Job performance is anything but the topic of review during performance review day. Michael uses the evaluations as an excuse to wring dating advice from his employees, but things come to a head during the first ever suggestion box meeting. Dwight prepares for his own review by rocking out, while Jim and Pam delight in toying with his perfect attendance. Plus, Angela dresses to kill, and Phyllis reminds us that sometimes a bullet to the head is the only escape.

The Michael Scott School of Hard Knocks

In what can only be described as the worst case of selective hearing documented in human history:

Michael : I just to know from the horse’s mouth, what is the dealio…
Jan : You know, Michael…
Michael : Am I too short?
Jan : Michael, it has nothing to with your looks, ok? It’s your–it’s your personality. I mean you’re obnoxious, and rude, and, and, and… stupid. And… you do have coffee breath, by the way. And, and, I don’t agree about the B.O., but you are very, very inconsiderate.
[Jan and Michael go back and forth]
Michael : So my looks have nothing to do with it?
Jan : Oh god.

We brace ourselves for the worst when we really should know better.

Dwight Being Dwight

Watching Dwight let loose his inner rock star was almost too much for me to handle.

Dwight : You’re going to give me this raise. I deserve this raise. Yes! Yes! Yes! Hiyaaa! The least you can do is keep my salary consistent with inflation! Ha-kaaaa! Yes! Why are you going to give me this raise?! Why?! Because… I’m awesome! I am awesome!

A superb routine — I give it high marks for both technical difficulty and artistic merit.

The Many Faces of Jim

Observe the Jim Halpert fist pump, kind of like the Tiger Woods fist pump, but in reverse.

Jim : Hey, Dan, this is Jim. It is about 11:15, and I wanted to know what you were up to tomorrow, which is the 15th, and that is a…
Dwight : Saturday.
Jim : … Saturday  [Pumps fist] , so just let me know what you’re doing tomorrow, Saturday, for lunch. Ok, talk to you soon.

Jim has this look he gives the camera whenever he’s in the process of pulling a fast one on Dwight. He stares right into it and just kind of sits there for a moment, like he knows he’s good.

Confessions of a Receptionist

Pam : It’s performance review day, company-wide. Last year, my performance review started with Michael asking me what my hopes and dreams were, and it ended with him telling me he could bench-press 190 pounds. So I don’t really know what to expect.

My guess is that neither Pam’s hopes nor her dreams had anything at all to do with Michael, much less what he could bench-press. Just a hunch.

The Jim/Pam Index

Not much to speak of on the the Jim/Pam front this time around. Plenty of goofing around, but a lack of wistful looks or awkward moments lands Performance Review solidly in Even territory.

That said, they do share a brief moment in the snack room, or Jim has one, at least.

Pam : How do you come back from that?
Jim : Um, you don’t… I don’t think come all the way back, you know. Especially working together.
Pam : No, I mean doing that with Michael. How do you come back from that…
Jim : Oh…
Pam : … as a human being?
Jim : Yeah, no, I don’t think you can.

He’s been carrying the brunt of the work in this department lately, though that’s probably not that surprising since he’s not the one who’s engaged. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when things start swinging the other way.

Supporting Nod

This one was a tight race between Angela and Kevin, but in the end, I was forced to give it to Kid Sister.

Angela : I actually look forward to performance reviews. I did the youth beauty pageant circuit, and I enjoyed that quite a bit. I really enjoy being judged. I believe… I hold up very well to even severe scrutiny.

She gets all glammed up only to have the door slammed in her face. That’s no way to treat a pageant queen.

The Superstar

Dwight, in the most lopsided victory since the presidential election of 1980. Kung-fu rock-and-roll has never known a greater champion.

Transmissions from the Office

  • Dwight : Forget everything you thought you knew about ab workouts.
    Jim : Done.

    Not just that one thing you knew about ab workouts — Dwight wants you to forget everything.

  • Michael : Pam, you’re trustworthy.
    Pam : Thank you.
    Michael : And a woman.
    Pam : Oh no.

    Pam can sense immediately when the conversation is about to go downhill. And down it goes.

  • Dwight : Oh, hey. Listen, Jim… here’s a little tip for your performance review.
    Jim : Ok.
    Dwight : Tell Michael that we should be stocking more of the double-tabbed manilla file folders.
    Jim : We don’t have double-tabbed manilla file folders.
    Dwight : Oh yes we do.
    Jim : No we don’t.
    Dwight : Yeah, it’s a new product, so you should suggest that to him, and then he’ll be sure to give you a raise.

    Dwight turns to the camera, proud of his pathetically unsuccessful attempt to dupe Jim.

  • Stanley : Sometimes, women say more in their pauses than they say in their words.
    Michael : Really?
    Stanley : Oh yes, let’s listen to it again, and this time really listen to the pauses.
    Michael : God, Stanley, that’s frickin’ brilliant. How do you know that? Did you learn that on the streets? Sorry.
    Stanley : Oh, it’s ok. I did learn it on the streets. On the ghetto, in fact.
    Michael : No kidding.
    [Cut to interview]
    Stanley : It’s all about my bonus.

    Scranton, Pennsylvania: home to the wildest suburban ghettoes you ever saw.

  • Angela : Office romances are nobody’s business but the people involved.

    A loaded statement coming from Angela, this one has scandal written all over it. Like, everywhere all over it.

