Friday, November 14, 2008

The Office, "Business Trip": Take off, to the Great White North

Spoilers for last night's "The Office" coming up just as soon as I drunk dial...

"Business Trip" was a very melancholy episode, the sort the show does a few times a season, as we saw Michael, Andy, Jim and Pam and even Ryan struggle to come to terms with a lousy personal development: Michael grieving for the end of his relationship with Holly, Andy briefly (and drunkenly) realizing how bad he has it with Angela, Jim and Pam starting to lose patience and faith with their long forced absence, and Ryan realizing what a horrible mistake he made by getting back into a relationship with Kelly.

Now, the genius of "The Office" is that it can find laughs even in very depressing situations. "Business Trip" wasn't as gut-busting hilarious as some other episodes this season, but I was impressed by how often I was laughing during an episode that was so much about the characters' pain.

Before Michael had to take his pathetic walk of shame or got to unload on David Wallace for transferring Holly to Nashua, we got to see him get whacked in the knee by the business class drink cart (a problem I've often had, blindfold or no) and rave about how the hotel concierge (played by Wendy McLendon-Covey from "Reno 911," doing a delightful faux-Manitoba accent) was like the Winnipeg equivalent of a geisha. (I especially loved seeing how turned on he got at realizing she knew where to get dry cleaning done on New Year's Eve.)

And even though there was a very sad truth at the heart of Andy's story -- he's being cuckolded by an awful woman who will have sex with Dwight but not him -- it gave us the spectacle of Andy and Oscar doing some drunk out-of-office bonding. I'm not sure there's ever been a wronger sentence uttered in that Winnipeg bar than "Beer me dos Long Island iced teas," but it was very Andy, and the whole thing was a nice acknowledgment of the way that co-workers can sometimes discover they like each other a lot more when they're not working at adjacent desks.

Ryan and Kelly's story was the most blatantly comic from start to finish, with the funniest part being Daryl's silent jaunty walk to his truck, which said all we needed to know about how happy he was in that relationship. Almost as good was the dazed look on Ryan's face in the final talking head as he acknowledged, "I realized that, for whatever reason, I just couldn't do better than Kelly."

The one story I had a problem with was Pam's abrupt return to Scranton. I'm glad to have her back in the middle of the action again, and that the writers are apparently done trying to create false tension in the PB&J relationship. But it seems like a cheat to me to have Pam suddenly claim that she hated graphic design, especially when it was clear in earlier in episodes that she was having a great time on her New York adventure (other than the forced separation). If Pam is just back at the reception desk in the next episode and no longer pursuing her artistic dreams, I'm going to be really annoyed, because it'll be a violation of character in the service of maintaining the series' status quo.

And yet Jenna Fischer and Krasinski did a good job playing their long-distance misery and then their joy at seeing each other again in the parking lot. I really do like having those two together; I just wish the writers had just let Pam finish the class and then decide to come back to Scranton, going back to receptionist while exploring other options in the area.

Some other thoughts on "Business Trip":

• In the course of a brief web search, I have been unable to find a direct flight from Scranton to Winnipeg, let alone one that runs less than two hours. Michael got robbed of a meal, I say.

• Andy's personal DVD collection includes "Harry and the Hendersons"?

• Did Oscar and his "roommate" break up? Or was he just indulging Andy's wingman fantasies because he was bored on the trip? (And because he assumed Andy would fail miserably, which he did.)

• My favorite of Michael's cultural lessons from the opening sequence: in Italy, you have to wash your hands after going to the bathroom. My gosh, what a bizarre country that must be.

What did everybody else think?


Stef said...

I really loved this episode. I tend to prefer the episodes with the more emotional storylines since the writers are so good at showing both the humor and the pain in people's real lives. (So was this a Paul ep?) I loved vulnerable and sensitive Michael, I loved drunk self-aware Andy, I loved drunk silly Oscar.

