• Season 4 : Episode 5
  • First aired on October 25, 2007
  • Written by B.J. Novak / Directed by Jason Reitman
  • Recap by Karin
  • Discuss this episode at The Watercooler, and remember to submit your vote at OfficeTally.

Looking to expand their markets, Corporate has decided to buy some air time, hire an ad agency, and broadcast their existence unto the ether. Michael, of course, has his own idea of how things should be done, and isn’t afraid to risk it all on his dreams. Speaking of dreams, Dwight escapes further into his Second Life, Pam gets a gold star on her first steps away from receptionistdom, and Andy finally gets somewhere with Angela (or does he?).

The Michael Scott School of Hard Knocks

What is this episode about? Well, you know those demand videos he made? And the video upon which this very website is based? This episode is about the granddaddy of all those videos. Except it comes after all of them. So really it is about temporal paradoxes and killing your own father. Except not.

Michael : Little girl in a field, holding a flower. We zoom back to find she’s in the desert, and the field is an oasis. We zoom back further, the desert is a sandbox in the world’s largest resort. Zoom back further, and the hotel is actually the playground of the world’s largest prison. Now, we zoom back further-
Ad Guy #1 : Ok, I can tell your that time is valuable.
Michael : Actually, I don’t get paid by the hour anymore, but thank you. I get paid by the year. So.

Obviously Michael’s time is valuable. Did you not hear that concept he just graced you with? Never mind the fact it has nothing to do with paper; what ad is totally on-point nowadays, anyway? Just the other day I saw an ad for a washing machine that featured dancing flowers and a rousing ballet soundtrack.

Receptionist : You have a call from Eddie Murphy.
Ryan : Hello?
Michael : Shrek! Shrek! I’m a donkey! I’m a donkey, Shrek! Ha ha, I’m just kidding, it’s me, hello, Ry.
Ryan : What.
Michael : Ok, calm down, just have a small problem.
Ryan : I told you not to call about small problems.
Michael : Yeah, well, when I call about big problems, you don’t like that either, so, make up your mind, kiddo. Here is the deal. The ad guys that you sent are locking me in a creative box, and sort of ignoring my ideas.
Ryan : That’s good. They’re creative, you’re not.
Michael : I’m creative, Ryan.
Ryan : It’s not part of your job. Like, maybe you can cook, but that doesn’t mean you should start a restaurant.
Michael : Well, actually I can’t cook, and I am starting a restaurant. Mike’s Cereal Shack. I’m thinking we’ll have as many varieties as you can buy in the store.
Ryan : Ok, I’m not really interested in that right now. I am delegating creativity to creative professionals. It’s a different skillset. Look, I wasn’t good at sales, right?
Michael : Yeeeah.
Ryan : But I’m good at managing people who do sales.
Michael : Are you? I don’t think you’re doing such a great job here, suppressing ideas and creativity.

There are two questions that come to my mind, after hearing this exchange. First, Michael’s theme this season appears to be cereal; is that on purpose or is he just subliminally trying to emphasize the importance of a good start to a day? Second, is Ryan really all that good at managing salespeople? Sure, he won’t always take Michael’s crap, but neither would Jan, and look where she ended up. Of course, it’d be really weird if liar-liar Ryan freaked out about not having babies and got some boob enhancements, but stranger things have (probably) happened.

Michael : Has anyone ever come up to you and said, “You’re not creative.”
Dwight : Yes. [nodding]
Michael : Well, they’re wrong. You are creative. You are damn creative. Each and every one of you. You are so much more creative than all the other dry boring morons that you work with.
Jim : Who are you talking to, specifically.

As usual, Michael is working out his own problems by inflicting them on everyone else. Also, as usual, he manages to insult everyone at the same time. Of course you’re creative, Michael, you’ve just got the mental and emotional age of a 7 year old boy who hasn’t really gone outside… ever. It’s ok.

Michael : [voiceover] It all starts with an idea. But you can never tell where an idea will end up. Because ideas spread. They change, and grow. They connect us with the world. And in a fast-moving world, where good news moves at the speed of time, and bad news isn’t always what it seems, because when push comes to shove, we all deserve a second chance to score. Dunder-Mifflin. Limitless paper in a paperless world.

I have to say, I was impressed with this. If you don’t actually listen to what he’s really saying, then it sounds pretty awesome and kinda deep and somewhat moving. Vangelis’s theme music for Chariots of Fire certainly helps here. However, if you do actually pay attention to his words, then you see just what a giant amalgamation of cliches the thing is, not to mention that it doesn’t actually make any sense. Let’s not even go into how it’s really an ad for something like, say, the internet. Let’s just appreciate it for the (hilarious) thing of beauty it is. Thank you, Michael Scott.

Dwight Being Dwight

Dwight, while still possessing of his own unique brand of arrogance, has retreated into Second Life, a game that is not really a game, apparently.

Dwight : I signed up for Second Life about a year ago. Back then, my life was so great that I literally wanted a second one. In my second life, I was also a paper salesman, and I was also named Dwight. Absolutely everything was the same. Except I could fly.

