• Season 3 : Episode 3
  • First aired on October 5, 2006
  • Written by Paul Lieberstein / Directed by Greg Daniels
  • 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.

Treachery knows no bounds as office politics and competitive streaks threaten to disrupt both branches. A failed attempt to usurp Michael’s authority draws doubt over where Dwight’s true loyalties lie while exposing his grievous flaws to those who would judge him for it. Meanwhile, the betrayal at Stamford is of a different sort, one involving virtual bullets and honest mistakes rather than deceit and underhanded tactics.

The Michael Scott School of Hard Knocks

This episode was a battle of the idiot masterminds. Watching Michael and Dwight scheme behind each others’ backs was almost like watching them square off against one another in The Fight.

[Michael has just convinced Dwight to have some M&Ms after his crown operation]
Michael : Hey, I thought you weren’t supposed to eat anything for a couple of hours after you’ve had a crown put in.
Dwight : They have this new kind of quick drying bonding. So…
Michael : Sounds like a good dentist.
Dwight : Oh, yeah.
Michael : What’s his name?
[Dwight struggles to come up with a name]
Dwight : Crentist.
Michael : Your dentist’s name is Crentist. Huh. Sounds a lot like dentist.
Dwight : Maybe that’s why he became a dentist.

I stand corrected: Michael is not as incompetent as he looks. His tone throughout this interrogation was actually kind of menacing.

[Dwight is clearing off Michael’s desk]
Michael : Well, I, uh, guess it’s time that I turn over the keys to the famous Sebring.
Dwight : No, thank you.
Michael : It’s a corporate lease, Dwight. You’ve earned it.
Dwight : No, thanks.
Michael : What?
Dwight : Not my style.
Michael : But you said you liked it. You’ve always admired it.
Dwight : That was before. I’m thinking about getting something German. Something with decent gas mileage. Plus the convertible is a ridiculous choice for this climate.
Michael : Take it back.
Dwight : No.

Michael’s intentions during this whole exercise are a little unclear. What exactly was he hoping to acheive by lulling Dwight into a false sense of security? My guess is that he was angry with Dwight at first, but being the vain person that he is, part of him enjoyed watching someone else take his position. Much like the wicked witch who stares into her mirror, Michael delighted in seeing what it was like to be him. That is, until his mirror started flinging insults his way.

[Dwight is cowering in Michael’s office]
Michael : I don’t know if I can trust you.
Dwight : You can’t. You can’t, but I promise I’ll never betray you again. What can I do, Michael? What can I do? What can I do? What can I do? What can I do?
Michael : You can get up. Get up.
[Dwight stands up slowly]
Michael : And you can hug it out, bitch.
[The two hug]

I don’t watch Entourage or Friends, so this was the first time that I had heard this expression. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed to learn that Michael had not come up with it himself. It sounded so… Michaelesque.

Dwight Being Dwight

We all knew Dwight’s ambition would get the best of him eventually. It was only a matter of time.

[Dwight and Angela are speaking in the break room. As usual, their backs are turned to one another]
Angela : Michael is going to get us all fired! You sat back and let him play that dumb movie and now Jan is peeved off, and we’re all going to lose our jobs!
Dwight : That’s not going to happen.
Angela : You know she has it out for him now!
Dwight : That’s not his fault! He had to follow his heart!

Catching two co-workers having a conversation in the break room would have been suspicious, but two co-workers facing opposite directions, one speaking to the refrigerator and the other to the ladies room door… yeah, nothing strange about that.

Angela : Dwight, you should be running this office.
Dwight : Michael would never let me.
Angela : It’s not up to Michael. It’s Jan’s call. Talk to her.
Dwight : I could never do that.
Angela : Fine, sit back and do nothing and let us all get fired!

Shame on you, Dwight. Sith lords musn’t be so easily manipulated.

[Dwight calls Jan from the parking lot]
Jan : Hello?
Dwight : Is this Jan?
Jan : Who is this?
Dwight : This is Dwight Schrute. I am calling about an extremely sensitive matter.
Jan : You should talk to Michael and he’ll talk to me, and that way we don’t have to speak to each other.
Dwight : It’s about Michael.
Jan : What about him?
Dwight : I can’t talk here. It’s too sensitive.

Being a former volunteer sheriff’s deputy, Dwight knows the ins and outs of how to properly execute a snitch.

[Dwight is still on the phone with Jan]
Dwight : Pull over at Exit 40. There is a Liz Claiborne outlet. I know you like that store. Go inside and shop until I can meet you.
Jan : How do you know I like that store?
Dwight : Many of your blouses are Claibornes.
Jan : How do you know that?
Dwight : It’s part of my job.
Jan : No, it’s not. It’s officially not.
Dwight : Noted.

Hmm, I’m not really sure what part of Dwight’s job description could possibly have led him to believe that it was his responsibility to know Jan’s taste in apparel. I suspect Michael had something to do with this.

The Many Faces of Jim

Being somewhat of an avid gamer, I was happy to see Call of Duty featured in The Coup and very well represented. I’m guessing there are a few Call of Duty diehards in the writing ranks.

[Everyone at the Stamford branch is playing Call of Duty. We watch as Jim kills someone on his screen. Andy slams his fist into the desk and turns around to speak to Jim]
Andy : Why did you do that?
Jim : I’m just killing Germans any way I can.
Andy : We’re on the German team. Shoot the British.
[Jim turns around to Karen]
Jim : Wait, are we playing teams?
[Karen laughs]
Karen : Yeah.

Jim, you crafty dog. Feigning a pathetic lack of skill at video games to woo the ladies. Very sneaky.

[Josh has called Jim and Andy into the conference room]
Josh : This is not working, ok? We are getting slaughtered out there.
Andy : It’s the new guy.
Jim : Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t know… what we’re talking about.
Andy : See what I mean?
Josh : We just need a strategy, ok? We’re gonna set up a trap in the gun room. Alright, Jim, are you using the MP-40 or the 44?
Jim : Um, sniper rifle?
Josh : Snipe-
Andy : What?!
Josh : Jim! In Caren–
Andy : Are you playing for the other team?
Josh : You don’t snipe in Carenton, ok?
Andy : Saboteur! Saboteur!

