The Office: Boys and Girls
Michael Scott (Steve Carell) puts it all in perspective at the end of this episode when he describes why an office needs both men and women to be present:
"You need to have that crazy sexual tension to keep things interesting."
How did we get to this prophetic (for Michael, anyway) statement? It begins with his boss (and unrequited love interest) Jan showing up at the Scranton office of Dunder Mifflin to conduct a "Women in the Workplace" roundtable and gathers all the ladies in the conference room to discuss their lives and how it relates to their careers, and vice versa.
Michael is threatened by the fact all the "Ally McBeal" women are gathered together and thinks they're talking about him. Jan throws him out of the room, so Michael decides to gather all the male office staff down in the "bowels of the office" aka the warehouse, which is run by foreman Darrell, who is not thrilled with what is going on. In addition, let's not forget that Pam's fiance Roy works there too, and Kevin mentions to Jim that he wonders if Roy has caught wind of Jim's previous/ongoing crush on her.
attempts to forge some male bonding and togetherness that although there are white collar and blue collar workers in the
same place, he says he is "collar blind." However, the warehouse guys can't hide their obvious contempt for
Michael, especially as he drives forklifts into inventory and ends up making a huge mess. Meanwhile, Roy and Jim make
small talk and Roy brings up the aforementioned crush. He says he's cool with Jim because all of that took place years
ago, so they move on.
As the guys continue to gripe about things, Pam discusses her dreams in the conference room, especially her interest in graphic arts. Jan mentions that the corporate office in New York has a program she might be interested in, but she says that she can't amke that kind of committment, although you can definitely tell that she wants to do it. (Of course, anyone who watched the British version of The Office knows that Dawn had the same aspirations, so it'll be interesting how this plays out.) The women continue to talk about dress and relationships, and Angela mentions that she is in the "healthiest relationship of my life." Her other half is Dwight, so one wonders what her "unhealthy" relationships must have been like.
We then cut to the warehouse guys demanding better working conditions and pay or they threaten to unionize. They get Michael to go along with the idea, but he runs upstairs to Jan to tell her what has transpired. Jan immediately comes down and sets everyone straight by saying that if they unionize, the office will close down. It seems to end everything right there, but we hear Darrell telling Michael that "it's not over."
Jim and Pam later encounter each other and discuss what has gone on. Pam tells him about the graphics program as we see a flashback where Roy definitely is putting his foot down and telling her not to do it. Jim tells her that she has to take chances in life, but she is quite emotional over the whole thing.
Simply another brilliant episode, IMHO. Michael was at his obnoxious and comedic best, and the progression of Jim and Pam's relationship seems like it's coming to a cliffhanger in the next few weeks.