Good for Dwight! He’s got a pasttime, it doesn’t involve roadkill, everyone’s happy (except for the fact he’s at work and not selling paper while he’s hooked up). Me being a nerd, I’m remembering my own brief foray into Second Life, and how I got frustrated after about an hour, partly because the dang thing had a difficult interface that wasn’t really intuitive at all. Also, all the skanky dudes. I think I’ll stick with World of Warcraft, where at least we’ve got winners among the losers.

And what’s he doing playing that on a work computer, seriously! Dwight, your malfeasance is being noted.

Also: where did “Shelford” come from? I know they make you choose from a certain number of names, but it’s not Angela’s last name… is it his mother’s maiden name? We can be somewhat certain she’s not a Nazi, but then again we haven’t heard much about her. Anyway.

The Many Faces of Jim

I’d like to focus here on pretty much one aspect of Jim right here: the part of him that lives in Second Life. Bear with me.

Jim : Hey.
Pam : Huh. No talk. I’m animating.
Jim : Why don’t we take a quick ten-second break from that so I can show you what’s going on here. Ok. This is Dwight’s Second life. He’s on it all the time. So much so that his little guy here has created his own world. It’s called Second Second Life, for those people who want to be removed even further from reality.
Pam : Are you serious?
Jim : Yeah.
Pam : Oh my god, he’s really in pain. [Pam sees something on the screen] Who’s that?
Jim : Oh, that’s just my avatar guy whatever.
Pam : He looks a lot like you! [Jim makes noncommittal noises] How much time did you spend on that?
Jim : Not much. It’s just for tracking Dwight, so.
Pam : Right. [pause] You’re a sportswriter in Philadelphia? Nice build, too. [Jim looks at the camera]
Jim : Yup.
Pam : You have a guitar slung on your back! I did not know you played guitar.
Jim : I– Why don’t we go back to the animation-
Pam : No no no! I want to see more of Philly Jim! I want Philly Jim!
Jim : No, show me how this works.
Pam : Oh boy.

Philly Jim. He’s got a guitar, he’s a sportswriter, and for better or worse he is a spy. What I find interesting is not that Jim’s got a Second Life toon; it makes sense, given how much his life has sucked up until a few months ago, that he would also dive into a world that, despite crappy (to me) interfaces, doesn’t have anyone tugging at his heartstrings or reminding him of opportunities lost. Far from it; I would think the mountains of furries and crazy blinking ads and spooky blowing wind would be enough of a distraction for anyone.

No, what I find interesting is that Pam doesn’t know Jim plays guitar, or harbors a secret dream of being a sportswriter. Granted, that second one might not be true, or it might be true and he just hasn’t told her (because those kind of dreams are often kept secret; I know I have some myself), but that guitar thing… there’s a guitar visible in his room in The Party, which Pam walks right by and sits right in front of. Sure, it’s a couple years ago, but still! Did he give up the guitar? What? I must know.

And I’m sorry to rag on Second Life. It’s actually really neat how you can customize the toons, and really an anthropologist would have a field day with how people interact, and why they interact at all, in it. It’s just not the game - I’m sorry, multiuser virtual environment - for me.

Oh, and hey - remember Meredith and her cast? I’m assuming not much has changed.

Jim : Pam’s staying late tonight to achieve her dreams. So, pretty proud of her. unfortunately, she was my ride-
Meredith : You coming?
Jim : I, uhh-
Meredith : Piss or get off the pot!

Confessions of a Receptionist

Pam is moving forward on her dreams! Go, Fancy New Beesly, go!

Pam : I’m taking a computer animation class, so I can try and do a logo.
Michael : Look at that! Even the receptionist is getting in on the creativity.

Dude, she totally gets in on the creativity…

Jim : I hope you’re not killing yourself on this, because I’m sure it’s good enough for Michael’s ad, that probably will be seen by no one.
Pam : Maybe, but it’s not good enough for me.
Jim : Ok. Do you want me to stay?
Pam : No, no, you can go home. I’m good.

… So much so that she burns the midnight oil getting it done. Talk about dedication.

[Phone rings]
Pam : [Waking up from a keyboard faceplant] Dunder-Mifflin, this is Pam.
Jim : Good morning.
[Pam realizes the situation.]
Jim : Yeah, I’m sorry, I looked away for a second and Creed snatched your hashbrowns.
Pam : Thank you.
Jim : You’re welcome.

Pam : [In interview] I worked until about 2:45 a.m., and then I had to decide if I wanted to spend the night with Michael, editing in his office, and Dwight, watching Michael edit in his office, or drive home and probably fall asleep at the wheel and die in a fiery car wreck. I passed out on my keyboard trying to decide.

I can’t say I’ve done this for anything - falling asleep at the desk and waking up to a phone call, or a coworker, or a family member - but I can say that I admire that kind of single-minded determination. Also, I’m glad she “decided” to stay at work, because another car accident is the last thing that this show needs, not to mention the fact that Jim needs at least a few more episodes of break from angst to really bounce back to Good. And we want good. Ok, I want good. Sue me (don’t).