Er, scratch that. It looks like you really are that terrible at Call of Duty, though maybe that’s for the best. If all you have to do to land Karen is make a fool of yourself in a video game then I’d say fortune smiles upon you, Jim Halpert. It’s about time.

Confessions of a Receptionist

Pam’s delayed experimental phase continues with a foray into the world of dressing oneself outside of work.

Pam : Kelly really likes to online shop. So I felt like I wanted some new clothes. I mean, I just… I wanted to… I jus–I felt like it was time to maybe, um… just get new clothes.

Only Pam would consider it necessary to explain herself for something as innocent as purchasing new clothes.

[Pam walks out of the ladies room dressed in her new clothes. Phyllis, Kelly and Meredith are waiting for her outside]
Meredith : Wow.
Kelly : It’s so sexy. You look so hot.
Phyllis : It’s really something.
Pam : It’s too much.
Kelly : What?
Pam : I’m gonna return it.
Kelly : No, you have to keep it today. Just see how you feel.

You know, for once I agree with Kelly. Hot stuff.

The Jim/Pam Index

We’re now three weeks into the new season, and all evidence suggests that Jim and Pam won’t be reuniting anytime soon. The Jim/Pam element, for the lack of a better word, has been dwindling with each episode, with The Coup limiting our helping of the golden couple to a brief remark from Jim.

Jim : We didn’t play many video games in Scranton. Instead we’d do stuff like, uh, Pam and I would sometimes hum the same high pitched note and try to get Dwight to make an appointment with an ear doctor. And, uh, Pam called it… Pretendinitis.

Now that the writers have sufficiently distanced the two, we find Jim drawing the attention of his new co-worker rather unwittingly, an arrangement that I find myself supporting with great enthusiasm and not just because Rashida Jones is a Freaks and Geeks alumna. Introducing a new character who could potentially drive a wedge between Jim and Pam was bound to draw the ire of many Jim/Pam supporters, although I think they may have found the perfect character to serve as that wedge.

Karen has the same sort of attainable beauty that Pam possesses. Although she lacks the demure quality of our unassuming receptionist, I imagine that she shares her appetite for innocent mischief, a quality which combined with their kindness makes for something quite irresistable. Men will have a difficult time finding fault in a woman who plays video games, and her sincerity strikes me as something that women would appreciate.

Although I still consider myself firmly in the Jim/Pam camp, I wouldn’t mind giving this new pairing a little time to develop. There’s a chemistry I see between Jim and Karen that I’m willing to entertain, and as a result the Jim/Pam Index rates a Down for the second consecutive week.

Supporting Nod

Ryan, who delivers several priceless expressions throughout the episode.

The Superstar

Dwight, who steps out of Michael’s shadow if only for a brief moment. That, and check out what he does to his meal during his meeting with Jan. Wow. That was elegant and primordial at the same time.

Transmissions from the Office

  • Dwight : Not everyone approves of Movie Monday. I won’t say who.
    [Cut to interview with Angela]
    Angela : I don’t approve. I don’t.

    Behind every great man lies a stern, disapproving woman.

  • Jan : How would a movie increase productivity, Michael? How on earth would it do that?
    Michael : People work faster after.
    Jan : Magically.
    Michael : No. They have to, to make up for the time they lost watching the movie.
    Jan : No.

    Best use of logic from Michael yet.

  • Dwight : Ever since Michael dumped Jan for Carol, Jan’s been bitching out on him. Reject a woman and she will never let it go. One of the many defects of their kind. Also, weak arms.

    Sorry, Dwight: put you and Angela in a ring and she wins five times out of five.

  • Angela : I know that patience and loyalty are good and virtuous traits, but sometimes I just think you need to grow a pair.

    It’s a good thing Angela’s amassed so many Get into Heaven Points.

  • [Dwight meets up with Jan in the parking lot by the outlet store]
    Dwight : Did you get anything good?
    Jan : Yeah.
    Dwight : New blouse? Halter top? Camisole? Teddy?

    That’s not creepy at all.

  • [Dwight has just finished pitching his takeover idea to Jan]
    Dwight : Oh, by the way, there’s a new Ann Taylor outlet store near here. I know you like their earrings.
    [Jan pauses for a moment]
    Jan : Where is it?

    Jan’s dignity continues to erode at an alarming rate.

  • Michael : What was Dwight thinking? That he could turn Jan against me? She’s my ex-lover-ish.

    Well, at least there’s an “ish” in there. That’s progress.

  • Michael : Business is like a jungle. And I am like a tiger. And Dwight is like a monkey… that stabs a tiger in the back with a stick. Does the tiger fire the monkey? Does the tiger transfer the monkey to another branch? Pun. There is no way of knowing what goes on inside the tiger’s head. We don’t have the technology.

    Apparently, Dwight isn’t the only one in the office with a fixation on wild animals.

  • [Michael has just announced to the office that Dwight will be taking over]
    Michael : Ok, Dwight, would you like to say a few words to everybody about loyalty?
    Dwight : Thank you, Michael. I just want to say to the few of you who will remain under my employ, that I intend to lead you into the black with ferocity.

    Who knew menial office work could be so intense?

  • [Angela and Dwight are by the vending machines]
    Angela : It’s really happening.
    Dwight : Yes.
    Angela : We can make a difference here.
    Dwight : I will make a difference here.
    Angela : You alone? ‘Cause I thought together…
    Dwight : Oh, please, don’t be naive.
    [Dwight turns around to head back to work. He pauses before leaving the room]
    Dwight : You can be in charge of the women.

    Dwight, you are so dead.

  • [Creed walks up to Pam’s desk and stares at her. Pam is still wearing her new clothes]
    Pam : What?
    Creed : I’m just looking.
    Pam : Please go back to your desk.
    Creed : In a minute.

    Kind of makes you want to laugh and call the police at the same time.

