The Office

Season 5 Episode 3

Business Ethics

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Oct 09, 2008 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
282 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


When Holly leads a seminar on ethics, she realizes how unethical the Scranton branch really is. Jim tallies Dwight's 'time theft'.

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  • Let's get ethical

    As good as this episode was (and still is), it was not as good as the first episode of this season. As with the rap Holly and Michael did in the season premiere, their start to the meeting was very cute. And while Holly does have some of Michael's characteristics after the unusual start, she literally just reads from the books. If this were Toby, before he even got the first sentence out, he would interrupt him and take over. This time Michael takes over when Holly reads a paragraph. As with other meetings that other people lead, he makes it longer that it was supposed to be. Michael creates off the record and has some of the employees confess some unethical things they have done in the office. Meredith admits her guilt but Holly takes it seriously. This leads to the first fight between Holly and Michael. How Michael treats is kind of similar he wold treat Toby. However he holds back a little bit since he has a crush on her. It was really nice of hm to support her when Kendall, the corporate HR person yells at her. He would not do this for Toby. Meanwhile Jim tries to get Dwight out on a lie that he never wastes company time. It was hilarious when he was talking about Battlestar Galactica to Andy and how Dwight was trying to hold back from saying something. As weird as Dwight is, he is a good worker. How he can do what he did in this episode was weird and funny. But it worked. I am surprised that Dwight didn't write down how Jim was wasting time or how Jim didn't have a clue what or in this case who. The start of the episode was pretty funny how everyone thought that Jim and Pam were already engaged. Michael had the best reaction. If you want to see more of Pam in this episode, you need check out the deleted scenes in this episode. Remember what happened during the Dundies episode? Same thing happened. Also there was a pretty funny plot line with Kevin and Ryan.

    While not as strong as the last episode, this was still a pretty good episode.moreless
  • 502

    How can a show go from superb to mediocre in one episode? Well watch the first two episodes of The Office, and you'll find out. A lot of time was wasted on Holly an the ethics seminar on the first half of this episode, it was completely devoid of laughter.

    Honestly, the only thing that helped this episode of The Office was Meredith and her sleeping with a supplier to get discounts. I don't see why Holly was shoved center stage and probably got more lines than many of The Office main characters that have been her for years, and Holly has just been introduced.

    I wouldn't mind if Holly & Michael got together, but if they are going too, just get them together already because the development is not entertaining, unlike Jim & Pam's development which was golden. So not a lot of things that happened here, a bit disappointed.moreless
  • Holly hosts her first HR meeting in which Meredith makes a startling reveal that drives a wedge between Holly and Michael. Meanwhile Jim tests Dwight on a typical day at work.moreless

    Well this episode addressed Ryan's recent fraud charges and how to be an ethical person in the business world. So I thought it was funny that Holly addressed that Ryan had been fired but as he was temping at Dunder Miflin Scranton, so he was now Hired Guy.

    Then Oscar pointed out that what they were talking about was not really ethics, and so everyone began discussing the unethical things they do at work, which is where Meredith reveals that she was sleeping with Bruce, a distributor from Hammermill in exchange for a discount on supplies and a gift cards to Outback Steakhouse. Obviously this is a huge ethical dilemma, leading to Michael and Holly disputing over how to handle this problem. Holly knew what was right, that this incident needed to be reported and Meredith be fired, while Michael did things his own way and felt that no one should ever be fired from Dunder Miflin because it is a family and that Meredith should jut have to wear a chastity belt. While Holly began to realize that Michael's crazy hatred of HR, she also doubted herself citing that she is too much of a whistle blower. In the end Holly was overturned by corporate' HR rep who felt that the actions were wrong but they were saving the company money, and in these hard times they decided to turn a blind eye.

    Meanwhile Dwight claimed that he did not waste time during the day and this made Jim feel the need to test Dwight's claim, and so the prank began, and I think this was one of his best. Why, because he tested Dwight so much by claiming that Battlestar Galactaca, Dwight's favorite show was pointless and the script was shotty and misplacing characters from other science fiction series while discussing it with Andy, here is the icing on the cake, Dwight disappeared for 19 minutes with no explanation, well we know why, but no one else does.

    In the end the staff enjoyed some free Outback, can we cross-promotion?

