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October 8, 2015

The Office: Episode 12

by Annie Wu, posted Aug 15th 2006 9:44PM
The Office

(S02E06) I think this episode features one of Ricky Gervais' best dramatic performances. Yeah. Dramatic. As David begged to Neil and Jennifer to not make him redundant, his eyes glazed over with tears and his voice gently cracked. It was subtle and heart-breaking and, in that one instant, my views of David completely turned around. It also reminded me of how tragic this entire series is. I don't think I've ever seen a comedy series with such emotionally-realistic characters.

Gareth/speakerphone fun always seems to guarantee laughs. My favorite bit happened when Rachel and Dawn were chatting with Tim at his desk and Gareth's phone rang...

Gareth: Gareth Keenan, hello.
Anne: [speakerphone] Hi, baby! It's Anne!
Gareth: Alright?
Anne: Are you coming 'round tonight?
Gareth: Can't. Going out to Chasers with the lads.
Anne: Ohh, come around first. Well have a bit of fun together.
Gareth: Alright.
Anne: Have some fun.
Gareth: Yeah. Okay.
Anne: Are you... uh... gonna bring the toys again?
[Gareth scrambles to pick up the receiver as Tim, Rachel, and Dawn look on with increased morbid fascination]
Gareth: [into phone] Yeah. 'Kay. Yeah. Looking forward to... doing it... to you... too. Alright. Bye. [hangs up]
Tim: ... The toys?
Gareth: Shut up.
Tim: What are the toys? Is it Buckaroo? ... It's not Boggle, is it?
Gareth: Shut up.
Tim: If it's Ker-Plunk, I'm coming 'round.
Gareth: It was actually a private phone call!
Tim: Don't put it on speakerphone then! .... Is it Hungry Hippos?

Gareth actually did bring a toy to work. It was Dirty Bertie, one of those sex-joke toys that one can find at Spencer's. I don't know which was funnier... Tim's stunned/unamused reaction to Gareth's fascination, or the fact that Gareth felt the need to narrate everything that Bertie was doing (including pointing out the erection, like it wasn't obvious enough).

David seemed abnormally chipper for someone that was about to be fired. A lady stopped by to interview him for "Inside Paper". David was a very poor subject... He kept trying to tell the woman what to write ("Brent quipped...", "Brent mused...") and when she asked him about any relationships, he skirted around the fact that he didn't have a girlfriend by telling the woman, "I don't think you win a Pulitzer for filth!" I haven't seen this episode in a long time, and I was surprised to suddenly recognize the lady... Harriet from Green Wing! Very cool.

In the middle of the interview, Dawn approached David to hand in her notice. He kept acting like she was only quitting because he was leaving, but finally shut up when Dawn explained that she was going to the States with Lee. Meanwhile, Neil approached Tim about temporarily taking over David's job (a little more work for a lot more money). I was really surprised by how Tim suggested Gareth for the job instead and how heartfelt his recommendation was. Of course, in the usual The Office spirit, the moment was ruined as the Dirty Bertie sounds rang in the background. Eventually, Neil offered the job to Gareth, who happily took it and rubbed it in Tim's face. Heh.

It seemed like Tim was ready to make some real changes in his life when he broke it off with Rachel. Gareth attempted to comfort her (almost with Dirty Bertie on hand), but all he got was a teary-eyed "FUCK OFF." Word later spread around the office about Dawn's upcoming departure and Tim had a talk with her about it. I wanted Tim to tell her how he felt about her right then, but Lee walked in and ruined everything. Damn you, Lee! Then, there was a talking head interview with Dawn, during which she shared her realistic views on marriage and how she was well aware that relationships are not fairy tales. Ugggh. Dump Lee and go make out with Tim. PLEASE.

David was still being interviewed by the "Inside Paper" woman when the Cooper & Webb pair came in to tell David that they didn't need him anymore. Holy crap. If you slow down the DVD, you can actually pin-point the moment where David's spirit shatters into a billion little pieces. It's so beautiful. Y'know, it a really horrible way.

Tim did his own talking head interview. In the middle of answering a question about Dawn, he suddenly got up and walked out of the room, straight to Dawn's desk. He then led her into a different room and turned off his microphone. All we could see was Tim say something to Dawn, Dawn hug Tim and whisper something, and Tim leaving. He immediately sat back down at his desk and, almost as an afterthought, turned on his microphone again and said, "She said no, by the way." I've said it before, and I'll say it again... I hate it when I get emotionally involved with a TV relationship. Perfect example of why. I wanted to freaking die when Tim said that.

As if I wasn't feeling shitty enough, David had to become all human and stuff. When Neil and Jennifer finally stopped by to give David his redundancy package, he was still shaken up by the Cooper & Webb news. He almost completely broke down as he begged for his job back. I was amazed by how quickly I saw David in a different light. I also really enjoyed the final thoughts of the episode... So typical of The Office.

David: Life is a series of peaks and troughs... and you don't know whether you're in a trough until you're climbing out, or on a peak until you're coming down... and... that's it, y'know. You never know what's around the corner, but it's all good. If you want the rainbow, you've got to put up with the rain. Do you know which "philosopher" said that? Dolly Parton. And people just say she's a big pair of tits!

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Annie W.

Sorry, I've been told to cover the Specials once we re-start Retro Squad in a few months. I guess we're going to have to recreate the original airing's tortuous wait.

August 18 2006 at 1:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh please please PLEASE do the Christmas Specials!!!

August 16 2006 at 12:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matt Williams

I can't bear to watch all the way through an episode of The Office, I find it too painful. That's not to say I don't like it, I really do, it's just a 10 minute burst is usually all I can take.

August 16 2006 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Every time I watch this episode I have to watch the second Christmas special after it to make myself feel better...

August 16 2006 at 10:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Your retro-reviews are great.

Now that you've finished Season 2, will you do the christmas special episodes?

August 16 2006 at 7:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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