• Season 3 : Episode 2
  • First aired on September 28, 2006
  • Written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky / Directed by Ken Whittingham
  • Recap by James Fan
  • Discuss this episode at The Watercooler, and remember to submit your vote at OfficeTally.
  • Thanks to flotsette for providing a closed captioning transcript.

Ready, set, go! The race is on to claim Pam though beware, men: wandering eyes are liable to get you ousted from the running. Michael and Dwight head to Philadelphia for an office supply convention and run into a familiar face. Pleasantries are exchanged, followed by a heavy dose of inquisition and absurd posturing. Michael’s plans for a raucous evening are derailed by the conspicuous absence of his right-hand man, no doubt engaging in some debauchery of his own.

The Michael Scott School of Hard Knocks

This episode may have had the greatest density of painfully awkward Michael Scott moments yet. Let’s have a look at the evidence.

[Michael and Dwight run into Jim at the convention]
Michael : There he is. There’s the traitor. Traitor! Traitor! Come here, you. Come here!
[Michael and Jim hug]
Michael : Aaagh! The prodig–the progidal…
Jim : What?
Michael : … my son returns.

It wouldn’t be a proper Michael Scott reunion without him flubbing a line or two.

[Josh and Jim meet up with Michael and Dwight in Michael’s hotel room]
Michael : Hey hey!
Jim : That is a lot of liquor.
Michael : Yeah.
Jim : And a dart board.
Michael : Well, that’s how we do it in Scranton. Or did you forget?
[Michael and Dwight start dancing and singing, terribly]
Michael : Ain’t no party like a Scranton party, cause a Scranton party don’t stop.
[Michael and Dwight start beatboxing. Still terrible]

Beatboxing and raising the roof are best left to the pros or at least the mildly talented.

[Michael offers Josh and Jim a drink]
Michael : One for the road, gentlemen?
Josh : A shot of Midori, perhaps.
[Jim laughs. Michael and Dwight join in with forced laughter]
Jim : Oh, no, sorry, it’s an inside joke. There was this bartender in Stamford who, uh… You know what? You just have to be there.
Michael : Wish I was. I love inside jokes. Love to be a part of one someday.
[Dead silence]
Josh : Um, we should…
Jim : Yeah, alright.

Does he have any idea what he’s actually saying or is he really that starved for attention? You’re never quite sure with Michael.

Josh : Alright, Jan just emailed me. She wants us to meet her up front.
[Michael pretends to check his cell phone]
Michael : Yep. Yeah, she’s up front.
Dwight : You don’t have email on your phone.
Michael : I don’t… have to, I just know.
[Michael pretends to answer his phone]
Michael : Yes, hello?
Dwight : No one just called you.

Faking an incoming call requires great improvisational skills, which Michael has absolutely none of. And yeah, Dwight? Not helping.

[Michael challenges Josh to a paper airplane throwing contest. Josh accepts after some prodding]
Michael : You first.
[Josh throws his paper airplane. He misses the target, barely]
Dwight : Oh, nice try, Josh!
Michael : Not. Hit the rim. Ok, and…
[Michael throws his paper airplane. The plane loops in midair and lands beside Michael]
Michael : Ok, double or nothing.
Josh : What, we didn’t bet anything, Michael. We–
Michael : Well, let’s…
Josh : You know, we should go. We gotta go.
Michael : Come on, come on. Come on!
Josh : We’ll do it… later.

Quintessential Michael Scott: challenge your rival to a competition and then proceed to lose miserably.

Dwight Being Dwight

What is it with Dwight and wild animals? We’ve got lions, wolves, chimpanzees, and now monkeys.

[Dwight and Angela are talking in the break room. Their backs are turned to one another so as to not attract attention]
Dwight : Don’t be mad. It is a business trip.
Angela : But I don’t understand. It’s for managers.
Dwight : Monkey, I am an ARM. Assistant Regional Manager.
Angela : I know. I ju–I was just really hoping we could spend some time together.
[A look of guilt overcomes Dwight’s face]
Angela : Are you still there?
Dwight : Yes, monkey.
Angela : Don’t monkey me. You can’t wait to get out of here, ARM.

Now there’s a monkey I wouldn’t want to cross. Most threatening monkey ever.

The Many Faces of Jim

Assuming that Angela has her facts straight — and she does, because she’s Angela — that would mean that Jim is now a manager. Dwight is quickly losing his advantages over Jim, even the imaginary ones.

[Jim has just reunited with Michael and Dwight at the convention]
Michael : It’s good to see you, too.
Dwight : Oh, hey. How’s it going up there? Have you made any sales yet?
Jim : Yeah, sold about 40,000.
Michael : Hey…
Dwight : Shut up. That’s impossible.
Jim : No, it’s not. And I did. Yeah.
Dwight : Well, I did it too.
[Cut to interview]
Jim : You know, when I saw Dwight, I realized how stupid and petty all those pranks I pulled on him were. And then he spoke. I wonder how hard it would be to get a copy of his room key.

Put together a couple desks and it’s Scranton all over again.

Confessions of a Receptionist

Of all of Pam’s duties a receptionist, none is greater than her responsibility to save Michael from himself on a daily basis.

[Michael enters the office, excitedly]
Michael : Pam?
Pam : Yeah?
Michael : Did you see Oprah yesterday?
Pam : No, I didn’t.
Michael : I, uh, I am going to be a father.
Pam : What was Oprah about?
Michael : Angelina Jolie was on. And she adopted a baby from Asia and she said that it changed her life, and that really inspired me. So I want you to look in to see how much a little Chinese baby would cost.
Pam : That’s a really big decision.
Michael : I know.
Pam : Maybe you should wait before you adopt…
Michael : Well–
Pam : … or not adopt.

We can only hope that her subtleties aren’t lost on him. Who am I kidding? Of course they’re lost on him.