But most of all, I really loved the Jim and Pam storyline. Alan, I know you've had some problems with the way the Pam in NY story has gone, but I think it's been just perfect - and a nice mirror of Jim in Stanford. They both left for a time and had the chance to explore if there was life out there for them somewhere else, but they both ended up returning to each other - sure, with some bumps in the road - back in Scranton. I think that's right for their characters, and I don't think it feels false that Pam would realize she wasn't enjoying herself and that her idealized dreams of the art world weren't achievable. Of course she would return home to Jim, where she feels safer and can be herself. Not every character has to be career-driven -- Jim certainly isn't either. I think they're doing the PB&J story just right.

Anonymous said...

Man, Michael's final rant to David Wallace about how much the trip sucked which then morphed into him yelling to Wallace about Holly....there was some real pain there.

As for PB&J, I think we'll need to see how subsequent episodes deal with post-Art School Pam. Maybe she'll end up regretting leaving art school once she's back in the Scranton office full time, or something similar.

I still think the show is great, but there is a definite sense that the writers are trying to maintain the status quo, and if the show went on for another, say, 3 seasons, this could start to feel ridiculous and fake. Maybe the show should start working toward a natural conclusion? I don't want it to turn into M*A*S*H, with everyone doing the same thing 11 seasons later.

ruder said...

I agree about Pam's story. The set up -- she had to double her stay in NY in order to learn a new computer program -- at first felt like a cheap way to avoid progressing the story. But then it turned into a bad twist -- it just didn't make sense that she decided to ditch graphic design completely, because there's been no indication that she disliked it and i doubt her computer trouble was that much of a deal-breaker. There was at least a scene missing -- something in which Pam had to come to terms with what Harry told her last week about staying in NY. I would have been OK with cutting a Ryan-Kelly scene in favor of explaining Pam's subplot

Anonymous said...

definitely thought that Michael's rant at David Wallace felt real...especially after all that Michael has done for Dunder Mifflin and David (remember Jan's hearing, and how Michael was honest about the company?) I think he felt betrayed, and it came across great.
As for PB&J, Alan, you say she was seemingly enjoying her NY adventure, which I firmly believe was true, but no where were we ever given the impression that she was in fact enjoying the graphic design part of her experience. It is not too illogical that she was having a great time in NY but not enjoying or going to class, etc...sort of like freshman year.
Anyway, I am glad they seem to have gotten thru this solid...I really like the fact that they are together, and hope they stay that way. And, for whatever it's worth, if David Wallace is so concerned about office dating, he would have to basically re-assign the entire Scranton office, wouldn't he(Dwight/Angela/Andy, PB&J, Kelly/Ryan)

Alan Sepinwall said...

if David Wallace is so concerned about office dating, he would have to basically re-assign the entire Scranton office, wouldn't he(Dwight/Angela/Andy, PB&J, Kelly/Ryan)

I think there's a difference in his mind between lower-level staffers dating and the HR rep -- basically, the hall monitor -- dating the manager, particularly a manager like Michael who needs an HR rep to rein him in.

(Of course, what David didn't realize is that Holly was reining him in, albeit not in the expected way. Michael was behaving much better with Holly around than he ever did with Toby.)

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with most of your assessment on this episode -- definitely one of the more somber ones in theme but with just the right amount of humor. It was also nice to see some sort of emotional payoff/development in the storylines the writers have laid out for us this season, however big or small (Andy/Angela, Michael/Holly, Jim/Pam, Ryan/Kelly).

And to address a few of your thoughts:

- Oscar -- I could have sworn he broke up with Gil a while back...there was definitely a line that attested to such and even hinted at Oscar possibly going back to the other team. A more informed watcher might be able to pinpoint which episode that was (and if it even exists!)

- Pam's art school dreams -- I personally thought the development from Pam being a avid illustrator/painted to a graphic designer in the earlier seasons was the bigger leap than her failing at her Flash class. Yes, the whole 3 month program in NY and pursuing her dreams only to have her fail sort of makes the whole set up for naught, but I believe it was important for her to have experienced NY and the possibilities it brought with it. She never had that opportunity while being with Roy and I think it was really experiencing the city and the community of like-minded people that Pam expressed her joy for rather than her actual classes. What college student hasn't enjoyed college without necessarily doing stellar in school, mm?

