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July 26, 2014

The Office: Conflict Resolution

by Michael Sciannamea, posted May 5th 2006 11:45AM

Jim and Pam in seemingly happier times(S02E17) When you spend at least 40 hours in a confined area with the same people five days a week, it would not be a stretch to say that some conflicts will arise. At the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of Dunder Mifflin, the term "conflict" rises to a new level when we learn of some of the seemingly hundreds of issues the staff has with each other. Of course, Dwight, the resident psycho (who asks "Can you imagine if I was deranged?"), has a regularly scheduled time when he submits a complaint about Jim (Fridays at 4 pm) which he thinks are being sent to the corporate office, but end up in a box under Toby's desk.

Michael is not pleased with Toby's method of conflict resolution, so he decides to take matters into his own hands and whips out his "Mediator's Tool Chest" which he basically leverages to make sure that he comes out ahead, no matter what. The issues that the staff members have with each other are quite novel, including Angela and Oscar's dispute over her poster featuring two babies playing saxophones, and Ryan stating that Creed "smells like death."

However, Pam is shocked to learn that the person who she thought complained about her constant talk of wedding plans was not Angela but Jim! Now we have to question whether Jim is upset over just the talk of the wedding OR the actual wedding itself. The flirtation/relationship between the both of them is certainly coming to some sort of head, and the previews of next week's season finale hint at it when Jim is told that he must say something to Pam. In addition, Dwight is pushing for Jim to transfer to another branch, and we briefly saw Jim going into Jan's office seemingly to talk about it. If and when Pam finds out about Jim's intentions, will she put a stop to them?

After a so-so episode last week, this was one was a return to brilliance. The interplay between the cast was top-notch, and even though I've complained much about Dwight's over-the-top behavior, it seemed to work quite well this time around, and actually had a purpose to the story. I am anxiously awaiting next week's episode, and am looking forward to the next chapter in the Jim and Pam story as well as whether Michael has found romance.

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Melissa

Ok, enough with saying that last week's episode was "so-so." Do you TiVo the show? If not, you need to download it from itunes and watch it again. And again. It was brilliant.

Creed is hilarious. He's had some fantastic lines lately. I loved the look on his face after hearing about Ryan's "complaint," followed by his explanation.

The fact that the complaints were really just things that people were talking to Toby about, not actual complaints (except for Dwight), was priceless.

There is no way that Pam and Jim's love will come into fruition soon. I wouldn't even expect it next season. Similar to the Daphne/Niles love plot on Frasier, they will find some way to drag it out. I mean, even the BBC version left it hanging until RIGHT before the credits! But if Pam doesn't want to marry Jim, I will.

May 06 2006 at 2:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael G

I was depressed and happy all at the same time.

Toby was Awesome, I laughed at every conflict, The Poster, Dwight Chimp line, and then smiling in the group photo.

But sad for Jim and Pam. I almost felt like they broke up. Jim looking for another job, was great for Dwight, but oh so bad for Pam. I like Pam. (tear drop on keyboard)

May 06 2006 at 12:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob

Paul Leiberstein as Toby is one of the funniest things on television. He can do a take to the camera better than anyone on either version of the Office (UK/US). He is also a writer and producer so he is uber-talented, but who knew he would be so deadpan hilarious as the HR guy. More Toby please!

May 05 2006 at 5:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ali Baba Ghanoush

Who brings a spud gun to work in this day and age? I mean, honestly.

May 05 2006 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jamTVman

when i was in my early 20's i worked as a low-level manager in a big hospital's administration group.

we pranked a ton and it was great, including

1. filling a desk up with 500+ pens (from the stockroom)

2. sending weird things (weird hospital things) through interoffice mail.

3. leaving bizzare messages taped to peoples desks.

the funniest part was that it drove some people crazy, and we quickly sensed who. you know how people have photo montages in their office? whenever we saw this person we put a pushpin in her nose. soon the pranking was an agenda item at staff meetings.

the whole thing became about the reactions, not the pranks.

it ended at the going away party for my co-conspirator. she got up to "say a few words" and outed me as the perp! yipes.

love the office

May 05 2006 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alison

when jim was talking about the phone prank: "I had to put more and more nickels into his handset, til he got used to the weight, and then I just took them all out," i had to pause the tivo because i was laughing so hard. then i watched it again. it was all in the delivery.

god bless tivo.

May 05 2006 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
theattack

the whole scene when dwight was complaining about all the great pranks Jim did to him, mixed with Jim telling the confession camera how he did it, was so funny i coulndt breather for about 2 minutes. i love dark humor.

May 05 2006 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Guido

this show has become must see tv for me, it's by far my #1 show.

tanster I laughed at every quote you wrote...

May 05 2006 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tanster

Some of my favorite quotes and moments:

Creed: I sprout mung beans on a damp paper towel in my desk drawer. Very nutritious, but they smell like death.

Dwight: I never smile if I can help it. Showing ones teeth is a submission signal in primates. When someone smiles at me, all I see is a chimpanzee begging for its life.

Michael (reading Dwight's complaint): This morning, I knocked myself in the head with the phone.
Jim: That actually took awhile. I had to put uh more and more nickels into his handset, til he got used to the weight, and then I just ... took them all out.

Creed posing for his I.D. picture like it was a mug shot.

Kevin quickly agreeing to Michael's decision for Angela to sexually harass him.

The clever "Raiders of the Lost Ark" reference when Toby stores Dwight's complaints in that massive warehouse.

Michael's badly PhotoShopped group photo.

Quotes are up at http://www.officetally.com/?p=232!

:) tanster

May 05 2006 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TuckerKatt

"Now we have to question whether Jim is upset over just the talk of the wedding OR the actual wedding itself."

There's no question here.

May 05 2006 at 12:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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