The Jim/Pam Index (and Dwangela S&P)

A brief word about Jim and Pam, and then we’re on to the fun(ny) stuff.

Jim : Animation? All her, by the way.
Bartender : Really?
Jim : Yeah, just thought you should-
Bartender : The animation was cool! Hey, listen, you ever been on a motorcycle? Because-
Jim : Awww [wraps his arm around Pam’s shoulders]

It’s clear to me that Jim is supportive of Pam’s arty ambitions. Since she’s Fancy New Beesly who stands up for herself, she’s been clear about her intentions and while she might not have taken the internship from Corporate she is still obviously not letting go of her dreams. Jim is supportive of this, because he is proud of her and wants her to succeed. This is kind of a duh; Jim’s always adored her and supported her ambitions when others would not.

As for his not telling her his own hopes and dreams? I’m not surprised. The relationship isn’t necessarily about her need for him (even though she does kinda need him), but rather about his need for her. She doesn’t really need his go-ahead to get her goals done, but oddly enough he isn’t as assertive, in some ways, as she has become, and so he (1) hasn’t acted on his own goals, notably because they might take him far away from her, and (2) doesn’t tell her about them, for various reasons I could detail but I’d be presuming on his own feelings more than I already have and I also am having a hard time articulating the reasons why someone wouldn’t do that. Suffice it to say that one day, he might tell her what he wants, but she’ll probably have to prod him so he feels comfortable “burdening her” with those things.

But enough of that! Some people are getting some action around here, and it’s time we recognized that. What’s up, Andy?

Andy : I need some advice. I’ve been spending a lot of time making out with Angela lately, and we’ve been necking, but ONLY necking, right? Not actually kissing our mouths, just a neck on neck. It’s just like, rubbing-slash-nuzzling our necks together. It’s hot, I’m not going to lie to you, but it’s a little weird. But you seem like a guy with answers. So, how do I fast track this? Get to first base!
Dwight : We cannot talk about this… because…someone might hear us.
Andy : [snaps fingers] We’ll use code names.
Dwight : Angela can stay the same, but we’ll change Andy to Dwight.
Andy : That’s not different enough.
Dwight : …Dwike?

You know how Jim claimed he’d picked the world’s worst confidant? At least Jim knew why. Andy has no idea at this point that he’s basically become a Spanish Inquisitor for all the torture he’s doing to Dwight, but at the same time, there’s a silver lining here. Now Dwight knows exactly what’s going on, and while that is a horrible thing, it’s also good because now he can subvert it from the inside.

Andy : Let me pour you some bubbly, because somebody got to a whole new level last night.
Dwight : Andy, I can’t hear this right now.
Andy : No no no, this is good. You know how we haven’t really gotten anywhere that i want to get to physically yet? Well, last night, that changed. We’re making out, I’m kissing her neck, and her cheek, and her earlobe, and she’s not really kissing me back, but she closes her eyes and she’s like, “Oh, D. Oh, D.”
Dwight : She called you… D?
Andy : Yeah. D for Andy.
Dwight : Oh, D.
Andy : Oh, D.
Dwight : Oh, D.
Andy : Oh, D.
[together] Oh, D! [laughing] Oh, D! [more laughing]

Oh, D! There is a light at the end of a tunnel for Dwight, it seems.

On a related note, do people really say the other person’s name during intimate moments? Or is that yet another creation of the popular media? I have no idea.

I would rank this episode’s Dwangela S&P (Sad & Pathetic) at a 2% grade, or not quite legal under the ADA but still not so bad considering.

Supporting Nod

Yeah, I like Phyllis. I hope that’s ok; she just keeps delivering the genius, even if it’s only one scene.

Michael : This is a pivotal scene in the ad, and if we don’t get this, if we don’t nail it, we’re gonna lose the whole triumph of the moment. The triumph of the will. Now- god, what? What, Phyllis?
Phyllis : [Blubbering] Well, I got in line to buy Sue Grafton’s book, and when it came to my turn I asked her if she wanted to be in the ad and she said no thank you but I wasn’t supposed to take no for an answer-
Michael : Atta girl.
Phyllis : And so I kept asking and they finally threw me out of the store in front of all my friends. [whimpering]
Michael : Did you or did you not get Sue Grafton.
Phyllis : [Moaning] No.
Michael : Oh. … Could somebody get her a tissue? [walks away, disgusted. Kevin breaks off a piece of tape and offers it to a weeping Phyllis]

This is a painful thing to watch, but also impressive. The wubbles! The sniffles! Oh, Phyllis. The only reason she’s not the superstar is because she only did it once. How embarrassing.

The Superstar

Michael, you made this a true triumph of the will. You are the superstar. Just don’t let it go to your head - “limitless paper in a paperless world” would’ve come back to haunt you, big time.

Transmissions from the Office

  • Michael : These are our accountants, and as you can see, they are very different sizes. What you might want to do is kind of a Papa Bear, Momma Bear, Baby Bear thing. That might be kind of fun.
    Kevin : Momma Bear!

    Yet another indignity in a long line of indignities.

