It’s Pam’s nightmare but Angela’s dream come true– Roy comes locked and loaded for Jim, but thanks to Dwight, the fastest draw in the office, the only thing fired is Roy. Darryl in turn tries to climb the ladder only to bump into Michael on the next rung. However, some fancy coaching and a road trip with Toby soon has Mike wearing the (lady) pants in the relationship, though only long enough to get a long overdue raise out of Jan.
The A.V. Club recently did an interview with Mindy Kaling, in which she talked a little about the writing process behind Michael Scott and how it becomes a group effort to strike just the right note without pushing him over the edge of stupidity. Considering it is Michael Scott, that’s one heck of a precipitous cliff and yet, as a testament to their collective genius, he’s still on this side of the drop.
Michael : Darryl. You are a good worker, and a good man. I just– you know, times are tight. And I just don’t think corporate is going to go for this right now.
Darryl : Are you wearin’ lady clothes?
Michael : What?
Darryl : Are you wearin’ lady clothes? Those look like lady pants.
Michael : No, this is a power suit.
Darryl : That there’s a woman’s suit.
Michael : I do not buy woman’s clothes. I would not make that mistake again.
Darryl : [laughing] I’ma call Roy, man.
Michael : Ohh… kay.
Darryl : This is gonna make him feel better.
Michael : All right.
Darryl : This is too good.
Michael : Alright, you know what? Pam, could you please tell Darryl that this is not a woman’s suit?
Pam : Oh my God, that’s a woman’s suit!
Kevin : You’re wearing a woman’s suit?
Michael : No, I do– I– I wear men’s suits, ok?
Imagine the group sessions that must have gone into this episode alone.
Kevin : Who makes it?
[Michael pulls back the lapel to reveal a hot pink lining]
Michael : Um, MISSterious. And it is mysterious, because the buttons are on the wrong side. That’s the mystery.
Actually, this scene alone…
Turns out the only posse you need in the face of an enraged ex-fiance is the ever-indomitable defender of the office, Dwight K. Schrute. And his mysterious stash of weaponry.
Jim : I guess, all things considered, I was lucky Dwight was there. And Roy was lucky that Dwight only used pepper spray. And not the nunchucks or the throwing stars.
Or the beat stick or the taser or the… boomerang?
Dwight : No, don’t call me a hero. Do you know who the real heroes are? The guys who wake up every morning and go into their normal jobs, and get a distress call from the commissioner, and take off their glasses and change into capes, and fly around fighting crime. Those are the real heroes.
We’ve been over this before, but I think he’s still thinking of a superhero.
Forget Jim and Pam, or even Jim and Karen; the brunt of relationship development this season goes right to Jim and Dwight. Once seemingly bound only as prankster and foil, these two keep scratching the surface of their complex connection, and while I doubt there’s a deep friendship buried and waiting to bloom, there is a little more respect than they would have you know.
Jim : Okay, you don’t want a gift, at least let me buy you a beer, or lunch, or something.
Dwight : When Han Solo returns to the Death Star in the Millennium Falcon, and shoots down the TIE fighters and saves the rebel cause, do you think he does so for a free beer?
Jim : Boy, I–
Dwight : No. And why are you so interested in buying me something, Jim? What’s your angle?
The only time Dwight doesn’t reach a new low in his otherwise endless gullibility is the only time Jim genuinely has no angle.
Jim : It’s like when he annoys me, and I want to screw with him to get him back, he never sees it coming. But now, I want to be nice to him, and actually give him something, and he’s like an eel. I just can’t grab onto him. It’s infuriating.
Karen : Maybe you just feel guilty about all the pranks.
Jim : Well… yes, that’s probably what it is. So what do I do?
Karen : Hmm, I don’t know. Maybe you should go back out there and sell paper so we can go on a trip.
Turns out, that dilemma is easily solved when Jim inadvertently spies Dwight and Angela liplocked in the empty office. And speaking of “the many faces of Jim,” try the stunned half-second freeze frame after his hasty retreat into the bathroom.
Jim : I… will never say a word. And now, we are even.
