A Look Back on Branch Closing
Office Ladies #85.5 July 27, 2021
This week we’re taking a look back on Branch Closing. This is the episode that spawned the famous Michael Scott “This Is The Worst” meme, and the ladies dig into those Angela and Roy flirtations, along with getting into the intricacies of low-pony tails. There’s a great fan catch at David Wallace’s house, and we find out Jim is coming back to Scranton. Finally, we couldn’t say goodbye to Josh Porter without bringing on the amazing Charles Esten (Outer Banks on Netflix). Charles gives us his The Office origin story, talks about his family’s love of the show, and gives us inside info about his last scenes with Andy (Ed Helms). So enjoy your summer break and a look back on this great episode.
Hear the Episode
Branch Closing Rerelease
[00:00:00] Jenna Hello, happy summertime, everyone,
[00:00:03] Angela I want to paint this picture for you.
[00:00:04] Jenna Oh.
[00:00:05] Angela Right now I am in a fluffy sundress that doesn't hug any part of my body.
[00:00:10] Jenna OK.
[00:00:11] Angela Maybe I've lathered myself up in some sunscreen.
[00:00:15] Jenna Mmhmm.
[00:00:15] Angela Put on a big floppy hat, and I'm hoping there's a glass of rosé in my hand.
[00:00:19] Jenna I believe that right now I will have on some blousy pants.
[00:00:24] Angela Mmhmm.
[00:00:25] Jenna With lots of pocket.
[00:00:25] Angela Oh, yeah.
[00:00:26] Jenna I have just sprayed bug repellent all over my body. And hopefully I also have an adult beverage in my hand because we're on vacation.
[00:00:37] Angela We're on vacation. But we didn't want to leave you this week, so we thought we'd share an episode we loved. It's "Branch Closing". You remember this one?
[00:00:44] Jenna It's so good.
[00:00:44] Angela So good. There's the brilliant Jim prank with Future Dwight.
[00:00:47] Jenna Oh, yeah.
[00:00:48] Angela And then Jan tells Michael the Scranton branch will be closing and everyone freaks out.
[00:00:53] Jenna There's also some Big Jim Karen news.
[00:00:56] Angela Oh yeah.
[00:00:56] Jenna And most exciting. We got to talk with Chip Esten, who played Josh Porter, who was the manager of the Stamford branch. He talks all about his time on the show and he could not be more charming.
[00:01:08] Angela So charming. And he had some great stories about scenes with Ed Helms.
[00:01:12] Jenna We also discussed my low pony in this episode. Angela.
[00:01:15] Angela I know.
[00:01:16] Jenna We'll see you back here next week
[00:01:19] Angela With "The Surplus"
[00:01:20] Jenna when that's a good one, too. That's a new one, guys.
[00:01:23] Angela That's the one where you guys surprise me.
[00:01:25] Jenna That's your birthday episode, lady.
[00:01:27] Angela I know. All right. We'll see you guys in.
[00:01:34] JENNA FISHCER I'm Jenna Fischer.
[00:01:35] ANGELA KINSEY I'm Angela Kinsey.
[00:01:36] JENNA FISHCER We were on "The Office" together.
[00:01:37] ANGELA KINSEY And we're best friends.
[00:01:38] JENNA FISHCER And now we're doing the ultimate "Office" rewatch podcast just for you.
[00:01:42] ANGELA KINSEY Each week we will break down an episode of "The Office" and give exclusive behind the scenes stories that only two people who were there can tell you.
[00:01:49] JENNA FISHCER We're the "Office Ladies". Hi folks.
[00:01:55] ANGELA KINSEY Hello, everybody.
[00:01:57] JENNA FISHCER I'm sorry, I feel like I just shouted. I won't do that again.
[00:02:01] ANGELA KINSEY If you shouted, then what did I do?
[00:02:03] JENNA FISHCER I don't know. I don't know. I'll pull back. We're a little amped up today, guys. We're excited about this episode.
[00:02:08] ANGELA KINSEY We're amped up. We're excited about this episode. Also, seeing my BFF's face and Sam and Codi, like the four of us, is kind of just like one of the highlights of my week.
[00:02:18] JENNA FISHCER Every week. It's the one of the highlights of my week.
[00:02:21] ANGELA KINSEY Every week. Yeah.
[00:02:21] JENNA FISHCER It's true.
[00:02:22] ANGELA KINSEY Let's talk about "The Office".
[00:02:24] JENNA FISHCER This week's episode is "Branch Closing". It is Season 3, Episode 7, written by Mike Schur and directed by Tucker Gates.
[00:02:33] ANGELA KINSEY Yes, Tucker Gates directed four episodes, one of which people like absolutely flip out over is the "Threat Level Midnight". We'll get there.
[00:02:42] JENNA FISHCER Yes. Oh, yes. All right. Here's a summary for this episode jumping right in. Jan tells Michael that the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch is shutting down. Michael, of course, shares this news with the rest of the office. Even though Jan told him not to.
[00:03:00] ANGELA KINSEY I mean, what are you going to tell Michael something and expect him not to just blurt it out? He's like emotion driven. The guy cannot hold anything in.
[00:03:09] JENNA FISHCER No, he can, he can hold nothing. Basically.
[00:03:12] ANGELA KINSEY Yeah.
[00:03:13] JENNA FISHCER So everyone is wondering what their new life will be like. They're talking about it. They're thinking about it. Meanwhile, Michael and Dwight drive to David Wallace's house in hopes of ambushing him and saving the branch. They're gonna, they're gonna save us, guys.
[00:03:29] ANGELA KINSEY Even if they have to be aggressive. Like what they're going to show up at this guy's house. What are they thinking?
[00:03:35] JENNA FISHCER Yeah.
[00:03:36] ANGELA KINSEY Thank God, he didn't come home.
[00:03:38] JENNA FISHCER Well, we eventually learned that Josh from Stamford leveraged his position to get a new job at Staples. And the Stamford branch will now be closing. The Scranton branch will absorb some of their employees. Which means, guys, Jim is coming back.
[00:03:57] ANGELA KINSEY Jim is coming back.
[00:03:59] JENNA FISHCER It's a big episode. That's a lot of information we find out in this episode.
[00:04:03] ANGELA KINSEY So much information and it sets up the rest of the season, really.
[00:04:08] JENNA FISHCER It really does. Yeah, we're gonna, and this is, we're gonna get our new characters now. Ed Helms. Rashida Jones. Angela, we're finally, next week, going to be able to interact with those Stamford people.
[00:04:20] ANGELA KINSEY Yeah. And they really, they really get under people's skin. It's so fun.
[00:04:25] JENNA FISHCER All right. But we're getting ahead.
[00:04:26] ANGELA KINSEY We're getting ahead of ourselves. Jenna, now, you and I were being chatty on the phone yesterday. Jenna, you were a little, I don't know, braggy to me on the phone yesterday. You said you had fantastic Fast Facts. You wouldn't tell me. So what do you got? What do you got? You were a low braggy.
[00:04:42] JENNA FISHCER I was a little braggy because I am actually really proud of these Fast Facts. The first one is a little soft. I'm going to just preface it now that we've built it up. But Fast Fact Number One is that this episode of "Branch Closing" it now streams as a supersized episode. It's longer than a regular episode. It runs about 30 minutes. But when it first aired, it was a regular episode. This ran on NBC as a shorter episode. But immediately following the airing on television, NBC released what they called a Producer's Cut where they put back some deleted scenes. And that is the version that now streams today. This Producer's Cut.
[00:05:24] ANGELA KINSEY Lady, that's a very solid first Fast Fact.
[00:05:26] JENNA FISHCER Oh well, thank you so much.
[00:05:27] ANGELA KINSEY Yeah, that's really good. I forgot that. I forgot that. And when I watched it, I noticed it was longer. And I was like, we always had a big announcement about our supersized episodes. Remember? It was all usually at the end of the season. And I was like, how did this one get in there? That's how. OK.
[00:05:44] JENNA FISHCER First of all, I think that this really speaks to how much stuff we used to cut from episodes, because when you watch this episode, it feels awesome. You're like, oh, yes. And it kind of shows all the things that we used to have to cut out. And as we go along, I'll point out some of the things that only got to stay in because of this added time. I'll mention the things that were cut for the network airing. But I think this also speaks to a time historically when websites and the idea of web traffic or exclusive web content, it was just blowing up. This is the very first kind of exclusive web content of "The Office" that NBC put out, this Producer's Cut. And it was because NBC wanted to drive traffic to their website.
[00:06:32] ANGELA KINSEY Yes. Which is also why we did those webisodes. We started doing more and more content for NBC.com. I started doing a thing called "Adventures with Angela". Where I would-.
[00:06:43] JENNA FISHCER Yeah.
[00:06:44] ANGELA KINSEY Go around the set and make these videos and they put it on NBC.com because they were really starting to see, hey, this Internet thing is probably gonna be the way to go.
[00:06:57] JENNA FISHCER And this was still before social media. This was still before Instagram, Twitter was around, but it was very much just starting. And it wasn't what it is today. But, yeah, this now you almost expected I feel like now you watch a television program and you're like, where's my extra content? Where's my behind the scene?. Where's my extended cuts? But this was like just the very beginning. And "Branch Closing" was part of that.
[00:07:23] ANGELA KINSEY I find that fascinating, Jenna. And also, yeah, you're right. This is a time stamp. Right? If we're tracking old tech, our show started before there were streaming.
[00:07:33] JENNA FISHCER Oh, Angela. Fast Fact Number Two is a major old tech track. And you're gonna love this.
[00:07:40] ANGELA KINSEY What?
[00:07:41] JENNA FISHCER All right. On January 9th, 2007, Apple introduced the first iPhone. I don't know if you remember this, but it was unveiled during a presentation by Steve Jobs. We got some mail from Aaron McDonald with what might be my favorite tip off ever. He said that the cold open from this episode was the first ever piece of video played on the iPhone, and it was done during that presentation by Steve Jobs.
[00:08:11] ANGELA KINSEY Wow. We were part of this global moment, like without even knowing it.
[00:08:19] JENNA FISHCER Yes. It blew my mind. Here is something even more crazy. I watched the whole presentation. Also during the presentation, Steve Jobs, when he's showing you how the music stuff works, he plays the Green Day song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams". Angela, in Season 6 of "The Office", Dwight and Andy sing "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" in the Secret Santa episode. What are you trying to tell me, Jenna? What is happening? Is this an episode of "Lost"? Is this an episode of "Lost"?
