After Cecilia's glorious yet unconventional arrival into the world, it's time for the Dunder Mifflin staff to resume their roles as Pennsylvania's most outrageous office staff.
Hello America. I am Adam Mersel, TVGuide.com's resident Intern/Sitcom Enthusiast/Assistant Regional Manager, and I will be taking over as official recapper of The Office.
This week's episode begins with Michael acknowledging St. Patrick's Day in a full Irish brogue, as Kelly and Ryan engage in their usual bickering. Michael explains how this happens to be a very popular holiday in the Scranton area, as this is "the closest the Irish will ever get to Christmas."
Jim makes his much-anticipated entrance back into the office after the birth of his daughter, and finds that things have not changed a bit — except that Dwight has connected their workstations in order to make himself a "mega-desk." Unhappy with this threat to his dominion, Dwight snarks, "Tweetle Dee and Tweetle Dumbass are back. All I care about now is mega-desk, getting more mega-desk."
Jo, Dunder Mifflin's new resident CEO from Sabre, is still happy to spend time in the Scranton office, mostly because her dog loves "peeing in the Scranton snow." In order to get more attention, Michael brings her a special gift, which happens to be a box of coal. Jo doesn't quite get it until she is informed that coal powers all of the buildings in the area. In return, she promises that if Michael ever wants to travel to Tallahassee (her "neck of the woods") he always has a place to stay — an idea that clearly excites him.
Andy and Erin both seem to be excited for their upcoming first date, and Andy compares the feeling and night to a How I Met Your Mother episode, explaining how "it is the night that your kids will be waiting to hear about. You better have a good story to tell them."
Dwight wants five more minutes with the "mega-desk," but Jim does not agree. Dwight explains how "they say that no man is an island. False. I am an island and it is volcanic, and it will erupt with the molten hot lava of strategy." He begins to harass and use a sarcastic tone with Jim in hopes of convincing him to go home and be with his daughter and Pam. As usual, he is unsuccessful.
As things continue, Erin is becoming sick, but in order to keep her date with Andy from being cancelled, she tells Jo that she is fine, doesn't need to go home, and never has health problems — "except for the time I was in the hospital from age three until six."
When Jo asks the office employees for good new ideas about increasing sales, Darryl surprises everyone by presenting a great plan for increased delivery. Impressed, Jo offers him a promotion, entailing a move up from the warehouse.
After a long few days, Jo announces that it is her final day evaluating the office. Michael jokes (as usual) about missing Jo, and explains that he has indeed purchased a ticket to go and visit her in Tallahassee. She is not happy, to say the least. Michael describes how, "Jo invites Michael to house, he books ticket to house, she doesn't like him anymore."
Darryl begins to move his belongings upstairs as Michael pressures Jo into having lunch with him. She refuses, even as he tries to explain a code of knocking on the wall in order for her to give him an answer (about whether or not she will eat with him). She counters by saying, "how many knocks does it take you to get back to work."
Dwight continues to bother Jim by blasting loud music, and even Andy joins in on the fun. It is obvious that they are both trying to sabotage the new father, and capitalize on his vulnerability. Jim confesses to Pam on the phone that Dwight is for once actually getting under his skin, and he is considering heading home.
Erin continues to sneeze, and because Jo is a clean freak, she convinces her to go home and relax. Andy explains how it won't be the end of the world if she goes home, but he hopes that she still has feelings for him. Andy begins to fake sick also so he can leave, and it works.
As Michael welcomes Darryl to the upstairs, he explains how it is a "true Hoop Dreams story." He also asks if the promotion is due to Jo's family feeling obligated to help out Darryl's family, obviously implying a past history of enslavement. It is, of course, painfully awkward.
Michael, wanting to go out and celebrate St. Patrick's Day, calls his friend, and explains how he has to work late. His friend yells, "Take out your tampon, pull up your skirt and come here." Eventually, the office tries to plan a walk out, but as Jo comes out and catches them, they begrudgingly go back to work.
Andy shows up at Erin's, even though she is in her "jammy-jams," and she invites him in. As they cuddle and watch a movie, Erin's foster brother enters, and breaks the chemistry completely. He steals Andy's spot on the couch, amplifies his inside jokes with Erin, and makes Andy feel completely unwelcome. The only compliment the brother has for Erin's new crush is, "nice skirt (he was actually wearing a kilt)." Andy eventually realizes that it is time to go, and even though the brother ruins the new couple's goodbye moment, Erin kisses Andy on the cheek. He grins happily, and adoringly says, "I guess I'm going to get sick now."
As the Russian cleaning staff enters the office, Michael realizes how late it is actually getting. After Jim lies to Jo and escapes by blaming it on a sales call, Michael convinces Jo to allow his staff to leave and celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Michael explains how he is canceling his Tallahassee trip, but she exclaims how she is looking forward to their new "professional relationship." Michael is satisfied.
The episode ends with the office staff (minus Andy, Erin, Jim, and Pam) partying and drinking at a bar, celebrating the Irish holiday. They seem to be bonding, as Meredith and Kevin do a less than adequate job at the Irish Jig. Michael finally realizes that he can't get exactly what he wants out of his relationship with Jo, but he must not worry what she thinks of him. He is finally self-contained.
All in all, this episode didn't provide the usual laughs that the series is known for. What it did do was set-up plot lines and new situations for the cast members as they enter a new post-baby phase. The first date of Andy and Erin had its definite share of "awwwww" moments, and Jim and Pam now have a new couple to compete with. Nice move, writers.
Until next week America, your homework is this: learn the Irish Jig. You may never use it, but if you do — we can't afford another Meredith and Kevin situation.