The Office (BBC): Episode 8
by Annie Wu, posted Jul 18th 2006 1:03PM
(S02E02) There was major development in the Tim/Dawn relationship (or lack thereof), thanks to a budding romance between Tim and one of the new girls. David's seething jealousy towards Neil also hit a new high. Plus, Keith's appraisal is in this episode. In other words, this episode is jam-packed with awesome.
The episode started with David trying to impress Oliver (the new/only black guy in the office) by speaking highly of Denzel Washington and Sidney Poitier. It's great how Oliver never pulls any faces or rolls his eyes at the camera, haha. He's such a polite victim. Meanwhile, Lee (under the watchful eye of Dawn) stopped by Tim's desk to apologize and leave a wrapped bottle of wine as a gift. "Just to put your mind at rest, there's nothing going on between them. 'Cause I would know. I've been watching him like a hawk and I would imagine you've been watching her on your end. So, between us, we've got it covered," Gareth said, before continuing his wrist exercises (not a euphemism!). Tim, Dawn, and Lee all silently stared at Gareth for a few moments after this before continuing their own business.
The day was going to be focused on David's staff appraisals, for which each employee filled out a form in advance, listing their strengths and weaknesses. There are so many outtakes from Tim's appraisal because Ricky Gervais and Martin Freeman just couldn't stop laughing. I probably would have had trouble keeping a straight face, as well... David's hand gestures are so random. It's like he has his own sign language. The moment where Tim caught David reading his "words of wisdom" from a print-out was also hysterical.
Dawn's appraisal was kind of depressing. She explained that she's always wanted to be an illustrator, but after taking up receptionist work, she hasn't found time to really pursue art anymore. David tried to make her feel better but it only emphasized the fact that Dawn's life was on the fast track to nowhere. The following exchange was one of my favorite moments from the episode:
David: If you had to name a role model, someone who's influenced you... Who would it be?
Dawn: What, like, a historical person?
David: No. Someone who's sort of... general life. Just someone who's really influenced you.
Dawn: There's my mum. She's strong, calm in the face of adversity. Oh, God. I remember when she had a hysterectomy --
David: Iiiiif it wasn't your mother. It doesn't even have to be a woman. It could be a...
Dawn: Man? Okay. Well. I suppose if it was a man, it'd be my father.
David: Not your father. Let's take your parents as read. I'm thinking of someone in the sort of work-related arena.
Dawn: Right. Okay. I suppose... Tim, then. He's always --
David: He's a friend, isn't he? Not a friend. Someone... in authority.
Dawn: Well, then I suppose Jennifer --
David: I thought we said not a woman!
Dawn: ... Uh. Okay. Well, I suppose you're the only one who --
David: Ohh! [chuckles awkwardly] Embarrassing. It's backfired. Oh dear... Very flattering. I don't know -- Can we put me as a --
Dawn: Okay, Tim then.
David: We said not Tim! So do you want to put me or not?!
Dawn: ... Okay.
David: Right. So, should I put "strong role model"?
Dawn: ... Okay.
There was a fire drill the same day. Trying to play hero, David attempted to take Brenda, the girl in the wheelchair, down the stairs, with the help of only fragile Gareth. Halfway down, they decided that it was pointless to exhaust themselves and carry her all the way down when it was only a drill (and yet they still didn't allow her to use the elevator). They left her and joined the rest of the group outside. There, Dawn silently watched as Tim continued flirting with Rachel. She was visibly pained, but still put on a good show when she made fun of Tim for being a little more than friendly with Rachel.
Now, one of the greatest moments in this season has got to be the David/Keith appraisal. David's mounting frustration, Keith's gum-snapping, and the writing's realistic approach made the moments completely priceless. I was tempted to post the entire dialogue, but it stretched a bit long. Here's a short snippet that makes me laugh every time...
David: Under "Strengths", you've just put "accounts".
David: But that's your job, that's just --
David: No, Keith, I'm sort of looking for skills within your job. Is there anything else you could have put there?
[Keith shrugs and grunts]
David: Okay. Um... Under "Weaknesses"... you've put "eczema".
David's relationship with the Swindon in-take didn't improve in this episode. After finding out that all of the new employees preferred Neil over him, David ordered them to go out with him for a drink at lunchtime. It ended up being a flop... Everyone at the table just sat around watching Keith eat his meal very, very slowly. There was a really brief moment where David rolled Brenda back and forth without asking to get to his seat, haha. After going back to the office, David saw Neil having a laugh and goofing off with some of the employees. He scolded Neil and the rest for playing about and stormed into his office. Neil had to go in and talk to David about his poor attitude. For a brief moment, I could really feel why David hated Neil, because Neil really was a great guy. Anyway, David agreed to act a little nicer, but as soon as Neil left, he told Tim and Gareth that Neil was slagging everyone off.
After finding out that Tim was single, Rachel asked him out. Dawn tried to shrug it off, but Gareth, on the other hand, had a bit of trouble because he had his eye on Rachel and wasn't keen on the idea of giving her up. Rachel jokingly told Gareth that she might want a bit of him even after going out with Tim. "I don't usually do sloppy seconds... but I judge things on individual merit, so we'll cross that river when we get to it." Haha, what a man of principle. Just as a co-worker came in to get some milk for his coffee, Gareth came back and told Rachel, "If you do go all the way with Tim and you expect me to go in there afterwards, make sure he wears a condom. It's sort of a rule." Yet another brilliant silence between Rachel and the other employee.
Still upset over Neil, David moped about in his office. It was the end of the day/week, so everyone was excited to leave. Dawn dropped off some papers for David before saying good-bye, but David made her stick around and have a beer (he kept some drinkies under his desk "for emergencies"). "Do you think I'm funny?" he asked. Dawn had to try and humor him and keep from hurting his feelings. He seemed to enjoy her company, but Dawn clearly wanted to get the fuck out... especially when David started reading his poetry...
I froze your tears and made a dagger
And stabbed it in my cock forever.
It stays there like Excalibur.
Are you my Arthur?
Say you are.
Take this cool, dark, steeled blade.
Steal it, sheath it
In your lake.
I'd drown with you to be together.
Must you breathe?
'Cause I need heaven.
A fantastic ending to another great episode.