  • Jim : I think it’s great that the company is making a commercial, because very many people have heard of us. I mean, when I tell people I work at Dunder-Mifflin, they think that we sell mufflers. Or muffins. Or mittens. And frankly, all of those sound better than paper, so I let it slide.

    Personally, when I heard Dunder-Mifflin I thought of textbooks, but that’s because when I was a kid a lot of our books came from Houghton-Mifflin. Mufflers makes sense, I suppose.

  • Michael : All right, let me ask you this, tell me if you think this is creative. When I was five, I imagined that there was such a thing as a unicorn, and this is before i had even heard of one, or seen one. I just drew a picture of a horse that could fly over rainbows and had a huge spike in its head. I was five! Five years old. Couldn’t even talk yet.

    I’d say he made some impressive improvements, if he couldn’t talk at five but eventually aced second grade. Then again, he is a self-described people person, so I suppose he really worked hard on those verbal skills (to a point).

  • Darryl et al : Out of paper, out of stock/Friendly faces around the block/Break loose from the chains/that are causing you pain/Call Michael and Stanley/Jim, Dwight, Creed/Call Andy and Kelly for your business paper needs/Dunder-Mifflin/The people person’s paper people/Dunder-Mifflin/The people person’s paper people!

    I enjoyed both versions of this entertaining little ditty, and while it wouldn’t really fit in Michael’s final vision, it is still a pretty great little number. Yes, I’ve gotten it stuck in my head a lot these past few days. Yes, it’s much better as a jingle-thing than “Limitless paper in a paperless world”, too.

  • Michael : Pam, please clear my phone lines.
    Pam : Certainly. Beep boop beep beep beep beep beep beep beep boop. Ok, clear.
    Michael : They could call any second now. [sighs, looks at his watch, fiddles a moment] I’d better call.

    Does Dunder-Mifflin even have that many incoming/outgoing lines? Like, the entire corporation, including the branches and corporate?

  • Kevin : I kinda know what it’s like to be in commercials. My nickname in high school used to be Kool-Aid Man. [mugs]
    Oscar : When I was younger I always wanted to be an actor in commercials. Then I realized I had a brain.
    Meredith : I’m excited about doing the ad, but I’m not really used to doing videos with so many people around.

    Kevin is a simple person, Oscar is a smart person, and Meredith is a person who gets around in terrifying-to-imagine ways.

  • Andy : Best ad ever. “Give me a break, give me a break, break me off a piece of that… I am totally blanking. What is the thing?
    Jim : Nobody tell him!
    Andy : What? No! Why?
    Jim : You got it! You’re so close!
    Andy : Break me off a piece of that nah nah nah… Break me off a piece of that applesauce!
    Jim : Break me off a piece of that applesauce? I don’t think…
    Andy : Piece of that Chrysler car?
    Jim : Nope.
    Andy : Football cream? NYYEAAGH

    Break me off a piece of that lumber tar. Snickers bar.
    Break me off a piece of that Grey Poupon.

    [Mumbling] Hair for men. Poison gas. Nutrasweet. [cut] It’s gotta rhyme with “piece”- Fancy Feast! Break me off a piece of that Fancy Feast! It’s a cat food.

    How did no one just tell him and how did he not know this anyway? Seriously. Shameful, Andy, shameful.

Odds and Ends

  • I refuse to say anything more about the Nard-Dog incident other than to say it was horrifying. Yikes.
  • I would really like to see Pam help Jim in his endeavors, but that will mean he’ll need to open up, and that might lead to some kind of scary flood of confessions, like how much he really, really likes her and has for ages. That could freak her out, or it might not. We’ll see.
  • Where did Michael get all this cash? The ad guys came out on Michael’s dime, he bought a round of drinks for the bar… what’s up with that?
  • I’m always entertained by Stanley’s erudite, well-inflected smackdowns of Michael’s BS.

The Story in Pictures

Gallery Image

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Dwight playing Second Life? This is going to be interesting.

1Posted by Jim on October 25, 2007

Michael being creative in front of a camera? Oh boy.

2Posted by Karin on October 25, 2007

Ehhhh, didnt really like this one....seemed kinda pointless except for the possible Jam future conflicts and Dwangela reunion hope.

3Posted by Pat D. on October 25, 2007

I agree Pat D. it wasnt one of my favs...there were a few points made that will come back in future episodes. I did love Michaels commercial tho!
I had a hard time reading the things on the "papers" in his commercial, so I can't wait to re-watch.(or have jackalope point them out to me again hehe)

4Posted by Denise on October 25, 2007

I think there is a consensus here: I didn't exactly like this episode as a whole; it's reached "Okay" status for me. But I did love certain pieces:
1. When Jim signed up for Second life, he made himself from Philly, wore (and played) an electric guitar, and was a sports writer. Are we getting a glimpse into Jim's dreams beyond the Pam realm, now that they are dating? Can't wait to see that!
2. Michael's commercial was awesome, slightly politically incorrect (as Michael always is and we love that about him) and yet surprisingly poignant. How he got Stanley to be the convict in that is beyond me. Either Stanley seemed to enjoy it, or he's a really good actor.
3. Possible Dwight and Angela reconciliation!;) Will this mean that they will finally start living their relationship out loud instead of in secret?
(related to #2)4. Now that Pam is starting to achieving her dreams, where does that leave Jim in the grand scheme of all things? Interesting...