Odds and Ends

  • Looks like Dwight’s outgrown his stairwell phase. Onward to the parking lot.
  • Are Dwight and Angela done? Looks like this one could be headed for the rocks.

The Story in Pictures

Gallery Image

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just a few hours until The Office! Looking foward to this episode.Watching Dwight attempting to take over the office should be pretty funny.

1Posted by Katrina on October 5, 2006

A good thing about work being busy is time goes fast. I can't believe it's already Thursday!

2Posted by Art on October 5, 2006

This episode looks sooo funny! Dwight, taking over the Scranton Branch?
I don't think so.=] The whole Dwangela relationship cracks me up! Who would of thunk it? Yeah.

3Posted by Mireya on October 5, 2006

This episode: Just too great. I think we might need a new Jim index. :D That ending was just fantastic, with even more office romance possibilities. (You never know). Dwight begging to Michael had me on the ground. Cinematic Genius.

4Posted by Ying on October 5, 2006

Yep, its gonna be Creed and Pam.....CRAM.

Or is it PEED?

5Posted by Pat D. on October 5, 2006

Creed has gone from funny weird old man, to creep creepy creepy. That image of Dwight on his knees arms outstretched begging for his job will forever stay with me. And did I ever think I'd feel bad for Roy? Cause I just did. The Office needs more Ryan and Kevin and less Kelly. This is not Kelly Kapour story hour! Shut up!

Fire in the hole, Jim!

6Posted by Nussy on October 5, 2006

Actually, I really enjoyed Kellly tonight. Fashion show, fashion show, fashion show at lunch! :)

7Posted by Phyllis Vance on October 5, 2006

The visual of Dwight being punished cracked me up. He looked so defeated.

I like the differences between the Stamford branch and the Scranton branch. The Scranton branch is much more Jim's speed.....laid back and not too serious. The Stamford branch is pretty intense.....even the Stamford branch's playtime is super competitive. Jim does not fit in here at all.

I think we also witnessed what may lead to the demise of the stamford branch. Does anyone else think that when the inevitable is it going to be Stamford the Stamford branch or is it going to be the Scranton branch moment comes, Micheal is somehow going to really shine? Like, we're going to see why he is where he is?

Also, I noticed for the first time in quite a while, Jim and Pam really didn't even acknowledge each other.

8Posted by John on October 5, 2006

Call of Duty people really are that intense. I felt for Jim, running in to corners happens all the time.

9Posted by Kaanon on October 5, 2006

Loved the intensity of the Stamford branch. Something going on between Jim and that lady behind him?

10Posted by zomg@office on October 5, 2006

"Jim and Pam really didn't even acknowledge each other."

Jim did recall a prank she and Pam used to play on Dwight that involved them humming a very high note in order to get him to go to the ear doctor.

I enjoyed the episode. I like Karen's character a lot.

11Posted by Steve in Houston on October 5, 2006

Ah, right, i forgot about that part.

12Posted by John on October 5, 2006

Season three at a glance:
Gay Witch Hunt - Not So Good,
The Convention - Pretty Darn Good,
The Coup - Amazing!

13Posted by Dunderball Run on October 5, 2006

Did you see Karen's look at Jim at the end of the episode? That is Pam's look, dammit! It's too weird seeing someone else do it to Jim.

14Posted by Jake on October 5, 2006

jake, isn't it more like the way jim used to look at pam?

15Posted by rhyme on October 6, 2006

The Dwight Angela Index is in the gutter.

16Posted by ragnar on October 6, 2006

Honestly, I think the thing that made me laugh the hardest was Michael's look at the very end when Dwight was being punished.

17Posted by Jarrod on October 6, 2006

Michael was hilarious and the Dwight/Jan meeting was perfect, he is so insane and she just can't handle crazy. The Michael/Dwight reunion was sweet and then very Michael by making Dwight stand on the desk with the "Liar" sign around his neck. I thought they should have left in the deleted scene of Creed living in the office, much better than the creepy stare at Pam scene. I think Dwight has Angela interested in gaining power over the women in the office. Hopefully, this will lead to the power struggle within the party planning committee. I am really NOT liking the Stamford office. They just take time away from Scranton. I hope they go away soon. Andy is such a one note and I thought the Josh character was finally working out at the Convention to only take a turn back. I was peeved after watching the deleted scenes, I guess Jim is all best buddies with the new Karen chick (yuck) and, apparently, Pam just needed a little attention from Roy. Just a couple of years of building up their relationship and it gets flushed in a few weeks. Why bother with things like character development and storyline? Hey maybe they can just have Jim and Pam randomly hook up with someone new every few weeks so no one gets bored or anything. Can you say, short attention span? Come on writers, you guys are better than this.

18Posted by Kaitlyn on October 6, 2006

"...the Dwight/Jan meeting was perfect, he is so insane and she just can't handle crazy."

I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when they were on the phone, and Jan said "You should tell Michael, and Michael can tell me ao I don't have to talk to with you." (I'm parahrasing.) Talk about letting him know just where he stands in the D-M heirarchy!

19Posted by Call me Creed on October 6, 2006

I am just...disappointed with this season so far. I mean, Michael and Dwight were good in this episode, but something was lacking. Without Jim in the office to ground everything with some humanity and even sarcasm, everything falls flat and feels caustic and childish. It's hard to watch them. Something just feels off. And there are too many things that seem random and senseless in terms of wrapping up past storylines (or not wrapping them up, which is what it feels like). If I were not already a fan, these past three episodes would definitely not make me a fan, that's for sure.

20Posted by Loaded Teapot on October 6, 2006

I guess sites like this (which I love) and the internet in general is about voicing your opinion, but I'm still somewhat surprised at the comments I'm reading. It's probably due to the success of the show...I just feel like people are needlessly picking apart every bit of every character and scene. Reality check: this is a GREAT show. The actors are great, the writing is great, the storylines are great, it's all AWESOME. If you don't think so, feel free to watch Ugly Betty. Seriously, let's chill on the white-hot spotlight over-analysis bit, people!