Michael : Just do it, ok?
Pam : Roy’s sister looked into it, and the application alone costs $1,000.
Michael : Um. Find out if there’s a cheaper… less expensive baby out there, ok?
Pam : You know, she also said the waiting list is like eight months.
Michael : Eight months?
Pam : Yeah.
Michael : I don’t even know if I want a baby in eight months.
Pam : Probably won’t.
[Michael exhales]
Michael : You know, Pam, if in ten years… I haven’t had a baby, and you haven’t had a baby–
Pam : No, Michael.
Michael : Twenty years.
Pam : No, Michael.
Michael : Thirty.
[Pam pauses for a moment before relenting]
Pam : Sure.
Michael : It’s a deal.
[The two shake hands]

This scene really speaks for itself.

The Jim/Pam Index

The tension remains thick in Week Two of the new Jim/Pam era.

[Jim stops by Michael’s hotel room]
Michael : You like cosmos?
Jim : Yeah, sure. Sounds good.
Michael : So why are you here? Is Josh busy?
Jim : Michael…
Michael : I get it, you know?
Jim : Did I do something, or… ?
Michael : No, I totally get it. He made a better paper airplane. Stamford does better in sales. I get it. We had some fun. We had some laughs.
Jim : Wait, wait, wait, I didn’t transfer because of you. You’re a good boss. You’re a great boss.
Michael : Pfff. Not better than Josh.
Jim : Michael, it’s not about… I transferred because of Pam.

Another secret bites the dust. Jim should know better… or should he? Despite Michael’s countless failings as a manager and motivator of his employees, I find that this bond between Michael and Jim really works. Michael somehow seems like the perfect outlet for Jim’s struggles with Pam, the explanation for which is completely escaping me at the moment.

Michael : Oh, my God. You don’t even know. She’s single now.
Jim : No, I heard something about that. It’s just, I kind of put it all on the line. Twice, actually. And she said no. Twice.

It looks like I was wrong with my prediction from last week: Jim does know that the wedding was called off, although it’s unclear who told him and how long he’s known.

That said, the man has a point. Love does not in fact conquer all, especially for prototypical nice guys like Jim. The sting of rejection will dissuade most of them from even getting close to testing that theory. It’s an unfortunate side effect of being considerate and accomodating that the same qualities that make you so endearing to others also prevent you from taking risks that are really in your best interest.

It is my opinion that Jim has done all that can be reasonably expected of him. I hate to formalize something as complex as this relationship, but if there is such a thing as etiquette in this situation then surely it dictates that the next move rests on Pam. As for why she hasn’t attempted to mend her relationship with Jim, I can only assume that she has her reasons. The artificial need for compelling television aside, I’ll admit to being somewhat confused by her reluctance. Jim was obviously interested in her prior to his transfer, and three months of separation, though significant, really seems inconsequential given their history. He’s as close to A Guaranteed Thing that I can imagine, and yet, she chooses not to pursue.

My guess is that it’s a matter of self-confidence and maybe a slightly hyperactive conscience. She feels responsible for driving Jim away; she’s quick to blame herself for what’s happened and she feels that she doesn’t deserve another chance. To the rational onlooker, this behavior doesn’t make a whole of sense, but to the afflicted it offers them an escape from the possibility of disappointment, albeit at the cost of personal happiness. Combine that with her timid personality and it’s not difficult to see why the two remain apart.

The Convention rates a Down on the JP Index.

Supporting Nod

Angela, who pulls off the steamy rendezvous by showing a little leg. Yowza!

The Superstar

Michael continues to impress through great acts of unimpressiveness punctuated by unexpected moments of brilliance.

Transmissions from the Office

  • Michael : Guess where I am going? I will give you a hint. It is a booze-fueled sex romp where anything goes. You are correct, sir! I am headed to Philadelphia for the annual Northeastern Mid-market Office Supply Convention. And Jim Halpert is going to be coming, which will be fun. Poor, little guy has been stuck working under Josh. The poor man’s Michael Scott, as he is known around my condo.

    No one parties like paper suppliers.

  • Angela : In the Martin family, we like to say, “looks like someone took the slow train from Philly.” That’s code for “check out the slut.”

    A very judgmental bunch, those Martins.

  • [Kelly walks up to Pam’s desk]
    Kelly : Oh, my God! Are you so excited for tonight? I’m so excited. You guys are gonna click. I can feel it. So what are you wearing?
    Pam : This.
    [Pam motions to her current outfit. Kelly attempts to conceal her disappointment]
    Kelly : You look so pretty.
    Pam : Thank you.

    Is that restraint I see? What have you done with the real Kelly?

  • [Creed meets up with Angela and Meredith in the break room]
    Creed : There’s my girl. I noticed you handing out some shekels. How would one get on that train?
    Angela : That was per diem for Philadelphia.
    Meredith : Ugh, that town smells like cheese steaks.
    Angela : That town is full of history.
    [Angela storms out of the room. Creed takes her seat and helps himself to her meal]
    Creed : Andrea’s the, uh, office bitch. You’ll get used to her. Mmm.
    [Creed extends his hand to Meredith as if they’ve never met]

    How Creed manages to make it to work every morning is beyond me.

  • Michael : I was shocked when he told me he was transferring to Stamford. It’s like with firemen. You don’t leave your brothers behind. Even if you find out that there is… a better fire in Connecticut.

    No response.

  • Michael : Look, I think we need to set some ground rules.
    Jan : What are you talking about?
    Michael : The 800-pound gorilla in the room. Carol. I’m still dating her, so nothing can happen between us at the convention.
    Jan : Step away from me, Michael.

    You know what Jan could use? A taser.

  • [Pam is reading the newspaper in the breakroom. She laughs mildly at one of Allen’s cartoons. Kelly walks in]
    Kelly : Allen’s cartoon is so funny, right?
    Pam : Mm-hmm.
    Kelly : And they’re, like, so smart. I don’t even know what they mean half the time.
    [Kelly leaves. Toby enters and waves at Pam. She doesn’t notice]

    Jim, Pam, Roy and now Toby. It’s a love quadrangle.

  • [Michael is grilling Jim about why he left Scranton]
    Michael : Is Josh funnier than I am? Does he even have a girlfriend? Because I have two, basically.
    Jim : Michael, it’s really not a competition.

    I’d hope not given the wedding band on his finger.

