The Office (BBC): Episode 5
by Annie Wu, posted Jun 27th 2006 11:04PM
(S01E05) Although this episode had its share of funny moments, the amount of character development cannot be ignored. This half-hour took Brent's desperation, Tim's exhaustion, Dawn's confusion, Finch's perversion, everyone's everything to a higher level. Plus, we got to see some of Slough's rocking night-life. Sweet.
In the beginning of the episode, Tim explained that he was thinking about returning to school to study Psychology. Clearly, The boredom of office life was doing nothing for him and the humiliation he suffered from at the end of the last episode only made matters worse. Throughout the episode, the friendship between Tim and Dawn suffered from a visible strain. Even the most simple attempts at conversation died quick deaths.
While Tim and Dawn barely hung on, the new girl, Donna, had already started a relationship. David was a little annoyed that she didn't tell him, her "guardian", that she was staying at someone else's place overnight, so he kept pestering her, only to cause Donna to shout, "I slept with someone in the office, everybody!" to David's horror. He left her alone after that.
Even though his bosses were urging the branches to limit staff, David decided to hire a secretary. There were two candidates: a young man named Stuart Foot (comedian Robin Ince) and a young lady named Karen Roper (Fun Fact: I think the actress playing Karen also appeared in the original pilot. She was the one that accidentally left her handbag in David's office and walked in on him wearing her lipstick). Well, guess which one David liked more right off the bat? Verbally, he made the examination seem balanced, but his actions showed that he had already picked Karen to be the secretary. I loved the part where he took a Polaroid for each candidate... He patiently took Karen's picture and lovingly held it. He only took Stuart's picture as an afterthought, without even looking at him. It gets me. Every. Single. Time.
To keep from demonstrating any sexual bias, David went through the interviews anyway. Stuart's interview was pathetic, but David put forth a real effort for Karen, pulling the interviewee's chair extremely close to his, rubbing cologne samples from GQ all over his neck, posing on his desk as she entered his office. He almost immediately gave her the job. As she filled out some final forms with Dawn, David tried to show off his manliness by kicking around a football (soccer ball, whatever), only to accidentally send it flying into Karen's face. Gahh! That moment is so perfectly done! It's all in the way Dawn comes to Karen's aid and David quickly backs away, muttering, "That's a man's game!"
Gareth attempted to get off with Donna when he made her come to his one-person Health and Safety seminar. He taught her not to keep her coffee on her computer monitor and how to properly lift a heavy box. He then asked if she was planning on sleeping with anyone else in the office, prompting Donna to exit quickly. God, Gareth is creepy.
Keith, the big fellow with the monotone voice, and Tim spent their lunch time together in the staff room. The execution of this moment was absolutely priceless. On the DVDs, there's a large portion of the bloopers dedicated to filming this one scene because the two actors kept cracking up (I couldn't find a YouTube video of the outtakes or the original scene, so French equivalent from Le Bureau will have to suffice). And yes, Keith got a new Scotch egg for every take. This is the BBC, people!
Keith: What'd you watch on the telly last night?
Tim: [reading through a booklet] I didn't watch telly, I watched a video.
Keith: I watched that Peak Practice.
Tim: Never seen it.
Keith: Bloody repeat.
Tim: Yeah... Annoying, isn't it?
Keith: Not for me. I hadn't seen it.
[Annoyed look from Tim]
Keith: Boring, isn't it? Staying in, watching Peak Practice with your life?
Keith: Not for me. I like it.
Tim: Yeah... I just stayed in. Had a bii-iig wank.
[Keith bites into his Scotch egg, chews for a few seconds, abruptly stops and looks at Tim]
Later that evening, Tim, David, Gareth, and Chris Finch went out to Chasers, a local bar/club. Finch was absolutely disgusting to all the women there, making crude remarks. David and Gareth laughed along (Gareth said that he likes women, but not loose women because getting an STD is considered irresponsible for a soldier like him... "You've been under attack for days, and there's a soldier down. He's wounded, gangrene's setting in... 'Who's used all the penicillin?!' 'Oh. Mark Paxton, sir. He's got a knob rot off some tart") but David told off Chris when he started telling Donna to sit on his face. So, apparently, it's okay to be rude to women until it hits too close to home.
They bumped into Karen, who was sporting a black eye. David, already drunk, greeted her with, "Don't worry! I don't have any balls!" Finch started kissing a bunch of girls. Donna revealed she was sleeping with the temp, Ricky. Gareth (whom Donna called a "weasel-faced arse") even found a lady in leather to make out with. But when he realized that the woman was already married and was just trying to bring Gareth home for a threesome with her husband, Gareth left her. At least he did better than drunk David, who didn't have any luck with the ladies...
Girl: So the only reason you've been talking to me is you want to shag me?!
David: Yeah! And from behind 'cause your breath stinks of onions... I didn't tell you that, did I?
[Girl slaps him]
Finch: Hey hey! One up the bum, no harm done!
David: No. Not up the arse.
[He drunkenly starts bobbing his head to the music]
The episode wrapped up with David doing voice-over commentary to Sir Jon Betjeman's poem "Slough" as everyone left Chasers. Tim walked out with a singing David, Finch was still making out with a girl, and Gareth tried to avoid the cameras as he snuck off with the leather couple, riding in their sidecar.