Anyway, I think this was a journey Pam needed to take and I don't think it will end now. But it was a realistic disappointment that hopefully she will still work through and struggle with in future episodes.

Ted Frank said...

There were a number of scenes in earlier episodes where Pam showed unhappiness in New York -- the classroom scene where the teacher yelled at her to sit down; a scene or two where she was a dorm RA; and then she expressed her frustration with the software, which she wasn't good with. (Plus, is this an office building in the galaxy of Andromeda?)

I presume that the two-hour flight was to Chicago or Toronto.

Dwight/Angela/Andy work together, whereas Holly and Michael have oversight over one another. So Wallace isn't necessarily being inconsistent.

Ryan's manipulating Kelly into sending a text message and disappointment at Darryl's quick and cursory response was brilliant.

It's beyond funny that Michael hooked up with the concierge, yet was disappointed.

If Toby returns to Scranton, though, it will seem like everything is being twisted to get things back to normal; it's implausible enough that Ryan is there now that Pam is back--unless Andy leaves and Ryan is temping for Andy.

K J Gillenwater said...

I thought the Pam storyline was very believable. She seemed more enamored of the idea of being in art school rather than the actual work that went with it. We know she was never a great artist...not only the Andromeda Galaxy comment, but the art show from a couple seasons ago, told us Pam was less than talented. Her failing made sense. Pam can succeed in art on a small playing field (the Dunder/Mifflin office in Scranton), but not when amongst other artists. To me, she always seemed like the type that would get married, get pregnant, and happily become a stay-at-home mom who enjoys doing craft projects with her kids and volunteering in the PTA.

Anonymous said...

Oscar mentioned his problems with Gil in Beach Games. He said that he might try women for a while and that Angela thought it was a good idea.

Anonymous said...

I thought Pam was obviously lying about hating graphic design. She just really wanted to come back to Jim, rather than spend another 12 weeks retaking that class.

Anonymous said...

I think this was the most we've ever heard Oscar speak and I loved every minute of it! He's such a great character. All of his scenes with Andy in the bar, at the hotel lobby before departing and lastly at the airport were hilarious. I know you always complain about there not being enough Meredith or Phyllis, but I saw more Oscar, please!

Anonymous said...

It actually made a lot of sense to me that Pam would quit and express her frustration with graphic design. Graphic design is pretty different from the hints we've seen of Pam's art ambitions. She doesn't seem like someone who is interested in learning how to do Photoshop and Illustrator at a big corporate office and the shock failing the Flash class probably made her realize that. (Sometimes the frustration at not getting something will make you reflect and realize it wasn't what you wanted after all.)

So, it'll work for me if we see Pam perusing a different path rather than reverting to the old status quo. I wouldn't mind seeing her return to the reception desk, because sometimes in her situation it's comfortable to return to where you were before (particularly because she might not know where she'd go next if art school turned out to be the wrong path) but I'd like to see her have an eye on how she might be happy.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I think I messed up the copy past up there, hopefully this link is easier. . .

Unknown said...

Loved a lot of moments in this episode - Darrell's silent celebration, the horror at realizing Andy hasn't had sex with Angela, but most of all, Michael calling out David on transferring Holly. Balanced out nicely with David Wallace's talking head where he justifies sending Michael to Winnipeg in November as making up for Holly. Plus Michael makes the sale so he won't catch flack from David Wallace.

Anonymous said...

I got say, i dont think the writer's could have/can do right by you (and a lot of office fans) with the PB&J storyline.

When the first got together (beginning of season 4) some fans cried out that the essence of the show was damaged with the sexual tension gone.

Then with the delayed engagement and separation, people started getting worried about a potential break up (personally, I want to see a break up, i really doubt how well these to know each other, YEA I SAID IT, which would make them getting back together that much sweeter). Now that their back in Scranton, people are complaining about the quick reunion (again, personally, i believe pam saw her future of computer screens, logos and drawing for advertising and didnt like it, she has always been more of a drawer than graphic design).