Final thought: I love how real the Pam and Jim relationship is being written and acted. Bravo!

5Posted by Ashley on October 25, 2007

And that was my first post of substance! Hooray!;)

6Posted by Ashley on October 25, 2007

I don't know, I thought it was pretty good.

7Posted by HuskerMac on October 25, 2007

I have to say kudos to Rainn Wilson for making Dwight's heartache simueltaneously emotionally moving(or emotionally magnificient) to quote Michael and funny. The way he said not now Andy was so painful and then funny once he perked up. I think in this episode we saw why Jim withdrew from the consideration for the corporate job other than Pam, he seems to lack ambition or is suspicious of striving for it. That came through in his comments to Pam about working on a commercial no one will see. Michael did actually come up with a good slogan in limitless paper for a paperless world.

8Posted by jackalope on October 25, 2007

It felt so . . . short. (That's what she said.) There seemed to be a lot of plot in this episode, but not quite as many jokes as some. That said, I felt that Michael's commercial – and the reception of it – salvaged what what was other wise just a kinda-okay episode. I was smiling through the whole last few minutes.

9Posted by Linus on October 25, 2007

I loved the ep. It was so funny. I loved the group sing alongs on Darryl's keyboard. Priceless!

Andy trying so hard to get the Kit Kat song was so funny! And Michael's commercial was pretty good, albeit somewhat stereotypical and offensive.

Loved the Jam moments. The writers are making them very realistic. I love it. I think they're proving the relationship myth wrong. I think Jim and Pam are just as enoyable to watch, if not more so, than when they were separated. And I loved how Jim got kind of embarrassed when Pam noticed the details of his avatar. I really hope she encourages him to achieve something for himself, like he did when pushing her to go after the art program. I really think Pam would enjoy learning more about Philly Jim. I know I would! I really want to see Jim grow this season. I hope he gains some courage himself to pursue a life outside mediocrity.

I also loved the cute moments between them. Like Jim buying her breakfast, when he was rubbing her back after their commercial aired and when he put his arms around her after Roy Version 2.0 hit on her. That was funny.

10Posted by Melissa on October 26, 2007

Of course Michaels commercial was stereotypical and offensive...... it was Michael

11Posted by Denise on October 26, 2007

I liked this episode better than any this season.....I think the half hour episodes just work better, feel sharper. Hour episodes should be left for season finales, IMHO.
Favorite line: Michael to David Wallace: "Ryan is being a little bitch, again."

12Posted by Lori on October 26, 2007

In response to Jackalope's comment about Jim being ambitionless, I respectfully disagree. In Boys and Girls, he really pushed Pam about pursuing her goals asking her if she "wanted to be a receptionist always" and from the little we know of his outside life he seems to have a fairly healthly variety of interests. And he did give the Dunder Mifflin career a good shot but the job at corporate was just something that was not a good fit for his character, not a lost opportunity for him. I think this episode opened the door for Jim to become better known to the audience, and for him to find the beginnings of fulfillment outside of Pam and tormenting Dwight. Like most of us, he's finding it hard to get out of a rut. It can't be easy to go from working for a mid-level paper supply company in Scranton to being a Philadelphia sportswriter who plays guitar, right? I also think we'll see Pam encouraging this and being a good partner to him.

Overall, I thought this episode was so-so but I need to watch it again. 2nd viewing always helps. Also, it seems that this episode was laying the groundwork for the season in a lot of ways.

Thanks for letting me ramble...

13Posted by Pamcasso on October 26, 2007

Can I just say that I do hate the corporate commercial? I also just don't like it at all.

14Posted by Black Pepper Snake on October 26, 2007

I loved this commercial!...What can paper do?
It can be passed from hand to hand around the office to inform. It can be folded into a paper airplane and sent to India to tell someone you love them. Kind of like...I don't know...email? Paper can be used to announce the exciting news about the hometown boy winning the race! Almost like...websites. It can be picked up and thrown away like trash. Or! It can tell someone that you are hiring, like a sign, only disposable.

Proof positive that the Office has some of the best writers on TV. Bravo!

15Posted by TeamDwight on October 26, 2007

What can you make of this?

I can make a hat, a broach, a Pterodactyl

16Posted by Sean on October 26, 2007

The episode seemed a bit choppy and frenetic, which I suppose is a disadvantage of the half-hour format.

17Posted by Steve_OH on October 26, 2007

Pamcasso, I don't think that Jim is ambitionless, it's just he's convinced himself that pursuing a dream won't pan out, I guess that's what happens when you work at a soul crushing paper company. Like I said he did leave the corporate job for Pam but also because he probably thought he wouldn't get it. That showed in this episode in his working on a commercial no one will see. He has dreams and ambitions he just doesn't pursue them. Which is ironic because he encourages Pam to pursue her dreams.