  • Michael : I have generated a lot of interest in my party this evening.
    Jan : What party?
    Michael : Party I’m having tonight in 308. Obviously, you are invited.
    Jan : Michael, um, Jim and Josh are in meetings all day, and I am in and out of meetings. I–I can’t stay on top of you 24/7.
    [Michael stifles a laugh]

    Nice going, Jan. That one will keep Michael going for another several weeks.

  • [Pam is consulting Phyllis for dating advice]
    Phyllis : You should order the most expensive thing on the menu, so he knows you’re worth it.
    Stanley : If you do that, you’re gonna have to put out.
    [Pam rolls her eyes]
    Phyllis : Oh, yeah. You’ll have to put out.
    [Pam can’t believe what she’s hearing]

    Stanley? Phyllis? Is that really you?

  • Michael : Jim and I have different definitions of friendship. I think it’s talking and being friends, and Jim thinks it’s moving to Connecticut and being best friends with Josh. Well… phooey on that. I, uh, I’m done. I am not going to be speaking with him anymore. Whatevs. Long distance relationships never work.

    Whatevs. Let your inner Summer Roberts out.

  • [Michael walks in late to a meeting with Jan]
    Michael : Sorry, my meeting ran late.
    Jan : Really?
    Michael : Yes, Jan. Really. With a rep from Hammermill.
    Josh : They’re exclusive with Staples.
    Michael : Used to be. Evan’ll call you in the morning to work out the details. We can now sell Hammermill products.
    Dwight : Yes! Ha!
    Jan : Well, Michael, I just–I underestimated you.
    Michael : Yeah, well, maybe next time you will estimate me.

    Michael really knows how to take a compliment.

  • Jim : Dwight’s room key. And Dwight’s room.
    [Jim opens the door to Dwight’s room]
    Jim : What can I say? Old habits die hard–
    Angela : D?
    [Jim backs out of the room quickly before seeing Angela’s face]
    Jim : Oh, my God. Dwight got a hooker.

    You’ve just witnessed the first and only time anyone called Angela a hooker and got away with it.

  • Michael : Some people need dozens of friends to say, “hey, look at me, I’m popular.” But not me. I’m very picky. I need three, maybe two. When you meet that someone special, you’ll just know. Because a real relationship… it can’t be forced. It should just come about effortled-lessly.

    It never gets old.

Odds and Ends

  • First Conan O’Brien, now Jerome Bettis. This show has a knack for picking the greatest cameos.
  • Listen to Pam’s call to Michael at the convention. What exactly are “general specifics”?
  • Time to man up, Ryan. If your girlfriend is force-feeding you, it’s a sign that something has gone wrong.
  • Michael in a dark room with electronica blaring in the background and strobe lights firing in all directions? Yeah, creepy and slightly terrifying.
  • Check out Michael’s shirt at the convention. Microsoft Office? The Office? Get it? Ha, ha, ha. Man…

The Story in Pictures

Gallery Image

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Can't wait, I've been looking forward to this one. Based on the few clips we've seen from the episode it looks promising.

1Posted by Derek on September 28, 2006

I notice that it lists Oscar as starring. Does that mean he didn't go away for three months?

2Posted by Deer Jerky on September 28, 2006

Thursday night is my favorite night of the week-it even beats out Sat! 8:30 PM can't come fast enough for me!

3Posted by Katrina on September 28, 2006

Yes! I'm excited to see more Michael and Jan moments.

4Posted by Art on September 28, 2006

Well I don't know if any of you saw my comments on the Gay Witch Hunt page, but I'm getting for some more Transatlantic technological wizardy so that I can watch the Convention tonight !

5Posted by Jenni on September 28, 2006

One of the things that I can't wait to see is if they bring Jim back to the Scranton Office. I hope that they don't just yet.

With Jim at another branch, this is such a wonderful time for the story of 'The Office' to grow, and I hope they don't stop exploring that idea just because alot of people are saying that they "miss Jim".
(I'm not sure if they noticed that Jim is still on the show)

6Posted by HateSoMuchAboutTheWayYouChooseToBe on September 28, 2006

Jim will most likely stay at the Stamford branch until the two branches merge. Remember in the pilot Jan said they couldn't support keeping both a Stamford and a Scranton branch open?

7Posted by Nussy on September 28, 2006

LOL, everybody now wants a piece of Pam.

Cant say I blame 'em.

8Posted by Pat D. on September 28, 2006

Well since everyone took pot shots at Roy for the last year and a half, let me be one of the first to turn the tables on Pam.Knowing how much Jim loves her, what she did tonight makes her a heartless skank in my book.

9Posted by hauseriv on September 28, 2006

I am so bummed out...I just got home from school...and found out my neighborhood had a power outage and my DVR never turned on. Can anyone tell me if there's a way to get a copy of last nights show, or do I have to wait for the re-run? I am so bummed out!!! I'm afraid to ask what I missed. Maybe I should get a life...no way...I need my fix of the Office!!! Please Help?

10Posted by Jimmy on September 28, 2006

Jimmy, tomorrow in the afternoon sometime, you'll be able to buy the episode on iTunes for $1.99

11Posted by Carly on September 28, 2006

I really liked this episode. Even the beginning. I think it was funny all on its own - although I'll be honest and say that the show has lost a little of its spark for me without Jim and Pam interaction. Even if you don't care if they're a couple, their office interaction was some of the funniest stuff on the show.

12Posted by Loaded Teapot on September 28, 2006

--- (slight) SPOILER----
Overall I'd say it was a pretty good episode which was made even better by Jim coming to Michael's party at the end. I love the way this show continues to blend the absurd comedy with the humanity of its characters. Jim really showed what a stand up guy he is.

13Posted by Jake on September 28, 2006

Thanks you Carly...I'm going to check it out right now, and be all ready for tomorrow...I feel a little better...I still can't believe I missed it tonight...it's like I'm dreaming and I'm going to wake up any minute.

14Posted by Jimmy on September 28, 2006

James. good luck picking just one person for the Supporting Nod. Every secondary character was incredible tonight.

Hate to say it, but I think the JPI should be Down. Would that be the first time ever?

Overall a great, great episode.

15Posted by Jenna Loves Josh on September 28, 2006

Spoiler Question (if that makes any sense...):
A couple of folks in different spots have made reference to Michael closing a big deal tonight. I didn't see it happen--news broke in for about ninety seconds in the second half of the show. Either that, or perhaps I'm misinterpreting the comments. Something about Office Depot, I recall.