Its been too much sweet romance with these two and not enough turmoil in their relationship (well, since they became official, Roy almost killing Jim is kind of a downer). I think they're still on a road to a break up and i will be happy that shoe finally drops.

Unknown said...

I'm positive there has to be more to the Pam story than what we saw last night.

I initially thought maybe she lied about failing the class in order to stay in New York a little longer, but then that seemed unlikely once she came back.

It'll be interesting to see what happens next, anyway.

Anonymous said...

My only problem with the Pam storyline was the logo she made for Dunder Mifflin Infinity & the animated logo she made for the Dunder Mifflin commercial seemed really professional and showed the work of someone who was at least proficient with a computer. I believe she said it was in Flash, so that holds up in the continuity, but it still bugged me.

But I agree with a previous poster that it seemed like she was lying about not enjoying it. Although, I went to school to write screenplays, and once that had to happen under deadlines and with lots of criticism, I realized that I didn't enjoy it enough to do it for the rest of my life.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure there's ever been a wronger sentence uttered in that Winnipeg bar than 'Beer me dos Long Island iced teas.'"

What about him telling Oscar "You'll thank me when they spank thee"?

And I was under the impression that graphic design was just one of many classes Pam was taking, so for her to say that she hated it wouldn't mean that she suddenly hates art or has given up her dream.

Anonymous said...

Five-star episode. I loved the scene with Oscar and Andy together in the bar. The Office has a really deep bench, and when they give the minor characters a chance to shine, they never disappoint.

K J Gillenwater said...

Pam failed the program. Failed. So it's not like she had some success that would make her want to stay in NY. She would have to take the whole thing over again...

Obviously, if she failed, she either does not really have the skills to finish the program or lost interest once she realized what the program was going to be like.

I don't think there's anything more to it than that.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this episode as well. Andy wasn't too annoying, Michael was sympathetic, Oscar smiled, and Creed was creepy.

One thing that popped into my head was, "have/do/will they ever get to see the documentary being made? It has been several years in the making, and if so, wouldn't everyone hate each other after seeing the (at times) nasty things said about others in the office?"

Anonymous said...

When I first saw the concierge I gasped because I thought it was Dawn from the British Office! In my defense the first shot of her was from pretty far away and also I was drunk.

dyb said...

One thing that popped into my head was, "have/do/will they ever get to see the documentary being made? It has been several years in the making, and if so, wouldn't everyone hate each other after seeing the (at times) nasty things said about others in the office?"

Just repeat to yourself "It's just a show. I should really just relax."

Or failing that, pretend the documentary isn't being made for an American audience. For all we know, this documentary is a primetime hit in Dubai.

SJ said...

Ok just so everyone Abu Dhabi you don't have to cover yourself up (I grew up there). He's probably getting it confused with Iran or Saudi Arabia

Anonymous said...

^I hope you're not surprised Michael got that wrong :-)

I loved this ep, especially Ryan realizing just what he's done to himself. His humiliation is finally complete! And to echo others, yes, please, more Oscar, particularly him bonding drunkenly with Andy. Wonder when it will finally click with Andy that it was Dwight's voice he heard during his call to Angela? Nightmare's going to be more horrible for him, unfortunately.

I felt so bad for Michael when the geishierge kicked him out of her room when she was done with him. He looked like a kicked puppy.

@shara says said, the spoiler is in the wording of the link you posted.

Anonymous said...

I give a high mark to any episode that shows Michael Scott acting like a real person and not a cartoon, and this episode had great example of that:

1-For all his cartoonishness, Michael seemed to be a good date to the concierge- being interested in her job and cooking up wacky scenarios for her, and they were both having a good time. He was probably more interested in her and more fun than most "normal" dates.

2-As we've seen him do many times before, Michael made the deal when it meant turning the customer's no into a yes. This is a small thing, but it is great to be reminded that Michael can be good at what he does.

3-Michael's blow-up at Wallace, which did not have a punch line (that came later in his voice-over). It sucks what Wallace did, it hurt Michael and even though Michael loyally went on the trip and closed the sale, he also earned some capital to unload on Wallace. Wallace wanted him to say Everything is great, but Michael wouldn't let him off the hook. Good for him.

drat said...

