The Office episode
Original air date
November 1, 2007
Rashida Jones as Karen Filippelli
List of The Office (U.S. TV series) episodes
“Branch Wars” is the tenth episode of the fourth season of the American comedy television series The Office—the show’s sixty-third episode overall. Written by Mindy Kaling and directed by Joss Whedon, the episode originally aired in the United States on November 1, 2007 on NBC. The episode marks the return of season three regular Rashida Jones, who plays Jim’s former girlfriend Karen, now Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin Utica.
Karen tries to “poach” Stanley from Dunder Mifflin Scranton, and Stanley informs the branch that he is leaving. In revenge, Michael and Dwight trick Jim into traveling to the company’s Utica branch, where the group attempts to play a prank on Karen. Back at the office, Pam, Oscar, and Toby try to hold their club meeting, with disastrous results.
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Karen Filippelli (Jones) attempts to lure Stanley Hudson (Leslie David Baker) away from Scranton by offering him a pay raise. Regional Manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell), believing that Karen is doing this to get back at Assistant Regional Manager Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) for “dumping” her, decides to retaliate. Michael and salesman Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) trick Jim into joining them on a trip to Utica to prank Karen’s branch. After a failed attempt to steal the branch’s industrial copier, the group is discovered by Karen, who chastises them in her office. Privately, she mocks Jim for devising such an elaborate ruse to see her. Jim’s attempts to deflect the issue are unsuccessful, letting slip that he and Pam are happily dating. The group returns to Scranton, where Michael bids Stanley farewell. Stanley decides to stay in Scranton, revealing that his threat was a bluff to get a raise.
Meanwhile, Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer), Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nunez), and Toby Flenderson (Paul Lieberstein) form a “Finer Things Club”, discussing literature, music, and the arts. Their meetings are regularly disrupted by other employees, particularly Andy Bernard (Ed Helms), whose desperate efforts to join