Sorry if that sounded harsh...hug it out, bitches.

21Posted by Jermaine on October 6, 2006

I can't help but feel a little down over Jim and Pam...I just am too emotionally invested in the relationship. I miss their dynamic. Pam feels so lost - which is testimony to Jenna's acting because this is coming across loud and clear. I am so glad for sites like this because it is great to read all your comments and know that I am not alone in how much I enjoy this show. Overall, I thought last night was hilarious and Michael did a great job managing a situation, getting back in control. Brilliant how he did that! I thought for sure Pam was going to IM Jim over that one.

22Posted by Janetws on October 6, 2006

"Seriously, let's chill on the white-hot spotlight over-analysis bit, people!"

Thank you Jermaine. That truly needed to be said. The one thing I was really scared would happen this season is that the writers and directors would buckle under the pressure of becoming popular and start staying with things that other shows have proven to be "safe" instead of exploring different story-line ideas. It is so great to see that the writers are still branching out and experimenting with different story-lines that aren't normal (eg. one of the main characters being removed from the rest of the cast and being placed into a new environment).

I personally enjoy seeing the other branch because I'm curious to see how the personality of the new office grows. People need to just relax and enjoy the show. I know I am, and I'm loving every second of it.

23Posted by Matt on October 6, 2006

I think the reason some people are disappointed in the season so far is because it seems like the writers are playing it safe in regard to many parts of the plot. The humor is broader, they're not taking some of the chances they took near the end of the last season, and their decision to move the "heart" of the office - Jim - to another location doesn't seem to be playing out well so far. This is truly an ensemble show, and to take away one key ingredient makes such a difference.

24Posted by Loaded Teapot on October 6, 2006

I'm with Jermaine. This is a GREAT show. Are people expecting for Jim and Pam to just fall in love and live happily ever after in Scranton? I for one would like to see this show have a nice, long run. To do this you need some twists and turns people! Of course we all miss the Jim and Pam dynamic, but I'm sure it will all come back in due time. For now just enjoy Big Tuna, the fashion shows, and everyone drooling over the now single Pam. Maybe next will be Ryan and it will spark some kind of bizarre love triangle. And I actually like that Jim is out of Scranton for a while, its giving more exposure to the awesomeness that is Creed and other relationships. Trust me people, if it was the SAME people in the SAME office for the entirety of the show's run it would probably get a little boring.

25Posted by Joseph on October 6, 2006

I think everyone needs to have faith that the show's writers know what they're doing.

I think the writers are still being somewhat faithful to the UK edition, which was kind of the point in the first place. The UK Office from start to finish was brilliant, obviously, but only 12 episodes and a finale. For the US version, the writers are making their own version which has to be much longer, but are still paying tribute to the UK's main storylines.

In the UK version, at the start of the second season, Tim (Jim) gets a promotion, 2 branches merge, and Dawn (Pam) starts becoming mildly jealous over Tim's new relationship with the girl from the other branch. (Blonde annoying woman....can't think of her name). I fully expect Jim to hook up with the Rashida Jones character by the time Stamford and Scranton merge. Meanwhile Michael is becoming competitive with the Regional Manager from the other branch, which was done brilliantly with David Brent.

So now, it's up to our writers to make this show as good as the UK's. So far, I think it's clear that they've hit the nail on the head. This season, nothing has surprised me, and everything seems bang on in the storyline....as though it was happening in real life. It's a fine line the writers have to walk, but they seem to know what they're doing, and frustrating decisions by the main characters is what makes the show genuine.

Can't wait to see Dwight take Ryan to the Beet Farm next week!!

M@

26Posted by M@ on October 6, 2006

i loved this episode! it was hilarious! fav moments would have to be dwight suggesting the earing store to jan and the look on her face!
the look on ryan's face when dwight and michael and in michael's office, it was just sheer terror, baha
and the look karen (is it karen?) gave jim at the end of the episode...i love Jim/Pam, but I like this girl too! i mean, she plays call of duty! ahaha, love the show, and i'm glad the writers are doing something different, and not becoming a broken record like so many shows do.

27Posted by kelly on October 6, 2006

Oops....Dwight and Ryan to the beet farm is in two weeks. Next week's Grief Counselling looks good too, though!

M@

28Posted by M@ on October 6, 2006

god the show just keeps betting and BETTER.
this episode was FANTASTIC.

1) Creed once again, steals the show.

2) One word: "Crentist".
That whole scene.. the way it was filmed.. the LOOK in michael and dwight's eyes.. god this episode was awesome.

and uh.. JIM? A GIRL THAT LIKES GAMES?
i am officially starting the Karen + Jim club

AN UP ON THE KAJIM METER THIS WEEK!

29Posted by Jay K. Cagatay on October 6, 2006

I agree that the nitpicking has really taken over some forums. I like Jim and Pam, too, but I'm actually surprised at how easily I've been able to let that go for the time being.

And ryhme, you're right. That's Jim's look that Karen is using. And god help me, I loved it! I'm really liking her character more and more. She bugged me to start with, but she was pretty cool here.

I'm kind of in the same boat as the people who say that Pam had her shot, it's time for her to find herself for a while.

Michael can be kind of ruthless, and I liked that a lot as well. I agree with the poster who said when it comes down to Stamford and Scranton, Michael is going to shine brightly in some respect. That's just speculation, though.

I'll be honest and say I kind of hoped for more from Ed Helms, but he still makes me laugh, as does the whole Stamford branch. I like the dynamic of The Office's "world" expanding.

Hey, if sparks fly when Jim and Pam bump into one another again, then so be it. If not, there's plenty more going on here for me to enjoy.