[00:08:47] JENNA FISHCER Group mind.
[00:08:49] ANGELA KINSEY Group minds. Time Portal. What's happening?
[00:08:52] JENNA FISHCER I don't know. Don't you think it's crazy that both a video of "The Office" and that Green Day song were both part of this presentation and then later that same Green Day song shows up on "The Office"? It's so many coincidences. What's happening?
[00:09:06] ANGELA KINSEY I think it's a collective of amazing creative minds.
[00:09:09] JENNA FISHCER It's a group mind of great stuff. You've got an iPhone, you've got "The Office", you've got Green Day. It's group mind. I don't know.
[00:09:16] ANGELA KINSEY OK. All right. What's next, Jenna?
[00:09:18] JENNA FISHCER Fast Fact Number Three, there are a ton of talking heads in this episode. Did you notice?
[00:09:24] ANGELA KINSEY Well, yeah, because everyone's reacting. I did notice that.
[00:09:27] JENNA FISHCER Everyone's talking about, oh, what am I going to do now that the branch is closing? And then when we find out the branch is not closing, everybody talks about, oh, here's my reaction to that news. Do you remember when we talked about how our cinematographer, Randall Einhorn, chose the placement of a talking head based on whether or not people had a future outside of Dunder Mifflin?
[00:09:49] ANGELA KINSEY Yes.
[00:09:50] JENNA FISHCER To refresh everyone's memories, we learned that most characters have the office of Dunder Mifflin behind them, behind them in that window as they're giving their talking heads. And the reason behind this was that that meant people were stuck. They didn't really have a future. They were kind of stuck in the world of Dunder Mifflin.
[00:10:11] ANGELA KINSEY Right.
[00:10:12] JENNA FISHCER However, very often, Jim would have a talking head all the time and his talking heads had a window to the world behind him.
[00:10:20] ANGELA KINSEY Yes.
[00:10:20] JENNA FISHCER And the point of that was because he had a future outside of this company.
[00:10:24] ANGELA KINSEY Yes.
[00:10:25] JENNA FISHCER Right? He was going places.
[00:10:26] ANGELA KINSEY Yes.
[00:10:28] JENNA FISHCER Angela, in this episode, after the employees get the news that Dunder Mifflin Scranton is closing, every single one of the talking heads have a window to the outside world behind them.
[00:10:41] ANGELA KINSEY No, they don't. What?
[00:10:43] JENNA FISHCER Oh, yes, they do. Wait. When they find out that the branch isn't closing, all of the talking heads switch back to having the bullpen behind them.
[00:10:53] ANGELA KINSEY I did not catch that.
[00:10:54] JENNA FISHCER You have to watch it.
[00:10:56] ANGELA KINSEY I have to go back and watch it.
[00:10:57] JENNA FISHCER Angela, you have a talking head where you're talking about Dunder Mifflin closing and outside world behind you. Same with Pam. Same with Ryan. Same with Phyllis. Same with Stanley. And then when we find out that we're still stuck at Dunder Mifflin, Dunder Mifflin is behind us.
[00:11:12] ANGELA KINSEY That is so wild because I really don't think I ever had talking heads on that wall. Ever. I mean, I'm, I'm trying to think back. I think maybe one time when I was sitting next to you when we were both pregnant, right?
[00:11:24] JENNA FISHCER Yeah.
[00:11:25] ANGELA KINSEY But like, wow, Jenna. That is a fantastic Fast Fact.
[00:11:29] JENNA FISHCER It's subtle, but it's layered and it's there. Everybody watch "Branch Closing" again just for the talking head. That's it. That's what I got.
[00:11:37] ANGELA KINSEY I'm giving you some claps all around.
[00:11:39] JENNA FISHCER Thanks lady. I was really proud of that one because I, I tracked that one myself. So I'm giving myself a real pat on the back for that. I'm raising my glass to myself. I don't know if you can see, I'm raising my coffee mug to myself.
[00:11:51] ANGELA KINSEY I'm raising mine back to you. You do, as you raise your coffee mug, I notice you have a tattoo on your wrist that you normally don't have. I was fascinated and fixated on it. Did your kids give you a sticky tattoo?
[00:12:05] JENNA FISHCER You know, Angela, in this pandemic, we have brought back some real oldies but goodies at our house. And one of them has been the temporary tattoos.
[00:12:16] ANGELA KINSEY Yeah.
[00:12:16] JENNA FISHCER This is something my kids were interested in when they were like 2 or 3 years old and they're now 8 and 6. And we found this drawer of temporary tattoos and we're tattin' up.
[00:12:27] ANGELA KINSEY You know what we found?
[00:12:29] JENNA FISHCER What?
[00:12:29] ANGELA KINSEY It's not as exciting as your tattoos. We found in the shed a bin of unopened Play Dough. And it was still good. Our kids are 12, 12 and 10. They're not, you know, that's when you sort of phase out a Play Dough.
[00:12:42] JENNA FISHCER Yeah.
[00:12:43] ANGELA KINSEY They brought it back. There's a chicken that poops Play Dough. It's made a comeback. Lady, those Fast Facts were so good. I mean, where do we go from there? We should probably take a break.
[00:12:54] JENNA FISHCER Let's take a break and then we'll dive into this episode.
[00:12:57] ANGELA KINSEY It sounds great.
[00:13:01] JENNA FISHCER All right. We're back, guys. We're going to start breaking down this episode of "Branch Closing". We're going to start with that cold open that we told you ran during the unveiling of the iPhone.
[00:13:11] ANGELA KINSEY Yeah. So this is a classic Jim prank. He has found a way to prank Dwight, even from the Stamford branch. He is sending a fax very early in the morning. Karen enters. She's a little curious, like, what are you doing? And he's like, it's too hard to explain. And we see a talking head where Jim says that he stole some of Dwight's stationery before he left. And he occasionally sends Dwight a fax from Dwight's future self.
[00:13:36] JENNA FISHCER It's so good.
[00:13:38] ANGELA KINSEY It's so perfect. It's so perfect. And that morning he said, "Don't drink the coffee, might be poisoned". Right? Something to that effect. So Dwight's like, oh, my God. And he sees Stanley about to take a sip of coffee. And he, you know, practically tackles him to the ground. He's like, "You'll thank me later". So Dwight thinks he is getting faxes from his future self. This is classic Jim.
[00:14:02] JENNA FISHCER It's so good. It's so good. The first thing I thought after I watched this cold open was did Mike Schur write this episode? He did, because that's Mike Schur's. This is 100% from the brain of Mike Schur. He did such a good job of writing these Jim Dwight pranks.
[00:14:18] ANGELA KINSEY He's so smart, Jenna. He's so smart.
[00:14:21] JENNA FISHCER I know.
[00:14:22] ANGELA KINSEY He's a smarty. Yeah.
[00:14:22] JENNA FISHCER All right. So then we move into the episode and Michael is at his desk. Jan enters. Oh, Michael. Again, like three hellos. "Just call me Levinson in morning".
[00:14:35] ANGELA KINSEY "Levinsons".
[00:14:36] JENNA FISHCER And, you know, Jan has news to deliver. But first, she has to sit through this barrage of awkward hellos from Michael. And she finally tells him, Dunder Mifflin Scranton is closing. You are a severance package person.
[00:14:51] ANGELA KINSEY Yeah. You're not going to make it.
[00:14:53] JENNA FISHCER Michael starts crying.
[00:14:54] ANGELA KINSEY And then he starts, like, moaning. Like how awk-, Jenna could you imagine, like, in this moment?
[00:15:01] JENNA FISHCER No. And of course, it's so loud. Everyone from outside the office can see and hear that something is going down in his office. Everyone's very curious.
[00:15:11] ANGELA KINSEY Yes. Because he's like, "oooooh", like he's moaning.
[00:15:16] JENNA FISHCER Kevin comes over to Pam's desk, wants to know what's going on. We had a fan question.
[00:15:21] ANGELA KINSEY Okay. I'm gonna let like this fan question go. And then I have a card that just says, "What"?
[00:15:29] JENNA FISHCER Is it what Hadlee Horton is wondering, "Why is Pam's hair different? What's up with the low pony"?
[00:15:36] ANGELA KINSEY Oh, that's a separate card called "Low Pony Question Mark".
[00:15:40] JENNA FISHCER OK. Where should we start? Should we start with "What"? Or low pony?
[00:15:45] ANGELA KINSEY Let's start with "What"? And then go into low pony.
[00:15:48] JENNA FISHCER Great.
[00:15:48] ANGELA KINSEY Pam calls Kevin "Kev". And then Buddy. And they fist bump. What is happening?
[00:15:56] JENNA FISHCER Well, the fist bump was a reluctant fist bump, though, Ang.
[00:16:00] ANGELA KINSEY I know. But Kev, buddy, fist bump.
[00:16:01] JENNA FISHCER She's being condescending. She's being totally condescending. She's trying to put him off. She's like, Kev, buddy. Fist bump. Leave my desk. I mean, she's trying to get through it. That's my interpretation.
[00:16:15] ANGELA KINSEY My interpretation was that he's like a little kid.
[00:16:19] JENNA FISHCER Yeah.
[00:16:20] ANGELA KINSEY Yeah. So she's like, "Ok, Kev. Ok, buddy".
[00:16:20] JENNA FISHCER So she's patronizing him.
[00:16:23] ANGELA KINSEY Yeah.
[00:16:23] JENNA FISHCER For sure.
[00:16:24] ANGELA KINSEY But you just don't often hear Pam sort of become that casual with Kevin. Or, you know, I feel like she saves that part of herself for Jim and everyone else, she's sort of just aloof to, a little bit. So it just kind of was startling to me. That and your low ponytail. I mean, what the heck?
[00:16:42] JENNA FISHCER Here's the deal with the low pony. I think it was a swing and a miss. I wasn't crazy about it when I saw it. We were trying to change things up. You might notice as well, Pam has got a little bit of like up pinky-er, sparkly-er eyeshadow on in this episode as well and a little lip gloss.
[00:17:01] ANGELA KINSEY There's so much pink. She is pink eyeshadow, pink lipstick, pink sweater. But then the low pony with the clip. Not even a ponytail holder. I can't-. Wait. Wait. I sounded so Southern. It's very hard for me.
