Mr. and Mrs. Vance Refrigeration tie the knot at last, in a ceremony with more than an eerie resemblance to the one Pam abandoned just months before. Dwight polices for wedding crashers and preys on Uncle Al’s dementia, Scrantonicity finally gets to rock the house and Michael goes to excessive lengths to ensure his second appearance at a wedding is met with just as much success as his first. Hypothetically, love should conquer all, except when it doesn’t, and walks out the door hand-in-hand with the past.
James summed it right up, and precognitively at that, in his three-word placeholder: Michael. Wedding. Bad.
Michael : Phyllis is getting married, and I am in the wedding party. She’s asked me to push her father’s wheelchair down the aisle. So basically, I am co-giving away the bride. Since I pay her salary, it is like I am paying for the wedding. Which I’m happy to do. It’s a big day for Phyllis. But it’s an even bigger day for me. Employer of the Bride.
The past few weeks of his restrained, surprisingly rational behavior come crashing down in a fiery blaze of glory.
Michael : Hi, I’m Michael Scott, and for the next forty minutes, I am going to be your tour guide through the lives of Phyllis Lapin and Bob Vance. One of the great, seemingly impossible love stories of our time.
Forty minutes should do it; that is, if he’s breaking into the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest unwelcome toast in history. And a footnote will have to be made that– as I’m sure every attendee of the annual North Eastern Sales Convention can attest– forty minutes with Michael in possession of a microphone is more comparable to four hours of torture at the hand of Jack Bauer.
Michael : My name is Michael Scott. Webster’s Dictionary defines wedding as “the fusing of two metals with a hot torch.” Well you know something? I think you guys are two metals… gold metals. [He attempts to start applause, no one joins in] For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Michael Scott, Phyllis’ boss. To quote from The Princess Bride, “mah-widge…”
Bomb horribly on the first open, just introduce yourself and start again. No one will be the wiser.
Michael : Phyllis and Bob, their celebrity couple name would be… “Phlob.” You look at her, and she’s kind of matronly today. But back in high school, I swear, her nickname was “Easy Rider.”
Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get any worse. Poor, poor Phyllis, and yet, she remains her usual unflappable self. The four years of high school and a lifetime as coworkers have more than prepared her for this day.
A survey of the romantically entangled couples from the office reveals a remarkable success rate. Phyllis and Bob are now wed, Michael somehow has Jan against all interminable odds, and even the oft-troubled Ryan and Kelly seem to have reached some patchy understanding. And then, in a category all their own, Dwight and Angela.
Dwight : Hello, Angela.
Angela : Hi, Dwight.
Dwight : You look as beautiful as the Queen of England.
Angela : Thank you. Don’t linger. Break left. Left!
Through the good and bad, the impossibly sweet and spectacularly weird, they remain the oddest– and arguably the happiest– of all odd couples. Their stolen dance outside the church easily steals them the most romantic moment of the night.
Jim can latch onto even the most casual comment of Dwight’s and create a monster with next to no effort at all.
Dwight : Why are all these people here? There’s too many people on this earth. We need a new plague. Who are all these people?
Jim : You know what, I bet a lot of them are wedding crashers.
Dwight : No way.
Jim : Did you ever see that movie?
Dwight : Of course I saw it.
[Cut to interview]
Dwight : I saw Wedding Crashers accidentally. I bought a ticket for Grizzly Man and went into the wrong theater. After an hour, I figured I was in the wrong theater, but I kept waiting. That’s the thing about bear attacks. They come when you least expect it.
[Back to scene]
Jim : You know, I just wish– I wish I had the investigative powers to actually smoke some of these guys out, you know.
Dwight : Once again, Jim, I will take care of this. I will locate the wedding crashers and report them to Phyllis. That way I won’t have to get her a gift.
I love how Jim turns around to find Dwight’s face less than two inches from his own and he doesn’t so much as bat an eye.