One thing that popped into my head was, "have/do/will they ever get to see the documentary being made? It has been several years in the making, and if so, wouldn't everyone hate each other after seeing the (at times) nasty things said about others in the office?"

i believe in the uk version there was a two hour reunion post mortem special episode which occured after the documentary aired. the ricky gervais character used his "fame" to work the d-list celebrity circuit for cash to depressing and comic effect.

in america, this will come when theres a hue and cry for an office movie like we are hearing now for arrested development.

Alan Sepinwall said...

shara says said, the spoiler is in the wording of the link you posted.

Yeah, I went and deleted that when I noticed.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Pam is headed toward a meltdown. She's the type who looks the settle-down type and eventually will, but she's also got that nagging inside of her that she wants to be something more.

It sucks to find out, though, that your image of yourself doesn't match your dream in reality. When you realize you're pretty much average and always will be is tough, but it's liberating too because that's when your life begins to progress. I hope the writers explore that in-between time a little before she finds her niche.

I LOVED seeing Oscar get more dimensions. He was perfect with Andy.

I think they're going to have to end this with Andy and Angela really soon because she's turning into a totally detestable character. She's always been unlikable, but not loathsome. It'll be interesting to see what the consequences of her actions will be.

Rachel said...

Alan - Sure, Holly reigned in Toby, but with Holly as HR rep, Michael lost the company thousands and thousands of dollars with the robbery. Going over his party budget isn't the same.

(Is David now Michael's direct superior, now that there's no one in Jan's/Ryan's position?)

Allison - I was thinking the same thing: that she was lying about having completed the program and wanted to spend another twelve weeks in NY. But her failing at mastering a computer graphic design program makes sense, although it feels like a waste of time for her and the whole course if by failing mastery of one program, she failed the whole course... Pam likes drawing more than she likes computer design. Obviously, she should draw a webcomic.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan - Sure, Holly reigned in Toby, but with Holly as HR rep, Michael lost the company thousands and thousands of dollars with the robbery. Going over his party budget isn't the same.

But that could have happened with any woman Michael was dating. That had nothing to do with Holly's position as head of HR for D-M Scranton.

Jennifer Boudinot said...

I would feel like a huge nerd mentioning this if it hadn't been for Alan's mention of the fact that there are no direct flights from Scranton to Winnipeg, but Pam tells Jim that she knows Quark but they switched to Acrobat--which is incorrect. The Adobe program that does the same thing as Quark is InDesign. Acrobat just works with pdf documents; InDesign actually designs them.
Anyhoo, I felt like the reason they gave for Pam coming back was better than a lot of others they could have come up with, but my ultimate question was just, why have her even go to NY in the first place? I don't think it added much to the series overall.

Colin Fast said...

Further to Evie's comment, no graphic design program that's even halfway decent would still be teaching Quark. They would have switched to InDesign ages ago.

Also, on behalf of the citizens of Winnipeg, I have to say this episode was a huge let-down. There wasn't even a token effort to make it appear as thought they were in Winnipeg, or use any local references (bar name and street names were fake, we don't have a "financial district"). This show is supposed to exist in the real world, so would it have killed the writing team to spend 3 minutes on Google?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Alan! It wasn't even a well pasted link - so, sorry about that :) The second posted link up there goes to the same place, and doesn't have a spoiler within the link!

Was I the only one who caught an interesting vibe with Oscar and Andy, that might go somewhere more interesting once we get past the inevitable wedding fiasco? I thought that it seemed intentionally ambiguous, but then again maybe I'm reaching.

Anonymous said...

As another Winnipegger, it's basically true what the previous poster said. However there were subtle local touches, including brief inclusions of local products such as Fort Garry beer and Old Dutch potato chips. Just thought I'd mention it. As for the "delightful faux-Manitoba accent", to me it sounded like a Scandinavian person with a cold. Not my idea of local, but I'm not complaining.

Alan Sepinwall said...

As for the "delightful faux-Manitoba accent", to me it sounded like a Scandinavian person with a cold. Not my idea of local, but I'm not complaining.

