Last week’s “The Promotion” turned out to be a celebration of new and old Office traditions. Jim’s promotion as the branch’s co-manager both enflamed a very Season Two-esque rivalry with Dwight and refreshingly tainted the Tuna’s typical nonchalant, inhuman chivalry that has likely decimated as much real-life romance as it has created. Go ahead, you can say it. It’s kind of nice to see Jim have a bad day, held over the flame of disgruntled and raise-hungry coworkers.
Not even a few days into the hierarchy switch-up and Michael and Jim are pressed to divvy up the exceptionally limited funds issued for cost of living raises. This initially puts the pair at odds with each other. Jim thinks Michael is terrible at making difficult decisions. Michael thinks Jim “sucks” because of this.
It all had the makings of another episode to tightrope walk the audience’s tipping point for Michael’s toddler buffoonery, until Jim claims the final decision for his own and boldly announces the extra money will go to the most profitable department– the sales. Just like that, Jim deftly defies Office history by infuriating someone who isn’t Dwight.
The focus quickly veers in the direction the show rarely treads– one that works against the grain of our collective impression of Scranton branch management to state the simple and unlikely truth: There is a reason why Michael Scott is the boss (or co-boss), and furthermore, it is a pretty good one.