18Posted by jackalope on October 26, 2007

I really think I need to re-watch this one. It felt rushed. You learn about the ad, then suddenly Michael kicks the ad people out, Pam is doing her thing with the animation, and then they're all at Poor Richard's watching the commercial. Previous episodes have had a nice pace to them and something about this one seemed rushed. It's probably (hopefully) just a side effect of the hour-longs, but it definitely felt a little off to me. Another thing is that the O D exchange between Andy and Dwight felt sooooo sit com-y. It was weird.
Some things I did like though:
-Stanley being the one in the prison jump suit
-Michael's ad
-Phyllis bawling (kinda dark to laugh at that but it was kind of funny)
-Oscar the Costume Designer (of course)

Ok, off to re-watch and see if my opinion changes. All of your positive feedback makes me nervous.

19Posted by Hank on October 26, 2007

while i thought that phyllis crying was kind of funny.
It was kind of painful
to think of who she has turned into a a measley 5 episodes
last season she was an uptight saleswomen

and now she is balling her eyes for no reason at all.

Michael's response to her was great though.

Ummm,, as for the Jam stuff
i thught it was cute with the breakfast thing
but the fact that discouraged her to "fulfill her dreams" was slightly off with everything we have learned so far
as somone said earlier, during the Boys and Girls episode he encorouged her to fulfill her artful gift

and if u watch the season 3 DVD the return episode
he is rreally excited that she won the art contest
but now ????

20Posted by Viraj Singh on October 26, 2007

Really enjoyed this episode, though I agree with some- the episode seemed a bit short. I think 45 minutes would be the ideal length for The Office, if NBC could figure out a way with it's scheduling.
I loved the talking head with Jim explaining people's misconceptions of what kind of product Dunder-Mifflin sales ( muffins, mufflers, mittens, etc. ) and how all of those sounded better than selling paper. Working in retail, I can relate to the constant job insecurity from everyone ( except Michael and Dwight ) in the office.

21Posted by Scrantonicity on October 26, 2007

Jackalope, I beg to differ. I think Jim knew perfectly well he had that corporate job in the bag, but chose not to take it because it would take him away from what (or rather, who) (whom?) he really wanted - Pam.

22Posted by Karin on October 26, 2007

Can anyone tell me how Ryan is good at managing people, those above him at the corporate ofice like Thomas Dean openly show disdain for him and people below him enjoy watching him embarrassed as the guy who congratulated Michael at the end of Launch Party. That is clearly the mark of someone who has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. People in the Scranton Branch don't respect him and don't really seem to like him as their boss.

23Posted by jackalope on October 26, 2007

A couple of things:

1) I really didn't see anything to suggest that Jim was discouraging Pam's ambition. He was worried about getting home, that's all. If Meredith were your alternate transportation, you'd be worried, too.

2) Stanley's orange jumpsuit was not a prison jumpsuit. It's the kind of thing that highway workers, etc. wear to reduce their chances of getting run over. I assume that he's supposed to be working for the Parks Department, or something like that. Notice also that he's wearing a white shirt and tie under the jumpsuit—he's willing to put up with Michael to a limited extent, but not too much.

24Posted by Steve_OH on October 26, 2007

LMAO Sean!!!!! omg you made me laugh so hard I snorted (wow how lady like) ... omg that was too much!!! Thank you!!

25Posted by Denise on October 26, 2007

Steve_OH... to know Michael, is to know that he has major stereo types going on in his head. He has made many MANY references about black people and crime, mexicans and their ability to be maids, Oscar and gays, and Kelly with India...among others. So I'm assuming Stanley was supposed to be an inmate picking up trash.

26Posted by Denise on October 26, 2007

Plus, Oscar's whole point in the commercial was that paper (a job application) helped him make a fresh start. Maybe Michael meant a move from blue-collar (Parks Dept. groundskeeper) to white-collar (Dunder Mifflin paper salesman) -- but most likely not. I'm calling it a prison jumpsuit.

27Posted by Ryan on October 26, 2007

Duh. I meant Stanley, not Oscar. Obviously.

28Posted by Ryan on October 26, 2007

Our delayed weekly PhilipThoughts!

It seems every time I love an episode, the general consensus here is mediocre, and vice versa! Well, I loved this one and thought it was one of the best of the season so far!

The big reason for me has to do with Michael. I love Michael, but I was afraid they were making him a little too soft and sympathetic recently. Now don't get me wrong; what's so great about Michael is his unbelievable childishness combined with his unfailing ability to be completely insensitive. But sometimes, it's refreshing for them to go to the roots of the character and make him a flat-out jerk. I loved how he was telling everyone that their ideas for the commercial stunk, and the scene with Phyllis was so dark and malicious yet so funny. And the fact that Michael's cruelties or ineptitudes are redeemed at the end (the commercial) always makes him more interesting. Cases in point: "The Injury" and "Phyllis' Wedding" show Michael at his absolute worse, and those are some of my favorite episodes.