30Posted by The Mod on October 6, 2006

I enjoyed last night's episode.Michael truely shined in this one.Loved how he stood up for his office.I have never seen him this angry or serious ever about anything.Watching Dwight grovel was hilarious.I do like how Pam is finding her own idenity.That definitely needs to happen before she enters another relationshp.I mean,she was w/Roy since high school.She definitely needs time just for herself.I've been thinking about what is missing this season.It's not just the flirtations between Jim and Pam,it's also watching the banter between Jim and Dwight.All the pranks Jim pulled on Dwight the 1st 2 seasons were priceless and fun to watch.I definitely feel a void here.They are like 2 brothers.We had a little of it in "Gay Witch Hunt",and a little last week(thinking Dwight had a hooker),but last night,nothing.It's one of the funniest relationships on t.v.Okay,I've said my peace.

31Posted by Katrina on October 6, 2006

I'm sure some people feel any criticism is an attack on the show. But believe me, I know how great the show is, wonderful acting and writing. However, if I disagree with them, why not express it? Otherwise, we would have about a thousand lock-step postings saying "great show, great writers, the end."

32Posted by Kaitlyn on October 6, 2006

I 100% agree Kaitlyn....the reason the show sparks debate or disagreement on the writing, storylines, etc....is because it's such a dynamic, unusual, brilliant show. Somehow I don't think they're having this discussion on "The War At Home" message board....

M@

33Posted by M@ on October 6, 2006

Of course Pam appreciates attention from Roy! She's taking risks with clothes, and she's used to him. He's a habit--and it's attention she's wanted from him for nine years. Better late than never, right?

Frankly, I admire Roy for not being vindictive or pouty. You can say it's all part of a power-controlling/get her back act but he's doing well for a guy whose humiliation was completely public. At least he isn't making every other person's life miserable by acting out at work.

I felt sick, though, when Phyllis contemplated quitting. I'm so glad the Dwight "promotion" hardly lasted an hour.

34Posted by Karen on October 6, 2006

Well-written, Kaitlyn. We nitpick because we love...:-)

35Posted by Loaded Teapot on October 6, 2006

Kaitlyn is the Angela of this board.

As for me, I kid because I love. And because I'm unable to express my feelings in a mature way.

Loaded Teapot isn't related to Teapot Tim is he/she? If so, I enjoyed getting to know you at the Christmas party. :)

36Posted by Jermaine on October 6, 2006

Second post, but whatever; its worth it.
I really really REALLY like this episode. It was flipping hilarious! I really did think that Dwight was in charge. I could believe my eyes/ears. Episodes like this make adoer this show even more. I smell an Office marathon coming up. Yea!

37Posted by Mireya on October 6, 2006

Excellent episode. For now I'm going to join the crowd of people who are supportive of the direction that the show's taken this season.

The fact of the matter is that Jim's move to Stamford, and his finally starting to notice/get along with another woman, is entirely realistic. Rejection (twice!) by somebody that you've loved for that long is not something that you get over right away. For the 4 months since Casino Night, Jim will have been working very hard at convincing himself to get over Pam, that Pam isn't the one for him. He's been forcing himself to move on, to find someone else. He's not just going to be able to flip a switch and turn himself back towards an interest in Pam... and he's certainly not going to be able to go back to that office right away, an office where his only good memories are of his interactions with the woman who ultimately rejected him.

I expect that some day, way in the future, it will happen for them. But come on, let Jim be human and run from his problems and from his pain, at least for the time being...

38Posted by Drew on October 6, 2006

Drew,I definitely agree w/you,even though I miss the Jim/Pam dynamic.After being rejected twice(in one night),there's no way he can go running back to her.I actually think that he and the Rashida Jones character(?Karen) will be really cute together.I predict they'll be an item in the next month.

39Posted by Katrina on October 6, 2006

i gotta say, as much as i also want to agree with Drew, i think it can be very easy to fall back into something (be it a crush, love, or a relationship) with somebody that you really had intense feelings for. its not easy at all to get over other people, and i wouldn't be surprised if Jim handled Karen the same way he handled Katie (although i hope he doesn't break her heart because i kind of like her character) maybe karen is meant for Kev when all is said and done...you never know.

40Posted by theProgidalSon on October 6, 2006

The subtle touches are still there (did anyone notice the visual shots that linked Jim and Pam...it seemed that a couple of times throughout the episode, after the camera left Jim, the very next shot would be of Pam or visa versa) but there's something definitely off with the show, at least compared to the brilliance of last season.

The first and most obvious problem is the problem of the expanding world, which is a problem that occurs on every single television show; after the first few seasons, the writers/producers feel that they've mined the same characters/storylines enough that they need to introduce and focus on some new characters. The cast of characters grows, many of the older characters are squeezed for camera time, and the stories becomes increasingly compacted and undeveloped as they try to give everyone – both old and new - some screen time. Even Seinfeld, arguably the greatest live-action sitcom ever, suffered from this problem also...watch any episode from Seasons 2-4 and then any episode from any Season after that, and the difference in the quality and structure of the episodes is eye-opening.

It's already begun to happen to the Office; Stanley, who had delivered so many funny and memorable lines and glances in the first two seasons, has been phased out of this season so far...how many lines has he had in the entire season, 3? I'm very upset over this development, as Michael's awkward and politically incorrect interactions with Stanley were one of the highlights of the “old” show. Toby, Meredith, Ryan, Roy, Kevin, Phyllis, Darrell have all also taken on significantly smaller parts so far this season to generate increased screen time for Kelly (who is only funny in small, small, doses), Angela (ditto) and the new Stanford crew, which, by and large, isn’t interesting at all.

Secondly, and maybe even more disturbingly, they’re starting to lose control of their characters. One of the things about the show that I always loved was the extreme realism of the characters; that has gone by the wayside this year, and was very evident in last week’s episode. Dwight was a character who loved, revered….take any synonym for like and put it here – Michael. He followed Michael’s orders to the letter (Christmas party episode) and became very upset when anyone else denigrated Michael or insulted him (The screed on the bathroom wall in “The Dundies”, his initial outrage over Pam and Jim taking Michael’s screenplay in “The Client”, etc.). He was the quintessential toady and he worshiped Michael as a God. Suddenly a 45 second conversation with Angela prompts him to undertake an intricate Machiavellian scheme to usurp Michael’s position? You probably will say that this is just another example of men being changed by women, or an example of his character “evolving”, but I don’t buy nor agree with that logic. At the beginning of the episode he was loyal to Michael, and then within a 3-4 hour span, he transformed into a completely different person, only to change back at the end. That, my friends, is a perfect example of poor, “sitcom-esque” characterization: radically altering a character to fit the plot of an episode.

