is the twenty-third episode and season finale
of the third season of the U.S. version of The Office
. It is the season's second hour-long episode. It was written by Paul Lieberstein
& Michael Schur
and directed by Ken Kwapis
Confident that he will get the corporate job, Michael
sells his condo at a loss on eBay
and names Dwight
his successor as Regional Manager. Pam
cheerfully withstands her colleagues' teasing over her speech from "Beach Games
", and tells Karen
that she is not sorry about what she said but regrets putting Karen in an awkward position. Karen says Pam is "kind of a bitch".
Before the end of the day, Kevin asks Jim if he likes Karen or Pam better. Though Jim initially refuses to answer, he becomes intrigued when Kevin starts to compare the two women. He tells Kevin to keep thinking about it in a joking way, but appears to be very interested in the results.
Jan arrives at the office to win Michael back. In a panic, Michael consults the women of the office. Pam tells him to be strong and to not get back together with her. Michael attempts to reject Jan, but reverses himself immediately when he sees that she had a breast augmentation. Jim and Karen drive to New York City together and spend the night before their interviews. Karen tells Jim that if either of them gets the job, both should move to New York. She promises to do so, but is met with awkward silence when she asks Jim to reciprocate.
Dwight begins his new regime, assigning Andy the role of his No. 2 and asking Pam to be his secret "Assistant to the Regional Manager". Dwight's new motivational style is not popular. He and Andy repaint the walls of Dwight's new office black in order to instill fear.
During his interview at Corporate, Michael learns from CFO David Wallace that he is interviewing for the job currently held by Jan, who will be fired. Jan storms into Wallace's office and refuses to leave. After Jan is escorted out by security, Michael learns that he will not be getting the position. On the drive home, Jan tells Michael that she will make their relationship her "full-time job". Michael is visibly uncomfortable.
Jim's interview with David goes very well until he discovers an encouraging note from Pam along with a yogurt lid medal. Jim recalls a conversation with Pam after her confession on the beach. He discreetly admits that he left Scranton because of her rejection and that he feels that he has never really come back, meaning that he has tried to be a different person. Pam tells him that she wishes that he would come back.
Jim drives back to Scranton alone and asks Pam on a date. She accepts, visibly moved.
David Wallace offers the job to Ryan, who accepts and immediately breaks up with Kelly: "You and I are done."
The episode first aired in the U.S. on May 17
, attracting 7.88 million viewers. It ranked third in its timeslot (behind a CBS tribute to the retiring Bob Barker
and the first season finale
of Ugly Betty
) and 37th in Nielsen's prime-time television rankings for the week.
The Season Three DVD contains a number of deleted scenes. Notable cut scenes include:
- Michael tells Toby, "I hate your guts."
- Ryan receives a mysterious fax.
- Ryan teases Pam about her speech, and Kevin continues comparing Pam and Karen.
- Michael finds an apartment in Queens.
- Andy interviews with Dwight.
- Extension of Andy's "my brain" interview.
- Extension of Pam's "Absolutely, I do."
- After Dwight gives Pam the role of his secret number 2, he makes a phonecall to Angela and tells her to keep her eye on Pam, which she agrees to do, making it obvious that Angela is his secret number 2.
- Kelly gives Pam erroneous advice about Jim's feelings for her.
- Pam says she and Kelly have nothing in common.
- Michael answers the interview question, "Where do you see yourself in ten years?"
- Additional scenes from Dwight's conference room presentation.
- Creed produces counterfeit Schrute Bucks.
- Dwight and Andy paint Dwight's office.
- Additional footage of Michael's face-saving speech when he returns to Scranton.
- Jan moves into Michael's condo.
- Angela admiringly compares Dwight to Sean Hannity.
References to previous episodes
- Pam accepts Dwight's invitation with "Absolutely, I do." This is the same phrase Jim used to join Dwight's alliance in "The Alliance".
- One of the reasons given for firing Jan was her repeated claims to have been visiting her sister in Scottsdale, as she did in "Back from Vacation".
- Jim discovers a note from Pam hidden in his sales report. The yogurt lid attached to the note recalls "Office Olympics", in which yogurt lids were used as medals.
- While interviewing Andy in a deleted scene, Dwight asks him what the Dharma Initiative is. Dwight previously asked Ryan the same question in "Initiation".
- The scene of Jim finding an encouraging note from Pam is reminiscent of the scene from the series finale of the original series, in which Dawn finds a similar note from Tim and returns to the office.
- This episode (titled "The Job") features five kinds of jobs, Michael's manager job given to Dwight, Andy as Dwight's #2, and Pam "secret" job to Dwight, the job at Corporate and Jan's breast augmentation surgery (colloquially known as a "boob job").
- When interviewing Jim, David Wallace mentions his dislike for the HR representative Kendall, paralleling Michael's dislike for Scranton HR representative Toby.
- The fake web address Ryan invented for Creed's "blog" (a Microsoft Word document) is "www.creedthoughts.gov.wwwcreedthoughts". Coincident with the episode's premiere, NBC created the Creed Thoughts blog whose initial entry is identical to the one being composed during the episode.
- When Michael leaves the office, he says "Good night, and good luck." That is the famous catchphrase of journalist Edward R. Murrow. It is also the name of the film Good Night, and Good Luck, which is about Murrow's time at CBS. Michael, as a kid, also appeared on a children's television show alongside a puppet news reporter named Edward R. Meow, which was revealed in "Take Your Daughter to Work Day".
- The song Michael plays on the tape recorder while exiting the office is "Kind and Generous" by Natalie Merchant.
- When Dwight is interviewing Andy, Dwight asks Andy what the capital of Maine is. Andy replies that the capital is Montpelier, Vermont, and that it is close to Ithaca, New York where he attended Cornell. Neither Montpelier nor Augusta, Maine are close to Ithaca, New York.
- John Krasinski actually cut his hair some time before this episode filmed, for his role in the film Leatherheads. This was the first episode that showed his shorter cut—he had worn a hairpiece to keep Jim looking like his old shaggy self.
- The episode was filmed with two endings. The one that didn't air consisted of Pam taking the elevator at the end of the day. When the doors open, Jim is standing there waiting for her.
- David Wallace hires Ryan despite his never having made a sale.
- Michael uses the phrase "DEFCON 20" to demonstrate his discomfort with Jan's presence at the branch, and as his "defense readiness" by having Pam assemble the women of the office to help him confront Jan. In real life, higher defense conditions are represented by lower DEFCON numbers (this could be an example of Michael's vocabulary ineptitude).