The Office was back in gear this week after last week’s amusing but plot-irrelevant Mafia episode (starring the Gasman from Dumb & Dumber!), featuring a heated showdown between an uncharacteristically on-a-mission Pam confronting an almost victim-y Michael about sleeping with her mother. My usual rambly thoughts:
– If Michelle and I have one general complaint about The Office over the past two seasons (not even ‘complaint’ so much as just noticeable detail) it’s that Jim and Pam, and Pam especially, have been given less and less funny things to do on a weekly basis. I love Jenna Fischer, but her role over the past two seasons has been almost entirely to just react to funny things that Michael, Dwight, and Andy are doing rather than initiate anything amusing herself. Granted, she was never some ridiculous, attention-grabbing slapstick character, but she used to participate in Dwight pranks and was involved in interesting Jim/Roy subplots.
This week, finally, Pam was really given a chance to dominate an episode, and it was hilarious while also legitimately interesting and unpredictable. Plus, any situation in which Michael Scott isn’t the most unreasonable / childish one in the argument is a milestone unto itself.
– When Jim turned over the bugged mallard and it was full of visible, conspicuous wires, I actually thought to myself, “I don’t know if Dwight would be that stupid, that’s a little more Gareth from the British Office; when it comes to espionage, at least, Dwight is meticulous and obsessive, as evidenced by one of my all-time favorite episodes, the Michael/Dwight paper company showdown. When he pulled out the bugged pen in the episode’s final minute, I again reminded myself why I should never, ever doubt The Office. Please accept my apology, show.
– As usual, there were too many great lines to list, but if I had to pick a favorite, for some reason I couldn’t stop laughing when, after Michael got everyone in the conference room to sympathize with his search for love, Pam sarcastically remarks, “Fine, why doesn’t Michael just sleep with everyone’s mother?” and Andy responding offscreen “Whoaaa, that’s my mother you’re talking about!” seconds after completely siding with Michael.
– Runner-Up: The entire Jim / Andy Opera scene (has there been an episode without a great Ed Helms moment ever since he joined the show?)
Clip after the jump:
– I think my new favorite Michael characteristic is just how instantly he gives away any compromising information; I rewatched the “Heyyyy Cynthia!” phone call from the “Gossip” episode like twenty times, then this week, Jim attempts to delay giving their Puerto Rican gift to Michael knowing full well that Michael will instantly spoil that he’s dating Pam’s mom, and is immediately proven right.
– Random note: The Pam Beesly Wikipedia Page has been updated to reflect her married name, URL and all. Is there anything insignificant that the internet isn’t totally on top of?
– The Pam breakdown looked like it would become the first major obstacle in the Jim/Pam marriage, but unfortunately (though believably), they easily diffused the situation by the episode’s end, and things seem like they’re more or less back to normal. The Michael / Pam’s mom subplot might continue, but I can’t imagine it’d get more heated than it was this episode, so my guess is the show will just move on.
– Dwight Schrute Paper Company, anyone?
Epsidode thoughts, favorite parts/lines, season predictions — leave ‘em in the comments, people (if the comments are visible at the moment, they keep randomly disappearing).