Now, the commercial...it was awesome! But what makes Michael's advertisement so great is how wrong it is. It isn't a BAD commercial...it's just wrong. It really only works for the people who actually work at Dunder Mifflin, which is why they all loved it so much. I think any average viewer watching it would be completely lost or think it was an inevitable "Geico" commercial about to be revealed. The Chariots of Fire music, the people around the world...it was all so wonderfully cheesey. It almost shows that Michael actually doesn't seem to be aware of a real world outside of his job.

Personally, I really liked the Dwight/Andy interactions. Andy describing in great detail his makeout sessions with Angela is just so...so...GROSS! I actually kinda feel bad for Andy because he's just so clueless as to what's actually going on around him.

As usual, the PB & J part was masterfully handled. I have to admit, I felt a little quiet heartbreak inside for Jim. I say from experience that there is NOTHING more painful than being in a wonderful, loving relationship that slowly starts to unravel as your GF/BF suddenly finds things "more interesting" than you, and starts canceling dates because of "something else that came up"...okay, too much info about myself! Hopefully Pam and Jim aren't headed that way.

29Posted by Philip on October 27, 2007

Kevin's KoolAid face: Oh my god

30Posted by Hank on October 27, 2007

I loved the episode!

And Phyllis is my girl!
I never thought she was an "uptight saleswomen" like somebody else said. She's hilarious because she gets so wounded so easily. She has such a great sad face! It does not surprise me at all that she would be horribly upset that she got kicked out of the book store for harrassing Sue Grafton... it fit her perfectly, at least I thought so...

31Posted by SarahBee on October 27, 2007

I'm starting to think that I'm the only person not worried about Jam tension/conflict. I think Jim having some sort of personal journey this season would be great but I don't why it should negatively affect his relationship with Pam. I have a few notes from this episode.
1. Jim's avatar: Just because Pam didn't know about what Jim's dreams are is not a bad thing. I think Jim is only starting to figure them out. I'd like to see him share them with Pam. If you listen, she did say "I want more of Philly Jim". She's trying to encourage him.
2. Pam working late: I'm sure Jim is happy she is excited about something. That's why he brought her breakfast. Like someone said in another comment, I'd be bummed out too if I had to ride home with Meredith.
3. Jim in Poor Richards: Just because he put his arm around Pam after the other guy hit on her doesn't make him insecure. All he's doing is acknowledging that Pam's with him. Almost in a joking way.
And one more thing...if Jim and Pam fight, it's not the end of their fairy tale. Couples fight. The key is if they can communicate to each other. Pam and Roy couldn't; Jim and Karen couldn't. Let's hope Jim and Pam can.
That's my two cents, anyway.

32Posted by Emily on October 28, 2007

I'm with you, Emily. The writers for this show are too smart to fall for the pitfalls of invented conflict between couples. There's been too much invested in these two characters for it all to fall apart now that they're together. I really think that Jim is going to discover what he wants from life this season (other than Pam) but neither his nor Pam's aspirations are going to be achieved at the expense of their relationship.

33Posted by Pamcasso on October 28, 2007

I think that Jim's professional aspirations have become somewhat stunted because of this unrequited love thing with Pam.

Now that this love has been requited (if that is even a word), focusing on his own personal career goals/ambitions must seem to him somewhat like an old shoe that he simply hasn't worn in awhile. I don't think this is necessarily going to be a huge obstacle for JAM this season, but I am looking forward to watching it unfold.

I thought this was a great episode!
1) Seeing Pam shine!
1a) all of the Jim and Pam moments
2) Oh D!
3) Kit Kat bar was probably the weakest part of the humor to me... if only because I was made painfully aware again of how thick minded Andy really is...;)
4) The commercial jingle scenes. I loved the harmonies and Darryl's piano playing and I was actually mad at Michael for telling them he hated it...
5) The commercial itself and the overall ensemble chemistry... I loved watching Dunder Mifflin pull together for once.

34Posted by BabyBear on October 29, 2007

One thing that bothers me about Dwight having 'Second Life' on his work computer, is that in "take your daughters to work" Dwight told Meredith's son, Jake, that "it's inappropriate to have video games on your work computer". I know characters change, and story lines need to be developed......but this just got to me for some reason.

Karin, great re-cap...thanks!!

35Posted by Denise on October 30, 2007

Really great recap Karin - thanks!

Denise, maybe this will help - remember that Dwight doesn't consider Second Life a game. He probably thinks of it as a personal development tool.

36Posted by Pamcasso on October 30, 2007

A funny editing mistake.... When Michael and the gang are in the conference room discussing how creative they are, the commercial guys show up and are out by the reception desk. Everyone is still in the conference room. Next cut, Michael walks out to greet them, and the conference room is empty and Jim is at his desk.... Hmmm, could this be a Second Life version of the the office where the team can transport from room to room at will??

37Posted by Gould_Vibrations on October 30, 2007

I howled at Michael's line about making a movie about and using "triumph of the will". No one watching with me else thought it was funny until I mentioned the 1934 Nazi propaganda masterpiece "Triumph of the Will" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0025913/). I'm assuming its brilliant writing as there there have been a number of throw-away lines like that. Genius.

And if, not, I don't want to know about it.

