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The Office: The Lover - Review

Jim and Pam are back! (And thank goodness, considering all the criticism of last week's Halpert-less, and relativey laughless, episode).

The Halperts loved Puerto Rico, and they met another couple, Frank and Benny, who made it a blast. That's led to an inside joke, "Frank and beans!" that the Halperts (funny to call them that, isn't it?) say again and again.

Michael greets them by doing his latest acting class character, Blind Guy McSqueezie, a blind guy who evidently likes to "accidentally" grope women.

"The women in my improv class absolutely hate him" - Michael.

Michael confides in Jim he's banging Pam's mom, Helene. You might recall Michael and Mrs. Beasly (Linda Purl) hit it off at the wedding over candy and a talk about being alone.

In one of many expletives this episode, Jim says something that probably rhymes with "Duck Pee," and begs Michael not to tell Pam and to end it.

When Pam gives Michael a bottle of Puerto Rican rum later as their gift to him, Erin pops in to let Michael know she changed his dinner reservation. For a date? Pam asks, as Steve Carell and John Krasinski share a series of oh-so-very-Officey awkward glances, knowing the truth is about to surface.

When Pam finds out, she flips out. Jenna Fischer must have loved reading this script, because she got to freak out the whole episode, although it was a little unsettling as a viewer at some points. Pam is on the war path, shouting at her mom on the phone for being so idiotic to date the man she has mocked for years.

Michael and Jim have to hold a conference room meeting to discuss ways to how to better communicate with the community, after a 60 Minutes expose revealed they had terrible conditions at their Peruvian paper mill. Michael asks for ideas. Dwight says volunteerism

"Last Sunday, I had to put down over 150 pets all by myself" - Dwight (Is there an adoption drive theme I'm missing, because 30 Rock had a similar mention.)

Pam and Michael get into it again, and that's when the rest of the office gets really into it, at first being offended Michael's doing Pam's mom. Michael demands an apology from "Pamela Morgan Beesly," adding he could be her dad one day

Michael asks Toby, of all people, to help with conflict resolution. Pam isn't having it, so Michael tells Toby to screw off, dashing Toby's fleeting thought he and Michael could finally get along.

"Stop dating my mother!"- Pam
"You know what? I'm going to date her even harder"- Michael
"What's that supposed to mean?"- Pam
"You know what it means."- Michael

But Jim calms her down, reminding her of their fun honeymoon. It's still unresolved about Pam's mom, which means we can expect more of that soon.

In the subplot, Dwight, rocking another mustard-colored shirt, gives Jim a congratulatory wooden mallard - so thoughtful!- that he has secretly implanted with a microphone. Jim's not an idiot, and finds it almost immediately.

He doesn't get Dwight as good as he usually does. Maybe he's maturing, or maybe they didn't have a funny idea for Jim's character, because all he does is get Andy to come into his office, crank up opera music, and make Dwight paranoid he and Andy are scheming, while in actuality they aren't really talking about much of anything.

Jim eventually gives the duck to Kelly. Dwight wants it back, but Ryan, who is douchier than usual this episode wearing a fedora, makes Dwight buy it back. That just makes Kelly want Ryan more. Why, Kelly, why? Why not Andy?

Jim lets Dwight know the jig is up. Dwight, uncharacteristically, apologizes and agrees to wash and wax Jim's car. At the outro, we find out Dwight had slipped in another microphone at the very beginning, inside a pen, and is now privy to listen to Jim talking about paper for eight hours.

"I'm not insane" - Dwight, while he listens to a secret audio about paper sales.

In some sitcoms, the marriage of the will-they-or-won't-they characters spells doom. But in this situation, I don't think the marriage changed the dynamic of Jim and Pam, only that they had even more reasons to stick by each other.

I enjoyed watching Jim squirm, hot chocolate in hand, as he tried to soothe his wife. And, as Pam pointed out, her problems are now his problems. It was a nice way to reintroduce the characters, even if I thought Pam's character got a little over the top in her reaction. Sure, she's be furious and disgusted, but she had to have seen this coming, and she's dealt with this from Michael before.

It was much better use of one-liners and little Office quirks this episode. Creed and Stanley both had me laughing for things that barely are worth a mention- Stanley quietly chanting with Pam, for instance- but are so integral to what makes The Office great.

One thought, though: I don't think the writers know what to do with Ryan or Angela anymore. At all.

Nice touches:

  • Creed crying during the opera music.

  • Erin forbidding Pam from putting candy at the reception area for everyone to eat until Michael OKs it, which clearly threw Pam for a loop

  • Kelly's passive aggressive congratulations to Jim and Pam about their honeymoon

  • Jim and Michael both yelling at Toby about how terrible he is, as Toby goes, "What did I do?" in stride out the door

Best quotes:
"Paint a mural of Chicano leaders?" - Meredith
"That's messed up, man." - Creed, on Michael doing Pam's mom.

What did you think? Leave a comment, and vote in the poll...

Posted by Andy Shaw on October 22, 2009 10:58 PM
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