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Recap / The Office USS 3 E 7 Branch Closing

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After years of speculation, Jan announces the decision to close the Scranton branch. Dwight and Michael go to Wallace's house to confront him. Meredith tries to find out who she made her "last day pact" with. Everyone has different means of dealing with the news.

Air date: November 9, 2006


  • Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch: When Josh uses his position in Stamford to leverage a management position at Staples it comes across this way because a subtext of the first part of Season 3 is that Jan has been particularly vicious toward Michael for rejecting her in "Casino Night."
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  • Big "NO!": Dwight, when he receives a fax from "Future Dwight" (really Jim) telling him the coffee is poisoned and sees Stanley is about to drink some.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: While the series does this all the time, an unusual case when Dwight waves the cameras away from Michael's meeting with Toby.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Just as when Jim told him about his crush on Pam and when he learned Oscar was gay, Michael cannot keep the news that the branch is closing a secret for more than ten minutes.
  • Even Jerkasses Have Standards: Jim points out that Michael may be an ass, but he would never pull the stunt that Josh does.
  • Hope Spot:
    • For Stanley. He was absolutely giddy when he thought the Scranton branch was closing, as he was ready to take his severance package and immediately retire and travel with his wife. Unfortunately, it doesn't work out that way...
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    • Likewise, Ryan accepted the scenario, reasoning that Michael would give him a glowing recommendation that he could use to land another job and it gave him an excuse to end his relationship with Kelly. Once it turns out they're staying open, he's not as enthusiastic as she is.
    • At the end of the episode, Toby says that he was going to sell his house and move to Costa Rica.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Michael breaks down into this when Jan announces the branch closing.
  • Re-Cut: An extended cut of this episode was available on after it originally aired. It included subplots of Meredith trying to remember who she agreed to a "last day of work sex pact" and Creed selling all his office supplies (which is how he pays for celebratory drinks at the end of the day).
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Stanley declares his intention to use his severance package to retire and travel.
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  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Michael and Dwight's "mission" to confront David Wallace at his home and save the Scranton office ends up being completely meaningless; their branch was inadvertently saved behind the scenes by Josh Porter's departure, and Wallace never even showed up.
  • Spanner in the Works: Josh leaving for Staples puts a huge wrench into the merger plans since it was made with him being the main focus. With Josh leaving, Corporate has no other choice but to close the Stamford branch, and make Scranton the hub of the merger.
  • Stable Time Loop: Played with, in Jim's "Future Dwight" prank.
  • Stepford Smiler: Michael makes an attempt not to share the news of the branch closing, but it doesn't last long.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Andy goes nuts in the break room after it's revealed that Stamford will be closing instead.
  • Verbal Backspace: When they learn that Stamford will close instead of Scranton, Pam asks Jan if anyone is coming back to Scranton before correcting herself.

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