• Season 3 : Episode 13
  • First aired on January 18, 2007
  • Written by Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg, and Michael Schur / Directed by Greg Daniels
  • Recap by Jamie Harris
  • Discuss this episode at The Watercooler, and remember to submit your vote at OfficeTally.

Oscar returns from his extended vacation (or, “gay-cation,” per Kevin) to an office unhinged. Dwight’s recent dismissal has left a vacuum of epic proportions, in which uptight accountants break down, plant life perishes, and not even a fly on the wall is safe from Andy’s fisted reign of terror. Michael reaches the end of his rope and takes a surprising stand, while Jim reaches another end and does his own part to spark a little unexpected twist.

The Michael Scott School of Hard Knocks

Enter week two of the reborn Michael Scott, sober, serious and professional. And completely driven up a wall by his new right hand man.

Michael : Love that Andy, right? Solid fellow. Seems smart enough. Likes me a lot. A lot. Too much. Like a crazy person, a little. Not super crazy, just… there’s something about him that creeps me out. I can’t really explain it. He’s always up in my bid-ness, which is Ebonics for “being in my face and annoying the bejesus out of me.” I don’t understand how someone could have so little self-awareness.

Insert joke about Michael looking in a mirror, except, not even on his worst days does Michael come anywhere close to Andy’s level of Grade-A Suck-Up. So if Andy is a mirror, he’s a funhouse mirror, equal parts adequate likeness and gross distortion, just enough to teach Michael a much-needed lesson.

Michael : It takes a big man to admit his mistake, and that’s what I did. The important thing is, I learned something. I don’t want somebody sucking up to me because they think I am going to help their career. I want them sucking up to me because they genuinely love me.

As for the continuing sobriety, either the love of a good woman is working some miracles or there’s some kind of massive hematoma on his brain. If a symptom of the latter is, say, a speech impairment, then there could be no definitive proof because if Michael has one constant, it is the mangling of the English language.

Michael : Of course we are going to have a party. A celebration of Oscar. Oscar night. And I want it to be Oscar-specific–
Oscar : Michael, I–
Michael : No, no. I mean, not– not because you are gay. Your gayness does not define you. Your Mexicanness is what defines you, to me, and I think we should celebrate Oscar’s Mexicanity.

If anything, it should be taken as the sign of his sound mind.

Dwight Being Dwight

Turning the Salesman of the Year onto the streets is bound to lower productivity, reduce sales and drastically decrease profits. And when it’s Dwight, ever devoted to the seemingly menial tasks that cultivate the hierarchy of authority, much more than the bottom line is affected.

[Michael is fingering a dying plant]
Michael : Wow. What is wrong with this thing? Looks terrible.
Pam : Do you want me to ask the night cleaning crew if they stopped watering it?
Michael : Yeah. Oh, you know what? Ask them about the toys on my desk too. They always used to arrange the toys on my desk in a very pleasing way. Used to brighten my morning.
Pam : Oh, that wasn’t the night crew. That was Dwight.

That is the kind of dedication that goes largely unappreciated, if not scorned, in the world of retail. At least the unfortunate situation lets us witness Dwight’s curriculum vitae, a saga in three acts.

Dwight : For your convenience, I’ve broken it down into three parts: professional resume, athletic and special skills resume, and Dwight Schrute trivia.

What, no chapter exclusive to voluntary civic duty and the martial arts? That must fall under the umbrella of special skills, along with third generation beet agronomist and leading authority on the mythical creatures of Middle Earth. And I know I’m not the only one who would love to crack open that trivia.

The Many Faces of Jim

Jim is ever the easygoing, laid back guy, and even in less-than-ideal situations, very rarely finds an excuse for misery. But the absence of Dwight and the very close proximity of Andy proves just a little too much to handle, even for him.

[Andy’s cellphone begins ringing to the tune of “Rockin’ Robin” and he dances it in Jim’s face]
Jim : Is that you singing?
Andy : All four parts. Recorded it on my computer. Took me forever.
Jim : Nice job.
Andy : Thank you muchly.
[Phone keeps ringing]
Jim : You gonna answer it?
Andy : [chuckles] I called it myself. Just thought you’d get a kick out of the new ring.
Jim : Yikes.
Andy : Side note: I’d just like to say I’m thrilled to be working directly beneath you. I feel I have a lot to learn from you, even though you are younger and have less experience. So… here’s to the future. Andy and the Tuna. [Starts singing] Andy and the Tuna…
[Cut to interview]
Jim : I miss Dwight. Congratulations, universe. You win.