  • Pam : Can you believe who Trump fired?
    Jim : No, that was unbelievable.
    Dwight : Who? Who was it? Who did he fire?
    Pam : You didn’t see it?
    Dwight : No. I went out and got drunk with my laser tag team last night. Crap! I never got out on a Thursday night. What the hell was I thinking?

    Drunken Dwight should never be allowed to carry firearms, even fake plastic ones.

  • Dwight : Don’t sleep with your boss. Do you think this is referring to you boning Jan?

    Publicly humilate superiors. Check. Next on the agenda: ask for a raise.

  • Dwight : Jan, have you ever had deer?
    Jan : No.
    Dwight : It’s a delicacy, and you know what? It’s an aphrodisiac.

    Deer have a knack for entering into the conversation at the oddest moments during this show, I’ve noticed.

  • Dwight : And in conclusion, I think Lex Luthor said it best when he said “Dad, you have no idea what I’m capable of.”

    Give me a raise, and in return, I will seize your paper business and transform it into an instrument of villainy.

Odds and Ends

  • Kevin’s facial expressions throughout this episode are fantastic, especially the ones he makes when Jan enters the office. Dirty, dirty teddy bear.
  • It is an unwritten rule that all suggestion boxes must look like they’ve been attacked by termites.
  • Phyllis’ reenactment of Tom’s demise was horrifically brilliant. Let this serve as a reminder to all disgruntled employees that as bad as you think you have it, you will never have it as bad as Tom who shot himself in the head and was immediately forgotten.
  • Check out the building directory behind Jan as she’s speaking to the camera. Notice Vance Refrigeration, room 210. Later in the episode as Jan is trouncing Michael in front of the elevator, you see a door labeled Vance Refrigeration in the background. Great attention to detail.
  • The exchange between Jim and Pam at the end is great. Such performers. Bravo! Bravo!

The Story in Pictures

Gallery Image

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Guess who has a myspace blog? Kevin hahaha.

1Posted by kelly on November 15, 2005

Oh man. Stairwell scene ... too much ... funny ... hurts. I think I might have stretched something laughing. Totally worth it, my muscles will heal.

Stay tuned for the full recap.

2Posted by James on November 15, 2005

Nothing was cooler than Dwight getting wasted with his laser tag team. NOTHING!

3Posted by Brian on November 16, 2005

This really is the best show ever. Kevin is such a righteous supporting character-- I LOVED his looks to the camera when Jan Levinson came in. CLASSIC! Dwight's "Am I interrupting anything...Oh, are you guys making out?" he's so wretchedly geeky I can't help but adore him.

4Posted by Shanah on November 16, 2005

"'Don't sleep with your boss.' Do you think this is about you boning Jan?" -Dwight.

oh god...definitely the most funny and awkward moment in the show. poor michael. and jan. lol.

5Posted by lalinapopina on November 16, 2005

whoa kevin has a myspace now too? thats awesome. Jim needs one!

6Posted by lalinapopina on November 16, 2005

The best moment was the very beginning with the fitness orb when Jim asks how much it costs then takes the scissors to it. When Dwight falls to the ground I was laughing my head off.

7Posted by Ellen on November 16, 2005

The screencap of Kevin is my desktop background for the week now.

You didn't say anything about Dwight's psych-up session in the stairwell pre-review! "I am going to get this raise because I AM AWESOME!"

8Posted by Shanah on November 17, 2005

Oh, there's no way I would have missed the stairwell sequence (see Dwight Being Dwight). Unless you meant I didn't say enough about it, which is probably true. You can never really say enough about that scene.

9Posted by James on November 17, 2005

I would have sworn Angela was going to launch into something about "being judged by the Lord" or how being judged by Michael was nothing like being judged at the right hand of God or something like that.

.... Missed opportunity I say

10Posted by Joe on November 18, 2005

Dwight, here's a little tip for your next performance review: Tell Michael you're an Awesome Blossom with extra Awesome!

11Posted by The Stooges Woman on November 18, 2005

Heres a random blurb for you guys...John Kransinski and Steve Carrell are both on People's sexiest men list this week. :)

12Posted by lalinapopina on November 18, 2005

something I just caught the 2nd time I watched it - when Dwight is wrapping up his little performace review speech with the bit about Lex Luther, check out the poster propped up on Michael's desk. It has a big headshot of Dwight on the left side, then it spells DWIGHT vertically - Determined Working Intense Good worker Hard worker T(can't read it...)

13Posted by Joe on November 18, 2005

Joe, here's the link to that pic.

14Posted by lalinapopina on November 19, 2005

I looovvveeee Jim! He just cracks me up! I loved the way he kept convincing Dwight it was Friday! : )

15Posted by Lisa on November 25, 2005

Jan: So are you still in the middle of the, the performance reviews then?
Michael: No no no, I finished all of that, very fast. Well, I'm not too fast, not like wham bam, thank you ma'am. But I do say thank you ma'am. But I'm, I'm not like wham bam. Not that there's anything wrong with wham bam. Not if it's consensual.

Another classic flow of consciousness.

16Posted by Jennie on December 9, 2005

I am in love with this show. There is no other show on TV like it. I have a strong crush on Jim. I love his feelings for Pam. It's rumored that the show writers will never hook them up.

17Posted by dee dee on April 20, 2006

As much as I love Jim and Pam (especially Jim!), I think it's a good idea that they "never" hook up (as in, "not for a long time, anyway"). There's just so much material coming from their strange but sweet relationship...I can't imagine what would happen to the show if they were a REAL couple.

18Posted by Emily on August 1, 2006