Might someone fill me in? Many thanks in advance.

16Posted by Clarence on September 28, 2006

I was pretty disappointed with last week's episode, but this one brought back everything I love about the show, except the Jim/Pam interaction, of course. But if I may say so (and therefore take things too seriously), I think it's great for both of them to spend time and distance apart, and have lives apart from each other. It's helping them grow and it reinforces how important they are to each other. There was SO much potential sparked in this episode, though I was disappointed that Jim told Michael the real reason he left. But then, maybe it had to be said. I hope we see some more of Roy in the future, and what the heck was up with Tobey?? Is he concerned about Pam just because he's the HR person, or is he going to actually attempt to ask her out? Yes, she needs to end up with Jim eventually, but for now, I think it's a really interesting development and I can't wait to see where it goes!
(Sorry I said so much...I found this website only this summer, and I'm so eager to join in the discussion of the new season!)

17Posted by Emily on September 28, 2006

Even though Michaels closing of the deal was never shown, the meeting between him and the client took place in his room if you remember (he offered the client a drink and the guy was showing product on Michaels bed). You have to remember that Michael is extremely good at selling. I think this will come in to play when the Stamford and Scranton branch merge. I think Michael will most likley become senoir salesmen.

18Posted by Steve-O on September 28, 2006

** Spoilers **

Michael negotiated with a paper vendor that was once exclusive to Staples. Now Dunder-Mifflin will be able to sell MillBridge brand (I think that's right?)paper as well. That was the big deal he closed.

Also, if you missed that part, you might have missed one of the funniest moments of the night.

19Posted by Trent on September 28, 2006

Thank you very much, guys. I appreciate it.

20Posted by Clarence on September 28, 2006


21Posted by Andrew on September 28, 2006

I think it was Hammermill paper, but I couldn't tape the episode tonight so I'm relying on only one viewing. And it should be noted Jan looked a little impressed with Michael. She did see him close a huge deal before in "The Client," which was also the episode of their romantic encounter.

22Posted by Jillian on September 28, 2006

WOW! I just watched the deleted scenes for The Convention and apparently Jan was trying to get a little action from Joshua by asking him up to her room for a drink and to "look over some business".

I wish that little scene had stayed in. It reminds me of when Kelly said, "How can someone so beautiful be so sad."

23Posted by HateSoMuchAboutTheWayYouChooseToBe on September 28, 2006

Love the Deleted Scenes on NBC.com!!

24Posted by thahandstrikesandgivesaflower on September 29, 2006

I thought this was a pretty good episode. The thing with Angela and Dwight was hilarious.When Jim walked in and said "oh my god Dwight got a hooker!" that was histerical.

25Posted by Theschrutesproduceverythirstybabies on September 29, 2006

- Spoiler, I guess... but really you should have watched it by now -

Hammermill. It's a paper brand - and yes, I trust that Michael did some amazing sale, just like he did with the City of Scranton at Chili's.

I think Nervous Toby is the cutest - so funny! I don't want him to date Pam, but he deserves someone nice. I also love how much Michael hates him for no apparent reason.

I'm suprised no one mentioned how ridiculous Creed is. He INTRODUCED himself to Meredith! I love it. And did he call Angela, "Andrea"? Pure gold.

And wow, hauseriv, a heartless skank? ouch.

26Posted by laura. on September 29, 2006



(Cross TV show references are allowed, right?)

Creed definately deserves Supporting nod. Or Ryan just for putting up with Kelly: "But I don't like Ketchup!"

27Posted by Nussy on September 29, 2006

oops, didn't mean to cross that spoiler part out... i'm pretty sure i made that mistake the last time i posted at the end of last season.

oh my little mind - full of sitcom characters and nothing else.

28Posted by laura. on September 29, 2006

"I saw you were handing out sheckels, how does one get on that train?"

29Posted by DontSayCocks on September 29, 2006

Toby was adorable... Obviously we're all rooting for Jim and Pam, but I've always loved Toby, and he was too cute, getting all nervous around Pam. Did anyone else see that little wave he gave her in the breakroom that she didn't even notice? Aww. He deserves someone awesome.

The whole Angela-waiting-for-Dwight-in-his-room thing was hilarious. Jim looked so happy. Did anyone else yell "Call Pam!" when he said, "I have to call someone"? Or am I the only one who talks to her TV?

30Posted by Kat on September 29, 2006

Heartless skank? Really? Jim transferred after Pam decided to marry Roy. Once he left, she dumped Roy anyways. Bad timing, sure, but sometimes that's the way things go.

It would be unrealistic for Pam to expect Jim to move back to Scranton just to be with her, so she's slowly attempting to move on. I don't see how you could call her a heartless skank.

On a side note, I read that John Krasinski's gonna be the voice of Sir Lancelot in Shrek The Third. I think that's Northern Attack-worthy.


31Posted by M@ on September 29, 2006

There is no way Toby and Pam are going to end up together...or even close. I think we might be misreading that entirely.

32Posted by Loaded Teapot on September 29, 2006

Creed's totally gone senile! That's hilarious!

Rough for Jim, though. When Michael wished Pam good luck on her date, it was like someone had kicked his puppy! Bad enough that she didn't leave Roy for him, but to leave Roy and date other people...!

33Posted by N. Monkey on September 29, 2006

definitely agree w/M@ that Pam is NOT a heartless skank.She went on a date.Big deal.Toby was so adorable the way he was so nervous around Pam.Jim thinking Dwight had a hooker in his room was classic.My favorite scene last night was the one between Michael and Jim.It was very touching.John Krasinski and Steve Carell are both amazing actors.Can't wait until next Thursday.Great site James! I read it just about everyday.

34Posted by Katrina on September 29, 2006

I have to say, I'm just confused. Pam must have feelings for Jim or else she would have married Roy, so why would she date other people? I just don't see the point in that. She has already met someone she totally has feelings for and clicks with. To find someone like that is usually why people date, unless they just want to date for fun. I just don't get what is inside her head. It does seem cruel to Jim. He must feel totally rejected.