[00:17:14] JENNA FISHCER Holder.
[00:17:15] ANGELA KINSEY Anyway, it's a clip holding your hair. Not even a ponytail holder.
[00:17:20] JENNA FISHCER Yeah. Well, that clip is humongous. Here's the thing. The conversation in hair and makeup was that Pam would be experimenting a little bit because she's going to her art classes. She's living on her own. We needed to see some physical representation of the fact that she's attempting, even in small ways, to break out of her shell right now to break out of her routines. So there you go. We offer the low pony. I'm going to say I think you never see it again because it wasn't great. Can we just say? It wasn't great.
[00:18:00] ANGELA KINSEY It's a-. It's a clip low pony.
[00:18:02] JENNA FISHCER Yeah.
[00:18:04] ANGELA KINSEY A clip low pony. Now, I kind of wish they'd really gone for it and next week, you would've had a banana clip. Remember those things?
[00:18:10] JENNA FISHCER Oh God.
[00:18:10] ANGELA KINSEY They gave you like a Mohawk.
[00:18:12] JENNA FISHCER Yeah.
[00:18:13] ANGELA KINSEY Yeah. All right.
[00:18:15] JENNA FISHCER Well.
[00:18:15] ANGELA KINSEY Well.
[00:18:15] JENNA FISHCER It was a moment in time. It was something we tried. Unfortunately, it's there for us all to see again and again.
[00:18:23] ANGELA KINSEY Hey, don't, don't say "unfortunately" to me. Do you see how many low ponies my character has? Like all the crazy hairdos that I have?
[00:18:29] JENNA FISHCER Listen. I don't have a problem with a low pony. I don't have a problem with a low pony in general. I'm just saying this particular low pony was because of the giant clip. It was odd.
[00:18:41] ANGELA KINSEY We're back in Michael's office, and Jenna, I don't know if you've ever had to fire someone. I have. Or if you've ever been fired, but I couldn't imagine getting the news Michael got. And Jan's like, "Well, you know, they believe that Josh Porter is going to have a big role in the future of the company". And Michael goes, "What kind of role? King of the stupid universe".
[00:19:04] JENNA FISHCER Yeah.
[00:19:06] ANGELA KINSEY Just like, could you imagine? Like, firing someone basically who's, who's having this kind of a spiral? I mean.
[00:19:13] JENNA FISHCER Could you imagine firing someone or being fired and then having their wind up mechanical teeth go off?
[00:19:19] ANGELA KINSEY Was it in the script?
[00:19:20] JENNA FISHCER It was an accident. And by the way, this points to what amazing actors Steve and Melora are because they just stayed in the moment and reacted to it as if that was meant to happen. It was not meant to happen.
[00:19:34] ANGELA KINSEY That's brilliant. And could it be more perfect-.
[00:19:35] JENNA FISHCER Brilliant.
[00:19:36] ANGELA KINSEY That you're firing this guy who's so incompetent on so many levels. And his clacky teeth go off.
[00:19:44] JENNA FISHCER Yes. Amazing. All right, I'm going to move us along. Michael has a talking head where he says, "Let's see, Josh, find another Stanley, Phyllis or Kevin, show me that farm". Show me that farm. And during that talking head, we kind of, we see Creed eating his mung beans at his desk. We see Phyllis knitting. And we had a fan question from Stephanie Miller, In this episode, when we see Phyllis knitting, can she knit in real life? Did she knit that whole scarf her character's working on"? You guys, she is 100% fake knitting. Phyllis cannot knit. Didn't she do so good?
[00:20:21] ANGELA KINSEY They had a basket full of knitting stuff. They had made it part of her character. It sat next to her desk all 9 seasons and it just sat there. And sometimes if she had to do background stuff. But this was a great panning shot because, you know, Michael says there is no Stanley tree and he's napping. And then they said, do you think the world is crawling with Phyllises? And she's knitting. So it was this great visual, but no, Phyllis can't knit.
[00:20:46] JENNA FISHCER Yeah, no.
[00:20:48] ANGELA KINSEY No. That's one of my favorite talking heads, though. I love that one.
[00:20:52] JENNA FISHCER I do too. I do too. So then Michael is walking around the office. Dwight can tell something's wrong, but Michael isn't spilling. And this is my other favorite talking head from this episode, which is Dwight's talking head, where he says, "When you're close to someone, you can read them like a book. And he says, Michael's book is titled 'Something Weird is Going On: What Did Jan Say? The Michael Scott Story by Michael Scott with Dwight Schrute". All right, that last part is not in the script, and I could kind of tell that there was an improv there because whenever Rainn improvs at the end of a talking head or the end of a scene, I feel like you can see him smile just a little bit in the corners of his mouth and his eyes. So I reached out to Mike Schur and he told me that he and Rainn expanded on the book title on the day, on set. They kept throwing out ideas. The original was just supposed to be "Something weird is going on, colon, what did Jan say"? And Mike threw out "The Michael Scott story" and then Rainn added "With Dwight Schrute".
[00:22:02] ANGELA KINSEY Yeah, for sure. I mean, I feel like we all have tells and Rain when he has an improv that I think he's really happy with, has a little bit of a smirk. He is kind of proud of the moment.
[00:22:13] JENNA FISHCER Yeah. He amuses himself in the moment while saying it.
[00:22:15] ANGELA KINSEY Now, things are really getting heightened over at the Stamford branch because Karen breaks the news that the Scranton branch is closing to Jim and oh my God, Jim's face. He's like, "What"?
[00:22:26] JENNA FISHCER You notice he doesn't reach out to Pam. Pam and Jim never call one another or text one another in this whole day. It's kind of weird because in "Diwali" we see that Pam was texting Jim. And they had that phone call at the end of "Grief Counseling". But what's going on? Why no communication?
[00:22:46] ANGELA KINSEY It makes perfect sense to me. You know, they, they're both sort of struggling with where do we go from here? And. I'm sure Pam's first instinct is to reach out to him, but she doesn't feel like she has that kind of access to him anymore. She rejected him.
[00:23:03] JENNA FISHCER Yeah.
[00:23:03] ANGELA KINSEY So, no, it makes perfect sense to me that they don't communicate. What I thought was weirder and we're gonna get to it, is that Roy finds out from accounting. So Pam didn't even tell Roy.
[00:23:13] JENNA FISHCER That's right.
[00:23:14] ANGELA KINSEY So now Michael approaches Pam at front reception. He's acting really strange. She clearly knows something is up because he was moaning in his office and Jan visited. So Pam's like, "What's going on, Michael"?
[00:23:28] JENNA FISHCER Yeah, I have a fan catch from this moment.
[00:23:31] ANGELA KINSEY OK.
[00:23:32] JENNA FISHCER At 6 minutes, 21 seconds. Celeste Demus says, "If you freeze and look closely on that big board, that's hanging by accounting, on Tuesday the 5th, it says, 'One of many Emmys, Steve was robbed'".
[00:23:51] ANGELA KINSEY Oh, that's a great fan catch. I promise I didn't write it.
[00:23:55] JENNA FISHCER We shot this episode about two weeks after the Emmys, and I guess someone had written up on the board a little congratulations to us. And we also needed to say that Steve was robbed because he did not win that year for Michael Scott. He never won for Michael Scott.
[00:24:10] ANGELA KINSEY Which is ridiculous.
[00:24:12] JENNA FISHCER Yeah, well, I have a Jenna catch because since Celeste turned me on to looking at this whiteboard, I found something else on the whiteboard. On the top line, written under Thursday, written in multiple colors. It says, "In case you haven't noticed, there is a lot of colorful hooey on this board". Anyway, guys, for the future, I think it could be very fun to freeze on this whiteboard because they did change what they wrote all the time.
[00:24:39] ANGELA KINSEY Well, I love that. I love the little subtle shade towards the television academy.
[00:24:45] JENNA FISHCER Totally.
[00:24:45] ANGELA KINSEY About Steve not getting the Emmy.
[00:24:47] JENNA FISHCER Totally.
[00:24:48] ANGELA KINSEY Coming up next, Michael has a talking head and then he does something immediately after. And it's it's one of these classic Michael moments that I live for. It always makes me laugh so hard. Michael says that all he can do is put on a brave face and be our leader. And then he says to the whole bullpen, "It's over. We are screwed".
[00:25:09] JENNA FISHCER Yeah.
[00:25:10] ANGELA KINSEY Like, really, buddy? That's the brave face you're putting on for us. OK. Thanks.
[00:25:14] JENNA FISHCER Yeah. I mean, he really, he offers no comfort. He, he sort of begins to ugly cry. Angela is asking about the employees, asking about their jobs.
[00:25:24] ANGELA KINSEY I have two catches here.
[00:25:26] JENNA FISHCER I have something I need to say, Angela.
[00:25:28] ANGELA KINSEY OK. Go.
[00:25:29] JENNA FISHCER At 7 minutes, 18 seconds. Your sweater?
[00:25:33] ANGELA KINSEY It's a sweater vest. OK, so I actually have some photos of this sweater from a wardrobe fitting that I saved. So I have a a button down shirt. And then over it I have a sweater vest. But it's like a tank. It's like a-
[00:25:48] JENNA FISHCER It's a teeny tiny, very odd sweater vest.
[00:25:54] ANGELA KINSEY Yes.
[00:25:54] JENNA FISHCER It's like another one of those failed "Project Runway" contests.
[00:25:59] ANGELA KINSEY Oh, 100%. And then our wardrobe designer, Carey Bennett, took the buttons off the sweater vest and replaced them with those cat faces.
[00:26:09] JENNA FISHCER It's really a work of art.
[00:26:11] ANGELA KINSEY It really is. All right. Well, I have a catch. At 7 minutes, 27 seconds, this is one of the most famous Michael Scott memes. It's Steve making that face like he's about to cry, or maybe he smells dog poop. You know, the face. And he says, "This is the worst". And people use it a ton to respond to other people. Like when they get some news that they're like, no way. All of a sudden I see in my feed Steve's face.
[00:26:38] JENNA FISHCER OK, on OfficeLadiesPod, will you please post the pictures of your cat buttons and of this meme?
[00:26:45] ANGELA KINSEY Yes, of course. Of course.
[00:26:47] JENNA FISHCER OK. Good. Because I want everyone to have these visuals.
