chewing on the cable of the old copier. It is previously revealed that she keeps Bandit in the office in "Stress Relief".
  • Michael asks Pam, after she asks for time to get her things, if the office members are watching as the camera pans to reveal that the entire branch is watching them from the conference room. This is reminiscent of "Lecture Circuit" where the Nashua branch watches Michael and Pam leave after Michael breaks down during the lecture.

Amusing details

  • After Michael recreates the scene of his quitting, Stanley, Angela, Kevin, and Meredith feel as though they would've said more. They all then say something that would be said towards Michael in this scenario, but Michael doesn't get this, and says "You guys have thought about this more than I have."
  • Michael tells Jim that someone in his position is usually head hunted, prompting Jim to ask if he has even called a head hunter. Michael then reveals that he assumes that any good head hunter would automatically know that he was available.
  • Dwight assumes the term head hunter to be about literally hunting human heads.
  • Charles Miner, in a talking head, reveals that he has decided to go with an outside hire for the new regional manager "for obvious reasons" as he looks to the camera as Jim does.
  • Kelly goes to Charles to ask for time to pick up her sisters from school. When Charles tells her that she could have asked Toby, she begins to say she does not like talking to Toby.
  • Charles reveals that he is aware that Angela and Kelly are infatuated with him.
  • Dwight and Michael equally do not wish to have Dwight follow Michael into his new paper company.
  • Dwight tells Charles he has not seen the list Michael was working on and makes an effort to stand up and lean to block his view of Michael on the floor.
  • Pam chooses to go with Michael even though he hadn't asked her to.
  • In the closing scene, Kelly and Angela are sitting in the front row, due to their admiration of Charles.
  • Angela shakes her head when Charles appoints Kevin to be in charge of phones and winces when Kevin responds to Charles' request.

Cultural references

  • Monster.com is an employment website, Michael incorrectly typed it as "monsters.com".
  • Kelly says that she and her sisters are very close, like the Kardashians. Keeping Up With The Kardashians is a reality television series about the ex-wife and children of late attorney Robert Kardashian. The show is popular among women ages 18 to 34. Kardashians are also famous for dating almost exclusively African-American men, mirroring Kelly's wish to date Charles.
  • Michael's exit parallels the resignation scene from Jerry Maguire:[1] Michael gives a dramatic speech and tries to convince others to join him, but only one person does.
  • The scene when Pam and Michael walk out of the office parking lot after quitting from Dunder Mifflin is comparable to the final scene from the 1967 film The Graduate. In the film, Ben and Elaine run from Elaine’s wedding onto a bus. Ben and Elaine both initially have exhilarated facial expressions which soon fade to apprehension as they sit silently on the bus. Pam and Michael’s expressions mirrored those of Ben and Elaine.

Cast

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

References

  1. Greene, Alan. "Season Five." The Office: The Untold Story of the Great Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History. Dutton, 2020.