35Posted by Tammie on September 29, 2006

Hammermill. Heh. Love it. Especially since I have to work with mountains of the stuff every day. Wish I could get Michael Scott in here to share a drink and look at it morosely with me. Nobody beats Michael when it comes to sheer unadulterated despair ...

36Posted by Stooges Woman :-) on September 29, 2006

I don't see any reason why Jim and Pam will get together...till the final episodes of the series. Right now, the buildup is great, everyone wondering when they'll be together and stuff. This adds intrigue and other stuff to the series.

37Posted by Peter on September 29, 2006

I like how twice in this episode Jim realized the camera was on him and stopped himself from saying Pam.

"How's Ryan doing?... How's P... Toby?"
and then
"Dwight got a hooker. I need to call P.. I need to call someone"

I think the standout moment of the episode after much humming and hawing is Michael and Dwight right before leaving:
"Want me to tell Jim anything?"
"UM! Um um um um um um......"

38Posted by Nussy on September 29, 2006

There were some great moments, and overall they are doing a perfect job of making us feel the tension between the characters. I love Michael; he is the most bizarre combination of competence and incompetence. It seems everything he is or isn’t able to do is instinctual. His talk with Jim at the end of the episode was touching. The Dwight and Angela rendezvous broken up by Jim was perfect. Love Jim. Cracks me up. Creed/Meredith and Stanley/Phyllis win best lines! And, I hate to say this, but for some reason, starting at the end of last season, I’ve just become convinced that Pam doesn’t love Jim. I’m not saying she isn’t unhappy. I’m sure she misses Jim and how he listened and was supportive, but enjoying someone paying attention to you isn’t really being in love. Dunno, just a feeling I had again last night.

39Posted by Nikki on September 29, 2006

O.K> Sorry i called Pam a heartless skank. I was just so shocked to see her trying to move onto someone new when the perfect guy has already laid it on the line for her twice. I was too emotional to write something so quick. Sorry Pam, and all office lovers.

40Posted by hauseriv on September 29, 2006

I believe there are a lot of factors that are keeping Pam and Jim apart.

Pam knows that she has feelings for Jim, but she may be feeling guilty that she rejected Jim twice but ultimately broke off the wedding because of him. She feels embarrassed and ashamed of the whole situation and isn't sure how Jim will react since they haven't stayed in touch.

Also, Pam probably has a huge amount of guilt fall over her every-time she thinks about starting a relationship with Jim because she has become so close to Jim during the many years that she was engaged to Roy. I believe that in her mind, the idea of starting a relationship with Jim would solidify this notion in her head that she was possible cheating on Roy all those years. I'm NOT saying that she was, but that she could have formed this feeling in her mind.

Even though everyone knows why she broke off the wedding, she doesn't want everyone to think that it is because she was in love with Jim. She is probably afraid that if she hooks up with Jim so soon after the break-up then it will be telling the world that she broke it off for Jim. Society can be cruel about those types of things. She is in a hard position.

41Posted by HateSoMuchAboutTheWayYouChooseToBe on September 29, 2006

That's what she said.

42Posted by Jake on September 29, 2006

"She is probably afraid that if she hooks up with Jim so soon after the break-up then it will be telling the world that she broke it off for Jim."

Not to mention that my theory of Roy opening up a can of whupass on Jim would probably come true at that point. ;-)

43Posted by Pat D. on September 29, 2006

I liked the subtle UK office reference about Jim laying it on the line twice and her saying no twice. Hopefully next time, Pam will be the one to do something.

I wanted to punch Pam's date. I know we were supposed to be seriously? freedom fries? go away.

44Posted by Katie on September 29, 2006

I was hoping to see one of his cartoons and have it be completely unfunny. Not just freedom fries unfunny, but more so.

Creed has lost it, completely.

Micheal, Micheal. He wanted to say "That's what she said." so bad. Perhaps a little more maturity from the immature boss? I liked the recurrence of the friends issue.

Poor Jim.

45Posted by emainiac on September 29, 2006

Interesting theory, Nikki... I could just see that Pam might not love Jim. I enjoy how the US version is completely unpredictable as to whether it will follow the UK script or not. My feeling is that Pam is still the only one who doesn't know that she loves Jim. I'm kind of disappointed that Pam went on the date, because I was thinking/hoping the idea was to let her grow on her own for a bit, and not be "the girlfriend" of somebody.

Still, overall I like that the separation between Jim and Pam is pretty believable and doesn't feel forced to me. I felt like some people would find it completely unbelievable that Jim would confide in Michael again, but I thought that was just perfect. Of course he would! He has to talk about her to someone and confiding in Michael is a way of feeling connected to her, somehow.

For me, there are three main strands of the appeal of The Office -- Jam, the humor, and that squirmy uncomfortable feeling that's sort of funny even when you want to look away. I feel like last night's episode emphasized the third strand.

46Posted by DJR on September 29, 2006

Nikki, I agree with you. The episode that makes me think that the most is The Secret. Since The Secret, I think she has known about Jim's feelings. Her response to Jim in Casino Night is "What are you doing?" I just think she isn't that into him, but I'm sure that all will change. This is going to be a great season.

47Posted by kely on September 29, 2006

Slight spoiler for anyone who hasn't seen the episode, but here's my thoughts:

I'm shocked to see that in 47 comments, no one has mentioned the moment of Jim walking into Michael's hotel room to see him sitting by himself with the strobe lights and a techno song blarring all the way down the hallway. To me, that set the standard this season for non-dialogue humor and irony. Great moment.

48Posted by Brandon on September 29, 2006

I just watched The Secret DVD commentary, and I've changed my tune about whether Pam is into Jim or not. I hadn't been putting enough weight on that look on Pam's face when she leaves the breakroom after Jim tells her about his crush.

49Posted by kely on September 29, 2006

Maybe no one else cares about this, but it drove my husband and I crazy until we finally figured out Michael's new ring tone--he changed it from "Mambo #5" to Black Eyed Peas "My Humps." Just another one of those little details of this show that is so hilarious. Another detail that was so funny to me, but was also so quick it could easily be missed, was Michael telling Pam on the phone "tell him I'll give him general specifics tomorrow" and then Josh Porter's look when he overheard that.