I’m trying to think of when Jim has been so exasperated, and not very many instances come to mind. Diversity Day, maybe, which right about now is looking pretty good compared to being the 185 lb catch of the day. I guess it’s true– you really don’t know what you’ve got until it’s the new sales associate at the local office supply superstore.

Confessions of a Receptionist

If there’s one thing Pam knows, besides fundamental administrative skills and how to keep Michael at bay, it’s Jim. She watches his time bomb tick all morning, just one “Rockin’ Robin” away from knocking Andy’s block off. Finally, the other possible conspirators fall through and he turns to her not a moment too soon.

Jim : Would you like to pull a prank on Andy?
Pam : Um, I’m kind of in the middle of– yes, please.

The plot to follow is a glorious thing to behold; all unspoken communication, brilliant choreography and flawless execution. As a pair known for their pranks, this ranks up there as one of their best– not in the least because Pam plays it cool, without so much as a hint of taking it to mean more than it should. She’s just doing what she does best and that’s why we love her. Well played, Ms. Beesly. And who knows, it just might pay off.

The Jim/Pam Index

It’s continually amazing how this show plows over all conventional television timelines and blindsides right when least expected, staying true to the erratic nature of life, pivotal moments unadvertised, leaps and bounds made in silence and side glances, 20 seconds here and there that change things forever. Honestly, I was prepared for a week or two of floundering after the cover-up last week. Karen would observe from afar, see a few actions that didn’t quite match the words, eventually become suspicious enough to confront. But no– bam!, one-two, before you know what hits you, there it is, all on the line again.

Karen : Do you still have feelings for her?
Jim : [slight pause, almost imperceptible nod] Yes.

Chalk it up to yet another moment all the air has left the room in reigning disbelief of what just happened. Even as Karen asked, I held my breath waiting for the painful lie. Instead, yes. Halpert!

I imagine he’s sitting there, recovering from the first day he’s spent close to Pam in ages, trying to sort things out all over again, when suddenly Karen asks the exact question he’s been wrestling with himself. The answer comes all at once, and aloud, without the chance for him to soften the blow for anyone, much less for the girl he should want to shield most of all.

Abrupt as it may come, honesty is always the best policy, even when it’s unintentional, just the reaching of the point where you can’t lie to yourself anymore. Hence, Pam’s breakdown of two weeks ago, and now, the somewhat different defeat of Jim. It’s not necessarily fair for Karen to learn so late that her relationship with him has been, at least to some degree, about Pam all along, but matters of the heart aren’t so easily reduced to a science of what is fair and what is not, any more than they can be reduced to a polite transaction where everyone wins and no one is bruised in the process.

We’ll have to wait a week or two for the aftermath, to see if this spells the beginning of the end or if a new twist in the system appears. Either way, it won’t be all fairy tales and roses, but a reminder of the stakes just takes a little rewinding to one of the best moments of the day: Jim and Pam, reunited over a prank, sombreros knocking together, surveying their handiwork in the shape of Andy’s fist through the wall.

Jim : Oh, my god. That’s half-inch drywall.
Pam : I think we broke his brain.
Jim : [bursts out laughing] It’s not freakin’ funny!

It’s just so right.

As if you couldn’t guess, The Return sends the Jim/Pam Index soaring Up, into the ceiling, past a certain singing cellular device, straight through the roof.

Supporting Nod

Let’s hear it for Angela and her own brand of grieving widow in the wake of Dwight.

The Superstar

I don’t know how James usually decides these things, but I’ve held to some kind of general rule of who just really makes the episode, anchors the comedy and sends up the exclamation-worthy moments. And this week, it’s definitely Michael Scott, on basis of all reasons mentioned. It takes a big man, indeed.

Transmissions from the Office

  • Dwight : How would I describe myself? Three words: hardworking, alpha male, jackhammer. Merciless. Insatiable.

    Definitely not observant, sensitive, or at all suited to work under a woman in an office with abundant pink floral.

  • Angela : [to Oscar] Certain events have transpired, and I’ve thought about certain things. And I’m sorry for the way those certain events transpired. [Begins crying] And I would just like to make some changes about certain things, and certain situations, and certain accountants…

    Could you be a little more specific?

  • [Oscar has joined the party planning committee]
    Kevin : Can I join too?
    Angela : [still sniffling] Never.

    Whew, I was beginning to worry about her there for a second.

  • Michael : Phyllis, I want you to go find firecrackers and a chihuahua. Pam, in the frozen food section, Swanson makes a delightful chimichanga.
    Oscar : Why don’t you have me riding in on a donkey? Into the office, like Pepe–
    Michael : Ah, a burro. Of course. If Oscar wants a donkey, let’s get him one.

