See what everyone is like outside of the office. An e-mail surveillance campaign leads to some unwelcome discoveries for Michael, including his absence from the guest list to Jim’s barbecue. All signs point to a budding office romance between Dwight and Angela. Pam enlists the camera crew in her for pursuit of the truth, but drops the investigation when her own implication is brought to light, and a fiery doom is narrowly averted when Kevin steps between Ryan and the grill.
Any time Michael pulls something out of his dictionary of imaginary words, you can bet that it will be featured here.
Michael : There’s always a distance between the boss and the employees. It is just nature’s rule. It’s intimidation, mostly. It’s the awareness that they’re not me. I do think that I am approachable as one of the guys, but maybe I need to be even approachabler.
The scenes that accompany the quote are equally hilarious. Basically, we see Michael terrorizing the office with a hand puppet shaped like a boxing siamese cat. If this sounds weird, it’s because it is.
Everyone says they know someone like Dwight, but sometimes I wonder if that’s really true. I know my share of odd people, but none of them is remotely as strange as Dwight.
Dwight : I think one of the greatest things about modern America is the computerization of medical records. As a volunteer sheriff, I can look up anyone’s psychiatric records or surgical histories. Yeast infections… there are a huge number of yeast infections in this county. Probably… because we’re downriver… from that old bread factory.
Imagine, for a moment, that someone like Dwight had access to your medical records. Not a pleasant thought.
It’s always interesting to see how your perception of someone changes when you remove them from the setting that you’re most familiar with, especially when that setting happens to be a soul-crushing paper office.
Pam : You have to sit down so I can get the full effect.
Jim : Ok, sure. Will do.
Pam : Ok, wait. So that would make me, like, right here.
Jim : Yeah, that… yup, that feels about right.
Pam : And then Dwight would be like…
Jim : Um, you know what? Let’s just leave that image out of it because this is a happy place. Happy thoughts, Pam. Happy thoughts.
A cursory glance at Jim’s desk reveals a card from his parents for the sensitive guy in him, a Dunder-Mifflin catalog for the industrious worker inside, and an Aluminum Powerbook for his stylish, yet functional side.
And here we see Pam’s morbid curiosities getting the better of her.
Pam : It’s like squishing a spider under a book: it’s going to be really gross, but I have to look and make sure that it’s really dead.
Pam’s one-on-one interviews are consistently great. She has fantastic comedic timing for a receptionist.
Any episode featuring Jim and Pam outside of the office is sure to bring out their very best, and E-mail Surveillance certainly does not disappoint. Both of them show concealed joy when they learn that neither of their significant others will be present at the party.
Naturally, the highlight of the episode is the scene in Jim’s bedroom. They start off with some small talk before Pam uncovers Jim’s old yearbook. Jim protests, but not really, and it’s not long before we’re treated to a shot of him back in his high school days. The camera freezes on them for a moment with Pam clearly engrossed in her find and Jim one step closer to realizing his dream.
Pam’s conversation with Phyllis jolts her back to reality and places a dampener on everything, but not one that can’t be overcome by some karaoke heroics and Jim furthering his case that she’s with the wrong person. We can tell by the expression on her face that she approves. E-mail Surveillance earns a decisive Up on the JP Index.
Angela is fantastic in this episode. We finally catch a glimpse of her wild and crazy side, so to speak.
Angela : I’m just leaving for the day.
Michael : Yeah, well duh. Where you headed?
Angela : Charity… bake drive.
Michael : Liar!
Angela : No!
Michael : You are a liar!
Angela : No, I’m not!
I knew it was hidden in there somewhere. Exasperated Angela is fun to watch. Hooking-up-with-Dwight Angela is… something else.
Pam, definitely. Watching her operate as she attempts to get to the bottom of the Dwight/Angela situation is just too much fun. Her mannerisms throughout the episode are perfect. Awesome. She is so great…
Dwight : You could get a brain aneurysm…
Michael : I’m not going to get a brain aneurysm.
Dwight : … or hit by a car …
Michael : Stop it.
Dwight : … or a bus, or a train. You could get poisoned, fall down a well, stop on a mine, choke.
Michael : Ok, if I step on a mine in Scranton, Pennsylvania and die, you can have my job, ok?
Dwight considered planting a land mine on Michael’s front porch just then.
Michael : There are certain things a boss does not share with his employees. His salary, that would depress them. His bed, it…
Michael’s mouth works at twice the speed of his brain.
Kevin : I gotta erase a lot of stuff. A lot. Of stuff.
When Kevin enunciates like this, you know something is awry.
Pam : Something just happened. Dwight just told Angela that she has to delete all of her sensitive e-mails immediately.
Jim : What?
Pam : I know.
Jim : Hmm.
Pam : Do you think that they’re, like…?
Jim : No. Yeah.
Pam : Right. No. Eww. Ugh. Eww, eww, eww, eww… maybe.
Pam’s delivery of “I know” as she cringes at the thought of Dwight and Angela canoodling is just so good. I don’t know what it is about the way she says it, but whatever it is, it’s awesome. No, Awesome doesn’t do it justice — it’s beyond awesome. And then she delivers another perfect line with her trailing “…maybe.” I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a finer 20 seconds of television. It is that good.
Pam : Hey, Dwight. Um. My friend is kind of into these two girls that he works with.
Dwight : Nice.
Pam : One is tall and brunette, and the other one is short, blond, and perky, and kind of judgmental. Who do you think he should choose?
Dwight : Does he have access to their medical records?
Pam : Um…
Keep an eye on Jim as Pam poses her scenario about the two girls to Dwight, and then check out her reaction when Dwight asks about the medical records. She just kind of stares into the camera, at a complete loss for words.
Camera : [Approaches Pam’s desk and waits expectantly]
Pam : What?
Camera : [Rapidly turns and zooms towards Dwight having a candy bar]
Pam : Yes! Thank You!
If this scene isn’t genius, I don’t know what is. Bringing the camera in on her side was clutch.
Michael : I would not miss it for the world, but if something else came up, I would definitely not go.
Hints can’t be dropped much more strongly than this.
Kevin : My brother is in town, and we are going to see the Alaska Film Festival at the…
Michael : Ok, alright.
There he goes enunciating again. Alarms bells should be going off.
Mary-Beth : La, la, la, la, la, la.
Michael : Boom! Detective Michael Scarn! I’m with the FBI!
The thought of Michael holding a gun is only slightly less distressing than the thought of Dwight armed with one.
Michael : Oh, come on. That guy? He is a good guy, not a terrorist.
Michael demonstrating again that his mind works at half speed.