Friday, November 7, 2008

Office Recap, "Customer Survey"

I don't know about you guys, but I always respond to break-ups by telling my friends and family that I'm engaged. The office buys the story, heck, Kelly even buys a bridesmaid dress (white, a callback to Phyllis' Wedding) but Michael's mom isn't so sure. Psych! Holly Flax, we knew ye well.

Kelly Kapoor is in charge of customer service for Dunder Mifflin. She loves people because she assumes that people love her, which makes her perfect for the job. (Sidebar: She's played by Mindy Kaling,  who is one of my favorite writers on the show. Mindy has a new short series on Strike TV called House Poor and it's so funny.) She conducts the surveys for the salespeople, which determines their bonuses. This is a lot of responsibility for a girl who once listed "Beyonce, pink the color, Pink the person, hot dogs, basically anything that's awesome" as her favorite things and whose favorite drink is a seven and seven with eight maraschino cherries, sugar on the rim, blended if you can. (Honestly, I mentioned those because I happened to have her favorite things and drink memorized and I wanted to show off. Impressive, right?)

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and admit that Jim/Dwight is my favorite relationship on The Office. Yes, even more than Jim and Pam. I can't really explain it, but it is. There's something about the competition and extreme differences in personality and the gradual understanding that I can't ever get enough of. Since both Dwight and Jim received horrendous customer reviews, they have to form an alliance to figure out what's behind it. We know they're both superb salesmen, but the reviews aren't entirely wrong. Dwight is highly abrasive with people that he thinks less of. While Jim isn't really arrogant, it is reasonable for other people to view him as "smudge."

Dwight thinks that it might be the mob or NASA or Kelly or money laundering. (There may be some evidence of the last.) Putting his detective skills to the test, Jim pieces together that Dwight was actually correct. Kelly, indeed! Andy nearly flipped his lid when Jim used his personalized coffee cup. Talking to Ryan (who's still a gigantic jerk), Jim realizes that he missed Kelly's America's Got Talent party a few months ago. In a sequence of awesome camera shots, it is revealed that everyone in the office has a personalized mug except for him and Dwight. Eureka!

 (Buy the set of ten mugs at The Office Store.)

Dwight wants swift retribution ("Let's get her!"), but Michael prefers to deal with Kelly alone. The scene that followed was so amazing. Kelly only partially confesses and then tries to get out of it by saying that she was raped. Michael is all, "You can't use that excuse. Not again." and explains that he understands when people don't come to parties because then you're left eating tons of leftover guacamole by yourself. He tries to get her to produce fake tears. It's almost convincing until Kelly collapses into giggles and Michael joins her. It was absurd and dark and sweet all at once.

In what had to have been the most Jim and Pam interaction since the premiere, Pam found the world's tiniest bluetooth phones in the village. I just want one because they're cute. I can't remember the official name--you'll have to ask Dwight. They use them for their eight-hour personal calls. It might come across as annoying/ridiculous, but Jim and Pam of course kick every other couple's trash when it comes to cute gestures. Jim knows exactly what Pam likes in her coffee and Pam knows to ask what color of mustard Dwight's shirt is. The phone situation set them up for a ton of jokes also, like Pam's response to Kelly's "Dwight, get out of my nook!"

Meanwhile, back at the Dwandela ranch, Andy's found the perfect tentist for their wedding. It's two stories, gray, and heated, so nothing too elaborate. Angela agrees on one condition--it has to be in a hand-plowed field within a 5-8 miles radius. Also, a farm house that has slats in the roof and antique tools when you rollover would be nice. Schrute Farms to the rescue! This is when it hit me that Angie has no qualms about marrying Andy and continuing on with Dwight. I love Dwight and Angela, but they deserve better than their current arrangement.

Mad Men's Rich Sommer made his second appearance as Pam's classmate Alex. He invites her to an art show and then asks for a moment alone. Jim, thankfully, is still on the line. Alex explains that if Pam really wants to be an artist, she needs to stay in New York. And it's pretty bluntly implied that he's totally into her. You have to trust me when I say that he is no threat to Jim and Pam. His words about her future hit close to home. Combined with last week's "prank," this will be the catalyst for Jim and Pam to decide exactly what they want from their respective careers, as well as their future together. I don't love the way that the writers set it up, but not only is it necessary, I think it will be really good for our beloved couple.

Geez, what a jam-packed episode. (Pun.) I didn't even talk about the Bill Buttlicker scene or Jim buying his parent's house or the Excaliber Package! Kids, this is how you do November Sweeps.


Belle Ecrivaine said...

I kept yelling at Alex to shut up because he was making so much sense and I didn't want him to and I don't want Pam to stay in New York! I want her back in the office! Even though she should stay in New York if she's serious about art. Blargh!

allthewine said...

i'm going to catch up on this on hulu after work. Is it just me or is the office really straddling the line between comedy and drama lately?

srah said...

Pam and Jim bore the heck out of me. MORE DWANGELANDY!

Bayjb said...

This was definitely a better episode. The nook line and Pam's response was hilarious and I loved the little JAM moments with them on the bluetooth. The Jim/Dwight stuff was awesome and Kelly's rape line was also a shining moment. I'm definitely intrigued by Jim's house comment and what happened with Alex. Sweeps should be good!

Kristina P. said...

Man, I really need to start watching Season 2.

j*amy said...

hahah i loved this episode. i thought it was so funny jim talking to pam and dwight being all confused.

one of my favorite parts was michael, dwight & jim in the conference room when michael says "micro manage - what is that called jim" and he makes up the word...micromagment or whatever it was...hah and michael heartly accepts it. awesome.

how do you feel about holly being written out? do you think she's gone for good and toby should be back soon!??!

Tony said...

Anytime I come to a blog for the first time and it's a FULL BLOWN office recap...well, you're good by me! Amazing episode. So many good things to talk about. But my favorite part HAD to be all of the shots of Jim figuring out that everyone had those mugs. Absolutely brilliant.

EP said...

I love your recapa. Seriously. I wasn't able to catch the episode last week, and I KNEW your recap would come to the rescue!