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November 23, 2014

The Office: Business Trip

by Jay Black, posted Nov 14th 2008 1:16AM
Possibly my last post (you know, because I might die on the drive home),(S05E07) So, right now I'm in Maine finishing up a round of college shows, approximately 500 miles from my wife and kid back in New Jersey. Two years ago, I was a teacher who was home every night. Now, I'm a comedian -- following my dream! -- and I'm pretty sure my kid's first words are going to be "cat's in the cradle..."

Watching the interplay between Pam and Jim tonight really hit home. I've seen my wife's face when I tell her that I've got to fly to Waukesha, WI (a real place!) to make with the ha-has. I've heard the resignation in her voice as she said, like Jim, "well, it's your dream."

There's been some grumbling in the comments that this season has been a bit off. I'm not 100% sure I agree with that, but I can understand where you're coming from. That said, let me ask you this: is there another comedy show on the planet that can pack such an emotional wallop? Phew...

All right, before you write your angry "this is supposed to be a review of The Office, Jay, not a blog about your many failings as a husband and father!" comments, let's get to the episode.

Michael is given a consolation prize since David Wallace (and a promising movie career) took Holly away: Winnipeg! Yes, Michael, along with Andy and Oscar, gets to take a business trip and approaches it with enough boyish enthusiasm that it just about makes him forget he's depressed. He's got a lot to be excited about: besides the business class seat (wow, business class in this economy? Either Dunder-Mifflin is doing great or Wallace feels really bad), the hotel, and the per diem, he's got Andy as the ultimate wingman, determined to get for Michael what Angela refuses to give to him.

Andy has always been a likable character, but tonight he might as well have been Fozzy Bear for all the good will and sympathy he engendered. He was a hell of a wingman (even better than The Matador), helping Michael score with a concierge and also willing to approach men on behalf of Oscar. Hitting on two dudes in Winnipeg on behalf of your gay buddy? That's commitment to a cause, my friends.

Andy's awesomeness cinched it for me: I'm officially on Team Andy. Don't get me wrong, I love Dwight, but I'm no longer rooting for him and Angela.

Either way, I hope they resolve the love triangle before the end of sweeps -- it's gone on long enough. At this point, it feels like we're just treading water, and that's not like The Office. Even at the height of Jim/Pam/Roy, it always felt like there was foward momentum. Let's get this thing out in the open and over already.

The business trip did something that is rare for this show: make a good episode outside of the confines of Dunder-Mifflin. I'm going to say something now that has never before been uttered in the English language: I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Winnipeg tonight.

Other Stuff:

-- Let me use this space to apologize to the writers. I was completely wrong about what they were doing with the Jim/Pam thing. I very much did not see Pam coming back tonight! It was a great moment that was made even better by Dwight's immediate order for her to start making copies. I'm excited to see where they take this.

-- A question to the ladies: were Ryan's pushups sexy even a little bit? Would they have been enough to pull you away from a smooth-talking teddy bear like Darryl? I need to know these things.

-- A question to everyone else: what was Ryan's game plan there? Was he hoping that Darryl was going to beat him up? That's the only angle I could figure out. Plus, I wasn't 100% happy with Ryan ending up with Kelly like that; it felt contrived and sitcommy. I'm happy that they're together -- it'll make for some fun stuff -- but it felt like the writers just pressed a big reset button. Next thing you know, Pam is going to wake up and find Roy in the shower, her whole engagement to Jim just a dream...

-- WMFL

-- Michael's speech to David Wallace was great. There's nothing like sex with a cast member from Reno 911 to help you realize just how depressed you are.

-- Which team are you on? Dwight or Andy? Explain your reasoning in the comments.

-- All right, I've been inspired. I'm going to leave Maine at this very moment so I can get home in time to surprise my wife when she gets home from work. I won't look as good Jim (or even, really, Kevin), but it'll be worth it. Also, if you see a goofy looking guy asleep at a rest stop on Route 95, please don't stab him to death, at least not tonight. He's on a mission. Wish me luck, gang!

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jordancda

I miss Karen.

November 17 2008 at 5:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michelle

Yes, Waukesha is a very real place...

November 15 2008 at 12:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Michelle's comment
Jim

It was funny that Waukesha was mentioned on The Office, and Tina Fey mentioned the BoDeans (who are from Waukesha) on 30 Rock.