50Posted by Stacey on September 29, 2006

Does anyone else find it sad that not even Dwight attends Michael's party?

51Posted by Wanda on September 29, 2006

One of the greatest things about The Office is how it has surpassed simply being a comedy and become more of a reality tv show than anything else. It is still hilarious, but also heartbreaking and interesting on so many more levels. Like the Toby thing. I don't think it'll really lead anywhere, but that's just something that he'd really do. It males sense for a divorcee to develop on crush on somone who's had a similar experience, especially when its Pam. Its these little things that are so amazing.

52Posted by tyler on September 29, 2006

Hey James,

Where is your analysis?

I can't wait to read it!

53Posted by Jenni on September 30, 2006

Jim/Michael scenes just break my heart, every time. Except if Michael is being a jerk (which he usually is, but really...he's the most loveable jerk I've ever seen...). It's so hard to see Jim show Michael some pity and open up to him, and I'm screaming: "COME ON MICHAEL!! HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO BE AMAZING!!" and then...he ruins it.
But it wouldn't be as much fun if he was Wise Mr. Miyagi all the time when people asked him for advice and a goof the other times. The two forms of himself have to mesh. And I literally thought it was the sadest thing when Michael was all alone in his room, electronica music blarring and stroble lights going crazy, and Jim is just...Jim. The good guy at heart.

My favorite part of the episode, though, was Kelly feeding Ryan.
"I don't like ke--"
"He LOVES ketchup!"

And Michael and Dwight, singing. Anything. At any given time.

54Posted by Elena on September 30, 2006

"Aint no party like a Scranton party cause a Scranton party dont stop"

...that may be the single most "purposely lame" scene in the history of TV. ;-)

Also, I dont blame Dwight for not showing to the "party"....he was sort of otherwise occupied at the time. :-)

55Posted by Pat D. on September 30, 2006

Awesome episode. Did anyone notice when Kely walked to Pam's desk to talk about the night's date, in the background Ryan grabs the phone to look like he's doing work so Kelly won't bother him

56Posted by Jacob on September 30, 2006

I just checked in to see if James has done his recap yet. Unfortunately, it is not done yet. This website is so awesome. I look forward to checking it out after every episode. The office would not be the same without it.

57Posted by Tammie on September 30, 2006

the name says it all

58Posted by pamwannabe on September 30, 2006

Has anyone figured out why Dwight's nametag was written with black marker instead of printed like everyone else? I couldn't tell what was written on it.

59Posted by RC on September 30, 2006

My theory on how Jim found about Pam-When Michael tells Pam to have fun on her date. There's no way he would have said "Have another fun night in your crappy marriage!" And he couldn't call her because she was on a date. Sad.

I posted this on theofficeforum.net but I'm reposting it here. It was written at 1 am.

Watch Jim's reaction when Michael tells Pam to have fun on the date. In the course of 5 or so seconds you can see Jim realize that A) she didn't marry Roy and B) she still rejected him. Brilliant job by Mr. Kras. (I think Jim is going to start dating some one new on the assumption that Pam really doesn't like him as much as she likes her. And their issues are supposed to resurface in the third episode. I cannot wait for that.)

Kelly and Ryan -- the whole he loves ketchup and her forcing french fries in his mouth -- I don't think this is going to last much longer. Dwight and Angela, however, are going to last forever. Otherwise I would be really upset. I loved loved loved Jim walking in on "Jane Doe" and thinking that Dwight got a hooker. There were a lot of good lines in the episode...this is the winner. "Oh my god! Dwight got a hooker! Oh my god, I gotta call … I gotta call somebody, I don’t know who to call … Dwight got a HOOKER!" Mainly it's all in how he says it. He doesn't say I gotta call P...but his cheeks puff out like he's about to say p.

Jim didn't even play a prank on Dwight at all! Well, he was stopped by someone taking the slow train from Philly, but I think this may be an Office first.

Swag...Stuff We All Get...I didn't catch this the first time. Michael can be so cute sometimes. And then he is this guy, "Oh my god, I have a great idea. You know what should do? Be hilarious. Wear your wedding dress" and "Word of advice, unbutton that top button. Let those things breathe." (I couldn't believe Pam actually did this.) And we also get to the Michael we all feel sad for, like little Mikey from Take Your Daughter to Work Day:
-Pretending to get an email from Jan
-Wanting to be a part of an inside joke and the reaction from Josh and Jim
-The Party
-Trying to impress everyone with the $100 tip.
And then it's back to Cute Michael again. "Yeah, well maybe next time, you will estimate me." And then he (albeit unintentionally) calls his girlfriend an 800 pound gorilla.

Toby--I think Pam and Toby should go on one date. Anything that keeps her away from Roy until she and Jim get together. I just want to give Toby a hug sometimes. That is the worst last name ever. Poor little Sascha Flenderson.
Phyllis--Like her one night stand comment, this is one of the top Phyllis lines...Pam does a great impression of Jim.
Creed--There should be an entire storyline about Creed.

60Posted by Elisabeth on September 30, 2006

The Convention was a great episode. I've gotta say though...as funny as it was the underlying tension & sadness really getting to me. There's also....ahem...an 800 lb gorilla in the room...Rashida Jones. I've heard all sorts of rumors about her & JK & being a possible love interest in the show. I just...I'm all for reinvention..but...I miss the old Orifice!!!

Trust the writers. Focus on classes. Maybe one day you'll graduate. Trust the freaking writers. ggaahh!!!

61Posted by Malfeasance for Malfeasance's sake.. on September 30, 2006

James: you are the captain of re-caps. The lord of...(trying to think of an L__...)anyway...thanks for another great one.

62Posted by garbagethrower on October 1, 2006

Tammie --

My guess is that Pam went on the date for the exact same reason Ryan did, which is that Kelly is a force of nature. Once she gets it in her head that you should do something (date her, date someone else, ask a guy to date her, etc) she will wear you down until you do it. I think there's a significant difference between going on a blind double date in your work clothes and actually, actively, dating.

