Another great episode for the second week in a row, slowly making up for the wedding aisle dance-or-rama spectacular.
Okay, I’ll stop busting on the wedding aisle dance. The awful one.
Jim and Pam return from their honeymoon and are greeted by none other than Blind Guy McSqueezy…
…Michael’s new character that the women in his improv class absolutely hate, but yet he’s still so proud of it.
From there, we launch a nice subplot, wherein Dwight plants a listening device in a mallard on Jim’s desk.
And this takes us to the major crisis of the episode, which begins when Michael tells Jim that he’s taken a lover and it’s Pam’s mom.
I love how Jim confirms the affair:
Jim: “You did not have sex with Pam’s mom.”
Michael: “Big time.”
Jim: “What kind of car does she drive?”
Michael: “A green Camry.”
So Jim explodes with a serious warning not to tell Pam and to cease and desist the dating of her Mom. He obviously knows Pam well enough to know she will not take this well.
Jim: “For both of our sakes, never, ever ever see her again!”
And of course Michael can’t help but tell Pam.
Pam GOES NUTS (which was extreme, but I rolled with it) even trying to lead an office revolt in a conference room meeting about volunteerism and conservation (which is courtesy of an NBC initiative which inserted these themes into the actual scripts of each show on tonight’s lineup).
This scene is a classic Office cattle call, with so many little moments to savor.
- Look at how happy Stanley is, here, as the only one who’s joining Pam in her chant…
- Meredith: “Paint a mural of Chicano leaders?”
- Michael calls Pam’s mom on the phone “boo” and “pickle.”
- Michael to Pam: “I am your boss, and I may someday be your father!”
Michael’s plea for acceptance pretty much falls on deaf ears, save Phyllis, who seriously crunches on him.
Michael: “I’m caring. I’m generous. I’m sensual. Is it really so horrible that I could possibly go out and find happiness?”
He’s right, of course, and what makes this situation so interesting is that Pam was the first person to support him with his personal trials. She saw him as a fragile human being when others dismissed him; she was his rock during the storms of Jan and Holly and she returned to Dunder Mifflin as his one of his conquering generals from the Michael Scott Paper Company. It will be interesting to see if this will continue a disintegration of the Pam-Michael alliance, and will this be treated seriously along with the humor?
We can’t forget Toby, who gets his first loving embrace from Michael…
…and a few minutes later it’s back to being called a jackass. Poor Toby. But he deserves every scrap of garbage heaped on his head. Because it’s funny.
Toby’s attempts to broker a peace accord go down in flames, and when Pam throws down the gauntlet, Michael fires back: “I’m going to start dating her harder.” She knows what that means.
He also reveals that Jim knew about the affair, which leads to some classic Jim caught-in-the-headlights flustering…
…which I find to be hilarious. I’ve seen a number of internet posters complaining that Jim is such a wimp, that he needs to lay down the law with Pam when it comes to the office. But these moments are a nice counterpoint to the cutesy-mush- poop that they normally inflict upon us. We need some conflict up in that marshmallow center. (Also, I’m married and I realize more every day the power of a smartly-placed “Yes, dear.” It is a quiet power, a humble power, an ego-less power. Amongst other things.)
But Jim gets his manly moment when he takes out Dwight in a nice scene with a clueless Andy and an aria.
But Michael’s okay, he’s got plenty of female friends, right? They include…
- His mom.
- Pam’s mom.
- His aunt, although she just blocked him out of IM, and…
- What’s-her-face from Quiznos that he sees four times a week.
We’re left wondering, will we see more of Ryan’s fedora?
We end on, I will admit, a nice scene where Jim reminds Pam of their honeymoon highlights to calm her down, and a failed attempt to suggest that she may be over-reacting.
And just so we don’t have to fade out completely on a patented Pam-Jim cutesy-poo, we get a nice Norman Bates-style denial of insanity from Dwight, straight into camera…
Solid episode, guys.
your “tuna boss,”
Dan’s Scriptomatic Cinematic Telematic 3D!
p.s. there’s some deleted scenes on nbc.com, immediately after the full episode replay, worth checking out.
[all images: nbc.com]
[this article also posted on joeonthetube.com]