[00:26:50] ANGELA KINSEY OK.
[00:26:51] JENNA FISHCER I think it's important.
[00:26:52] ANGELA KINSEY I have a script question, Jenna. Because I know you have the, the scripts. So. Toby admits that he knows that this was going to happen, Michael calls him a traitor, says he wants to see him in his office. They start to walk in and Michael says, "Oh, my God, you walk so slowly". I feel like that was Steve improvising.
[00:27:10] JENNA FISHCER I had that same feeling and I did look at the script. None of that part of him calling Toby into his office was scripted. So him, that whole bit of him calling Toby in his office, say he's walking slowly, and then Dwight guarding the door and putting his hand up to the camera. None of that was in the script.
[00:27:29] ANGELA KINSEY Amazing.
[00:27:31] JENNA FISHCER Yeah.
[00:27:31] ANGELA KINSEY Amazing. And I love that everyone just went with it. They just were like, oh. Steve's doing his thing. We're gonna let this play out and participate.
[00:27:38] JENNA FISHCER Because I looked I was like, wait, is there a lost scene of Toby in Michael's office? Is there a conversation that didn't make it? No, no. That was just Steve. On the day.
[00:27:49] ANGELA KINSEY Wow. And, you know, speaking of how Rainn gets the little smirk when he improvises.
[00:27:54] JENNA FISHCER Yeah.
[00:27:54] ANGELA KINSEY At 7 minutes, 52 seconds, when he won't let the camera crew in and he shuts the door, he has the smirk.
[00:28:02] JENNA FISHCER I noticed it, too.
[00:28:03] ANGELA KINSEY Uh huh.
[00:28:04] JENNA FISHCER Well, we had a fan question for Mary Polton, and actually a lot of people wrote in with a similar question. She wanted to know, "When we got the script for this episode. Did any of us worry that the show was being canceled or did we know that this was just an idea for an episode"? And she was asking and a lot of people were asking because we've said before, sometimes plots are revealed to us at these table reads. And they were shocking. And they wanted to know as we sat down and got the script, as we were reading it, were we thinking, wait a second. What? Scranton is closing, are we all out of jobs? No, guys, we knew that this was a plot point. None of us were worried. We had all had our contracts renewed for all of Season 3.
[00:28:48] ANGELA KINSEY Yeah.
[00:28:49] JENNA FISHCER And so we knew that we would be producing 24 episodes in Season 3. And we also had been tipped off to the fact that eventually there would be a merger episode and that those people from Stamford would be coming to join us. So we didn't have any kind of surprise or anxiety when we got this script.
[00:29:05] ANGELA KINSEY No, we were just excited because it meant finally after this episode, we could all be in one room together. So we are excited. At least the Scranton branch, we were excited. I don't know, maybe Stamford was like, we like our schedule, but we were excited to have everyone back.
[00:29:19] JENNA FISHCER All right. So now, Angela, we move into a Ryan talking head and he's holding up his business cards, right?
[00:29:26] ANGELA KINSEY Or are they his calling cards?
[00:29:28] JENNA FISHCER Oh, boy. He's holding up his business slash calling cards.
[00:29:33] ANGELA KINSEY Uh huh
[00:29:34] JENNA FISHCER 8 minutes. Notice. Here it is, talking head exterior window behind him.
[00:29:42] ANGELA KINSEY Ooooh, nice.
[00:29:42] JENNA FISHCER This is the beginning of the exterior window talking heads, because next up, Angela has the talking head and Kelly has a talking head with the mascara on her face, all exterior windows.
[00:29:52] ANGELA KINSEY She's gonna track it. All right. So now we're going back to Stamford and Andy is leading everyone in a chant. "Stamford, Connecticut". Right?
[00:30:02] JENNA FISHCER Yesh.
[00:30:03] ANGELA KINSEY He's getting everyone worked up? So while everyone's chanting, at 8 minutes, 23 seconds, you will see someone who is beloved by our office cast and crew. Her name is Lori Sox. She was our stand in. Her and her husband, Stephen. They were like a stand in duo team. And she's in the background, in the scene. And it just made me so happy to see her.
[00:30:23] JENNA FISHCER I saw her, too. I saw her too and I loved it. Well, maybe we should explain what a stand in is if we haven't before. So after you rehearse the scene with the actors, you bring in people to stand in for the actors while the crew sets the lights and the camera angles. And this is an opportunity for the cast to go and get their makeup fixed or change their outfit or any number of things. Rehearse their lines. And then when we're ready to start rolling, the actors come back in and stand in their positions or sit at their desks. So Lori would stand in for all the women and Steven, her husband would stand in for the men. But every once in a while, you'll see them pop up in the background of scenes. And that's what happened here.
[00:31:04] ANGELA KINSEY Yeah, they're wonderful. And we all became very close. And anyway, I was very excited to see her there.
[00:31:10] JENNA FISHCER I know they were the loveliest and they had two kids. Lori got pregnant twice over the course of the show. Everybody who worked on our show became part of the family. And they were part of our family.
[00:31:21] ANGELA KINSEY Yes, absolutely.
[00:31:23] JENNA FISHCER Well, back in Scranton, Meredith goes into Michael's office to let him know that she is still down to sleep together.
[00:31:30] ANGELA KINSEY She's still down to get down.
[00:31:32] JENNA FISHCER Yeah. Because, you know, they made a pact years ago that they would sleep together on the last day of work. And Michael is like, "I have no idea what you're talking about". OK. This storyline, which is going to keep playing out of Meredith, trying to figure out who she agreed to have sex with on her last day of work. This was an example of one of the storylines that got cut from the original NBC airing.
[00:31:54] ANGELA KINSEY Ooh, ok.
[00:31:54] JENNA FISHCER So we were able to keep this storyline in because we got the extra time with the Producer's Cut.
[00:32:00] ANGELA KINSEY Oh, my gosh. And see, I love it. I feel like it fills out the picture.
[00:32:04] JENNA FISHCER Yes, completely.
[00:32:05] ANGELA KINSEY Well, Jenna, your character has a pretty big talking head coming up. You know, it's interesting to see how the branch closing is affecting everyone. I mean, Stanley is elated, right?
[00:32:17] JENNA FISHCER He's going to retire early.
[00:32:19] ANGELA KINSEY Oh, yeah. Stanley's elated. Ryan says this worked out great. And Pam is really happy.
[00:32:27] JENNA FISHCER Oh, yeah. And we express all of those emotions with an exterior window behind us, Angela.
[00:32:35] ANGELA KINSEY Well, Pam says that she always thought that maybe she would make a big speech and slap someone and storm out. So dramatic.
[00:32:44] JENNA FISHCER I know.
[00:32:45] ANGELA KINSEY Who would she slap? It would have been me. She would have slapped me.
[00:32:48] JENNA FISHCER Well, she's eventually going to slap Michael. So maybe that's who she means. But it's definitely either you or Michael.
[00:32:54] ANGELA KINSEY Right?
[00:32:55] JENNA FISHCER Yeah.
[00:32:55] ANGELA KINSEY Yeah.
[00:32:55] JENNA FISHCER 100%. OK. So now, Angela, we're over in accounting and Angela and Kevin break the news to Roy.
[00:33:04] ANGELA KINSEY Yeah. Why? Why do Angela and Kevin break the news, huh? Why hasn't Pam said anything?
[00:33:08] JENNA FISHCER I don't know.
[00:33:09] ANGELA KINSEY I think this really shows how disconnected Roy and Pam are. By the way.
[00:33:13] JENNA FISHCER Well, he seems very concerned that Pam might be one of the Connecticut transfers. But Angela kind of misreads his concern and thinks that he's worrying about himself. And she's like, "Oh, Roy, you'll be fine. You're so strong and capable".
[00:33:30] Angela Yeah, don't worry, Roy.
[00:33:33] Jenna Yeah, don't worry, Roy.
[00:33:34] Angela Kevin finds this hilarious. Angela tells them to grow up.
[00:33:38] Jenna Yeah, he totally storms off. We got a fan question from Patricia Kennedy. Patricia wants to know, Angela, when you're talking to Roy, it seems like Angela has a thing for Roy. Did she?
[00:33:52] Angela Patricia, this is a fantastic question. All right. Many of you out there have speculated about Angela and Roy. Jenna, I've been asked this question a lot and there's all of these threads online about it. So the answer, Patricia, is yes, it seems like Angela always had a thing for Roy.
[00:34:11] Jenna I love this question, Patricia, because this has given us an opportunity to track it. We're going to track this Angela Roy flirtation because it is real and it is happening. All right. Early on, there are a few episodes that kind of hint at this Roy Angela flirtation, I believe it starts in "The Fire".
[00:34:32] Angela Mm hmm.
[00:34:33] Jenna This is Season 2. Remember when the members of the office are playing the game, who would you do? And Michael asks Roy, who would you do? And Roy says, What's the name of that tight ass Christian chick? The blond?
[00:34:45] Angela Yeah.
[00:34:45] Jenna Sort of referring to Angela. Right?
[00:34:48] Angela And I'm standing right there and I'm like, my name is Angela. And he's like, Hey, Angela. So definitely it starts there. And then in "The Secret", when Angela and Phyllis are in the kitchen and they're cleaning out the fridge, Phyllis ask Angela who she'd pick if she were in Pam's shoes, Jim or Roy. And Angela's like, oh, I don't want to participate in this. Right? But then she gets this kind of weird look on her face and she goes, Roy,
[00:35:15] Jenna Weird look, it's like a confession. It's like, well, Roy. Yeah
[00:35:20] Angela I know. But then this just keeps building. Right. And it's further fleshed out in the first ever "The Office" webisodes, Jenna.
[00:35:28] Jenna Yeah.
[00:35:29] Angela So the webisodes were called "The Books Don't Balance". It featured the accounting department. And if you watch it, go to episode 5 titled "Someone in the Warehouse". The accountants are wondering if maybe Roy took the missing money. Angela says absolutely not that he has too much character. And Kevin asked Angela if she has a crush on Roy and Angela gets very, very flustered.
[00:35:53] Jenna Oh, whoa.
[00:35:56] Angela She gets lost or she like she like sort of messes up her words and then she sort of storms off and you can find this on the DVD set. It's on Season 2, disc 4 as a bonus feature. But yeah. So that happens in the webisodes.