63Posted by Katie on October 1, 2006

I would LOVE to hear Dwight say "it looks like someone took the slow train from Philly" in a couple of episodes :)

64Posted by H on October 1, 2006

I second the request for an entire episode about Creed. He is an unexplored tap of comedic wealth.

65Posted by Jay K. Cagatay on October 1, 2006

Check Jim's nameplate from Gay Witch Hunt. He's Assistant Regional Manager now.

66Posted by John D'arc on October 1, 2006

When I saw Michael wearing the Microsoft shirt, I was thinking it was more of an inside joke. Not too long ago, Microsoft made that inside training video featuring Ricky Gervais as David Brent and Stephen Merchant as an interviewer. Maybe I was reading too much into that.....wow, I'm such an Office geek.
Great episode, though. I'm routing for JAM....and I'm sure it will come in time. One needs to appreciate the realism of the show and embrace it. It would suck if they got together too quickly and there would be nothing to look forward too...other than a possible breakup. The writers are great and I am sure they are taking the show in the right direction.

67Posted by AvoidingTheSlowTrain on October 1, 2006

I thought your explanation of why Pam hasn't tried to reconnect with Jim was right on. I think she feels like she lost her chance with Jim. And I think when she said she'll "just know the next time she likes someone" that the last person she liked was referring to Jim. I can't wait to see Jim and Pam the first time they are together in person again. Or even the first time they are on the phone one on one... what will they say to each other??? Hopefully we'll find out soon!

68Posted by Single Tear on October 1, 2006

Creed - what a great scene.

I agree with Katie: Pam isn't actively looking for a new relationship. Kelly talked her into that. But of course, Jim doesn't know that. He doesn't even know it was a double date. It is also necessary that Pam make the next move. I think she might call him next week. Seems ot me that Pam is just trying to get her head together and hasn't been ready till now to make that phone call - but she loves him. I am sure of that.

Good catch RC about Dwight's name tag. Bet it is because he was not supposed to attend the convention. Didn't Michael just tell him that he had promoted him and that he is still Assistant "to the" Regional Manager?

I think Jim already knew Pam was single. He will not be the one to make the first move, so when he heard that she had a date he realized that she was moving on with someone other than him.

69Posted by BuyMeACoke on October 1, 2006

James - great synopsis. While I am saddened that that JP index is down, I am very hopeful for next weeks episode. It was clear to me that Pam is missing Jim (the longing at Jims old desk after she calls Michael at the Convention and she hears the group, namely Jim, say hi). I think it is just a matter of time before she calls him. Yes, the ball is in her court, maybe it will be something that Michael says when he returns to the office – something inspirational, similar to what he said to Jim on Booze Cruise. I think it is just a matter of time ...but alas, I do agree with the comments posted that Jim now may think Pam has decided to move on and truly has rejected him. Let serendipity live and let's take this long journey to them someday finding each other (I hope). I want the show to love a long life, so I am ok with the long journey. I just need a little bit of hope along the way.

70Posted by Janetws on October 1, 2006

What was that song playing in Michael's hotel room... "Girls Gone Wild" or something like that. Is it real? Because it was hilarious.

71Posted by Jordan on October 1, 2006

Does anyone know the techno song that was playing while Michael was alone in his hotel room? I want to get it for my ringtone 'cause it cracks me up everything I think about that scene.

72Posted by Jospeh on October 1, 2006

Joseph and Jordan--

Check out www.myspace.com/captainahab for "Girls Gone Wild." They are a real band, and it's a real song.

73Posted by Stacey on October 1, 2006

as fun as it was to see toby fidgeting around the office over pam, im really not looking forward to a pam-toby relationship. i loved these first two episodes (even more with more viewings) and i do kind of miss the office antics. sounds like there are some out-of-office episodes coming up and i hope we get a little more of everyone else in the office. with an emphasis on creed and meredith. or maybe just creed, the untapped goldmine. one line per episode and he steals the whole sha-bang-a-bang. he like the kevin of season 2

74Posted by Will on October 1, 2006

About the Jim-Micheal thing....

I have a theory as to why their characters click and why Jim confides in Micheal.....

The reason is that maybe its because they're not all that much different. I almost see Micheal as Jim 10 to 15 years down the road, only Micheal is much much more dense and belligerent, and lacking Jim's social skills. In fact, throughout the series, Jim is the guy that Micheal really wants to be. The life of the party, everyone's friend, the guy that everyone likes, the guy whose party everyone will go to. Micheal, on the other hand, is what Jim is afraid of becoming : a mid level manager that has been working at the same place forever with no significant other and no family, and no real direction outside of just doing his job. Micheal is the guy whose life is passing him by, and Jim is afraid of that happening to himself.

That episode from season 2 where Micheal takes Jim's desk really kind of highlighted what they are to each other, and how they're really not all that different. Michael was/is a good sales guy when motivated. Jim is a good sales guy when motivated. Michael used to pull office pranks (as shown by the raid on accounting) and more often then not wastes his day trying to have fun and be the life of the party. Jim pulls office pranks, and more often then not wastes his day trying to have fun and is the life of the party. Micheal just never got out when he should have. At their core, they're both good hearted people trying their best and looking for the same thing out of life, at the same time. I think thats why their character interaction works, and I think thats why when they are alone, they really click and its easy for them to confide in each other. They're really not all that different.

75Posted by John on October 2, 2006

Whether or not Pam is still in love with Jim will come to light in the next few episodes, I think.

From looking at the majority of previous episodes, she may be suppressing feelings, but it's there, there's no doubt. Look at her face when Jim says "Hey, Happy Valentine's Day" at the end of that episode. Or near the end of the Birthday episode. Or watch "Casino Night" again for about at least 3-4 little moments....not to mention, "Yeah, I think I am" at the end. I don't think the writers (Carrell) would put that line in to mislead the audience, just subtle forshadowing.

The show's considered a sitcom but shown as a documentary, so as the audience, we have to accept the fact that this is (supposedly) reality TV, and I'm sure the writers put a great deal of thought into what these characters would do in real life, which is why Jim and Pam aren't together yet. A lot of what we see is painful and frustrating, and that's what makes it so genuine.

In the coming episodes, I expect to see Jim hook up with the Rashida Jones character, at which point there'll be no doubt in anyone's mind how much Pam loves Jim. The UK Branch did this perfectly....