    Michael at his most benevolent, Oscar at his most sarcastic.

  • Dwight : Need any help?
    Staples customer : Oh, no thank you. I’m just looking.
    Dwight : Great. I will literally be standing right here if you need anything at all.

    And he literally will. Literally.

  • Michael : Who’s that sportscaster that bit that lady? Marv something? Andy is like Marv something. Great sportscaster… big weirdo creep.

    Andy must be campaigning for position amongst the Greatest TV Villains We Love To Hate But Sometimes Really Just Want To Punch Their Freakin’ Lights Out, But Still Love… To Hate. In fact, he’s well on his way to the top five. How? Name repetition, personality mirroring…

  • Jim : Hey, Ryan? Do you want to pull a prank on Andy?
    Ryan : Not right now, but ask me again ten years ago.
    Jim : I liked you better as the temp.
    Ryan : [sighs] Me too.

    Cue scene of Ryan converting Value Save soda into “Mexican Lemonade” by adding phonetic accents to the label with a marker.

  • Michael : Have any of you talked to Dwight?
    Stanley : Oh sure, we talk all the time.
    Michael : Really?
    Stanley : No.

    Stanley never fails to prey on Michael’s boundless naivety.

  • Paris : I don’t like him, his giant head, or his beady little eyes. That’s all I got to say on the matter.

    Someone better get Dwight out of that Staples before all that’s left of him is a dismembered uniform.

  • Angela : I just wanted to tell you that Dwight was late that morning because he had to drive to New York to drop off the quarterly tax forms that I forgot to send. Though to be fair, Kevin never reminded me.

    Angela, always the champion of fairness and highly subjective justice.

  • Andy : I forgot to tell you the plan for this Saturday: You, me, bar, beers, buzzed… wings, shots, drunk. Waitresses, hot. Football, Cornell/Hofstra, slaughtered. Then, quick nap at my place and we hit the tiz-own
    Michael : No. I don’t want to do any of that.
    Andy : Duh. Which is why I was joking about doing it.
    Michael : No, just stop. Stop. Just stop. Stop doing it. You are going to drive me crazy.

    Michael actually scared me a little right here. I’ve never seen him so fierce– probably because he’s never been so fierce.

  • Andy : And I’m also sorry that a lot of people here for some reason think it’s funny to take someone’s personal property and hide it from him. Here’s a little newsflash. It’s not funny. In fact, it’s pretty freakin’ unfunny. [Screaming, he drives his fist through the drywall, then slowly recovers] …That was an overreaction.

    That was a grand, sweeping understatement. Though Jim’s stricken face is totally worth it.

  • Michael : How’s this place treating you?
    Dwight : [scoffs] The boss isn’t funny.
    Michael : Oh, well…
    Dwight : I don’t get to wear my ties.
    Michael : No, I’m sure.
    Dwight : So…
    Michael : So maybe you should come back. You should come back. Please.
    Dwight : I don’t want to do your laundry anymore.
    Michael : We can talk about that.

    Dwight’s reunion with Michael is pitch perfect to the standards of about a dozen romantic movie cliches, right down to the emotional confession and generic pop pumped into the background. In short, priceless.

  • Dwight : You did this for me?
    [Camera pans to the large “Welcome Back Oscar” banner]
    Michael : Guilty.

    Poor Oscar. His long-awaited return becomes one of the least momentous events of the day.

Odds and Ends

  • Just throw an adjective in front of their luncheon meat of choice and voila, instant nickname ala Andy. Now the question is, will Big Turkey catch on as fast as Fire Guy?
  • Michael and Angela’s shared lovelorn despair in the break room is almost too much to bear.
  • Best throwaway line: Andy’s “I don’t trust you, Phyllis!”
  • If only it was more widely known that the blindfold is optional in the massacre of piñatas, parties the world over would have more sugary treats and much less property damage.

The Story in Pictures

Gallery Image

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1Posted by Word. on January 18, 2007

Poor Oscar. He had his party stolen from him right when he started enjoying it.

And man, I'm gonna miss Ed Helms when they finally can him (from the looks of it, soon). What a performance! LOL.

2Posted by Pat D. on January 18, 2007

"YES" The best word ever

I officially love Angela.

Andy and Karen need to go, but I will miss Ed Helms.

JAM is on. Hopefully Pam won't break Jim's heart again.

3Posted by sabrina on January 18, 2007

I can't believe people thought Dwight was gone forever. I mean come on Jim went to Stamford and hes back. Normally I laugh at Jim's pranks, but feel sad for him because he is clearly an insecure man that can't go after a girl or a job that he really wants. Jim needs to step up and be a real man like Dwight Schrute. Dwight has his girl, his job, and his beet farm. Ladies Man, Sales Man, Farmer Man, and Mans Man. Thats right Jim learn at the foot of the master and grow a pair.

