The Office: Diwali
(S03E06) You know, this show does it to me every time. I've probably reviewed about 10 episodes of The Office that I have considered classics. Well, you can count this one as number 11.
The episode focused on "Diwali", a major Hindu festival which is celebrated, coincidentally, at this time of the year. In this instance, Kelly has invited the entire staff to a Diwali celebration, and most of the folks are enthusiastic about going, but some, including Angela, are a bit skeptical, if not downright hostile to the idea.
To drum up enthusiasm, Michael convenes a meeting where he attempts to explain "Hindu Halloween" and celebrate the diversity of the Indian/Hindu culture. His presentation includes pictures of famous Indians, and one of them was Apu from The Simpsons, which elicited guffaws from this blogger. Absolute brilliance from the writers.
At the same time, we see Jim discuss his bike riding to work in order to save on gas money and stay in shape. Back in Scranton, the meeting reaches a fever pitch when copies of the "Kama Sutra" are distributed to the staff. Angela thinks it's inappropriate, and Toby seconds the thought, which annoys Michael.
The staff arrive at the festival location, and that's where the fun begins. As we well know, Ryan dates Kelly, who happens to be Indian. Dressed in a traditional outfit, he ends up meeting Kelly's sisters as well as her parents, but the family don't seem that taken with him. Her parents grill him about his financial situation, but it doesn't seem that he has made a good impression. It's funny that although we've seen Ryan downplay his relationship with Kelly, he is attending a major celebration with her and meeting her family. What's that all about?
During the festival we see a number of funny scenes, including Michael dancing with some festival goers. The look of joy on his face was priceless! Everybody else on the staff, save for Angela, seems to be having a great time. Pam even shows up later after saying she wouldn't come, and it looked like she was going to make some sort of connection with a young guy, but nothing seem to come of it.
Back in Stamford, Karen, Jim, and Andy have to work late on a project, and Andy immediately breaks out a bottle. Jim and Andy end up doing shots until they pass out while Karen pours her drinks out. Jim eventually wakes up and attempts to bike home, but he keels over and Karen ends up giving him a ride home.
For me, the Stamford scenes don't seem to add much to the story other than the burgeoning flirtation between Jim and Karen. Will it amount to anything? I guess we'll find out over the next few weeks.
Anyway, Michael brought his girlfriend Carol to the festival, who is dressed in a cheerleader outfit. During all the hoopla, Michael is suddenly overcome with passion/emotion and then grabs a microphone and proposes to her. She is taken aback and says they need to discuss this further.
They part ways with Carol driving home alone and Michael looking for a ride. It doesn't seem that Michael and Carol will be together, but stranger things have happened. Pam was attempting to text message someone (Jim?), and then encounters Michael outside. He then tries to engage her into a discussion about them both losing out on love, but Pam kind of sets him straight. She then gives him a ride home, but he is made to sit in the back seat.
Just a terrific episode. The scenes inside the hall were hysterical, especially the dancing. Will Michael get back into Carol's good graces? Will Pam continue to exhibit her independence? Will Jim and Karen hook up? The next few episodes should give us some sort of clue.