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Office Watch: 911 Is a Joke

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Spoilers for this week’s Office coming up after the jump:

“I learned a while back that if I don’t text people ‘911,’ they won’t return my calls.” Is that a meta-comment on the Pam and Jim storyline this season? If the writers don’t seem to present the couple as if they’re running into big problems, we’ll be bored with their storyline? Or are they simply having fun with our expectation that, if we see two main characters in a sitcom fall in love, big problems must present themselves? That’s what last night’s episode seemed to suggest, when Pam’s seeming horror at Jim’s having bought his parents’ house—because Jenna Fischer played it that way, or because we are trained to expect it?—was revealed as boring old delight.

If so, The Office seems to hit on an interesting twist in dealing with a consummated relationship: don’t put a twist in it, then hang a light on the fact that there’s no twist. For my money, I was actually more interested in the microwave subplot, because just as with “Jim is smudge,” it’s always good when the show reveals that not everyone at Dunder-Mifflin loves our beloved characters as much as we do. (Oscar, who called Pam’s anonymous note “holier-than-thou”—it had to hurt that only Angela defended it—was the same one who ripped on her at her art exhibit. And we can’t completely write his opinion off, because he seems to be a fairly good guy generally.) 

As for the main storyline, though it was one of those episodes that gave Michael’s craziness free rein, it made sense this time. Michael hates Toby; if Toby shows up again as Holly’s replacement, naturally he’s going to hate him twice as much. If the episode was mainly Wacky Salad, it at least had plenty of funny moments: Michael’s inadvertently appropriate note for Pam to give to her secret admirer Toby (“Please hug and kiss me, no matter how hard I struggle. I am too shy to tell you that I love you”); Dwight’s belief that he is irresistible to men, especially in his mustard shirt; Dwight’s basing the drug frame-up on watching The Shield; and Creed’s laying low when the cops arrive. 

Your thoughts, or life lessons you learned from Neve Campbell in Scream 2, welcomed in the comments.