4Posted by Dwide Schrude on January 18, 2007

OMG...loved it loved it loved it!

This is hands-down my favorite episode of this season, and maybe one of the best in the show so far.

I have to tip my hat to Ed Helms...this episode was all Andy's! The cell phone ring was so ridiculously hilarious; I'm still laughing just thinking about it!

5Posted by Philip on January 18, 2007

I have to say that I completely agree with Dwide Schrude...but Jim is taking things in the right direction now!!! I need to watch this one again before I post any episode opinions...just not feeling it yet.

6Posted by secondrink on January 18, 2007

That was the sexiest "yes" in the history of the world, and the saddest nod. Jim Halpert, ladies and gentlemen.

Best episode of the season. Dwight and Staples, what a clash of ideologies. It was a perfect plot and I didn't see it coming.

Jam at their best. The perfect way of outing Andy as the annoying psycho we had him pegged for in Stamford.

A once-bright-eyed Ryan, er, Big Turkey, probably never thought he would be sombreroed and longing for the days he was "The Temp."

You were robbed at the Globes, guys.

Keep up the amazing work.

I'm gonna go watch it again!

7Posted by 69cupofnoodles on January 19, 2007

Dwight is back! Yes! I was jumping up and down in my living room and yelling at my tv for Michael to fire nut job Andy. Jam was great and the prank was awesome, there's nothing like pushing someone over the edge (we all thought Dwight was most likely to go crazy and take out everyone but I think Andy has stolen the crown this time around). Angela has always been my favorite especially because she has a great name but also because she is the other half of Dwangela and they were amazing! I can't wait to see more from those two. I like Karen and I know she'll have some hard decisions to make and I can't wait to see where the yes heard around the world will take everyone.

8Posted by Angela on January 19, 2007

That whole episode just felt weird. probably because of how creepy Andy was. He's the definite superstar, but wow was that just weird...

Also, did anyone else catch "Up Where We Belong" over the Staples muzak when Michael gets Dwight back? Maybe I was just hoping it in the back of my mind, but I swear that was the song playing!

9Posted by Joe on January 19, 2007

I think that was the funniest episode of the season! Hilarious! And I literally squealed out loud when Jim said YES!!!


10Posted by Kristina on January 19, 2007

"I miss Dwight, Congratulations universe, you win"

Awesome show!! Another episode that showed a more subdued Michael, I think I'm starting to like it......

11Posted by Jez on January 19, 2007

This was not really as hilarious as other episodes have been, but it was supremely satisfying... the characters were just so honest and really showed their true colors. And the stars are aligning to steer Jim and Pam together.... finally!!

On another note, haha, "Dwangela", thats a good one... though Jam is my personal favorite. But hey did anyone else notice that if Jim ever got with Kelly they'd be Jelly...? Not that I (or Jim or anyone else) would want that to happen, its just a funny coincidence... Jam and Jelly... :p

12Posted by Lan Jevinson on January 19, 2007

Poor Karen. Jim is not good at breaking up - remember how he did the same very abrupt thing with Purse Girl on the Booze Cruise? I hope she stays on the show a while longer as I actually like her character. It would be interesting (in a macabre sort of way) to see how she interacts with Jim and Pam after this.

13Posted by Stooges Woman :-) on January 19, 2007

Joe, you are right about the muzak in staples -- it was total homage to the ending scene of Officer and a Gentleman... I was screaming "there's richard gere walking through the factory!!!"

"mexicanity" was awesome.

14Posted by Carly on January 19, 2007

Wow. GOOD epsiode. Jim's exchange with Ryan. Andy's ring tone. Actually, everything about Andy. I love Ed Helms more every week.

I was also loving Michael in this episode, he was so sad about Dwight. And Angela! My new favourite character!

And of course, the long-awaited "yes" from Jim. We all knew it was coming. I'm so excited to see how they're going to tackle this. Poor Karen, but come on - it's JIM and PAM!

15Posted by Kat on January 19, 2007

Great reaction shot when Michael confronted Dwight in Staples (or was it Office Max... or Office Depot? Aren't they all the same?) and Dwight realized that his relationship with Angela still hadn't been discovered.

It's gonna be sad to see Karen and Andy leave. They're both starting to become indispensable.

Tom C.

16Posted by Tom C. on January 19, 2007

Don't jump so fast on the Jim and Pam back together bandwagon. Since moving back to Scranton with Jim, Karen has seen how good of friends Jim and Pam were.

