I guess we probably all knew that it was Jan who Michael took to Sandals on The Office, so cheers to the show’s writers for not leaving us in suspense for more than a couple minutes Thursday. Besides, the comedy was all in the aftermath.
Of course Michael would brag about it to the documentary camera — "Officially I didn’t see her, but I did see Jan there … in our room. At night, and in the morning. … Sex. I had sex with her." And of course he’d have to prove to his idol/bully Todd Packer that he and Jan got together, and of course he’d botch the e-mail forwarding.
Thus began a frantic attempt at damage control that in the end didn’t really matter, what with Jan giving into her "self-destructive tendencies" and the warehouse guys sweating Michael’s skills (it’s also been a little while since we’ve seen Melora Hardin, and as usual, she did a fine job of playing her this-is-crazy/oh-what-the-hell dilemma).
That Michael’s efforts were, basically, unnecessary only makes the panicked look on his face, his frantic running about the building and the assignment of Dwight to scrub the offending e-mail even a little more funny. I particularly liked his explanation to Toby: "I’m not dating Jan — she made that clear. It was just two like souls sharing a romantic time … in the most romantic place on earth. Is that enough, weirdo?" (Again, I state that there is no TV character more basically decent and less appreciated for it than Toby.)
Interesting B-story to this episode too. Do we think Jim is self-sabotaging his relationship with Karen — by objecting to her moving into an apartment that’s only a little closer to him than her current hotel room — because of lingering feelings for Pam? Or is he really sort of dense when it comes to these things? I have enough goodwill for the guy to believe the former (not that that’s such a great thing, particularly for Karen), but part of me wonders is he’s one of those guys who, despite being a generally good person, just really can’t get it together when it comes to women.
The Jim-Karen-Pam triangle also yielded the night’s single best scene, with Dwight trying to console a crying Pam. You could sort of tell Dwight wasn’t accustomed to that role and was trying to mimic what he’d seen others do (and if anyone can explain why he tied his suit jacket around his waist, I’d appreciate the insight). And then, in perhaps his Dwight-est moment in three seasons, he asked Pam, "So you’re PMS-ing pretty bad, huh?" As I write this, I know I should be feeling bad for Pam, and I do, but I darn near fell off the couch.
Other good bits:
- Michael’s sudden love of all things Jamaican, from his lone piece of braided hair to his steel drum to his notion that what Jamaicans do is "party all day."
- Pam’s response to that last thing: "I think it’s a pretty impoverished country."
- The pre-credits office meeting, with Jim goofing on Dwight’s recording of the proceedings and Andy’s tone-deaf, chainsaw-related slaughter of the bit.
- Hannah has quit, leaving only Karen and Andy as Stamford survivors. Yeah. Not gonna miss Hannah.
- Several Kevin moments: His look of disdain at Andy’s subpar drumming; his "You look … tan" remark to Jan and his wave to Michael as the latter ever so slowly ascended the stairs to talk with Jan; and his taking of the poster-sized print of the Jan-and-Michael picture ("I don’t have a lot of art.")
- And, finally, Michael’s "You complete me" line to Jan, not so much for pulling it out as for the little bit of sign language he used with it.
What else was good, Office mates? And what’s up with Jim?