76Posted by M@ on October 2, 2006

Awesome analysis, John.

I never looked at it that way before.

77Posted by Andrew on October 2, 2006

one thing I love is when Michael says he and Jim are best friends after Jim confides in him. Jim's face says it all...no, he wouldn't consider Michael his best friend...on the other hand, he probably feels like he has zero friends right now. There is no one to call re: Dwight, etc.

78Posted by icecreamsandwiches!!! on October 2, 2006

I have a feeling we will see more drops in the Jim/Pam Index.
"The good ended happily and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means."

79Posted by Kaitlyn on October 2, 2006

I'm interested in the take that the Jim/Pam relationship must play out a certain way to stay true to "how it is in real life." Don't get me wrong, I think it's the best thing of its kind on television, but I've gotta figure it's about ten times more melodramatic than most anything that happens in reality.

On average, two people working that closely together for that long, and sharing those feelings, would have acted on them a long time ago (engagement or not, sadly). I'm not saying it never happens the way it's being shown on television, but I would say it's the exception and not the norm. That's what makes it so much fun to watch--because it's a departure from real life, not a mirror to it.

(On a similar note, Michael wouldn't last a week in that job in real life. The EEOC would have a full-time employee in that office and he'd do well to stay out of jail, probably. I'm only about half-kidding.)

80Posted by Clarence on October 2, 2006

I am always a little dumbfounded by Michael's ability to recognize that he has said something "incorrect" or "inappropriate" but fails to recognize what it is exactly...he'll replace "cheap" with "less expensive" or "who" with "whom" but not see that the idea of just getting a baby from out there because it was on Oprah or asking someone about who they may or may not sleep with is what's not right.

I think this episode was one of the better ones. It ranks up there with The Injury/The Fight and a few others that were especially funny. Not to mention that I like seeing Pam try to become her own person and see what the world’s like. Though, I’m sure some may disagree, I think her dating other people and not immediately going to Jim is good. It’s a great foundation for her becoming the person that can make that next move…towards Jim.

Also, James, I just wanted to thank you again for all your work with the recaps. You’ve certainly got the goods when it comes to writing those pithy remarks about each segment of dialogue. Rarely can someone be insightful or honest or sarcastic in text and in 5-8 words of text no less! It makes the show just that much better and wait for next episode that much more tolerable.

81Posted by arkm on October 2, 2006

My favorite part of this episode has to be Creed. First, he calls Angela "Andrea," then he introduces himself to Meredith, without recognizing her as the "red-head he's tired of looking at all day," then, to top it off, he starts eating whatever Angela had left on the table. This moment almost tops Meredith eating the hand-sanitizer last week.

I also liked Jan's "Please step away from me Michael."

Awesome episode overall, despite Pam being slightly quiet and reserved.

82Posted by jake on October 2, 2006

Good theory on Jim/Michael from John. I'm eager to see what steps Jim will take to make sure he doesn't become Michael. Creed has got to be the best. Can't wait to see how they develop him.

83Posted by Erwin on October 3, 2006

Knocked back twice? when was the 2nd time?

84Posted by Confused on October 3, 2006

"knocked back twice? when was the 2nd time?"
Jim was rejected twice-oncre in Casino Night-in the parking light,after he admitted he was in love w/Pam,and 2nd after they kissed-which was shown in the beginning of Gay Witch Hunt-she told him she was still marrying Roy.So,that's definitely twice.

85Posted by Katrina on October 3, 2006

my typing sucks-I meant to say parking Lot

86Posted by Katrina on October 3, 2006

I don't think we have to worry about a Toby-Pam love connection (Tam?); those scenes just existed to break my heart for ol' Tob'...

How great would it be, though, if after their big introduction in the break room, we got treated to a Creed-Meredith romance plot? Mereed? Creedith? Anybody with me?

87Posted by Call me Creed on October 3, 2006

I liked this episode, but I didn't LOVE it. Well. I take that back. I did like that one scene when Jim walks in on Angela. It was ok (I can't believe I just typed that). I need to get it together. Anyway, I hope The Coup is better. After reading the summary though, I can tell it's gonna be good=]

88Posted by Mireya on October 3, 2006

Well that's definitely my favorite idea in a while, Call me Creed, i.e. the Creed/Meredith romance. Between Meredith's desperation and Creed's sexual ambiguity, it seems like it could happen. Also, this might lead to another topless Meredith scene (the third if I'm not mistaken), and how could you not be in favor of that?

89Posted by jake on October 3, 2006

james! you usually post something on your own wall with more insight or a comment on another post...where are you?

90Posted by will on October 3, 2006

Sorry, will, I've just been busy with work lately. I thought I'd have most of it wrapped up by now, but it just keeps dragging on and on and on ...

91Posted by James on October 4, 2006

yeah i get that. anyways...keep up the good northernattack work cause its great stuff for us plebians scattered abroad

92Posted by will on October 4, 2006

Hey, sorry, I didn't read anyone else's comments, but I saw that you said that Jim already knew, but I think he just found out when he heard that Pam was going on a date that night. Michael mentioned something to her about having a fun date, and the reaction on Jim's face, if I am remembering correctly, was one of shock.

93Posted by Nathaniel on October 4, 2006

Well, the JAM things sposed to start boiling over in episode 3 (i.e. THE COUP!) so stay tooned :) I never saw GWH, so i can't comment on that, but the convention was just......decent for me. the angela/jim scene was the best.

94Posted by Goldie on October 4, 2006

I think that the show could possibly go the way of the UK version. In the original, the Swindon (Stamford) branch merged into the Slough (Scranton) branch. So, possibly Michael may become Josh's boss soon - especially if he really pulled off the Hammermill deal. That may save Scranton and move Josh and his crew down to Pennsylvania. How cringe-worthy will it be to have Josh working under Michael? It also opens up the horrible possiblity of a romance between the Rashida Jones character and Jim. That way, JAM continues, but from another angle.

95Posted by EnsuingChaos on October 5, 2006

I found this website via the Season 2 DVD commentary for "The Dundees." Isn't that awesome!!???

96Posted by Brian Laesch on October 7, 2006