Last episode, she finds out Jim used to like Pam. Then seeing them together, she realizes he still does, and Jim confirms it. Where does that leave Karen. If she likes Jim, she won't give up easily. I don't know what she'll do, but I hope her story has a happy ending. And Roy has no idea about Jim, so I still expect to hear from Roy about JAM.

The thing is, it'll be so easy to get them back together. We already know they like each other and the characters have been developed extensively, so all they'll each have to do is agree to start dating. I see the writers continuing to put road blocks into their path to keep them from being in a relationship.

It's too soon and will take some of the fun away if they are a couple.

17Posted by Bill on January 19, 2007

I agree, Bill, but it is exciting to see Jim being honest with himself for a change. It's better for him and Karen in the long run, regardless of Pam.

Good point about Roy. I suspect it will all come to a head just in time for the season finale.

18Posted by Kat on January 19, 2007

Producers' Cut = amazingness

I noticed something so nice and subtle in this episode: even where Jim is sitting now reflects upon his relationship with Karen and Pam. He is facing Karen and has his back to Pam. But he is closer to Pam. I was so worried that he wouldn't be by her when I was watching "The Merger"!

Anyway...I hope all of this gets resolved by the end of this season...I can't take anymore Jam/Ram/Jaren stuff.

19Posted by secondrink on January 19, 2007

The writers have outdone themselves... again!
This was the funniest episode since The Coup. I can't wait to see what happens on the next episode (especially with the Jim/Pam situation) Jamie, I think we can say that the Jim/Pam index is a definite Up this week. Finally.

20Posted by Mireya on January 19, 2007

I thought this was a very good episode, and provided good closure to last weeks (which was also very good), but it was also highly amiguous.

I honestly was hoping for the Jim/Karen relationship to last longer. The big problem is that JAM is kind of becoming a Ross/Rachel thing, and that was the reason I STOPPED watching Friends and Smallville.

I thought it was nice to see Michael finally being a man and not just goofing around. He put Andy in his place and he realized the mistake in firing Dwight.

This is the only show I ever have time for and I wait for it every week, so I watch it passionately. As long as they continue to push their ambitious plots and don't rely on formulas to keep ratings, I'll be a fan for a long time.

21Posted by Jose on January 19, 2007

I know everyone is excited about Jim and Pam getting together, but I also think Jim has not been a very nice person. Like someone else mentioned look how he broke up with Katie, and now with Karen. I suppose he needed to be honest with Karen when she asked about his feelings, for Pam, but I don't understand why he even started something with her if he was still hung up on Pam. He had to have known that Karen was going to get hurt at some point, just as Katie did. It seems he can just leave a string of broken hearts behind and not have any guilt about it. I think eventually he and Pam will get together, but I think he needs to think of someone else's feelings besides his own.
That aside, great episode. I will miss both Andy and Karen when they leave. They have added so much to the show. No new episode until Feb 1, bummer

22Posted by Tammie on January 19, 2007

Andy really struck me tonight as somehow channeling Ricky Gervais' original boss, David Brent: playful but really just downright acerbic and uncomfortable.

23Posted by Than on January 19, 2007

The writers really knocked it out of the park with this episode. In my opinion, the past few episodes have lacked the humor and heart that Seasons 1 and 2 had. But "The Return" delivered huge amounts of both. Great performances from every character, and I found myself laughing at loud for practically the entire half hour.

As for Jim finally coming clean about his feelings; I know some people are thinking him insensitive for the way things happened with Karen. But I feel that he started things with Karen because it was the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality; if he didn't see Pam everyday, he could convince himself he was over her. Obviously, after returning to Scranton, he found that's not the case. I agree he hasn't exactly had the greatest track record when it comes to tactful breakups, but I give him credit for being honest when asked a direct question.

Bottom line: it was a fantastic episode.

24Posted by Cait on January 19, 2007

JPI up for sure. That is all I have to say.

25Posted by Kyle on January 19, 2007

I don't know that Jim was really mean to Karen. I think that he moved to Stamford thinking that he'd never be back in Scranton. Although he may still have had feelings for Pam, he knew that finding someone else might help him get over Pam. As for this episode, she asked him, and he was honest with her. He was kinda mean to purse girl in the Booze Cruise (I can't remember her name!), but I don't think it was intentional with Karen. It's better than lying to her, in my opinion.

By the way, was anyone else screaming "YES" at the television when she asked him if he still had feelings for Pam? :-)


26Posted by Anthony on January 19, 2007

It seems that the stars are aligning for Jim and Pam. What I will say is that I think Jim started dating Karen because he did like her, and he felt that he needed to move on. Pam broke his heart. He was trying to start anew. He had problems getting close to Karen because his feelings for Pam were getting in the way. I feel bad for Karen for having been drawn into this, but it is like Jim and Pam are each other's destiny.