[00:36:10] Jenna OK, well then in Season 2, "Casino Night", there's a scene where Michael addresses the crowd in the casino and he says, old friends, new lovers. And if you look in the background, Angela and Roy are sitting next to each other at the bar and you guys kind of exchange a look.
[00:36:30] Angela I know.
[00:36:30] Jenna This is one of the things that's been pointed out on the message boards. What's the look between Angela and Roy at "Casino Night" when Michael says new lovers?
[00:36:39] Angela And why are they sitting next to each other?
[00:36:41] Jenna Why are they?
[00:36:42] Angela I don't know. And then, of course, in this episode, "Branch Closing", we have the scene. Ten minutes. Thirty three seconds. Where Angela, like we said, is trying to confront Roy, tells them he's strong and capable.
[00:36:53] Jenna Yes. And then also, if we skip forward to the "Cocktails" episode in Season 3, you will briefly hear audio of Roy asking everybody at the bar if they want to drink. And you can hear Angela say something like, oh, no, thank you, Roy. I'm... And everybody thinks that maybe that's your character kind of coyly talking to Roy.
[00:37:14] Angela Yeah, it's kind of odd that it's left in if you watch it because it's off camera and I'm like, oh, no, Roy, I'm OK. And it just kind of trails off. So it's like, what is that about? And then my personal favorite in the episode, "The Negotiation". This is also Season 3. Roy is coming in to get his very last paycheck and Angela keeps having everyone in the office tell her about the moment Roy tried to attack Jim and Dwight intervened. I mean, there's a scuffle and she just keeps wanting to hear about the scuffle. And it seems like she's just as turned on by Dwight's like being a hero as by Roy sort of being this aggressive dude.
[00:37:54] Jenna Well, this is Angela, the character's fascination with a sort of alpha male. Display of. I don't know what you would call it, just testosterone. She loves a big display of testosterone.
[00:38:11] Angela Yes, don't forget, she mentions that she has had two men have duels over her.
[00:38:16] Jenna Yes. She loves all of this.
[00:38:18] Angela She loves all of it.
[00:38:19] Jenna Roy is one hundred percent in her wheelhouse. OK, so we've tracked it. But, Angela, you went to Greg and to Paul, the writers, to get their intentions behind this whole thing. What did they tell you?
[00:38:34] Angela OK, yes, I went to Paul because he wrote the webisodes and it is so plainly spelled out that Angela has a thing for him in those. And I went to Greg as well because I just felt like he had this overall view of everyone's relationships. This is what Paul said. We never really entertained it going anywhere. We just thought it was funny that Angela liked this rougher, less tolerant guy when the rest of the world was thinking he's kind of a jerk and they're all rooting for Jim. So they sort of liked that foil, right? That I was Team Roy. And then this is what Greg said. Greg said, Roy and Pam were more of a traditional relationship and Pam needed a more modern equal relationship. But it made sense that Angela would be attracted to Roy. It could have turned into something. But Roy had to get in line behind Dwight and Andy.
[00:39:25] Jenna I love it. Oh, I love it. All right. So then Michael is down in the warehouse. He's talking to Darryl. He finds out that Bob Vance has bought the warehouse and Michael really starts to spin out and he tells the office he is not going to take this lying down. He and Dwight, they are going to go confront the CFO and they are going to save the branch.
[00:39:51] Angela How? What do you think they're going to do? But I do have an old tech alert, old tech track.
[00:39:57] Jenna What is it?
[00:39:58] Angela At 12 minutes, 50 seconds? Dwight says, hey, he's David Wallace isn't in the office. Don't worry. I have a home address and he goes to his flip phone. Jenna, do you see how he has to toggle to find the addresses? Do you remember that?
[00:40:12] Jenna Yes.
[00:40:13] Angela And then he says, don't worry, he's on my Christmas card list. I loved this so much, Jenna. I love to think about what is Dwight's Christmas card? What is he sending out?
[00:40:22] Jenna It must be a picture of the beet farm. I feel like it's in some way also a piece of advertising.
[00:40:28] Angela Maybe it's Mo's holding up a bunch of beets.
[00:40:31] Jenna I have a fan catch from Nico Martin. When Michael and Dwight are driving to David Wallace's house, the temperature in the car says it's 80 degrees outside. Why are Michael and Dwight wearing trench coats? Well, Nico, that's because we shot this episode in August, but it aired on November 9th and we always tried to match the season in which the episode would air. So that is also why you're going to see pumpkins outside at David Wallace's house. We placed them there, even though it was August, to make it seem like it was fall.
[00:41:05] Angela Yeah, we place them there and hope they wouldn't explode from the heat.
[00:41:09] Jenna Well, let's talk a little bit about the CFO's house, because we got a lot of questions about it.
[00:41:14] Angela It's a very nice house. We filmed there. I was, I did a few episodes there, and it's a really beautiful home.
[00:41:21] Jenna Well, well, well.
[00:41:23] Angela I'm rubbing off on you.
[00:41:25] Jenna I know. Sharlan Guerrera asked, was that someone's actual house or was it random? And Dixy Heidrick said, whose home was used as David Wallace's house? And where was it located? Well, of course I went to Kentapedia and he told me that David Wallace's house is located on Lomita Drive in Pasadena, California.
[00:41:48] Angela It's a beautiful neighborhood.
[00:41:49] Jenna Oh, it's a beautiful neighborhood. It was three houses away from the house used on the TV show, "Benson". That's just a little bit of trivia for it. So just a little bit more about this house. Jennifer Hodge and Whitney Grayslake wrote in and said, at 14 minutes, 13 seconds, why does David Wallace have an H. monogrammed welcome mat? Shouldn't it be a W? And Ana Worthington said, Are they at the wrong house? Is that part of the joke? Did Dwight and Michael go to the wrong house? And that's why there's an H instead of a W? Well, Kent told me that it was the doormat of the people who owned the house and no one noticed the mistake until after they were in the editing room. And you'll see in the future, this is David Wallace's house. They just forgot to replace the welcome mat.
[00:42:37] Angela the welcome mat, and also the golden retriever that's in the backyard.
[00:42:42] Jenna Oh, no, that's a whole story. That golden retriever was placed there. I'll get to it.
[00:42:46] Angela OK, well, I am intrigued,Jenna, so wrong doormat, but real dog. We'll get to it. Maybe we should take a little break right now. And when we come back, guys, we have a really fun guest.
[00:42:57] Jenna Yeah. All right. We'll see you in a second. All right, guys, we are back and we are in Stamford, and Jan has called Jim and Josh into Josh's office and she announces that Josh will be heading up what is now called Dunder Mifflin Northeast. Jim will be his number two. This is exciting news. Jim is excited until Josh says, Jan, I have actually accepted an offer from Staples.
[00:43:29] Angela Yeah.
[00:43:29] Jenna And he's going to take it.
[00:43:30] Angela Senior management position at Staples. Jan is ticked off. She's like, you leveraged this new position to get the Staples job when we orchestrated this whole merger just so we could keep you.
[00:43:43] Jenna Yeah. So, guys, this is it. This is the last time we see Josh Porter. This character has been with us for three seasons. He first came up in the pilot. We don't see him, but he's mentioned in a scene where Jan and Michael are talking about downsizing. We finally meet him on Valentine's Day and now he's leaving. And guys, Josh Porter, we've talked about this before, was played by Charles Esten. He appeared in eight episodes of the show.
[00:44:10] Angela He did a weird pilot with Rainn Wilson.
[00:44:13] Jenna Yes. We never got to work with him, but he's an awesome guy. And to commemorate his time on the show, we reached out to him and we got to chat with him a little bit.
[00:44:22] Angela All right. We're so excited to have him here. Let's play the interview. Hey, it's Chip!
[00:44:29] Jenna Hey Chip.
[00:44:31] Charles Esten Ain't no party like a Scranton party.
[00:44:33] Angela Because a Scranton Party don't stop! So great to see you.
[00:44:38] Jenna Thank you so much.
[00:44:40] Charles Esten Are you kidding me? It is so great to see you guys. You know how it is. You do a show with somebody and then there's just you don't overlap again. And I'm in Nashville now, so I haven't been able to see you guys ever since then. And all I can say quickly is you could not have been kinder. Both of you were sincerely the only two nice people there.
[00:44:58] Jenna We know. Yeah, it's unfortunate. A bunch of jerks and then us.
[00:45:03] Charles Esten Everybody was nice but you two were remarkably so considering we had no scenes at all together. You were very, very kind and appreciated it.
[00:45:09] Angela We were so excited to have you guys and we, you know, Jenna and I were talking about this, that we had major FOMO because it seemed like all these great stories were coming out of the Stamford branch. And funny inside jokes were like, dang it, we want to go to Stamford.
[00:45:23] Charles Esten Well picture it, picture it, from the other direction where you're the guy that gets to go be on "The Office", but you don't get to go in the office. You're in another branch somewhere, you don't get to, you don't get to be with everybody, but you do get to be with, with Jim. And he was awesome. John was fantastic.
[00:45:37] Angela And you got to wear fancy biker shorts.
[00:45:40] Charles Esten Those are mine. I just showed up to work in those. And, you know, yeah, I played the good boss.
[00:45:48] Angela Well, you know, we've been trying to get a hold of you. Jenna was trying to slide into your DMs, but she must have DM'd some other stranger.
[00:45:54] Jenna Yeah, you are not Chip Esten from Germany.
[00:45:58] Charles Esten You know I am not.
[00:45:59] Jenna By the way.
[00:46:00] Charles Esten Charles underscore Esten and I have so many famous leading ladies from classic sitcoms trying to talk to me on Instagram that I have to-.
[00:46:09] Jenna Yeah. It's so many.
[00:46:10] Angela Oh. I know. OK, so we usually ask people on the show their origin story about how they came to be on "The Office", like what was their audition process and we would love to hear yours.
[00:46:22] Charles Esten First of all, I was a British "Office" fan like so many from the very beginning. So I recall very, very well watching it, loving it all. And then I heard they were trying into the United States and like a lot of people went, uh oh, wow, OK, good luck.
[00:46:34] Angela Yeah.
[00:46:35] Charles Esten But then I had known, then I heard about Steve and Rainn that they had been cast. And I was like, hmmm, that, that's, that's a heck of a good start. They might have a shot at this. Now Steve, I don't know how I knew. We just knew each other from being in L.A. for a while. I think improv circles, maybe something like that. I don't think we ever worked together. But he's somebody I see at the mall in Sherman Oaks.