Yeah, I have no idea what the actual Winnipeg accent sounds like, and didn't think McLendon-Covey was coming close to it, but whatever she was doing sounded funny.

Anonymous said...

Alan, you missed the best part of the line.

"Beer me dos Long Island Iced Teas, s'il vou plait."

Beer me for non-beer. "Dos" in Spanish. And "s'il vous plait" in Manitoba's native French. :-)

Anonymous said...

Several points on a terrific, funny-and-sad episode:
*The fact that Ryan and Kelly were both trying to use Daryl against each other, and the way he could not have cared less about either of them, was hilarious.
*I liked that David Wallace and Michael are both right and both wrong here. David's following a sound policy (supervisors can't date subordinates in the same office) but if he got past the rule book, he'd see Holly was good for Michael and the office. And Michael's comments to David were correct, but it's still never a good idea to rant at your boss, especially when you've got the spotty track record Michael has.
*I agree with the poster who thinks Angela's drifting into Jan territory. The problem with Ed Helms making Andy likable and funny (like here) is that it sends Angela's stock tanking.
*I trust in this show to have a solution for Pam's future that doesn't involve her being a receptionist anymore. Whether she's working in a nearby office or on a design project for DM, anything that doesn't return her to Season 2 form would probably work.
*Has Oscar Martinez ever had a story, let alone a scene, that wasn't outstanding and memorable? I can't think of any.

Anonymous said...

A perfect Office episode

Anonymous said...

Great episode---awesome season so far. I hate to sound like such a fan, but the show has been excellent and I'm enjoying each episode.

Anonymous said...

To me, the biggest part about Pam's story that nobody's talking about is when she said she missed Scranton. I don't think she was rationalizing, although she may be confusing Scranton with Jim a little bit, but after all the talk last week about how Jim/Pam aren't really city people, this felt like a perfectly natural way to keep them here.

I thought the Pam story was great actually. I don't think it's a cop-out to have her hating graphic design, and as others have said, we have no evidence that her classes were enjoyable. I do hope she continues with art on another path, but trying to achieve what she thinks she wants and failing is a story we don't see very often on television.

Anonymous said...

Butte Airlines

French-speaking Winnipeg

Micheal's honest interest in the concierge knowledge base, and that interest getting him a ride on the F-train.

J.J. said...

Have to say: I disagree that there's a problem with Pam's abrupt return. I disagree it's a violation of her character. This is the same woman who spent years not really pursuing her art dreams. The same woman who spent years quietly going along with Roy.

If anything, I'd consider it a bigger violation of her character if she suddenly sprouted some kind of hardened ambition that would allow her to keep Jim and Scranton on the back burner for as long as it takes to achieve other things. My opinion is that it feels about right that she could only go so long being away from her old life.

Anonymous said...

shara - vibe caught. definitely.

Nicole said...

I noticed an Air Canada tail in the airport scene, so that must've been the clue that they were in Winnipeg - seriously that was lame and not even one reference to the city being windy or the geographic centre of Canada. I guess the concierge's accent made sense if the premise was that Manitobans were all French Canadians that forgot how to speak French, but still speak English with a half ass accent. I would have preferred and outright hoser accent, so the concierge's accent just bugged the hell out of me.

I thought that I had read somewhere that some of the cast actually went to Winnipeg to film scenes... if so, it wasn't obvious.

Anyway, I didn't hate it, and the Andy and Oscar scenes were cute, but I can't put this one that high on the list.

Anonymous said...

I thought this episode was, how you say, fantastic. A couple of moments that haven't been mentioned yet:

- "Dandy Dale and Foppy McGee"

- Oscar's tween-girl giddiness when Andy started calling Angela

- The fact that Angela was with Dwight when Andy called ("Who is that, Monkey?")

- Angela's definition of "first base": allowing Andy to kiss her on the forehead.

- "The whole nine 'Nards"

As for Pam, I thought her explanation to Jim rang hollow, like she was trying to convince herself of what she was saying. Wouldn't she have known sooner that she was failing the class instead of at the very end of the program?