And the problem is not just with Dwight either. As someone said above, Creed went from a funny, amoral, perverse old man to a creepy weirdo who stretches the limits of continuity and believability. Pam is no longer interesting or funny at all, instead retreating back into a sullen shell of her former self…whenever she’s on screen now I find myself counting the seconds until she’s gone. Carrell is still great as Michael, but he has so much less to work with – no Jim, and he barely even talks to any of the other characters like he used to – and thus is less funny also.

Watching this season has made me appreciate how great Season 2 really was. Let’s hope that the writers/producers can get back on track, although part of me feels that while the show may stay enjoyable, its best days are behind it.

Wayne

41Posted by How come girls like Rashida Jones don't go to Harvard anymore on October 6, 2006

" You probably will say that this is just another example of men being changed by women, or an example of his character “evolving”, but I don’t buy nor agree with that logic."

True, I don't necessarily believe a woman changing him, or his character evolving are the reasons Dwight went after Michael's job. But I don't think it was out of character either....

I honestly think a character as delusional as Dwight had a hard time getting the idea of power out of his head. This is a character who (and I'm paraphrasing) said that he would be 100% loyal to whichever company paid him more. This is also a character who once had an actual fight in a dojo with Michael. It played out similarily in both episodes....he repented. (Redacted?)

At Dwight's heart he's the loyal servant to Michael, of course, but occasionally his own delusional thinking and lust for some semblance of power....however fleeting....makes him act out. Last week was a prime example. And a hilarious one.

M@

42Posted by M@ on October 7, 2006

At first I was skeptical about the way the show is going this season, but if they kept Jim in Scranton and let the whole JAM relationship get in the way of every other side-plot in the show, I probably would get sick of it and would have to find a different show to watch.

I think what's happening here is so much based on reality. Near the end of season two, I felt as if the Jim and Pam thing was getting way too over-rated.

Jim transferred to Stanford so he could get over Pam, so even though he misses her, he's trying to get over her, and that is where Karen comes into play. It's obvious that they're starting to make a connection, and this is a good thing for Jim. He can pick up and move on again. Maybe someday down the road, Jim and Pam can meet up and move on from where they left off, but I think giving Jim a new love interest is the best move for the show. It gives JAM a break, and I'd really hate for The Office to turn into another one of those shows where the prime couple steals the entire spotlight.

As for Pam, she's at a crossroads. She misses Jim, but she also feels bad for Roy. Even though Roy was essentially the "bad" guy in the whole Jim-Pam connection, Pam was still in love with him, and now that she's single, she's trying to figure out what to do with herself. Her newly established friendship - or partial connection - with Kelly, I think, is a great way to get Pam's self-esteem back up. She can be herself again, and it'll be really interesting to see there Pam will go during the season. Right now she's still miserable without Jim, it seems, but I think she'll start to find new ways to stay amused in the office.

We'll just have to wait and see.

As an aside, my favorite part of "The Coup" was when Karen was watching Jim's guy on the game screen jump up and down, and she looked at the camera and said, "Look how cute he is." It really made me like her character then, because prior to that I just wasn't feeling her.

43Posted by Rebecca on October 7, 2006

Personally, I love the new Jim/Karen dynamic. I love Pam, but as Jim stated, he basically put himself out there twice and she turned him down each time. It will probably take a Jim/OtherWoman relationship for Pam to realize how much she really loves him. Besides, the new branch is hilarious: "big tuna??!!"

44Posted by Joel on October 7, 2006

Hug it out bitch

45Posted by Chris on October 7, 2006

There is one thing that no one else has mentioned and that is, should Jim be involved with another woman that he works with. Anyone, who has ever had an office romance (myself included) knows what a mistake that can be. You don't have the option of getting space from that person if there is an argument, plus what if it all falls apart, one of you needs to leave. Jim aleady did that once. Why would he do that again. It is a lot easier to break up if you don't have to see this person everyday, obviously. I wonder if that is something Jim will consider. I mean, how many Dunder-Mifflin branches are there for him to transfer to. Also..those of you who are complaining about the season so far, old characters like Stanley, Meredith, etc. not getting enough lines, please remember there has only been 3 episodes so far. It is kind of early to be so analytical. We have no idea what direction the writers plan to take the show, so let's give them some time. Having said that, I do miss the Jim/Dwight interaction though. Scarnton just is not the same without Jim.

46Posted by Tammie on October 7, 2006

this season is....decent....ish, but who wants to bet that the branches merge before january? i still love this show, and the karen character is excellent, but its missing an element without JAM and jim/dwight.

47Posted by Word. on October 7, 2006

"Dwight was a character who loved, revered….take any synonym for like and put it here – Michael."

I have to agree with you, M@. Dwight's loyalty to Michael extends only as far as the reach of his power. Dwight will submit to Michael when it is clear to him that Michael is top dog. Otherwise, his subservience is up for grabs. On the booze cruise, Dwight dropped Michael in less than 45 seconds when the captain shared that he had actual combat experience and threw a crumb of authority (granted, only perceived authority) Dwight's way.

For me, this episode was an example of the writers' strong grasp of their characters and a clear direction for where they hope to take them. Characteristics and tensions which had previously been acknowledged but not explored were given plenty of room to breathe tonight: the Michael/Dwight power struggle, Dwight and Angela's shared love of authority, Kelly's clueless manipulativeness. While these may not be the most loveable characters in the ensemble, they are hilariously flawed, and I really appreciate the awkwardness/awfulness they inspire. I can't wait to see the repercussions for Dwangela after Dwight's humiliation.

And while I loved the Jim/Pam tension of the last two seasons, I was glad to see that this episode had no overt scenes of longing between the two. That method of keeping our interest in the relationship would've gotten old very soon. Much better to see them develop awhile on their own before coming together and finally appreciating the connection that they have.