November 15 2008 at 9:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Denise

I loved this episode, and I have to agree with the poster above who said that this season is much better than last.

I am definitely on team Dwight. Ever since they broke up I've been dying for them to get back together and if Angela really could break Andy's spirit, we know she cannot break Dwights.

Who would have thought Andy and Oscar would be a funny combination? I loved them together.

And of course what makes The Office great is that real emotion they can make you feel even after all the off the wall behavior. Like Michael's phone call and PAM standing there just when you thought she was gone for another six weeks. Priceless.

The push-ups...kinda sexy, but it was definitely the crawling back and begging for another chance from an ex that is irresistable! I laughed so hard when Darryl strutted to his truck. If it was me though, Ryan doesn't hold a candle to Darryl.

November 15 2008 at 12:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kyle

I think Michael's speech after telling off Wallace at the end hints at where his character could go. He said "it's great having a boss you can tell off without getting fired." I could seem them going down that round at season's end. The British version did it.

Makes me wonder what Michael would do for the next 2 seasons since Carrell is signed on.

November 14 2008 at 4:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kyle's comment
DK

Probably have a terrible life only to return triumphantly and win Holly's heart back while making peace with Jan, telling Dwight he's proud of him, and finally making his coworkers laugh.

*Shot of Dunder-Mifflin Sign*

and, Fin.

November 14 2008 at 5:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff

Given that Ryan showed disappointment both immediately after Darryl's text and during the interview in the last segment, I don't think he really wanted Kelly back. Remember that in his first episode back, he was making a "revenge" list, and I believe Kelly was on it.

My theory is that he was trying to get her to fall in love with him again and then dump her shortly after she had ruined her relationship with Darryl. He probably would have even denied making out with her and claimed that it was a deception on Kelly's part. But Darryl's compliance ruined the whole Machiavellian plot.

November 14 2008 at 3:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason S.

I must disagree with what you say others have been saying about this year and say that I believe this season is a huge step up from last years mediocre season.

And I'm Team Andy, in the sense that he needs to dump Angela's cheating ass and get a girl that deserves him! Andy rocks! Plus, it wouldn't kill me if Dwight and Angela were happily together again, talking to one another back to back like no one knows their secret.

November 14 2008 at 2:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sarah

I'm going to answer a question that hasn't been addressed yet:

Yes, there was something sexy about Ryan doing push-ups.

November 14 2008 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sarah's comment
Katie

There's also something sexy about a guy who dumped you that is now crawling back literally to your feet in so obvious and so pathetic a manner...If I were Kelly, I'd instantly think "I *own* him now". So yeah, it's more than just the push-ups that appeared to be sexy. Even if we know that Ryan might still be the fake little man that he is/was

November 14 2008 at 6:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Liz

When Kevin said "Day 1" to Jim after Pam said she had to stay for another 12 weeks, I turned to my boyfriend and said "But I want Pam to come back now!" And then Jim went outside and she was there. :O

I am on Team Dwight... Angela is not right for Andy. I'd rather Andy be with someone who really wants to be with him. Maybe Kelly after Ryan dumps her again. Hey Andy and Kelly are both crazy and cute and volatile in their own way...

November 14 2008 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gwara17

Great episode. Didn't laugh much either, but huge progress made in developing this season.

"Alexmonty," I was thinking the same thing. Why is there no HR rep? I'm pretty sure Toby's coming back (the next episode is called 'Frame Toby,' Paul Lieberstein is still a writer on the show, and I have heard rumors about Toby), but where is he? Plus, isn't he paralyzed (Weight Loss)? I don't know, maybe I'm wrong. But that got me thinking, Ryan replaced Jan, but who replaced Ryan? Why haven't we been introduced to Michael's new boss?

November 14 2008 at 1:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jennifer

I think Ryan genuinely wanted Kelly back. He's realized that he'll never be some big shot executive who gets to date models right and left. In his eyes he's settling for the girl he can get...Kelly.
The Darryl thing, to me, was just Ryan wanting to boost his ego. He was getting off on taking Kelly away from Darryl. So it was disappointing when Darryl couldn't have cared less.

They delivered my favorite scenes of the episode, hands down.

Oh and i'm on Team Andy. He doesn't deserve to get played by someone like Angela. I have a feeling they're going to drag it out till the end of the season.

November 14 2008 at 11:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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