Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Office: Season 5, Episode 1 - "Weight Loss"

"Weight Loss" is the first episode and season premiere of the fifth season of the American comedy television series The Office, and the show's sixty-sixth episode overall. Written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and directed by Paul Feig, the episode first aired in the United States on September 25, 2008 on the National Broadcasting Company (NBC).[1] The separate parts of the episode first aired on November 27 and 28, 2008, both after airings of The Incredibles.

In this episode, the whole Office participates in a company-wide weight loss contest. Pam goes to New York City for art school, causing her and Jim to have to adjust to being temporarily apart. Also, awkward tension is created between Michael and Holly after she accepts a date with another man, and Angela and Dwight continue their secret relationship, despite Angela's upcoming wedding with Andy.


Plot
The plot summary in this article is too long or detailed compared to the rest of the content. Please edit the article to focus on discussing the work rather than merely reiterating the plot. (January 2009)

The Scranton branch participates in a weight loss competition to see which branch can lose the most cumulative weight, with a prize of three extra vacation days (which later changes to five) for every employee in the winning branch. Although the branch is enthusiastic at first, the competition begins to take a huge toll on many of the employees, particularly Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling), who stops eating and tries various kinds of diets. As a result, corporate sends a memo insisting that the staff need not resort to drastic measures to lose weight.

Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) begins her three-month stay in New York to attend classes in graphic design at the Pratt Institute, leaving Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) to adjust to her being away. Pam is temporarily replaced by Ronni (Dale Raoul), an older woman, but is quickly replaced by Ryan Howard (B. J. Novak) who was recently fired by Dunder Mifflin for fraud. Ryan, who is shown to be planning to rise again in the company, tries to make-up with several workers he had treated badly. He apologizes to his former girlfriend Kelly, and asks her out, only to be rejected, and is mocked by Jim when Ryan apologizes to him.

Michael Scott (Steve Carell) successfully continues his casual bonding with Holly Flax (Amy Ryan), with Jim noting that his success is due to Holly being "kind of a major dork". However, when Holly catches Michael talking in his office with a pregnant Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin), she asks Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nunez) to set her up with his yoga instructor. Michael learns of this and gets frustrated with Jim because he did not ask Holly out months earlier, which he wanted to but Jim told him not to. At point, Angela Martin (Angela Kinsey) chastises Kevin Malone (Brian Baumgartner) for improperly accounting for sales numbers. Holly, who thinks Kevin is mentally retarded, yells at Angela for treating Kevin so rudely, but when she refers to him as "mentally challenged", Kevin awkwardly reveals that he is not. Embarrassed, Holly apologizes and walks away.

Phyllis Vance (Phyllis Smith) takes over the Party Planning Committee after catching Angela cheating. Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) makes plans for his wedding with Angela, who irritatedly vetoes all of his ideas. Meanwhile she is revealed to be secretly having an affair with Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson). After Andy gives a heartfelt speech about not caring where they marry because he wants to be with her forever, Angela warms up to him a little. However, later in the episode Angela's disinterest resumes after Andy's persists in bringing his old a cappella band to be their best man, causing her and Dwight to resume their intimate affair.

Jim, having an unsatisfactory summer due to not being able to see Pam, asks her on a last minute lunch date at an interstate rest stop in between Scranton and New York City. At the rest stop, Jim finally proposes to Pam, and she happily accepts. Holly buys Counting Crows tickets as a surprise for the yoga instructor, but he never calls. Michael berates the yoga instructor in front of her for not calling her back, much to her apparent pleasure. He then offers to buy the tickets from her, only to tear them up in front of her.

The Scranton branch loses the competition to the Utica branch, much to the disappointment of the employees. Stanley Hudson (Leslie David Baker), however, is pleased with the fact that he personally lost seven pounds and decides to take an extra five days off anyway. In the last scene, Toby Flenderson (Paul Lieberstein) is seen in a hospital in Costa Rica, having broken his neck due to a malfunctioning zip-line harness on the third day of his new life and been subsequently hospitalized for five weeks.

Ratings

In the 18-49 demographic, Weight Loss earned a 4.9/11 ratings share. The episode was watched by 9.1 million viewers.

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