The Office Episodes

2005, TV Show

The Office Episode: "Frame Toby"

Season 5, Episode 9
Episode Synopsis: Dirt is dished over a dirty dish: Tension boils over when a mysterious someone leaves a culinary mess in the office microwave. Meanwhile, Michael has trouble accepting that personnel changes were made without his knowledge.
Original Air Date: Nov 20, 2008

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Season 5, Episode 9
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Aired: 11/20/2008
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The Office Episode Recap: "The Surplus" Season 5, Episode 9

In "The Surplus", Michael — shortly after Oscar explains to him what a surplus is — needs to make a Solomonic decision by EOD: should he use the extra money to replace the decrepit copier, or invest in brand new chairs? Oscar (copier) and Pam (chairs) lead the opposing camps, with Jim surprisingly siding with Oscar. Meanwhile, Andy, Angela and Dwight head over to Schrute farms to scope out the site of their wedding.

By the way, before we dive in, did you read the recent news that The Office is going to be showcased in a one hour special after the Super Bowl? Sweet, huh?

I loved "The Surplus." It had a number of absolutely laugh-out-loud moments, it strayed away from saccharine Jim and Pam and, most importantly, I loved that it involved an actual business scenario that had to be resolved by the end of the day. In my opinion, these episodes tend to be the best because they're the most tightly structured, and because it allows The Office to send up office life. There are a number of highlights, so let's get to them.

"Why don't you explain this to me like I'm 5."
The cold open was great, when Oscar has to resort to a lemonade stand analogy to make Michael understand that unless he spends $4,300, it's going to be deducted from next year's budget.  My favorite line from the opening: "Yes, there's the 'X ack-sis'."  

The Seduction of Michael Scott
Michael's at his oblivious best as Oscar and Jim and then Pam do their sycophantic bests to convince him to see their side of the situation. Oscar and Jim take him to "the best lunch ever," laugh uproariously at his jokes and don't stop high-fiving him every time he walks past. Pam dolls up for him, compliments him on his tie ("Is that a new tie? No, I got it from TJ Maxx. $4") and asks him to shake his ass. During this time, I actually felt great for Michael: It must be really good to be as perpetually unaware as he is, so that you really do believe people are being nice to you just to be nice to you. If every day were budget surplus day, this man would be the happiest man alive.

Of course, all good things must come to an end, and when Michael learns that he can actually pocket 15 percent of the surplus — which he plans to use at his beloved Burlington Coat Factory — he decides not to do anything. Oscar calls him out on this, and then Michael finds himself in a typical Michael Scott bind: He wants to make everyone happy, but he also wants to go on a spending spree at his favorite discount retail clothier.

In the end — as he always does — Michael punts on making the decision, telling Oscar and Jim that they have to make the choice, or else he'll just pocket the cash. Oscar gives in and Pam gets her chairs. But the victory for Pam is pyrrhic: Jim exacts revenge by forcing her to make copies again for him. Nice.

"I have taken care of everything"
Dwight, Dwight, Dwight. You were so close.

Before we get to Dwight's possibly unforgivable mistake, let's highlight the best three moments from the Schrute Farms subplot.

• Andy, Angela and Dwight in the barn: "What is that smell? You're going to need to be more specific."
• Dwight and Angela duking it out over the butter sculpture: "I would like a cow butter sculpture of a cat! That doesn't make any sense!"
• I was on the floor laughing when Andy steps in doo-doo the second time, this time inside Dwight's house-turned-bed and breakfast: "Why is that in the kitchen?"

But of course the key to this subplot was Dwight's hubris getting the best of him. He may have blown his shot with Angela, forever, when he secretly married himself to her, in German, while giving her a ring of twine and duping Andy into signing on as a witness. Angela's reaction to Dwight's discretion: a full-scale public makeout session with Andy. Although Andy stepped in it twice, Dwight's really the one in deep doo-doo: this may even be worse than when he killed Angela's cat.

Here are other laugh-out-loud lines from the episode:
• Michael, to Toby: "You are the silent killer."
• "I swallowed all your ideas, I'm going to digest them and see what comes out the other end."
• "We're getting married at Schrute Farms no matter what. I have looked at 12 venues, I have lost eight deposits, and I have seen Angela naked zero times. I am not losing another deposit."

So, what did you guys think of "The Surplus"?

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In "The Surplus", Michael — shortly after Oscar explains to him what a surplus is — needs to make a Solomonic decision by EOD: should he use the extra money to replace the decrepit copier, or invest in brand new chairs? Oscar (copier) and Pam (chairs) lead the opposing camps, with Jim surprisingly siding with Oscar. Meanwhile, Andy, Angela and Dwight head over to Schrute farms to scope out the site of their wedding.

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Premiered: March 24, 2005, on NBC
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: NBC version of the hit British mockumentary about lackluster daily life at a paper-supply company in Scranton, Pa.

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