48Posted by Becky on October 8, 2006

Office Tally is down again?!

49Posted by John D'arc on October 8, 2006

Newbie Alert!

Hey, guys. Huge fan of the show. Have been from the very beginning.

My thoughts; I liked this episode, but felt a change in tone. Not that that's a complaint. But Season 2 was very bright and colorful, and there was a sense of meeting new characters and exploring many dimensions.

Now, those characters and relationships are known, and they have to develop and evolve. Tragically, I actually missed the first two episodes of Season 3, but for this episode, I felt that the tone has changed a bit. It was a lot darker than what we normally see on the show. We see that Dwight may not be the loyal peon that we're used to.

Oh, and if any writers are reading this...more Andy! He's easily my favorite new character on the show now!

50Posted by Philip on October 8, 2006

I was so annoyed by the Jim/Pam elements in The Coup that I decided to go & youtube all of the Dawn/Tim scenes that I could. Remember, this IS the American version of the original UK version & so far everything has pretty much paralleled it. In the UK version Tim DOES start dating the girl at his new branch & in the Christmas special we all thought that in his final monologue it would mean that it was all over between he & Dawn...until she walked back in & kissed him!! As much as this season is annoying me (all of the classic Michael/Dwight moments aside) I think we need to trust the writers. They've received so much flack for simply making this version in the first place & have acquired such a loyal following they know that they can't screw up. Also, the more they string the viewers along the longer they'll be able to stay on the air. The Office (UK) was only there for 2 seasons. Already, the American version has surpassed that & unless we want them to quit anytime soon Jim & Pam are probably going to have to steer clear of each other relationship-wise. BUT...I really want Jim to come back to Scranton...there are rumors that he & Pam will have phone conversations about stupid things that Dwight is doing...but honestly...that's not the same & won't be nearly as funny. The writers are going to need to work on this.

51Posted by Laura on October 9, 2006

I couldn't help but wonder how much better this episode would have been if Jim was still in Scranton. Can you imagine the talking head of Jim as the whole Dwight/Michael scenario unfolded? Priceless. I admire the writers and know they aren't going to ruin the show with bad plot twists. (Does this show have a plot?) In my opinion this was the worst show of the season. Don't get me wrong, it was still good, just not great.

52Posted by Monkey on October 9, 2006

Maybe the Jim/Karen relationship is going...nowhere. Seriously. Up to this point, all we've seen them share is one very brief pantomimed moment involving a replay from their video game. We're not talking true romance here (although true romance is often based on a lot less than that, granted). It's very possible that there's more to it, but I'm not sure I buy it, especially given that we've been spoon-fed this "spoiler" from people involved with the show (or, rather, they're not falling all over themselves to deny it, like they are other things that are rumored to be in the works). I just think it's funny that everyone refers to them as a couple-in-the-making, when I'm not sure that it's where it's going at all (on top of which, it seems like a really old, cliched, worn-out place for the show to go...jealousy over the new girl, yadda yadda yadda). We'll see, though!

53Posted by Loaded Teapot on October 9, 2006

Never expected this from Michael and it caught me off guard BUT i am soooo glad it was directed towards Dwight....until the
"hug it out" but then he overcame with the liar sign!

54Posted by pamwannabe on October 9, 2006

I agree, there is a much different tone to the episodes this season and it's taken some getting used to. I also think that the writers and producers are aiming for longevity, and separating Pam and Jim is just necessary for that. As someone said, the show has already surpassed the length of the BBC original, and if we want it to keep going (which I do) we have to trust the writers. They're not going to mess with Jim and Pam - that relationship is the heart of the show, and though Michael does get the most screentime and the best lines/scenes, I've always seen Jim as the main character. I'm not a big Karen fan, but she seems like someone who could do a lot for Jim. I also think Pam and Jim need some time apart to realize how much they really love each other.

I did feel that Dwight's betrayal of Michael was a bit unbelievable and overdone, but it definitely had that cringe-worthy hilariousness that the show is known for.

55Posted by Kat on October 9, 2006

Call me crazy, but I'm totally into Rashida's character. I think she's interesting and funny (not to mention gorgeous), and am kind of excited to see where this whole thing with Jim is gonna go. I love Pam and everything, but she sort of had her chance (twice) for the time being. I think it might be good for her to get to know herself for a while before she gets into anything serious. Plus, Jim needs a fun, interesting girl to hang with after all that Pam heartbreak. I think a break from all the longing stares is seriously needed.

I guess I'm in the tiny mjority, but I'm sort of digging where the writers are taking this. Thursdays just can't come soon enough.

56Posted by Mel on October 9, 2006

Thanks for the recap, James. I really look forward to them. It's like fast-forwarding to all the best parts and observational stand-up in between. Hope your work lets up a bit soon. They've gotta understand where your time is best served and appreciated.

57Posted by garbagethrower on October 9, 2006

The "Liar" sign may be one of the funniest things I've seen in the show thusfar.

58Posted by Philip on October 9, 2006

It may be time to add a Dwangela section to the reviews :)

59Posted by HB on October 9, 2006

I gotta say, i think karen and dwight would be pretty darn good together.

60Posted by Word. on October 9, 2006

I loved the dwight-michael inrteraction in this episode. Does anyone else wish that they could work in that office?

61Posted by The_schrutes_produce_very_thirsty_babies on October 9, 2006

Yes, Dwight and Karen! Dwiren!

62Posted by karenws on October 9, 2006

Just found another Office clip at www.clipsquips.com . This looks like leftovers from their original office segment that was going around a while back. I haven't seen this one before though. It was John, Jenna, BJ, and Rainn auditioning the host of clipsquips.com for the role of an intern. Funny stuff. It's on the newest episode on the main page after a short interview with some other girl.

63Posted by Betsy on October 9, 2006

You're very welcome, gt. I had a pretty gnarly case of writer's block on Sunday, so I thought I might miss my self-imposed weekend deadline. Luckily, I caught a second wind although I admit the work has been getting to me lately. Hope the quality isn't slipping too much.