All kinds of puzzle pieces are falling into place. I wonder what could come of the fact that Jim knows, and Pam knows, and Angela knows Pam knows, and Dwight has no idea Jim knows, and everyone else in the office must be blind to not know.
Pam’s life has been quite heavy on the drama lately, so a little comic relief goes a long way.
Pam : Michael, the pants don’t have any pockets.
Michael : No, they don’t, see?
[Michael sticks out his backside and shows it to Pam, who laughs and claps a hand over her mouth]
Michael : Italians don’t wear pockets.
[Cut to interview]
Pam : It’s been a really rough couple of days. This helps a little.
Your boss in a woman’s suit with hot pink lining and an alluring lack of pockets? That’s got to help a lot.
Six weeks of percolating will they/won’t they tension– will Roy really kill Jim Halpert? won’t Pam fling herself at his mercy to save Jim’s neck? — answered with six seconds of fist-flying, intercepted resolution. The crisis is averted, but the aftermath demands at last some interaction between the nearly-estranged friends.
Pam : It’s just so stupid. I mean, getting back with Roy and everything. I mean, what was I thinking, right?
Jim : No, I mean, you guys really seem to have a strong connection.
Pam : Not anymore. It’s, um… it’s completely over now.
Jim : [laughs dryly] We’ll see. I’m sure you guys’ll find your way back to one another someday.
Pam : Jim… I am really sorry…
Jim : Oh yeah, don’t worry about it.
Roy has been the targeted obstacle for years now (if this needs to be a personal confession, okay!), but now with him for all intents and purposes out of the picture, it’s suddenly obvious there were ever only two obstacles to begin with– Jim and Pam themselves.
Once upon a time, even just weeks ago, Roy’s outburst would have had a drastic impact on the situation, but now hardly bears acknowledgment in passing. Pam getting back together with him, even so briefly, even if necessary to wake her up once and for all, looks to have snapped Jim’s last straw and made him all the more determined to wash his hands of the drama. For now. I’m not saying for good. But where it goes from here will be entirely, completely and utterly up to Pam.
Roy : So, you gonna start dating Halpert, then?
Pam : Um… no. No, he has a girlfriend.
Roy : Oh yeah. Wait a minute, you broke off our wedding for the guy…
Pam : No, there were a lot of reasons.
Roy : But you’re not even going to try to go out with him? I don’t get you, Pam.
Pam : I know.
If I were taking bets and making predictions, I’d say Pam is getting ready to snap her last straw too, but only to take matters into her own newly freed hands and send this Index soaring skyward before the season ends. But for now, The Negotiation wavers back and forth and stays at Even.
Angela all hot n’ bothered over Dwight’s tales of bravery earns her about three nods and a shudder and two thumbs up.
Citizens do not accept prizes for being citizens, but I’m giving it to Dwight anyway, who came out of nowhere with that pepper spray, saved the day and got the girl.
Jan : Are you going to take care of this?
Michael : Yeppers.
Jan : What did I tell you about “yeppers”?
Michael : I don’t remember.
Jan : I told you not to say it. Do you remember that?
Michael : Ye–sh.
It’s weird. Jan used to treat Michael like he was a five year old, but lately it’s like he’s three.
Michael : Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject. So you know you are getting the best possible information.
I think I made the comment a while back that Michael should consult Wikipedia a whole lot more. Is it too late to rescind that? Because he absolutely shouldn’t.
Kelly : That is the bravest thing I have ever heard.
Ryan : I can’t imagine what I would’ve done.
Kelly : I can. You would have left me to fend for myself. Like the time we were on the ferris wheel and that kid dropped a milkshake on me and you just laughed.
Ryan : Well, that was funny, that’s why.
Kelly : Oh it was? Okay, well the next time that you get scared that you think a murderer is in your apartment in the middle of the night…
Ryan : Okay…
Kelly : …and you call me to calm down…
Ryan : …you know what, I didn’t…
Toby : Can you stop?
Kelly : You can just call somebody else because I’m not doing it anymore, Ryan, I’m not.
Ryan : Well, don’t talk to me about calling people in the middle of the night for no good reason.
Toby : There’s a bunch of people back here maybe…
Kelly : I call you in the middle of the night to tell you that I love you.
