‘The Office’s’ Dark Storyline Involving Michael Scott That Was Scrapped: ‘I Had To Put A Stop To That’
Fans of The Office tuned in each week to see the socially inept yet lovable Michael Scott (brilliantly played by Steve Carell) create a myriad of cringeworthy moments. While the iconic character was clearly incapable of following basic social norms, the Regional Manager of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin always managed to redeem himself by the end of each episode.
Showrunner Greg Daniels recently revealed that a sinister story idea for Michael was tossed around at one point, but he quickly shut it down.
Season 4 opener of ‘The Office’ is a hit … literally
In the two-part episode of the Season 4 premiere, the show opens with Michael cheerfully driving to work only to accidentally hit Meredith (played by Kate Flannery) in the parking lot. She suffers a fractured pelvis and has to stay in the hospital. When Michael seeks forgiveness from Meredith, she refuses to have mercy on him for his grave offense.
In the hopes of winning absolution from Meredith, Michael enlists his Dunder Mifflin staff to embark on a 5K “Fun Run” (hence the title of the episode) to raise money for his injured employee. When it is discovered that Meredith needed a precautionary rabies shot due to several animal bites she previously received, in true Michael fashion, the Dunder Mifflin manager then takes credit for saving her life and decides the “Fun Run’s” mission is to bring awareness to rabies.
After carb-loading immediately before the run with fettuccine alfredo and refusing to drink any water, Michael vomits after crossing the finish line and goes to the hospital for dehydration. He is visited by Meredith, who decides to forgive him in light of his efforts.
The infamous episode offers subplots including Jim and Pam finally beginning to date, and Dwight killing Angela’s cat Sprinkles.
Michael Scott – Murderer?
In a recent interview, Daniels revealed a darker storyline that was suggested to him by the writers of the show which would turn Michael into a cold-blooded killer.
“At one point, the writers pitch the story that Michael ran over Meredith in the parking lot and backed over her as to finish the job,” Daniels said, according to the Huffington Post. “Which is a horrible, horrible story.”
The Office showrunner didn’t wasted any time nixing the sinister plot twist. “I had to put a stop to that,” Daniels recalled. “That’s the first thing that comes to mind.”
Why Michael Scott couldn’t be portrayed as a killer
Daniels explained that despite Michael’s oddities and social inadequacies, to portray him as someone so cruel and heartless was completely incompatible with his character and would harm the entire premise of The Office.
“Michael doing something that is truly evil is not something that we would see on the show,” Daniels said. “That probably goes for every show. You don’t ever want to take your comedy’s central character and make them a casual murderer.”
Deciding to go with Michael hitting Meredith clearly by accident with his car, Daniels preserved the integrity of the main character while showing Michael’s human side and bringing plenty of laughs to the show’s massive audience.