[00:47:01] Angela I loved that you would seen him at the mall.
[00:47:02] Jenna That tracks, that tracks for Steve.
[00:47:05] Angela Steve used to talk to Jenna and I about like really good buys that he found over the weekend.
[00:47:10] Charles Esten He was working at Brookstone at the time. No kidding. He wasn't.
[00:47:13] Jenna I was going to be shocked. I was like, this is a piece of trivia I didn't know.
[00:47:19] Angela Holy moly.
[00:47:20] Charles Esten He was trying to sell me a massage chair. No, he never as far as I know. Anyway I would see him. But the way I knew Rainn is the interesting part that got me to the show. Rainn and I, I'm going to say six or seven years. It's all a blur. Before that had been as an audition at NBC, you know, right across from the main place in Burbank is that little casting across the street there by the park. And we were ready for this thing called "The Expendables". And "The Expendables" were androids that solved crimes, these two guys. That's why they were expendable, because who cares if they get you know, you can't beat them. You can't defeat them.
[00:47:54] Angela Chip, I did read about this. I read about this, and I got so tickled. So go on.
[00:47:58] Charles Esten So I remember it was pure chance. Because they literally said you if you read with you because it's two guys and so that they appear to stop and somehow just Rainn and I got chosen to be together and I remember, forget, we went outside and we had script. There was some things to say, but we went outside. And so it's just have fun with this. And by the time we came back in, first of all, I'd fallen in love with the guy that is Rainn Wilson. Instantly we just clicked like that. I was like, what an incredible guy, what a mind. So we went in there and basically improvised on top of the script and ended up getting the job. And then we all had a table read at NBC right across the street in the big building. I'll never forget there's this long conference table and we're all just reading the script and we're still messing around and we're still just being these two androids and just looking vaguely like. And so somehow we made it funny enough that they end up shooting a pilot of it. And that's where I really got to hang with him the most. So in any event, we shoot that, we have a ball. It does not get picked up.
[00:49:00] Angela Shocker.
[00:49:00] Jenna Shocker.
[00:49:02] Charles Esten So I get to the audition and it's going well. I'm doing well enough, I guess. But I think the separating factor was one of them says so I hear you're, I think was Mike, I hear you're you're friends with Rainn. And I was like, yes, I am. Did Rainn ever tell you how we met? And they're like, no, he didn't. And I said, I bet he didn't. We met playing naked androids on a detective show and they were both like, what? And on top of that, if you give me this job, I show up day one with a DVD of that pilot.
[00:49:37] Angela Oh, nice.
[00:49:40] Jenna Oh.
[00:49:41] Angela I'm not even to my car. And I'm like, Hello? Oh, cool. That's the fastest I ever got a job. So I had nothing to do with my abilities or acting otherwise. It was purely that I had, I had this on Rainn. And so that's, that's my origin story. And it's kind of special to me because it's who can imagine? By that point, I'm already a fan. It was, it was like being on, it was like winning a radio contest to be on a show that I already loved. I was very uncool about it because I was just so happy to be there. But you guys were all very cool about it.
[00:50:12] Jenna So, Chip, after you got the job and you started working on the show, we said, like it look like you guys were having so much fun. What was it like to get to do these scenes with, like Ed Helms and Steve Carell and Rashida Jones? Like, do you have any, any episodes in particular that you have fond memories of?
[00:50:29] Charles Esten There is the one episode where Josh is very mad at Jim because Jim is playing Call of Duty and uses the sniper rifle and he just starts screaming at him. And then, of course, Ed was amazing in that scene, goes off. And so what I didn't realize is that everybody was playing that game for real. On the breaks, on the set. Did you guys have that same thing in yours, I believe, right?
[00:50:52] Jenna Yeah.
[00:50:52] Angela Well, it was really-.
[00:50:52] Charles Esten Your computers were actually hooked up and everybody was playing Call of Duty. So they just wrote it into the show. Everybody, I had to, I hadn't played that much. I was like, now what rifle do they use? And they explained everything to me. And then we went and we we did it. And it was so much fun.
[00:51:05] Angela Yeah, our writers and editors were really into that. We didn't get to do that on set. We were always a little bummed, but they were playing it all the time. And on the DVD commentary, they did mention that John mentioned that's like one of the hardest times he had to work not to laugh was in that scene with you and Ed and you guys were just going off on him about Call of Duty.
[00:51:26] Charles Esten That's the thing is you're in this business so long and you're in things are pretty good. You're in things that you're not good at all. And you're always, this funny thing after the show is I can remember people would walk up to me and go, I saw you on "The Office". You're very funny. And I knew that what it really was. I didn't say that many, I wasn't the funny part of, I was more the situation in the comedy. But I did get some great, very, very funny lines. Here I was just in a room with and John and Rashida and trying not to laugh or, or just watching Michael Scott when he says, I love inside jokes, I like to be a part of one someday. That's just as good a line as anybody can write. And all I had to do was stand there and just do the thing where you don't laugh and you're kind of, you know, the cringe and I couldn't belive where I was. I was thrilled.
[00:52:16] Jenna Yeah. So what is it like for you now? Like "The Office" has had this new life on Netflix and it's everywhere. Do you get stopped? Do you get recognized for being on the show?
[00:52:27] Charles Esten What it mostly is, is on social media is that I was on other things since then. Like I was on "Nashville", I played a character called Deacon and I was and people would watch it. And it was a very dramatic, very sort of he was, he was in AA and he was trying not to drink anymore, and he loved this woman. So it was always very dramatic, very heartfelt. Played music did all these things. So inevitably I would see a tweet that would say I just realized that Deacon from Nashville is Josh from Stamford. And it always had that hashtag mindblown. So that's mostly where it happened. It used to be that "The Office" was a little bit more niche, like somebody woud go, I know you from The Office, but now, you're right, there's just a resurgence. The second thing, the best evidence of that is my own kids. When I was doing the show, they were there in junior high, elementary. Maybe one of them was in high school. No, they weren't, they were all in junior high. So they didn't know what The Office was really, they didn't watch it on television, but now I have to, it's going back. How many years has it been that this ressurgance is? Three years? More? Whatever it is-.
[00:53:30] Jenna Oh, gosh. It feels like in the last three or four years.
[00:53:33] Angela Yeah, the last three years, I think.
[00:53:35] Charles Esten It was always on in our house. I think I told Angela, it was on in the summer more than the air conditioning. It was just ,and they fell in love with it. They knew it so well. So that was maybe the first time when it was really cool. They, they were cool about it, but yeah, you're on it. But I could tell him meant a lot and it means a lot to me.
[00:53:52] Jenna Oh, that is so cool.
[00:53:54] Charles Esten The other rabbit hole I fell down with you guys is the, what do you call it? the bloopers. The bloopers on Netflix. If I start watching one, I'm there all the time. And I think that's because it's the best of remembering the parts of the show you love so much, but then getting to see how authentically funny it struck you guys, like sometimes you'd be watching you go. This isn't insane, they don't seem to think this is funny. I mean, I'm an actor and I would think that. And then you come away and you would see where everybody did break up with that line or where there would be lines that you just could not get out to save your life. And those always killed me. And also the scenes that never made it. I had a great scene with Melora that didn't make it. And we were at the convention. And at the end of the night, all this stuff is going on. I'm walking, Jan and Josh are walking towards the elevators and basically Jan stops and invites Josh on up for the night.
[00:54:43] Angela That's on the DVD set. She totally hits on you. And you're like, Nah, I'm good,
[00:54:49] Charles Esten I'm good, I'm good. I'm going to go to Staples.
[00:54:52] Jenna Exactly. I know you talked about how you were the good boss, but in this episode at the end, you sort of serve up the ultimate betrayal and you leverage your job for a position at Staples. What did you think when you read that? Were you disappointed at all in Josh? Or did you, were you like, I get it? I mean, who wants to work with this group of loonies?
[00:55:14] Charles Esten At that point, I was just more disappointed for Chip than I was disappointed in Josh.
[00:55:17] Jenna Oh sure.
[00:55:18] Charles Esten Because I knew that Ed and Rashidea were moving on over and I knew it. I always knew that it wouldn't work to have the other boss there with him. I just saw something the other day Jenna that, look, I've done a lot of drama. There are moments, the moment where he admires your painting so much and he says, that's our office and you're just looking at him and you hug him. That's to me is emotional, is real and as heartbreaking as any drama anywhere. So that's another thing I've always loved about it. And you guys.
[00:55:46] Angela Oh, yeah, for sure. I mean, Steve broke my heart many times on this show, just his sort of childlike innocence as Michael, even though he was a lot of times just a real like, I don't know, like idiot like he was also this very pure hearted person and complicated.
[00:56:05] Charles Esten Yeah. And I look now and I know how hard that is for writers. We've seen things on different shows that go another season and another season. It's like, how do they keep it all together? Because that's always the tension. When you have the full when you have the more on people. What makes them funny is how out there they are. What makes them human is the grounding of that and giving up the other side. That tension between those two things. It's so hard to ride where you don't make them not funny anymore because now they're just super human and kind. And don't we love them? Or other times you just leave them like they don't have any arc at all. They're just that same person they always were. The way that they did that over the seasons with you guys is just, it's, it's very unusual. And special.
[00:56:43] Jenna Well, your character of Josh had a great arc.
[00:56:46] Charles Esten Yeah, I did. You thought I was the perfect guy. That is the other thing is that I always thought this is charismatic. It all comes very easy to him. And in the end, he does that. I had one other fun thing. When Ed was, on my final episode, Josh is the reason that branch is is essentially going to be shutting down. So at that point, he doesn't think he has a job anymore. He's just flipping out and he is. So there's that there's a scene in the kitchen they had and all the scene was was Andy walks in there is pouring some coffee or something else. And all of sudden, we get that first hint of that Andy Bernard anger that he later has to do it and he just flips out and sort of destroys everything and stops. And that was the scene. And I was real proud because I said, what if Josh, the guy that's the cause of it, walked in right after that? And just to say goodbye, my guess is that Andy is not strong enough and brave enough to do anything but go, great. It was awesome. And just you know, he would have to cover his fury immediately and be sort of be the wuss that he was in that moment. And they said, yeah, let's try that. So that was a but he destroys that room. And I walked in there and I go, listen Andy, it's been great. And he's like, yeah, awesome, man, good luck. And everything like that.