Enlisting the help of co-workers to plan a wedding has its downsides, apparently one of which is that the arrangements become community property and can spawn clones at any time.
Pam : Phyllis ended up using the exact same invitations as Roy and me. So it was kind of like being invited to my own wedding. And I was like… wait, I thought I called that off.
The invitations, flowers, even the band could pass as borrowed inspiration. The same scripted initials, an uncanny coincidence. But the dress? Now that’s a little spooky. At least those refrigerator cakes are completely original.
Let me start off by giving thanks for one thing: there are no cameras following me around to document each of the huge opportunities I miss in blissful ignorance.
Jim : When are we going to get to see some of those famous Beesly dance moves?
Pam : [laughing] I’m pacing myself.
Jim: C’mon. Get out there. Give the people what they want.
Pam : No, I’m such a dorky dancer.
Jim : I know. It’s very cute.
[Cut to interview]
Jim : Hypothetically, if I thought Pam was interested, then… no, it’s totally hypothetical.
Hypothetical or not, that door is what you call wide open… and that sound is the heart of every female watching– possibly a few guys too– hitting a full stop. Especially after Pam’s telling conversation with Kelly just minutes before.
Kelly : Are you all right? This must be so awful for you.
Pam : What do you mean?
Kelly : Well, this was supposed to be your wedding.
Pam : Oh, um, no, that’s um, it’s actually fine.
Kelly : There’s no way it’s fine, I’m sorry. If I was you, I would just like freak out, and get really drunk, and then tell someone I was pregnant.
Pam : Okay, that’s a lot of good ideas. Thanks.
You can see the switch flicked in her face from being absolutely sure the next words out of Kelly’s mouth are something to do with Jim, to realizing it’s the wedding that’s up for discussion and that she’s long past that issue.
Unfortunately, this fantastic setup– not too mention some heavy gazing over the already heart-clenching Fields of Gold– all too quickly fizzles out into the familiar wounded territory.
I may be in the minority here, but I’m claiming satisfaction with Phyllis’ Wedding for delivering what has been built on all year. Roy 2.0 has been pining to get back in Pam’s good graces for months now and he finally gets a chance. All we can hope is that it’s too little, too late. Or too much, too late. It is possible to try too hard, you know, and Roy is pulling out all the stops. I’m all for his fresh start and new leaf, but nothing has yet to convince me they belong together outside of high school, any more than I’m jumping to the conclusion that the night’s events throws her back into his arms for good.
[To his dismay, Jim sees Pam leave with Roy]
Jim : Here’s a non-hypothetical. I’m really happy I’m with Karen.
It’s interesting to look back and see where we were this time last year. Before we can get too frustrated with Pam, it could be argued that Jim had more cause for action then than she does now– if only because he knew firsthand how things were for her with Roy– and look how long it still took him to put it all on the line. For all she knows, Jim is now happy without her, not admitting feelings for her mere weeks ago. And for all he knows, she’s not regretting previous choices and stumbling through denials until she is all but incriminated, so he gives no encouragement other than the casual flirting that has always been a staple of their friendship.
Are they being ridiculous, even maddening at times? Absolutely. But not at the suspension of belief. And this time around, without a wedding as a deadline, they’re free to coast in their comedy of errors and misconceptions. That said, I think– or at least, hope– the bomb is ticking, and the whole truth is about due to come up for air, if for nothing else but the sake of their own sanity.
For the second week in a row, and much in the same tradition as last year’s thwarted Valentines’, the JPI for Phyllis’ Wedding is Down.
Cue the rimshot for Kevin and his perfectly belted Roxanne.
I dare you to find a worse wedding guest than Michael Scott.
Dwight : The Schrutes have their own traditions. We usually marry standing in our own graves. Makes the funerals very romantic. But the weddings are a bleak affair.
Leave it to the indomitable Schrute clan to turn one of life’s most joyous occasions into something so uniquely grotesque. The fact that Dwight’s relationship with Angela is even marginally healthy continues to astound.
Michael : So how you doing? Excited?
