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September 2, 2015

The Office: Grief Counseling

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Oct 13th 2006 11:32AM

the gang(S03E04) Is our hero Michael Scott feeling a bit of his own mortality? He was really devastated by the news of his old boss' death, and he could not comprehend why his staff and his manager (Jan) did not feel the same way he did.

I thought Pam was especially good in this episode, especially when making Michael get coffee from the warehouse during his walking down the stairs bit and during the funeral pyre scene where she broke out in song. I guess the fact that she feels liberated from Roy (and Jim, to some extent) is allowing her personality and sense of humor to come out even more.

To me, the best line of the night was when Michael was describing the 5 steps of grief--denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance--and he said that if "I can get everyone depressed, that'll be good enough for me." I'm paraphrasing, but you get the gist of the idea. Although he's trying to be sincere, the buffoon in him is still there, and I'm sure we wouldn't have it any other way.

Up in Stamford, it looks like Jim and Karen may be headed toward getting together. I'm sure eventually word will filter down to the Scranton office, and most likely Michael will blurt something out in Pam's presence. How will she deal with it, especially with Roy trying to win her back?

The staff grief counseling meeting was good, but when Kevin started with his Weekend at Bernie's story, I nearly lost it. (I've always thought Weekend at Bernie's remains one of the more unsung funny movies of the 80s.)

Anyway, another solid episode with Steve Carell at his best.

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Ali Baba Ghanoush

Wait a minute. Ed Truck was decapitated by an 18-wheeler? Makes you wonder what would've happened to him if he was named Ed Morphine, doesn't it?

October 19 2006 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carl LaFong

Relax, Jim will be back to the Scranton office. I'm enjoying how they are making a mini-plot in the corporate office with Jim and Karen and his psycho neighbor. It's a rare network show where all the characters are likeable. Happens on cable but rarely on the main networks.

October 16 2006 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Pam was great in this episode. My favorite part was when Pam and Ryan passed off Movie Plots for their own experiences with death during the grief counselling session.
Jim in Stamford is getting kinda annoying though.

Also, I made a quiz for this episode that you might all enjoy.

October 16 2006 at 1:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

yes yes! The Lion King. Thanks TuckerKatt.

October 15 2006 at 10:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nick - It was mostly Michael & Pam I was referring to. As pathetic and odd as Michael is, his getting so worked up over the bird dying just seemed out of character, even for him. I understand the internalizing of his old boss's death and his sudden obsession with the fragility of life, but still, it seemed too over the top.

Pam is a nice person and everything she did was motivated by wanting to make Michael feel a little better, but again it just seemed over the top for her to take up the bird funeral cause to the extent that she did. Obviously, if Jim had been around they would have mocked it all day and had to stifle their laughter throughout the funeral. Without Jim I don't expect her to have fun with it, but ignoring it would've seemed more in character to me.

I also thought Dwight was out of character when he told the warehouse guys to clean up the bird, specifically when he yelled "Mush!" at them. Isn't he normally scared of the warehouse guys, seeing as how they are much bigger than the kids he preys on in his ka-ra-te (you have to say it like Dwight) class?

On another tangent, I love the Jim scenes and the whole storyline of him being away from Scranton. Ed Helms is great as a doofus ("Have you checked...your butt?"). The show needs Jim being interested in Karen to prolong the Jim/Pam cat/mouse game. I know a lot of viewers want them to get together ASAP, but then we'd have no Jim/Pam tension to look forward to. I think it's similar to the way some Lost viewers complain about not getting enough info each episode. If the writers explained everything about the Island and the crash victims and the Others and the Hanso Foundation and etc etc all at once, what would we continue to tune in for?

ann - The Lion King.

October 14 2006 at 9:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like the song Pam sang at the ceremony.

October 14 2006 at 9:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jim's storyline in the other branch is tedious. I hope it ends quickly. Those folks just aren't that funny. We need more things put in Jell-o.

October 14 2006 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What was the movie that Ryan was referencing? I know it is on the tip of my tongue.

I liked that Ryan took on the "playing" role with Pam a bit.

October 13 2006 at 7:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The only reason Michael reacted to his former boss' death in the extreme manner he did, was because he realized he might get sympathy from his staff. He seemed nonchalant about Ed's death when Jan told him on the phone, but the minute after Kelly gave Michael a big hug and sympathy, that's when Michael started acting like an idiot. Which, with Steve Carell, was hilariously priceless.

I think that before this season is finished, Pam and Ryan might go on a date or three, which will, of course, create all sorts of relationship problems inside Dunder-Mifflin. Just a hunch...

October 13 2006 at 4:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm surprised no one noticed or rather mentioned that all the lonelyness talk was getting to Pam. On several occasions when Michael was emphasizing the lonelyness of being alone and dying alone and all that, it cut to Pam looking sad and realizing that she may end up alone. I think that's why she was more open to Roy. I got the feeling that she may go back to him.

October 13 2006 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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