What can I say about last night’s episode of THE OFFICE that hasn’t already been brilliantly summarized on OfficeTally, EW, GMMR, TVGuide et al? Simply this:

THE OFFICE proved once again that the show works best as a true ensemble. Unlike some of the season’s weaker episodes, ‘The Negotiation’ wasn’t dominated by one character (ie. Michael or Dwight). Last night, each one of our favourite pencil pushers was given a moment to shine, an unforgettable line, or in the case of Kelly, the best baby name ever.

Kelly: Four words, “Usher Jennifer Hudson Kapoor” Best baby name ever.

Ryan: I think I’ve discovered the only reason he’s still with Kelly — make-up sex. Honestly, what other explanation is there?

Toby: Toby wins the award for best monologue of the night, “This may be the first time that a male subordinate has attempted to get a modest, scheduled raise by threatening to withhold sex from a female superior. It will be a groundbreaking case … when it inevitably goes to trial.”

Creed: I’m convinced Creed either lives in a homeless shelter or his car. What exactly did he ‘borrow’ $40 from Michael for. Definitely not food (he no doubt steals from the office fridge).

Dwight: For the first time ever, I was genuinely proud of Dwight. And more importantly, a little scared. How funny was it when he emptied out his desk drawer of lethal weapons (nunjucks, ninja stars etc). “I am not a hero. I am a mere defender of the office. You know who’s a real hero? Hiro, from Heroes. That’s a hero. Also Bono.”

Andy: Andy finally returned from anger management training. Can’t wait to see how his return effects the office. “I graduated from anger management the same way I graduated from Cornell — on time. Now I’m back, got a second chance, and I’m not going to blow it. So look out, Dunder Mifflin! I mean “look out” in a fun way. You know, not like, “I’m going to hurt you.”

Karen: I see what’s appealing about Karen. She’s the anti-Pam. She actually says what’s on her mind. Her line last night to Jim was great, “Hmmm, I don’t know. Maybe you should go back out there and sell paper so we can go on a trip.”

Pam: I’m really hoping she gets her life back on track. This season Pam’s been a total downer. Admittedly, she’s been going through a rough patch, calling of the wedding, realizing she’s in love with Jim, breaking it off with Roy (again!). But Pam, you’re not in high school anymore. You’re going to have to take the plunge and be honest with Jim. The entire world’s waiting for you to step up! It’s a bad sign when your relationship with Jim is more dysfunctional than that of Dwight and Angela.

Angela: How much fun was it watching Angela get each office mate to re-count Dwight’s heroic act of bravery? I’ve watched enough television to know that religious chicks are always the naughtiest.

Jan: Still can’t figure out what she sees in Michael, but her secret negotiation tips to Michael were uncharacteristically nice.

Michael: Tonight’s episode had the perfect amount of Michael. From his woman’s suit (honestly, I had no idea!) to his Wikipedia-inspired negotiation tactics (how many millions of hits has this page seen today?) he had some great moments.

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  • Li

    Actually it was Chris Tucker who said “Don’t ever touch a black man’s radio!” in Rush Hour

  • Li, thanks for the correction

  • Shim

    I completely agree about the briliance of the ensemble episodes (though I thought the Michael-suit-Darryl bit went a titch too long). And I love it when they flip a character around – like Dwight doing something ‘right’ by protecting Jim, or when Michael praised Pam’s art – it adds such depth to the wacky.

    Oh, and I thought Creed was fake giving back money. Like he’d never borrowed any, but felt so bad for Michael that he fake-returned it. Which is even more hilarious.