[00:57:58] Jenna Oh my gosh, I love it, that was your pitch.
[00:58:00] Angela I loved that. I love that you know, Chip, we talk about this a lot, that we had this creative collaboration that we could in the moment pitch something to the writer on set and we were heard. And that is so rare, truly, and we were so lucky to have that relationship with our writers. And I love that. We didn't know that. We didn't know that was your pitch. That's so cool.
[00:58:22] Jenna And also furthers the Andy character because Andy was always just white knuckling his anger, you know, and suppressing it until eventually, you know, he's going to punch the wall. But you love seeing him try to contain. That's such an Andy thing, too.
[00:58:41] Charles Esten So that's kind of cool that I get to see that. And also, the other thing, how cool is it when you have no idea how it'll pitch and you're surrounded by people that are going to make your pitch amazing? I've been in other places where you make a pitch and I try it and it just doesn't get sold the way that you had it in your head. But that got sold out and beyond anything I can imagine what he did with it. So that's also fun.
[00:59:01] Angela It absolutely did. Just crystallize who Andy was, you know, just all of that moment says who he is. That is fantastic. I love that story.
[00:59:11] Jenna Oh, Chip, thank you so much. Thank you for coming on here and sharing about your time on The Office. We are so glad that we got a hold of you.
[00:59:19] Charles Esten Thank you, guys.
[00:59:20] Angela Where can we find you? Tell us where you are on Instagram.
[00:59:23] Charles Esten I'm at Charles underscore Esten. I'm also Charles Esten on Twitter and Facebook.
[00:59:28] Angela And Chip, you're also, you're on a show right now called Outer Banks on Netflix.
[00:59:33] Charles Esten Yeah, we were number one on Netflix.
[00:59:37] Jenna Whoa.
[00:59:40] Charles Esten For a quick minute there. Yeah, it's something else. It's really kind of amazing. We shot it last summer. It's sort of a young adult, thrilling adventure, has this amazing life of its own. As I said, we knocked Tiger King out of first place.
[00:59:50] Angela Tiger King? That says something. And then I have one more thing to share with everyone. You do a weekly Saturday Facebook Live stream, and it's called Quarantine Lifestream, is that right?
[01:00:04] Charles Esten Yeah, because of the show Nashville. I played a lot of music on that. So that's why I'm still here in Nashville. I get to do very cool things. I play at the Grand Ole Opry at the Bluebird of the Ryman.
[01:00:13] Angela Oh wow.
[01:00:14] Charles Esten And go around and make music. So I'm on Spotify too. But in any event, so I just play a couple songs on the show, on the Quarantine Livestream, and then I do another thing where I do a duet with somebody. I send them video of me singing. They listen and sing along and we put them together in a video. So there's always a duet. And then I do interviews as well, just like you're doing right here. Oh, this, was it last week? Yeah, last week was Old Dominion, the band Old Dominion and a-.
[01:00:40] Angela Well Chip, thank you so much. This was such a delight.
[01:00:43] Charles Esten Thank you guys very much for having me. I love that you're doing this. Everybody loves that you're doing this. This thing is on fire, this podcast, because what would they want more than discuss these things with you guys? So well done. And hopefully I get to see you down the road in some other situation, but thanks for having me.
[01:00:58] Jenna Thanks Chip, we love you.
[01:01:00] Angela Love you.
[01:01:00] Charles Esten Love you too. Bye guys.
[01:01:02] Angela Bye.
[01:01:05] Jenna All right, so that was amazing. Thank you so much, Chip. It was that was really cool. I'm glad we were able to commemorate his time on the show.
[01:01:13] Angela And to all of you other Chips, slash, Charles out there that Jenna slid into your DMs. We apologize.
[01:01:20] Jenna That's right.
[01:01:22] Angela OK, Jenna, where are we?
[01:01:24] Jenna So Dwight and Michael are still outside of David Wallace's house and they've decided that they're going to practice. They're going to role play what Michael is going to say when he sees David walking up, right?
[01:01:34] Angela Yeah, they got to be prepared.
[01:01:36] Jenna Yes. So I traded some messages with Mike Schur's and he told me that there was an element of the scene that was improvised and it made everyone laugh so hard that they were able to keep it in. But they had to cut at this one moment because right after that moment, like one second after that moment, everyone started breaking. So during this scene, when they're role playing, Dwight is pretending to be David Wallace and he's doing a good job. He's making good arguments. So Michael gets frustrated and he has this line where he says something like, just go back and start over and be more intimidated by me. OK, that's where it was supposed to end. That was the scripted ending of the scene. But when they shot it, Rainn walks back in and Steve says, Mr. Wallace. Rainn goes ahhhh, kind of like he's terrified. That was the moment Mike said it was amazing. And we literally couldn't go one frame later because they both started laughing hysterically.
[01:02:33] Angela Yes, I love that. Because, because Steve as Michael is like, be more scared of me and don't touch me.
[01:02:39] Jenna Yeah. It was so good, it was so good. All right, so now, lady, do you want me to tell you about this dog?
[01:02:47] Angela Yes, I want you to tell me about the dog, because I saw the doormat and I was like, oh, yeah, they just forgot. They forgot. And then I saw the dog and I was like, well, then that's, that's those people's dog, right?
[01:02:59] Jenna No. It's crazy. All right. So there's this scene where Dwight is sifting through the garbage. And by the way, this scene of him looking through the garbage, this was another one of those scenes that had been cut for the regular network airing of this episode. We got a ton of questions about this scene. Jocelyn Beecher wrote in and said at 19 minutes at David Wallace's house, there's a dog in the yard. Did they specifically cast for a dog or did that dog belong to the people who own the house? All right. The dog in the backyard was something that they added and they added it because they thought that there might be more of a feeling of jeopardy involved if there was like this guard dog or this watch dog standing behind Dwight as he sifted through the garbage.
[01:03:43] Angela That was the friendliest looking dog ever. That dog was wagging its tail. It looked like it just wanted to play fetch. That dog made me want to get another dog. And we already have two dogs and two cats. I mean.
[01:03:56] Jenna I know! Kent told me they hired a dog trainer. They hired this dog and he was so sweet. He just wanted to play. He just wanted to, like, lick your hand.
[01:04:08] Angela That's what it looks like.
[01:04:09] Jenna In no way intimidating just like you said.
[01:04:12] Angela Yeah.
[01:04:12] Jenna But they they stuck with it. They stuck with their like this dog is going to be in the shot we paid for this dog.
[01:04:19] Angela Well the dog looks so friendly to me. I just thought the owner's dog got out in the back of the shot and they left it in. That's what it looked like.
[01:04:26] Jenna Totally. All right. Well, listen, back in Scranton, Phyllis is bummed out. She's trying to organize a group lunch.
[01:04:33] Angela Yeah. Yeah. And of course, you know, she goes to the fun stopper, Angela Martin, and they're they're throwing out some things DJs, which, by the way, jazz is a hoagie shop. And then there's casinos, Italian family cuisine. Right? And Angela is like, I don't want to drive to Dunmore. Jenna, I looked it up Scranton to Dunmore, nine minutes.
[01:04:55] Jenna Oh. You don't want to drive nine minutes.
[01:04:59] Angela Nine minutes. And then Kevin's like, what about Coopers? And she's like, no seafood. And I want you to know, Brian and I have been to Cooper's when we went to Scranton and they gave us like a little hat that looks like lobster. What do you call them?
[01:05:15] Jenna Claws?
[01:05:16] Angela Yeah, they gave us each hat, I have photos of Brian and I like drinking beers with these lobster claw hats on. It was really fun, but yeah, Angela's Martin's very fancy food. And I can't even believe Kevin suggests Hooters to her. Are you kidding me?
[01:05:33] Jenna I know in the middle of all this, Phyllis just walks away. She's like nevermind.
[01:05:36] Angela Yeah. You guys are the worst.
[01:05:38] Jenna Forget it.
[01:05:38] Angela Yeah.
[01:05:38] Jenna At the same time, Creed is walking around. He's dealing with this by selling everything in the office. He's selling the equipment, the fax machine, his personal computer. And I think if you look on the wall behind him, the Dustbuster off the wall. It's gone.
[01:05:55] Angela I have a hair catch for Creed. I think this episode debuts a new hairstyle for Creed. It's poofy. It's like they blow dry it straight up in the air and then, like, used a rolling brush. I want you to look at his hair. It is so poofy. It made me laugh.
[01:06:09] Jenna Lady, I noticed the same thing. I have the same note. Creed hair?
[01:06:14] Angela Yeah.
[01:06:14] Jenna I wrote down what's up with Creed's hair?
[01:06:16] Angela Did they use the rolling brush on him? Like what's happening?
[01:06:20] Jenna We're going to have to track it because I want to see if that continues in future episodes. This new way of doing Creed's hair.
[01:06:27] Angela The poofy. It's so poofy.
[01:06:29] Jenna Yes, by the way, that whole storyline of selling stuff, that was the other thing that was cut out originally and was added back for the extended cut. So the three main things were the Meredith storyline, this Creed storyline and Dwight going through the trash.
[01:06:45] Angela Got it, with the friendly dog. Well.
[01:06:47] Jenna Yes, with the friendly dog.
[01:06:48] Angela All right. So now Jan enter. She's looking for Michael because things have changed. Josh Porter threw them for a loop. They've had to reorganize, restructure, and she wants to let them know that now Scranton is staying and Stamford is going to be merging into Scranton, right?
[01:07:03] Jenna Yes. Yes!
[01:07:04] Angela But Michael has been ignoring phone calls and lady, we have some major Phyllis sass.
[01:07:12] Jenna What's the Phyllis sass?
[01:07:13] Angela Well, it is at 20 minutes, 40 seconds. She looks at Jan and she goes, we know the branch is closing. And she gives Jan the snarkiest look. It's so amazing. It cracked me up and I was looking online for like sassy office moments. I just wanted to see if this had been clocked.
[01:07:36] Jenna OK.
[01:07:37] Angela Jenna, on May 16th, 2020 which is just a few days ago from this recording, right?
[01:07:45] Jenna Yes.
[01:07:47] Angela There is a new YouTube video collage that someone made called Sassiest Moments. On YouTube, Sassiest Moments from The Office. I think they have been listening to the podcast because all of a sudden there's the sassiest moments collage on YouTube.
