Saturday, October 18, 2008

I'm Off Balance

That's how this week's episode of The Office made me feel. 

It was a terrible episode. I laughed only once in the entire thing (when Angela tried to take the baby's picture amongst garden vegetables). It was over the top. I haven't liked Jan since season 2. The episode was, in a lot of ways, very sad. My stomach churned when Michael was cold to Holly and I panicked when Jim and Pam couldn't connect. 

But then there were the last 2 scenes. The final 2 scenes of the episode were some of the best I've ever seen. They were heartrendingly human without being preachingly so, I loved it. Those final 2 minutes or so made me forget what I didn't like about the episode (until I looked at the notes I'd made for this post). 

Let's start with Jim and Pam, because I'm saving my favourite for last. This, like the episode near the end of last season when the rest of the office workers were getting annoyed with the couple, showed Jim and Pam less as a perfect TV romance and more as a real human couple. Their inability to connect long distance that day rang incredibly true. When they left each other messages at the end of the day, missing each other by seconds again, they were completely in sync despite everything. I loved it. That moment was every bit as romantic as their swoon worthy kiss in the season 2 finale. 

And speaking of romantic, I almost broke down in tears when Michael finally connected with Holly. Michael may be insane but that makes it all the more rewarding when he finds someone who's insanity fits with his, and he found that person at the end of season 3, in Holly. With Jim's help, Michael's friendship with Holly has grown throughout the season until this episode which served as the turning point for them. It could have gone either way. He could have screwed it up, followed his old love for Jan into a further unhealthy situation or he could have walked away from Jan and followed something new. The writers and actors pulled this off beautifully, my heart was pounding, hoping Michael would find wisdom somewhere. When he pulled Holly into that hug at the end it was as perfect a moment as Michael Scott could ever be a part of. And the sweetness of his final testimony proved what viewers have known since we first met Holly, that she fits him better than Jan, her baby or anything or anyone else ever could. 

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