It's interesting. Cause I have a little crush on a girl I work with. I don't think she's interested in me though.

27Posted by Kyle on January 19, 2007

Maybe you're in the ceiling!

This is one of my favorite episodes because:

Ed Helms was great, especially with that line. (It hit home in my office, long story.)

Jim and Pam pulled one of their best pranks.

Michael showed a different side, a more compotent, more feeling side. He was nice to Oscar, as nice as he can be, and of course, to Dwight.

Then there is Dwight and Angela. I was hooked on them from the beginning. Their relationship is more functionally and more admirable and more interesting than Jim and Pam's.

Dwight is loyal to his company, his boss and his woman. He has a code and he lives by it. He isn't scared to suffer the consequences of it. He has odd hobbies like karate or volunteer police work, but the doesn't care what others think about it. He has a lot going for him, and as the poster above said, Jim could learn a thing or two from him.

Angela. Wow. I dug her from the first time she said, "That's inappropriate." Maybe I have a thing for tightly wound babes.

28Posted by Kevin (not the one on the show) on January 20, 2007

Bah, the Producer's Cut is blocked from Japan, I can't see it. ARGH!

29Posted by Drew on January 20, 2007

I've seen some comments here and there about people having trouble viewing the Producer's Cut from Internet Explorer. I was having the same problem and eventually discovered what was wrong: The video requires an upgrade to Adobe Flash Player 9.0 (which you can get from http://www.adobe.com/). Normally, this would be installed automatically, but there's something funny about the video or the NBC web site that is preventing that from happening correctly.

And once you've successfully installed it (the Adobe download site will say that the installation was successful), you actually have to reboot TWICE before the video will display properly. Long live Microsoft....

30Posted by Steve_OH on January 20, 2007

I agree with those above who stated that Andy's behaviour is creepy. He is a bit like a stalker who is obsessed with Michael. I'll be glad to see him go.

31Posted by Jean on January 20, 2007

The thing about Andy is he was funny in his own way at first. He was just another issue for Dwight and Jim to deal with while he seemed to be like an employee version of Michael. Interestingly, that is what I thought on "Benihana Christmas", but what he did to Dwight made him turn a dark corner.

32Posted by Kyle on January 20, 2007

I know that it appears that Andy is going to be off the show eventually, but has that been confirmed at all? I always figured that Karen and Andy would be added to the regulars.


33Posted by Anthony on January 20, 2007

first, this episode was amazing. Very fulfilling.

Second... did anybody notice that the version of this episode from iTunes is very different than the one aired on NBC? I noticed at least 8-10 added scenes.

but hey, I'm not complaining ;]

34Posted by Wesley on January 20, 2007

It's probably the producers cut that is also on NBC.com.

35Posted by Kevin (not the one on the show) on January 20, 2007

I thought it was funny how Andy's obsession with Michael had some shades of Michael's obsession with Ryan. At least until Andy went crazy and punched a hole in the wall.

36Posted by Kat on January 20, 2007

I have to say, I didnt expect Dwight Back that soon, nor did i expect Michael to catch on to Andy being a suck up that soon. Ed Helms is a great actor but he is so annoying on the show as Andy. Twidle didle dee Twidle dee dee......Loved this episode but Conflict Resolution from season 2 is still my favortie.

37Posted by TheSchrutesProduceVeryThirstyBabies on January 21, 2007

Oompa Loompa Doopity dawesome. This episode was totally awesome!

38Posted by KarentheJimSlayer on January 21, 2007

In reference to "Conflict Resolution"

"This is humungous, I am not a security threat and my middle name is Kurt, not Fart."

39Posted by Kyle on January 21, 2007

Every episode confirms my love of this show. And this episode was no exception.

First, I concur about the Ross/Rachel mention from Jose. It's got a twinge of Big/Carrie from SATC or McDreamy/Mer from Grey's, too. I definitely am part of Team Pam, but I don't want them to get together just yet. Then what? It gets boring so fast. And I love Karen. I think she's a great character and balances Jim nicely. Don't give up so soon, Karen, I say! Keep the Karen/Pam friendship going (even though that may not be possible now). Save the Jam happy ending for the end of the show's run.

Second, I'm obsessed with Ed Helms/Andy. He rocks my socks. Any guy who thinks to sing four part harmony as his ring tone is okay in my book. I'm disappointed that they make him six kinds of crazy in this episode... he'll say goodbye soon, I'm sure. Too bad.