Toby : Guys…
[Cut to interview with Ryan and Kelly making out in the background]
Toby : I don’t think Michael intended to punish me by putting Ryan back here with Kelly. But, if he did intend that… wow. Genius.
Entertaining the possibility of crediting Michael with that kind of genius attests to the enormous psychological strain of being in the presence of Ryan and Kelly for more than 15 consecutive seconds.
Creed : I remember it was very late at night, like 11, 11:30. Big fella comes in screaming about God knows what. I think maybe Halpert had stolen his car, something like that. So the big fella pulls out a sock filled with nickels. Then Schrute grabs a can of hairspray and a lighter–
Angela : You’re useless.
Actually, that’s a pretty accurate account for someone who doesn’t even know which one is Pam.
Kelly : You are so mean.
Ryan : I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Kelly : Yes, you do, Ryan Bailey Howard. You called me stupid.
Ryan : No, I said your idea was stupid.
Michael : Toby, c’mon, let’s go.
Toby : Where?
Michael : Where? I’m gonna smack you in the head with a hammer. C’mon, let’s go.
Kelly : What is so stupid about wanting to name a baby Usher?
Toby : All right.
Kelly : Usher Jennifer Hudson Kapoor.
Ryan : Don’t you see why that’s insane?
Kelly : Oh, so I’m crazy now?
Usher Jennifer Hudson Kapoor. Really? No, really? Really?
Michael : [imitating Chris Tucker] Don’t ever touch a black man’s radio! Chris Tucker, Rush Hour. I won’t touch yours, by the way.
This one was coming as soon as Michael agreed to take Darryl’s vehicular transport.
Darryl : Okay, bring it home now. And don’t forget the new black man phrase I taught you.
Michael : Pippity poppity, give me the zoppity.
Darryl : Yes sir, remember that. I’ll be right outside if you need me.
Michael : All right.
[Cut to interview]
Darryl : Yeah, I taught Mike some new phrases. I want him to get the raise. I… just can’t help myself.
“Pippity poppity, give me the zoppity”? Somebody give that man a raise.
Michael : So who’s the boy toy?
Jan : That’s my new assistant.
Michael : Were you going to tell me that you hired James Van Der Beek?
Jan : I have to call you the second I get a new assistant now?
Michael : It’d be nice to get a memo. We are lovers.
Toby : [uncomfortable pause] Hi Jan.
Toby’s whole professional existence is lose-lose. Getting smacked in the head with a hammer is bound to sound pretty good right about now.
Michael : We’re gonna play it like this? You give me a good raise, or no more sex. [Turns to Toby] What are you writing, perv-ball?
Toby : Just preparing for the deposition.
[Cut to interview]
Toby : This may be the first time that a male subordinate has attempted to get a modest, scheduled raise by threatening to withhold sex from a fe male superior. It will be a groundbreaking case when it inevitably goes to trial.
But if there are perks to Toby’s job, moments like this have got to be big.
Jan : What’s wrong with you?
Michael : Ohh. It was a weird day. I accidentally cross-dressed. And then Darryl made me feel bad for not making any money. And then I had to ride up here with stupid Toby. And then your assistant was all young and hot, and I…
Take two of the most complex, bewildering, layered, multi-diminsional characters on television and put them in a relationship, and amidst all the hilarious dysfunction you’re also guaranteed those small, quiet moments with clear reasons of why they’re together.
Michael : Negotiation is an art. Back and forth, give and take. And today, both Darryl and I took something. Higher salaries. Win-win-win. But, you know, life is about more than just salary. It’s about… perks. Like having sex with Jan.
Jan : Michael!
Make that very, very small moments with kind of cloudy reasons.
Andy : I graduated from anger management the same way I graduated from Cornell– on time. Now I’m back, got a second chance, and I’m not going to blow it. So look out, Dunder Mifflin! …I mean “look out” in a fun way. You know, not like, “I’m going to hurt you.”
“Look out, Andy!” is more like it.
Dwight : I am not a hero. I am a mere defender of the office. You know who’s a real hero? Hiro, from Heroes. That’s a hero. Also Bono.
I thought we all had a hero in our hearts?