38Posted by MoneyBeets on October 30, 2007

Well, Moneybeets, Andy does come from a long line of WASPs, which while not as technically German as the Schrutes still kind of qualifies him to be partaking in such a triumph of the will.

I'm glad that we weren't shown Corporate's response to Michael's ad, and that he didn't tell us exactly what was controversial about it, because it's much more fun taking each tableau at a time and doing that yourself.

I really have had that jingle stuck in my head, though. They hired some smart people to write it, let me tell you.

(and thanks!)

39Posted by Karin on October 30, 2007

I loved that look that Dwight and Angela shared as they were watching Michael's version of the ad. How in the world did they find each other...and who initiated this so wondrous love affair?

40Posted by Rebecca on October 30, 2007

Oh my God that picture of Pam sleeping at her desk is so adorable.

41Posted by What's Second Base? on October 30, 2007

"No, what I find interesting is that Pam doesn’t know Jim plays guitar, or harbors a secret dream of being a sportswriter. Granted, that second one might not be true . . ."

For the record, I don't think the first one is true, either. There's been a certain amount of debate about this in . . . places. The only evidence that Jim does play the guitar is that there was one in his room in an episode two years ago. The evidence that he doesn't is that he behaves distinctly embarassed when Pam asks that he plays guitar -- I think the point, there, is that he does not, in real life, do either of those things. He just wants to. I submit for your consideration the possibility that the writers, who don't have time to watch the show obsessively (unlike some people, you know, not me, but some people) just forgot (or never noticed) the guitar in the first place. It wouldn't be the first time a bit of continuity got ground up in the grist of a new storyline.

And now, after nitpicking you, I'll say that this was an excellent recap. I think us losers are all winners today.

42Posted by Linus on October 30, 2007

I'm sorry I don't have cable and have to resort to rewatching and rewatching old Office episodes to entertain myself when work has dulled my brain to a mass of quivering grey jelly, sir. :D

But yeah, good point. Maybe he only plays it badly? Maybe he bought the guitar, meaning to play, but only strums out a few bars of Smells Like Teen Spirit or Grace Cathedral Hill before worrying that the locked door and curtained windows aren't enough to hide his less-than-perfect notes?

Speaking of random things, maybe the reason Michael loves his jeans so much (The Client) is because of that former-Yugoslavian foreign exchange student who stole his when he was a kid! Then again, he actually does look pretty good in them, so maybe not.

Yeah, I might want to get a new hobby.

43Posted by Karin on October 30, 2007

"On a related note, do people really say the other person’s name during intimate moments? "

I would not have believed it if I hadn't heard it last night. So apparently yes. I'm as surprised as you are.

44Posted by salmo on October 30, 2007

You forgot the single funniest line in Andy's Kit-Kat bit!! Right there at the VERY END of the episode when he feels he has the right answer and he seems so cool with himself, he says "Nailed it!" with this huge arrogant smile on his face. Awesome!

45Posted by Dwigt on October 30, 2007

Oh, D!!
BEST. LINE. EVER. There is hope! It's faint, but at least it's there!
Now, I have to admit, I was semi-repulsed by this line at first. I've always thought that Dwangela was perfect, and they've always been my favorite relationship on this show, but actually picturing them...."kissing"....was a litle gross. Okay, a lot. But the hope it gave Dwight was enough.

46Posted by Cate the Great on October 30, 2007

Did anyone else notice the corporate "Pam" who introduced Michael as Eddie Murphy to Ryan? She was even wearing a Pam shirt and had the same tone of voice. David Wallace also seems to have his own version of "Toby", a guy he hates who works in HR. Before the writers started differentiating him a bit, I'm sure I'm not the only person who thought of Andy as the Stamford "Dwight". I'm wondering if the writers are keeping these as little visual gags and self-referential jokes or if they're setting up for a bigger payoff later on. Maybe we'll get to see the two Pam's come face to face with some awkward commentary by Michael. Hilarious.

47Posted by AC Slater on October 31, 2007

"Where did Michael get all this cash? The ad guys came out on Michael’s dime, he bought a round of drinks for the bar… what’s up with that?"

And this is why Michael is so broke

48Posted by Becky on October 31, 2007

I dont have cable either. I tape the show and re-watch, and have season 1 and 2 on dvd (hope to afford 3 soon).
I think before they became a couple, Jim knew far more about Pam than she knew about him. She had Roy and never really thought of Jim that way ....as much as single Jim thought about her, like how he knew her favorite yogurt.
Now that they are an official couple, they will both find out new things about eachother. (much like real life)

I love this website.

49Posted by Denise on October 31, 2007

Yes! I much prefer the quicker pace of the half-hour episodes. I loved this one. Kevin's Kool-Aid face was side splitting, Dwight's anguish was palpable and Phyllis tugged at our heart strings (great acting by Phyllis Smith, I thought). Michael was a complete jerk, redeemed, yes, in the final moments by his own stubbornly cliched, off-kilter yet strangely touching vision, under which the schedules, feelings and jingles of his subordinates were crushed.

And nothing says "We have lots of what you don't need" like "Limitless paper in a paperless world." Ha! Instant classic.

50Posted by emstevens on October 31, 2007