I need to find a job where all I do is write about television shows all day long.

64Posted by James on October 10, 2006

The recap was great, James. No writer's block that I can see. It's funny and, as usual, acts as the voice of reason amond crazed fans :-)

65Posted by Loaded Teapot on October 10, 2006

Would anyone be interested (as I am) in what songs are used in the episodes? I found some on the wikipedia page but it would be great to get them all by episode as they roll them out. I'm just such a music nerd...maybe I'm on an island about this.

Dinkin Flicka.

66Posted by Jermaine on October 10, 2006

I concur with LT, James, no slippage apparent. Keen observations; I especially liked your thoughts in the Jim/Pam Index.

>I need to find a job where all I do is write about television shows all day long.

I've taken that on as a second job. Actually it's sort of a volunteer position. Still waiting on a badge.

67Posted by garbagethrower on October 10, 2006

I always look forward to your reviews, James - they are full of insight! As I have been re-watching season 2, I have pulled up your reviews and re-read them too. They provide a great value add and thoughtful perspective on the storyline. Thanks for keeping them accessible. The season 2 review helps provide the jam fix while both Jim and Pam are moving forward with their lives.

I completely understand about the work load though...hopefully it will get better! At least know that you are providing a great benefit to all of us who log in to Northern Attack!

68Posted by karenws on October 10, 2006

I love love love reading everyone's comments! It's so nice to read what everyone else thinks about the show. Discussion is great!

I think this season has been awesome. True, much different from the first 2 seasons, but the change was needed. I wasn't too keen on the idea of new people joining the cast, but the new characters are wonderful (got to love Andy!) so i'm excited for the future interaction between the Stamford characters and the Scranton characters.

After watching Jim in another branch, being away from his Scranton home, i've decided just exactly why i miss him. It's not JAM at all. It's the Dwight/Jim interaction. I loved those two together! I mean, specifically the Dwight/Jim interaction, though all interaction between Jim and any other character was great! He definitely added those faces of annoyance/amusement/horror, etc. that summed up the viewer's feelings to the situation (though the other characters did an excellent job at that, too). Plus, Jim would have loved everything that's happened in the past 3 episodes. Too bad he missed it, but that's life, toots.

Karen is great. I'm really happy to see Jim move on a little from Pam. I mean, Pam has to fight for Jim! She needs the competition, and yes, i'm speaking as if Jim and Karen will eventually get together. Pam needs the challenge and, w/ another woman in the way, she'll come to realize just how much she loves Jim. Boom. Owned.

Speaking of ownage, i suck major ass at Call of Duty which is why i was so psyched to see Jim sucking as well! Yay! Plus, the "meeting" between Jim, Josh, and Andy = the best scene of the episode in my opinion.

Back to Jim and Karen, someone mentioned that we're assuming Jim and Karen will get together. True, i am making an ass out of u and me, but they made an excellent point. Maybe Jim doesn't really want a relationship now. I mean, Karen has the longing looks down, but she could easily be the "Jim" of the crush and Jim could be the "Pam". Unless Jim gives into her flirting and crush, we've basically just seen Jim indulge her and be friendly w/ her (though the deleted scenes implied a little more in that area). Either way, i'm excited to see where that goes.

Another observation. Notice when Jim talks about Pam. The camera didn't linger on Jim's face after he talked about it but it seemed really easy for him to talk about her. Like, a good memory but there was no longing look in his eyes afterward. Maybe he's moved on from her. I mean, of course, that's probably highly unlikely but it just seemed like....to relate it to a completely different analogy: when someone has passed away, you grieve, but eventually it becomes easier to talk about that person. That talking head kind of felt like that. Good memories of Pam, but that's about it. I don't know, pure speculation right there.

And sorry for my HUGE comment ;;

69Posted by OfficeAddict on October 10, 2006

Completely different topic altogether, but James, have you thought about going back to season 1 and doing episode summaries for the rest of the episodes? You've probably been asked that before and i apologize if you have, but i was just wondering.

70Posted by OfficeAddict on October 10, 2006

Hi,OfficeAddict,I am so glad,somebody else agrees about what is missing from this season.I totally miss the Jim/Dwight relationship.I commented on it too several comments back.I definitely feel a void.I also agree w/your comments regarding Jim and Karen.

71Posted by Katrina on October 10, 2006

Awesome, glad to know the recaps are still up to par.

Nice comments, OfficeAddict. Regarding your question, it's been my plan all along to go back and fill in the gaps from the first two seasons. It's mainly a lack of time that's been keeping me from making good on that promise. It takes me a while to produce each recap, probably around 8 hours on average. Factor in a full-time-plus job and that pretty much leaves weekends as my only opportuntity to whip out the recaps. New episodes get priority, so that leaves very little time for rewinding back to the older ones.

Basically, I need a clone of myself. :)

72Posted by James on October 11, 2006

I completely understand, James. You do such a good job on the recaps and, of course, the new episodes should take priority. Anyway, keep up the good work on the site! All us Office fans appreciate your hard work!

73Posted by OfficeAddict on October 11, 2006

Katrina, i remember your comment now :) I read all the comments in one sitting and i remember reading your comment and thinking, "Yes! That's the same thing i thought was missing!"

74Posted by OfficeAddict on October 11, 2006

OfficeAddict, hi. I'm not so sure that Jim's as moved on from Pam as you read it. I definitely heard melancholy in the way he spoke about her. It didn't seem to me that he was talking about her the way you'd talk about someone who's really in the past. Just my take . . .

75Posted by NSpector on October 12, 2006

True. It was just pure speculation. I don't know. Like i said, it's probably highly unlikely that he has moved on from her. His talking head just seemed a little more detached then he has been when he or anyone else had referred to her before. That's all. You're probably right, though :)

76Posted by OfficeAddict on October 12, 2006

awesome, can't wait until I don't work nights in a tape vault and I can watch this

77Posted by Brian Laesch on October 15, 2006