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Office Fodder

The Office: Koi Pond - Review

Intro:
The office crew is doing a haunted house. Wouldn't that be the best haunted house ever?

Comedy wise, yes. As Darryl leads a group of kids through the office, there's more comedy treats than tricks, so to speak.

"There's a burn victim and an octopus," he says, pointing to Kelly and Angela. No, actually, we're that girl from Fifth Element and a black widow, they say, as Darryl reminds them all no one told him ahead of time what anyone is dressed like.

Creed's awesomely dressed as a Dracula-style vampire; Ryan notes Creed didn't get the memo about how vampires are dressed in movies these days.

And then there's Jim, who wrote "Book" on his face. "There's Bookface," Darryl tells the children.

"Yes, I'm the popular social networking, bookface," Jim quips.

Just when you think the haunted house isn't haunted, Michael drops out of nowhere, hanging by a noose, scaring the crap out of the little kids, while Darryl shakes his head.

"Just remember suicide is never the answer... It is the easy way out"- Michael
"What the hell is wrong with you?" - Darryl

Main:
Jim is still trying to find his place as co-manager. For many episodes, we've seen him struggle to figure out how he can be the boss of people who use to be his peers, not to mention remind Michael they are equals now.

This time, Jim finds out a client wants Michael to tag along on a sales call, not wanting inexperienced Jim by himself. Jim doesn't understand why Michael is needed. Michael thinks Jim doesn't have the experience yet to handle things on his own.

"He's trying to microcomanage me. Or Comicro... er"- Jim

But when they come back from the trip, Michael is soaking wet, while Jim is dry. Michael says he got caught in a flash storm.

"I don't think it rained. My hip would be throbbing"- old man Meredith

So they found Michael's keys in a koi pond, Erin says. That's when it's revealed what really happened: Michael fell into a koi fish pond in the client's lobby. Michael tries to explain himself- it was a fish pond with no railing! It was terrifying!

If that's not something that would happen to Michael, I don't know what is... I mean, he drove into a lake before because of his GPS.

Everyone rags on Michael for falling in, throwing out all the fish jokes they can.

"Hey boss, did you find Nemo?"- Creed, who for some reason watched a Disney film.

Michael, of course, doesn't take the joking well.

"I'm not usually the butt of the joke. I'm usually the face of the joke" - Michael

He decides to do some sensitivity training. "Who here has been koi ponded?" he asks (and who hasn't, really?). It's not cool to make fun of people, he said, although they point out he makes fun of them all the time.

Michael creates a "Do Not Mock" list. His inclusions:
- Koi Pond
- Fountain at the Steamtown Mall Pond (He fell in there, too)

Dwight
- His small nose

Kevin
- Huge gut

Meredith
- Sex with a terrorist

Angela
- Eating like a squirrel

Erin pops in to say one of the koi died, because Michael stepped on its head- the company wants $300 to pay for it.

That puts Michael over the edge. He tells Jim he's tired of being teased. He used to get called "Pony Tail" in high schools, "because I got my pony tail stuck in a power drill."

Using Jim's advice, Michael decides to tease himself to play it all off. It works... and then Michael takes it too far, joking about how he doesn't even have five friends to put in his calling plan, as everyone looks on with mouths agape. "I'm a loser!" he realizes.

Meanwhile, Meredith says she knows a guy who has video surveillance of Koigate. Jim says it's a bad idea, but everyone wants to watch it.

They watch it anyway, and that's when we realize why Jim doesn't want to watch it: Jim didn't reach out to help Michael as he fell in.

Jim admits he's a little jealous of MIchael and wished he could've gone on the sales call alone. Michael can hardly believe Jim is jealous- it's a turning point in the relationship, because for the first time, Michael's character realizes he no longer is in a lopsided relationship with the always much-cooler Jim. They both want to learn from each other.

In the subplot:
Andy and Pam have the lowest sales, so they have to do cold calls.

The first client mistakes the pair as a couple, considering Pam is preggers. Pam is practically offended, saying "definitely not" a hundred times, as Andy becomes offended.

So Andy returns the favor at the next opportunity, when another guy mistakes Pam for Andy's girlfriend.

"I date models. Face models. my girlfriend, on a scale of one to Gisele, is a 9." - Andy

Andy continues, saying Pam is a surrogate mom because it doesn't matter if she ruins her figure (Ed Helms is a funny man.)

Now Andy and Pam are fighting over who is meaner about saying they aren't together.

They go on another sales call, and this time, they don't say anything when they get mistaken for a couple, although it gets a little creepy when Andy mentions he knows a birthing instructor and he starts kissing Pam's belly.

Pam's a little freaked.

"Your fantasy involves fantasy comparison shopping birthing classes?" - Pam

Andy says he's sick of being single. He likes Erin; Pam thinks she's "eh."

But she puts in the good word for Andy anyway, telling Erin he's "like Marlon Brando."

"You mean Marlon Wayans? Cause he is"- Erin

"Uh, yep, like Marlon Wayans." - Pam

Thoughts:
Steve Carell once again does a nice job of waxing between complete dufus and completely lovable. It's perfectly believable he would fall into a koi pond- by the way, koi is such a funny word- and just as believable Jim wouldn't reach out to help him and then try to make it seem like the reason he doesn't want people to watch the video is because it would Michael feel bad.

But why use that plotline now? Why not go full-force on Halloween, like Parks and Recreation, Community and 30 Rock? It seemed like a missed opportunity, considering the promise of the opener.

It could have been Jim and Pam handing out candy for the first time as a married couple, or Dwight doing a neighborhood patrol of trick-or-treaters, or Kevin overdosing on M&Ms he got when he went trick-or-treating himself.

It was a good touch using Pam and Andy together again, after the good turn in the "Niagara" episode, torn scrotum and all. Not sure the idea was the best- why assume they are together?- but the execution was done well. And it set the stage for what I have been predicting all along: Erin and Andy hooking up.

Nice touches:

  • Michael telling Meredith to write on the board anonymously, even though it would be obvious who wrote it

  • Erin telling Pam to turn over the paper so Erin doesn't see it- she really takes that job seriously

  • Michael dressed as one of the "&^@# in a Box" SNL guys

  • Not seeing Ryan much

Best quotes:

"Jim is my enemy. But it appears that Jim is also his own worst enemy. And the enemy of my enemy is my friend, so Jim is actually my friend. But he's his own worst enemy, and the enemy of my friend is my enemy, so he's my enemy." - Dwight

What did you think? Leave a comment, and vote in the poll...And follow me on Twitter @officetvfodder


Posted by Andy Shaw on October 29, 2009 8:57 PM
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