Dwight's back! Yes! Dwangela's back!! YESSS!!!

Um, Staples sponsorship much? Funny, nonetheless.

And my first comment is now complete. Have a great week!

40Posted by cheryl on January 21, 2007

Just wanted to say you folks are in for a real treat with this week's recap. Jamie did an amazing job -- even more amazing than usual, if such a thing is possible. Her take on the JPI may be the single most impressive bit of writing that has graced NA. Brilliant.

41Posted by James on January 21, 2007

"Merciless. Insatiable. There's nothing on my horizon except everything."

Oh, Dwight.

42Posted by Cecilia on January 21, 2007

Hey.. what about Creed?


43Posted by Than on January 21, 2007

My superstar vote still goes to Andy. I was shocked and awed. And that was before the first commercial break.

44Posted by Catherine Zeta-Jones on January 21, 2007

I agree... great episode but Creed's emphatic "You're Not Real Man!" was the laugh out loud moment for me.

45Posted by S.Kim on January 21, 2007

I don't quite see the Ross/Rachel parallel--yet, anyway. For one thing, that was so incredibly broad and overdone. I don't think Jim/Pam is quite at that level: it seems more natural and real than Ross/Rachel, which seemed sort of shoehorned in and over the top. However, I do think they should avoid coupling Jim and Pam for a while, but just because it does not look like either of them (as characters) are quite ready to admit their feelings for each other to each other. Great episode.

46Posted by john12 on January 22, 2007

do i understand ok on the nbc website that there will be no new episode this coming thursday? why do the put a replay at this date??

47Posted by steph on January 22, 2007

Just a quick note about Jim and Pam. Have none of you read Pride and Prejudice? This relationship is the classic romance story. Two people with too much pride and fear of rejection to ever admit their feelings to each other in a normal and healthy way. I predict they will probably never get together. This
is not Ross and Rachel! I think people personally relate to their story line because it represents a universal experience: intense love between 2 people that never becomes a normal relationship. I think this episode was awesome!

48Posted by beth on January 22, 2007

The extra scene with Jim and Michael in the producers cut is really great and explains how Michael catches on to Andy. Jim tells Michael that Andy is a yes-man and will agree with anything Michael says, and the light bulb finally starts to shine in Michael's head. It's too bad this scene was cut from the aired version, because it really clarifies Michael's actions from that point on.

49Posted by LazyScranton on January 22, 2007

Yes, beth, there are parallels with Pride and Prejudice. But remember, in the end Lizzie and Darcy do get together, and I think the same thing will happen with Jim and Pam.

50Posted by Mexican Lemonade on January 22, 2007

steph, I think the reruns this week are due to scheduling. I'm pretty sure that "The Return" was the final episode taped before the cast took a break back in December. They returned just a couple of weeks ago to begin work on more episodes, so there is probably some time needed to tape and edit the next episode "Ben Franklin" before it can air. Plus, February is ratings sweeps month, so they want to have a solid block of episodes for that time frame.

51Posted by Mexican Lemonade on January 22, 2007

Wow. Can I just say how well written and awesome the Jim/Pam Index section is of this recap? Rock on Jamie!

52Posted by Jill on January 22, 2007

Jamie, agree with your insight on the Jim/Pam/Karen situation-- not really a matter of fair or not fair. It does suck for Karen and sucked for Katie (I'll never forget Jim saying, "I don't know-- let's break up." on the booze cruise). Definitely feel for both these girls, especially because they are both cool people who don't deserve to be hurt, but ain't that the way it goes. If anything I tend to blame Pam more for not contacting him when she broke her engagement and being more proactive in general. "The course of true love never did run smooth."

Love Dwight's attitude... the exchange with the Staples employee about Dunder-Mifflin. Classic, and so funny to hear how small the company really is in context with the "real" world. Adds to the humor of it all. Also shows how Dwight is the heart of the office.

I think Andy was the superstar this episode, too. "Tweet, tweet, tweedily tweedily tweet!"

53Posted by Tracy on January 22, 2007

I totally (suprisingly actually) forgot about Andy's little episode. I knew sooner or later he would just, well, explode (as seen in this episode). It got me to reminisce the tantrum he through after Jim put his calculator in Jello (ha. That joke never gets old.)

I still feel bad for that poor wall. Why Andy? Why?

54Posted by Mireya on January 22, 2007

During the nod, Jim's face seemed to say, "What is wrong with me? Why do I still love Pam?" I think he's probably feeling hopeless about Pam, wondering if he's ever going to be able to move on with his life.

When Michael asked Dwight to come back because he helped a "random co-worker," I began wondering if Michael will get mad at Dwight all over again after he learns about Dwight and Angela's office relationship.