At the risk of joining the bandwagon that's not happy with the PB&J storylines either way, it seems the writers were non-committal in their portrayal of Pam in New York. We never really saw for sure if she did like it or not. Similarly, when I saw her standing in the parking lot, I wasn't sure whether I felt happy or disappointed. (And I get the sense Jim had the same reaction on some level.)

Oaktown Girl said...

Re: any Andy/Oscar "vibe" - it crossed my mind for about half a second. But mostly I think it was a very well-executed display of just how desperately lonely Andy is - not only for romantic love and affection, but for plain ol' genuine friendship. The ever insightful and compassionate Oscar knows this and realizes it costs him basically nothing to be Andy's drinking buddy for the evening. I thought it was very touching.

Ryan's character was hilarious trying to gain back his sense of masculinity after having had his balls cut off in front of everybody in his fall from grace. He believes scoring a huge victory over "Big Man" Darryl would help him regain his sense of self. But of course Darryl beats him without even breaking a sweat. Doubly humiliating.

tabernacle said...

Lol, "Beer me dos Long Island Iced Teas, s'il vous plait"--thanks for reminding me of that line, that's a keeper. I would clamor for an Ed Helms spin-off but then they might make it and then we would hate on it and/or it would legitimately suck. Love the character, love the actor.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't she have known sooner that she was failing the class instead of at the very end of the program?

Not necessarily. Often a final exam weighs heavily on the overall grade, and if you're on the line between pass and fail, the final can make or break you. So yeah, she probably knew she was in trouble, but hoped she could pull it off.

My sense was that this was a required course to get the certificate or degree or whatever she was going for, and without it she just has a resume of completed courses.

Do we know the date of Angela and Andy's wedding? I remember the date was set, but will it be a sweeps episode or a season ender?

Loved seeing Oscar acting like a normal person outside of the office. Poor guy needs friends, right? With Toby gone and Pam in NY, no more meetings of their lunchtime club (why can't I recall the name?)

Anonymous said...

So, maybe I didn't understand it, but have Jim and Pam not been seeing each other on the weekends while she's been in NYC? It's only about 2 and a half hour away (with traffic.) Jim doesn't drive up their on Friday nights to go hang out in Manhattan with the girl he loves? And then drive back down late Sunday night. Seems like a no-brainer.

Anonymous said...

The Finer Things Club. I.e. the gayest thing Oscar does.

Anonymous said...

medusa said:

With Toby gone and Pam in NY, no more meetings of their lunchtime club (why can't I recall the name?)

The Finer Things Club!

That's true about her class coming down to a final, but again, the writers never gave us any indication of how school or NYC really were going for her.

To Zeke's point about them seeing each other on the weekends, I have friends who date long-distance and spend their weekends together, but it's very stressful. It's just not the same as seeing someone throughout the week and having those day-to-day, spontaneous moments. And considering Pam and Jim work together, too, it's believable that they'd find any prolonged separation difficult.

Along those lines, I'd be interested to see more scenes of Pam and Jim outside the office and/or away from co-workers (though the documentary pretense makes that difficult). So much of their relationship is framed in the context of the office that their one-on-one dynamic may not be quite as strong.

digamma said...

Bravo to BJ Novak and Mindy Kaling for that episode. Every beat of their scenes was perfect.

jana said...

There's nothing wrong with having a relationship without angst and break-ups. My husband and I only dated 8 months before we were married (no, I was not pregnant). Some would say that we didn't know each other well, but I like the idea that we've grown up together. We've been happily married 21 years now.

Rmad said...

It just hit me that both Oscar and the Concierge were both on Reno 911. He played a con man called Spanish Mike Alvarez who tricks the department that his team is from Homeland Security so they can rob the evidence locker.

Anonymous said...

I know this is kind of late, but I just wanted to point out a couple of things.

"Winnipeg accents" sound exactly the same as the actors on the office. The one that actors try to learn to sound like they have no accent.

Also, Quebec is the only natively French province in Canada. While many people are bilingual, the primary language in Manitoba is English.

Pretty decent episode but they definitely didn't live up to they Winnipeg hype.