[01:08:07] Jenna Angela, you one hundred percent started sass. You started it early with Angela sass. And if anyone is out there using sass or sassing or referring to something as sass, I want everyone to know that you started it.
[01:08:23] Angela Well.
[01:08:24] Jenna One hundred percent. You trade, you should have trademarked it.
[01:08:29] Angela Well, I just couldn't believe there's now just now, like just this week there's a YouTube collage called Sassiest Moments of The Office. Anyway, there's major Phyllis sass here. So, yes, Jan tells everyone the Scranton branch is safe for now. There's a lot of mixed emotions. Some people are really happy. Some people are sad. Kevin and Angela have a huge hug.
[01:08:51] Jenna Oh, lady, we got a fan question about that from Phoebe Tomac. When Kevin hugs Angela and picks her up, it looks like Angela got crushed a little bit and she wants to know if you got hurt.
[01:09:02] Angela No, I did not get hurt. That was just I think Brian having a little bit of fun because he is such a big guy. He can pick me up really easily. And when would our characters ever hug or be this happy together? So that was just something he added. It wasn't in the script and he and I cracked up. I think you see me like I think I'm genuinely laughing because it made us laugh.
[01:09:22] Jenna So also in the scene, Angela Pam asks Jan, is anyone coming back to Scranton? We know who she's thinking about.
[01:09:31] Angela Yeah.
[01:09:31] Jenna And over in Stamford, Andy is asking Jim if he's going to go back to Scranton and he sort of says he doesn't know yet. He's not sure. He's, he's thinking about it.
[01:09:42] Angela And then Ryan in the kitchen is like, I'm a little nervous about Jim coming back. I just hope it's not weird. Pam, of course, totally internalizes this like, oh, my God, he knows. He knows. And he's like, I took his job. I sit at his desk. It's, it's more about, it's all about him, right?
[01:09:58] Jenna Yeah.
[01:09:58] Angela And so Pam is kind of relieved in that moment.
[01:10:01] Jenna Next, Ryan's going to have his talking head where he knows he'll be saying at Scranton, here's the moment, 23 minutes, 6 seconds from here on out, all of the talking heads are facing back into the office.
[01:10:13] Angela Oh, lady, this is your proudest podcast, deep dive moment. Maybe. Next to-.
[01:10:19] Jenna I think it is.
[01:10:20] Angela I think this ranks right up there with your alpha womb deep dive.
[01:10:24] Jenna Oh, I did enjoy alpha womb, that's true..
[01:10:25] Angela Yes you did. Yes, you did. Then over in Stamford, Karen is saying, you know, she would move to Scranton if they offered it to her. Jim gives this poor woman so many mixed messages, OK?
[01:10:36] Jenna Yeah.
[01:10:36] Angela I have some beef with Jim because he's like, why would you do that? Just go to New York. I mean, you're 45 minutes from New York. Why would you go to Scranton? Right? And then he pivots back the other way at the end and tells her to take the job. I feel bad. I feel bad for her.
[01:10:52] Jenna I feel like these mixed messages are going to play out through the whole Jim Karen relationship, actually.
[01:10:57] Angela Yeah.
[01:10:57] Jenna Jim is very wishy washy with her, in my opinion. In this scene. At 23 minutes, 17 seconds, I have a Lee catch.
[01:11:06] Angela Your husband Lee?
[01:11:07] Jenna My husband Lee. We were watching this.
[01:11:09] Angela You're like, Angela, you're like what other Lee am I talking about? Like yes my husband Lee. Ok what did he catch?
[01:11:15] Jenna My husband Lee. We watched this episode together and he said oh my gosh, look at the sign behind Karen's head during this conversation about whether or not she should move to Scranton. Do you know what it says?
[01:11:27] Angela No.
[01:11:28] Jenna It says, window of opportunity. An obstacle to one is an opportunity to another.
[01:11:35] Angela Whoa.
[01:11:37] Jenna I just thought, we thought this was interesting because I was showing him all the talking heads and he was like, oh, look at what's behind Karen? It's a window of opportunity.
[01:11:49] Angela Layers. Layers.
[01:11:50] Jenna Well, back in Scranton, Meredith is congratulating Creed on his business venture. He's made 1200 dollars. And finally, Gary Trindall calls. He calls Meredith, do you know why? He used to work at the Scranton branch and he says, I heard the branch was closing. Do you still want to make good on our agreement? Meredith found her guy. She did make a sex pact with someone.
[01:12:17] Angela She almost confesses the branch isn't closing. And then she's like, Can you meet me at my place in 20 minutes?
[01:12:22] Jenna We had a fan question from Bailey Espenson, at 24 minutes, 30 seconds when Meredith is talking on the phone. Who is she talking to? Do you know?
[01:12:32] Angela Of course I don't know.
[01:12:33] Jenna Kent Zbornak!
[01:12:36] Angela Finally Kent!
[01:12:41] Jenna Kentapedia.
[01:12:42] Angela Finally Kent. Kent.
[01:12:42] Jenna Zbornak played the voice of Gary Trindall.
[01:12:44] Angela He was going to be my first guest. Yes.
[01:12:47] Jenna Yes.
[01:12:47] Angela So Dwight and Michael are in the car and they're, they're reminiscing now about their favorite memories of Dunder Mifflin because they've ignored phone calls and they don't know that their jobs are safe. And Dwight says to Michael, what's your favorite memory? You know? And he goes, all of it. All of it. And then Dwight goes, even the part where the branch was closed? And he's like Dwight! Was that part scripted? When Rainn said-.
[01:13:17] Jenna Yes.
[01:13:17] Angela It was?
[01:13:18] Jenna Yes, that scene in the car is almost word for word scripted.
[01:13:23] Angela All right. I didn't know if that was like Rainn tagging the end of the scene. So I love that.
[01:13:29] Jenna It's so funny, Angela, because the reason I know that is because I had the same thought when I watched it and I checked. I wanted to know, is that scripted?
[01:13:37] Angela Well, here's the thing. We often could add a line at the end of a scene. That's the easiest place to improvise because it doesn't really mess up the context of the scene. So whenever I see these little throwaways at the end, especially by Steve and Rainn, I always wonder.
[01:13:52] Jenna Yeah. No, that one was totally, totally scripted.
[01:13:56] Angela Well, now we're back at Scranton and the gang is going out for shots. Creed is buying because Creed made some money today. Jenna, did you notice as Angela leaves what a big wave she gives to Roy?
[01:14:10] Jenna No, this is more! More of, more of Angela and Roy.
[01:14:13] Angela Oh my gosh, I almost awkward. It's almost awkward at 26 minutes, 35 seconds she walks by and literally goes like this. You guys can't see me but I'm going to do it for Jenna.
[01:14:24] Jenna Oh, that's a big wave.
[01:14:26] Angela Yes, it's a really big wave, so she for sure is like, bye, handsome.
[01:14:31] Jenna Well, Pam now has her talking head, facing into the office, I will say. And she is giddy. She's giddy. She's saying stuff like, oh, you know, it's good because finding another job is kind of a pain and and there are reasons to stay. But underneath all she is thinking is Jim is coming back. Jim is coming back. Jim is coming back. Jim is coming back. That's everything. Everything. And you're so excited for her. And then we go to Stamford and Jim tells Karen he thinks she should take a job in Scranton, too.
[01:15:08] Angela And Karen just lays it all out for the camera crew. She's just like, hey, I'm happy you said that. I don't think he's into me, but I'm kind of into him. So there's that.
[01:15:18] Jenna Wow.
[01:15:19] Angela This is like someone who sort of unapologetically into this guy. I dig it about her. I like it.
[01:15:26] Jenna Jim doesn't even tell her apparently about what went on with Pam. So she's walking into Scranton and she has no idea that he kissed the receptionist. He has, she has no idea that there was this four year flirtation. She's just like, I like this guy. I'm going to go to Scranton and see what happens.
[01:15:48] Angela I'm going to take it one step more and say she has no idea that he said, I love you. Hello? I love you to the receptionist.
[01:15:59] Jenna We are being very team Karen Filippelli right now.
[01:16:02] Angela We are. Because Jim, Jim is spiraling. Let's be honest.
[01:16:07] Jenna I mean, listen, I can justify Jim's choices and his behavior. He has a broken heart. He's confused. He's crushed. We've all been wishy washy. We've all, you know, we've all kind of done versions of this in our life and had versions of it done to us. All right. So moving on, Dwight and Michael are still outside David Wallace's house. He's never come home. It's dark. They're hungry, but Dwight won't let them leave. But finally, he says, yes, we can go, and as they're leaving, Dwight checks his phone, clearly gets a message that their jobs are safe and this is delightful.
[01:16:48] Angela They're like, we did it. We did it.
[01:16:52] Jenna They start bumping chests.
[01:16:54] Angela But they literally are like we did it. Like what did they do? And even at the end, I think Steve as Michael is like, wait, what do we do?
[01:17:01] Jenna Yeah. How did this happen? I'm so confused.
[01:17:05] Angela And then the-.
[01:17:05] Jenna But I love it.
[01:17:06] Angela I love it too. They're so happy. And then and then the whole episode ends with Toby saying, well, I guess I won't go to Costa Rica. I'll just it'll be there when I'm 65.
[01:17:18] Jenna Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Oh guys. There you have it. That's Branch Closing.
[01:17:25] Angela That is Branch Closing.
[01:17:26] Jenna Guys, next week we have a very special episode of Office Ladies. We are going to revisit our Casino Night episode with special guest Ken Kwapis.
[01:17:37] Angela Yes, the director is coming on to give us all of the behind the scenes stuff. This was such a big episode and so many of you wrote in that we thought, let's revisit it with the director, answer some of your questions and talk a little bit more about it. Thank you so much for calling in, Chip. And thank you guys for tuning in. We'll see you next week.
[01:18:00] Jenna Thank you for listening to Office Ladies Office Ladies is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. Our show is executive produced by Codi Fischer. Our producer is Cassi Jerkins. Our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer, and our associate producer is Aynsley Bubbico.
[01:18:15] Angela Our theme song is "Rubber Tree" by Creed Bratton.
[01:18:18] Jenna For ad free versions of Office Ladies, go to StitcherPremium.com. For a free one month trial of Stitcher Premium, use code "Office".