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The Office

Episode 8.08 : Gettysburg

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TV Info


Episode Premiere

November 17, 2011

Distributor

NBC

Genre

Comedy, Drama

Show Period

2005 - 2013

Production Company

Reveille, Deedle-Dee, NBC Universal

Cast and Crew


Director

Jeffrey Blitz

Screenwriter

Robert Padnick

Main Cast

Synopsis


As Gabe leads an exceptionally boring seminar to review the Sabre Code of Conduct, Pam whispers to Jim and then yells out, "Oh, I'm going into labor!" Chaos ensues but just for a moment. Pam's pulled the labor trick on the office several times before - and now no one's buying it. She and Jim shuffle back to their seats just as liquid spills from between Pam's legs and onto the floor. She really is going in to labor! Or maybe not. As her concerned co-workers escort her toward the door, a soda bottle falls from between her legs. "False alarm," she declares.

Andy has a very loud (and contrived) conversation on the phone; they've lost another client. He hangs up and comes out to the bullpen to declare how much like war their business is. Looking to fire them up, he tells the team they should be studying the rules of war to remain competitive. He wonders aloud where Gettysburg is; Erin tells him it's in Pennsylvania. Amazed, Andy declares that they'll be taking a field trip. There just happens to be a charter bus outside. But the trip is not mandatory. Jim, Gabe, Erin, Phyllis, Creed, Dwight, Oscar and Darryl decide to go, while the rest choose to remain behind. On the bus, Darryl plays the movie "Limitless" for the team's enjoyment.

Robert California makes a surprise visit to the office, catching the remaining team members being anything but productive. As they scramble to look busy, Robert wonders where Andy is; he has some ideas he wants to bounce off him. Kelly explains about the field trip and Robert lauds those who've stayed, declaring them "free thinkers." He's excited. Robert decides to take the team through a group exercise to come up with "game changers." He wants them all to brainstorm bold, new and even strange ideas that could reset their business.

Andy leads the team on his own tour of the battle site. But Dwight lags behind explaining to Erin how overrated Gettysburg is. The Battle of Schrute Farms was far more brutal, he tells her. It was also the northernmost battle of the Civil War. Gettysburg historians have been spreading historical fiction. Oscar overhears and tells Dwight to stop filling Erin's head with nonsense. But Dwight's adamant. The battle is clearly a source of family pride.

Robert California assembles the group in the conference room and asks them to present their game-changing ideas. Ryan is first. He talks about how sushi surged in popularity and how forward the trends are in Japan. He wants to make origami huge. It's the sushi of paper, he says. Robert is unimpressed. Stanley steps up to unveil "Papyr," a new type of paper just for women. Roberts shoots this down too.

Dwight confronts a ranger about the Battle of Schrute Farms; he hasn't heard of it. Defusing the situation, Oscar and Andy shuffle everyone along to the next destination. Meanwhile, a child has spotted Gabe and thinks he looks just like Abraham Lincoln. Other kids want to get pictures with Gabe, despite him trying to convince them that he's just a tourist too. But then Gabe gives in, borrowing the kid's stovepipe hat and channeling honest Abe for a gathering crowd.

Pam presents her game changer next: a coupon in the back of test booklets. Both she and Robert agree it's not a good idea. Kevin's next. He rambles about the placement of particular cookies in the vending machine. California thinks it's a metaphor for DMS pushing underperforming products. Kevin continues. He explains that no one wants the oatmeal cookie at all; Robert California challenges the team to identify what DMS's oatmeal cookie is. Stanley figures out that it's a type of two-hole punched paper they sell.

Back at Gettysburg, Andy's still trying to fire up his troops. He tells a story of a northern general who fought to defend his flag with just a sword. The gang is growing hungry and tired, but Andy won't let up. He unveils a Dunder Mifflin flag he's had commissioned. A rebel paper company is coming to try to take their flag, he starts yelling in an old-timey voice. He darts around the group, waving the flag, daring them to take it from him. No one moves.

The tour of Gettysburg has worn out everyone but Andy. He tries to excite his team about Spangler's Spring, the next stop on his tour, but everyone's beat. They sit on the grass. Andy's incredulous at their lack of interest; he decides to go on ahead alone.

Back in the office, Robert pulls Kevin aside to pick his brain, asking him about hedge funds, prospectuses and navigating the confusion of the markets. Kevin merely agrees with Robert about everything, then offers pearls such as, "Never trust a cookie with a woman's name, like Pecan Sandy, Lorna Doone, Madeline." Robert's still intrigued.

Oscar and Dwight head to the park's interpretive center. An archivist offers to fill them in on the story of Schrute Farms. He pulls up a portion of a documentary on the computer where a historian tells the story, complete with old letters and photographs. As it turns out, Schrute Farms was a haven for pacifists during the war, a colony where artists could gather to wait out the war. We see pictures of men in costume and nude artists painting nude models.

Ryan interrupts Kevin and Robert, asking to pitch a final idea: the Big Mac idea. Kevin protests, saying it's really his idea and that Ryan's stolen it out of jealousy. Robert asks Kevin to explain. His idea is that a customer would set aside a single different ingredient after every purchase of a Big Mac; eventually, he'd have a free Big Mac - one he's created himself. Robert California is literally dumbfounded. He realizes Kevin is an idiot.

Jim and Darryl find Andy at the Spangler's Spring monument; Jim explains that the others are waiting back at the bus, exhausted, suffering from dysentery. Andy's had it with Jim's sarcasm and unloads on him. Jim responds: he tells Andy that his comparing their situation to war was a terrible idea, that the staff likes and respects him and he doesn't need to go such lengths to get the team behind him. Jim points at the bright pink hats that Andy handed out to the staff; everyone's worn them all day. That's clearly a sign he's liked, Jim tells Andy. Back with everyone on the bus, Andy admits he was wrong to imagine himself a general and the office staff his troops.

Before he heads back to the bus, Gabe gives the history-loving crowd the story of Abe Lincoln's fateful last night. As Abe, he re-enacts the trip to the theater and being scolded by his wife Mary. "I need her like I need a hole in the head," he announces, before putting his fingers to his head like a pistol and falling to the ground. The crowd applauds.

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