55Posted by Adriana on January 23, 2007

I think you are absolutley right, Adriana. I think Jim admitting in his "yes" response to Karen, he was actually quite hopeless about it. Like, I can't do this anymore, I can't pretend I'm over her and I can't keep trying to be with someone else. it's hopeless. I don't think he has any idea that Pam is feeling the same way. He won't consider making a move towards her again because he really took her rejection in May to heart. He doesn't WANT to still be hung up on her. He just can't not be. Hopeless. Same as with Katy. Except she was wrong for him and Karen COULD be good for him, except for this small detail of Pam.

What will happen when Karen confronts Pam with this? If she does. Even if she doesn't, what will Pam do when she finds out they have split up? Assuming they have. Balls in her court and she has a bad track record of taking action...

I love the way the writers have had them kept apart all season, and dragging it out. I am sure some fireworks will happen during Sweeps in February. I have a guess, that just as JAM are moving tentatively together, something will happen with Roy. February Sweeps. We won't see them together until May. That's my guess.

Are Rashida and Ed permanent cast members or guest stars? That's your clue on whether or not they are written out.

Question. Now that Oscar is back and Andy moved to Dwight's desk. Where will Dwight sit?
Four desks in the Jim block?

56Posted by JimPamFan on January 23, 2007

Wow. Wow. I'm almost speechless at the greatness of this recap. Everything was perfect. I loved your comments on the Jim/Pam Index--couldn't agree with you more. Your recap of Jim's confession to Karen was almost as heart-stopping as when I first watched that moment. Jamie, you just might be a recap goddess.

57Posted by DelegateFromIceland on January 23, 2007

JimPamFan, regarding where Dwight will sit, I think he will be back at his old desk. I don't know if you watched the producer's cut on nbc.com, but it has an added scene at the very end where it shows Andy being assigned offsite to management training (anger management, to be precise) for 10 weeks (or 5, if his sucking up tactics work as planned). So it appears Andy will gone for a while, and that will open up the desk for Dwight's return.

58Posted by Mexican Lemonade on January 23, 2007

It's interesting how they always seem to get rid of someone just when they need an empty desk for someone else. :-)

59Posted by LazyScranton on January 23, 2007

I have to agree that this was an amazing episode as well :)
I literally got goosebumps when Jim nodded. I love all of the nonverbal acting on this show. It really sets it apart from the over-the-top unrealistic sitcoms out there. On a personal note, I love how the show throws in Scranton memorabilia. As an alumna of the University of Scranton, I was so excited to see a school banner behind Pam's desk for the last few episodes. So cool!

P.S. I would love for the backdrop of an episode be the St. Patty's Day parade in Scranton. The parade is one of the largest in the country and the bars literally open at 7 am. It would be hysterical to see the office bunch a little (or very) tipsy like during "A Benihana Christmas" :)

60Posted by Alyssa on January 23, 2007

Wow, excellent episode and very satisfying! Jam??? I don't know, I like him and Karen. I know it is wishful thinking on my part but I do! I think Pam has been mean to Jim and doesn't deserve him and now after last week's episode, I feel Jim doesn't deserve Karen. Good thing I'm not a writer for the show...

61Posted by Stephanie on January 25, 2007

Andy definitely should get the Superstar nod. To be more annoying than Michael Scott? Now that's a good actor.

62Posted by Big Turkey on January 25, 2007

In the Producer's Cut, there was a tag that told us what happened to Andy. Michael sent him to Anger Management training which will take 10 weeks (5 according to Andy). He also says "Don't worry about ol' Andy Bernard. I'll be back." I do believe Ed Helms will return in the future... at least I hope so. I'll miss his musical numbers!
So I think Dwight has his own desk back and everything is in order except that Karen is still around. But with the truth about Jim's feelings for Pam revealed to her... I don't know how long she'll be staying for.

63Posted by Becky on January 26, 2007

Hopefully Andy is off the show, though his role was quite amusing to watch.

What the heck was Dwight yelling while Hitting the Pinata.

Second best show this season behind "The Intiation."

64Posted by Shep on January 29, 2007


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Clothes Off Our Back

65Posted by Clothes Off Our Back on January 31, 2007

I'm not sure if anyone else here is pretty sick of Andy. I don't like him and I'm kind of hoping he never comes back. Am I alone in this?

66Posted by the fire-guy on February 1, 2007

I loved how Michael was asking everyone around if they talked to Dwight and doesn't even think of bringing it up when he's in the breakroom with Angela. "Great to have Oscar back", heh.

67Posted by hulkweazel on February 1, 2007