    Is this end for Holly and Michael, will their differences drive a wedge in what could be the healthiest dysfunctional relationship ever?moreless
  • I was worried where the show would go after Jim and Pam got together. Som episodes have been ok, and others mediocre. This episode turns it around again. I love the inclusion of Angela in a plot line, and the theme of ethics is a godsent to the show.moreless

    I have always thought the Angela's character was way underused in the series, so it's kind of nice to see her play a pivotal part in an episode.

    Ethics as a theme is a spectacular bomb in this show, and every single character could have played a part in this, but I thoroughly enjoy that Angela got the main lead. Few other characters have the build up to do a believable admission of this type, and exactly that makes me love it. It seems credible that Angela was created to play this part in this episode.

    I like how Holly is a version of Michael that is aware how the world works, and occasionally goes completely nerdy. I also like how the ugly head of corporate ethics rears itself in this episode.

    I laughed really hard throughout this episode, which is why I watch this show. Great episode!moreless
  • Holly organizes an ethics seminar.

    I agree its very apparent that this wasn't a typical funny Office episode. I still liked it because it was a short and sweet 21 minute episode like the first few seasons. Furthermore, I like episodes where Michael does something mature and appreciable. In this case, he was clearly trying to save Meredith's job.

    The only funny sequence was provided by a short Jim Vs. Dwight sequence, where Jim times very second when Dwight is doing something apart from office business. The Battlestar Galactica subplot was funny, but could have been made much better and funnier. This installment was Holly's turn to be in the spotlight, and she has done a good job. However, the parts where she tries to be funny are weird. I hope the writers limit her to go as far as being Michael's love interest.

    Overall, a different storyline which was good in a way. But still, I hope the writers don't tread this path again.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Jenna Fisher (Pam) does not appear in this episode. Her voice is heard during the cold open though. She did originally have a plot line where she went out drinking with classmates, but it was edited out due to time.

    • Meredith claims that she's been sleeping with the representative for Hammermill for six years. In the season three episode "The Convention," Michael and Josh state that Hammermill was exclusive with Staples until Michael convinces them otherwise in that episode. Therefore, it is impossible for her to be getting discounts that long.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Jim: By any chance did you see Battlestar Galactica last night?
      Andy: No, I did not. Is that any good?
      Jim: Actually not. It is really so-so.
      Dwight: Ok... (looks at Jim holding a stopwatch ready and shuts up)
      Jim: I mean, I like all the crazy monsters and stuff, you know, like Klingons and Wookies and all that, but—
      (Dwights turns around, Jim holds up stopwatch, and Dwight sulks back to work)
      Jim: Sorry, was there something you wanted to add, Dwight?
      Andy: Is that anything like the original Battlestar Galactica?
      Jim: You know, it's weird, it's practically a shot-for-shot remake.
      (Dwight cringes)
      Andy: Really? Huh, that's cool.
      Jim: The story's kind of bland. It's about this guy named Dumbledore Calrissian, and he needs to return the ring back to Mordor.

    • Jim: [Dwight] has not stopped working for a second. At 12:45 he sneezed, while keeping his eyes open, which I always thought is impossible. At 01:32 he peed. And I know that because he did it in an open soda bottle, under the desk, while filling out expense reports. And on the flip side I've been so busy watching him that I haven't even started work. That's exhausting, being this vigilant. I probably will have to go home early today.

    • Creed: The tall guy got engaged.

    • Holly: (discussing the ethics meeting) After they finish the quiz I'm going to run my first meeting here. It's going to be insane. No, it's not. I've got to read from the binder.

    • Oscar: Once in a while I'll take a long lunch.
      Michael: A siesta.

    • Michael: I just don't want my employees thinking their jobs depend on performance. I mean, what kind of place is that to call home?

    • Angela: I once reported Oscar to the INS. Turns out he's clean, but I'm glad I did it.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Teasing Dwight, Jim tells Andy that the Sci Fi network's Battlestar Galactica revamp is, "about this guy named Dumbledore Calrissian, and he needs to return the ring back to Mordor," using the head of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the Harry Potter series (Dumbledore), the last name of the ruler of Bespin's Cloud City in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back ([Lando] Calrissian), and the home of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Mordor).