Phyllis : Yes, very.
Michael : Me too. If, um, if you need to vomit, that is okay. I did.
Well now, that’s comforting, and not disturbing at all.
Michael : Are you set on that hairstyle?
Phyllis : I thought it was–
Michael : Here, let me–
Phyllis : Michael, no– I don’t need your help, thank you–
Michael : Just cover up that bald patch–
Phyllis : No, Michael, please– I just need some time alone.
There are dozens of subjects you never, ever speak of to a bride on her wedding day; breaking wind, bald patches, and vomiting are most definitely in the top five.
Michael : You might be surprised to learn that I have only been to one other wedding.
Actually, no. More surprised that he has been to any wedding at all.
Meredith : I thought you weren’t supposed to wear white to a wedding.
Kelly : I know, but there was an emergency.
[Cut to interview]
Kelly : I look really good in white.
There’s a not-so-fine line between white and full length white satin with a tiara. Ryan, thoughts?
Michael : Me walking Phyllis down the aisle was supposed to be the highlight of the wedding. And now, the wedding has no highlight.
Oh, but it does; including, but by no means limited to the empty wheelchair lurching up the aisle and every single time Michael opens his mouth.
Angela : Congratulations, Phyllis. You look lovely. Your dress is very white. So white my eyes are burning.
Phyllis : Thanks, Angela.
For a second I thought Angela was going to claim white as the new whorish.
Dwight : Best of luck, Phyllis. Also, I’m going to need to see a copy of the guest manifest as well as photographs of the caterers.
Phyllis : I don’t have that, Dwight.
Dwight : Damn it, Phyllis!
It’s okay, Dwight, just keep your eyes out for anyone who bears a striking resemblance to Owen Wilson and/or Vince Vaughn.
Michael : I do, I know a fair amount about fine food and drink. Um… [sniffs his wine glass loudly] This is a white.
Good thing to know that if the paper industry ever does go bust Michael can fall back on his career as a sommelier.
Kevin : No, this is not our first wedding. This is the third wedding that Scrantonicity has played. We also played our bassist’s wedding, and our guitarist’s wedding.
I think that’s how the Stones got their start.
Bob Vance : You’re outta here!
Michael : Yeah– you‘re outta here– [commotion, then yelling] I hate you!
Is there a pattern developing here or what?
[Dwight catches Michael trying to sneak back into the reception]
Michael : Look, I just wanted to go in and quietly sit, and have a piece of cake. I’m not even gonna dance. One song, maybe.
Dwight : You are a real-life wedding crasher, and I must bounce you. I’m sorry, it gives me no pleasure.
Whatever had previously survived Michael’s swath of destruction would most certainly be obliterated the second he hit the dance floor.
Toby : Toby! Yeah!
Boy, does he owe Ryan big time for that spectacular line of bouquet defense.
Michael : I just want Phyllis to have a great day.
Uncle Al : Phyllis and you will be great together.
Michael : We are great together. We are a great team.
Uncle Al : The Celtics were a great team.
Michael : Yes, yes… they were. Robert Parish. I should talk to her, I don’t want this to ruin her honeymoon.
Uncle Al : Well, nobody ever helped me. I had to do it myself. Even the doctor didn’t know.
Michael : Dude, keep it together. I listened to you for a half an hour, even though most of that stuff went right over my head.
Remind me again who has the dementia here?
Phyllis : You found Uncle Al!
Michael : Yeah, yeah, he’s kind of a weirdo.
Phyllis : [kisses his cheek] Thank you, Michael.
Michael : You’re– you’re welcome.
I don’t care what Earl says, he should just stop with the list right now because Michael has effectively proven there is no such thing as karma.
Michael : They say that your wedding day goes by in such a flash, that you’re lucky if you even get a piece of your own cake. I say that’s crazy. I say, let them eat cake. Margaret Thatcher said that. About marriage. Smart broad.
In real life, a lightening bolt would have fried him right on the spot.