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August 29, 2015

Review: The Office - The Lover

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Oct 23rd 2009 1:03AM
The cast of NBC's 'The Office.'
(S06E07) "You know, I really would have appreciated a heads up that you were into dating mothers. I would have introduced you to mine." - Dwight

Ahh, that's more like it. After last week's garbage episode, "Mafia," The Office seems to be back on track by exploring two of the best plots the show has had in quite some time. Jim and Pam's wedding is obviously still the high-water mark, and it will probably continue to be that way for quite some time, but "The Lover" was certainly a step in the right direction.

Ever since the wedding, we've all been wondering about it -- could Michael actually be sleeping with Pam's mom? Well... yes. Just as Joel predicted in his review of "Niagara," the newly wedded Pam Halpert didn't take it too well either. The set-up here is really quite brilliant, too, because we've never truly seen Michael and Pam at odds like this before.

Sure, they've fought before but it's generally because Michael did something foolish like spill coffee on the copier or sneak into the women's room. He's banging Pam's mom and while Pam was quick to point out to Jim that this should bother him because she's his mom now too, I don't think he's even considered the fact that this means Michael could somehow become his step-father-in-law.

What's so great about this is how Michael actually rallied a large portion of the office to root for him when you'd think the majority would be disgusted by the boundary he's crossed. However, he made a pretty good point -- what's so bad about him? Why shouldn't he be happy? We know Pam "doesn't give a sh*t" about Michael's happiness, but most everyone else seems fine with the "there's a seat for every ass" mentality. Where this goes from here, I don't know for sure, but it's definitely a comedy gold mine. Just wait until that fancy dinner for four at Boticelli's really happens.

As for the second major plot, it was a bit of a holdover from before the wedding, but it's nice to see that Dwight's jealousy over Jim's promotion hasn't faded. Dwight has such a single-mindedness about his schemes that make them so futile yet funny at the same time. He has no plan to take down Jim. He just wants to spy on him. Through a hidden device. Hidden... in a duck, er, I mean, mallard.

Even better is how Jim thinks he has Dwight figured out, so much so that he accused Dwight of not being equipped for espionage once he finds the device. Of course, Dwight has the last laugh when he whips out the pen he also rigged... to listen to Jim with. I was really hoping for a hidden camera. I was also hoping Jim would follow through on his plan to send Dwight on a quest that mirrored the plot of National Treasure, but that didn't pan out either.

Regardless of what got left out, both of these conflicts have a lot of potential and even though we know it's likely that Jim and Pam will come out on top, it'll still be fun to watch Michael feel guilty and see Dwight continue to be a semi-inept spy.

Funny stuff:

  • "Con-quack-ulations!"
  • Creed cried while listening to the opera music. This guy is the most complicated character on television.
  • If I ever take an improv class, I am totally ripping off Blind Guy McSqueezy.
  • How long before that stuffed parrot from Michael's bottle of Puerto Rican rum is on his shoulder?
  • What's with Erin being such a brown-noser with Michael? Has she always been like that? Or was she simply trying to mark her territory to Pam, who used to be the receptionist? It was just candy...
  • Ryan hasn't done anything since last season when Michael got him his job back after Dunder Mifflin bought The Michael Scott Paper Company -- until now. He bought a fedora but he'd rather not tell you where.
  • I think a mural of prominent Chicano leaders would be a great way to help the community.
  • The Dwight/Michael relationship reached a new level of creepiness when Dwight offered to give his boss "the chills."
  • Michael called Pam's mom "boo."

[You can see clips and free episodes of The Office over at SlashControl.]

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Lee Adama

Read about the latest episode of The Office and other shows with TV Tango's Rapid Recaps & TV Web-bits From Last Week: http://www.tvtango.com/news/detail/id/108

October 26 2009 at 12:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was a little surprised to see the tension between Pam and Erin and it seemed like it hadn't been built up enough. I did however look on hulu.com and saw some 'webisode' that may be like deleted scenes or background that shows some tension between them. I feel like that could be interesting going forward.

October 24 2009 at 7:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@Kat: Pam's mother in season 2(?) was played by a different actor. Not sure if they changed actors solely because of this storyline or if it had to do with actors' availability, etc.

I thought Pam was way out of line. I wouldn't want Michael Scott dating my mom, but Pam's mom is an adult and she can choose to do what she wants. Honestly, Pam should be written up for insubordination for her comments in the conference room - even when Michael tried to redirect the conversation back to work, she continued railing on him.

I don't think Erin is really brown-nosing. I think she is just naturally young (read: naive, unsure) and just wants to do a good job at being a receptionist.

Out of all the characters on The Office, I have to honestly say that I think I dislike Pam the most. Even more than Ryan (who pocketed the $10 from Dwight for the mallard, and then reminded Kelly that she owed him $3 for gas) or Creed.

October 24 2009 at 1:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To the person who wanted to know the "ball" on Michael's Desk...


The Hoberman-Sphere.

October 23 2009 at 11:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Now we learned Michael is dating Pam's mom, I just wander: Will Michael and Pam still talking to each other? (I'm sure they will) How is Pam's dad gonna react when he finds out? It's important that he knows, although he has a girlfriend.

October 23 2009 at 11:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved this episode AND Mafia. Niagara part one was great, but part two: everything that can go wrong with an ep. of The Office, IMHO.

My review with some ace screencaps, if I might add...

October 23 2009 at 9:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This was possibly the best episode of the season rivaling 'Niagra.' Pam going berserk and Michael's attempts to act like nothing was wrong was great. Jim messing with Dwight, and then Dwight revealing his secret plan was brilliant. Full review of the episode.


October 23 2009 at 8:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Corey D

First of all this episode was amazing! I am genuinely surprised every week when the writer's up the ante, we are some blessed viewers for a show like The Office. Now Pam: I think her reaction was justified up to a point, but she did take it a little far. We all know Michael, and he really believed Pam when she said he needs to consider his happiness so did not see the harm in telling her. The initial shock was warranted because your boss sleeping with your mom is totally weird. When Pam got to the point of throwing a tantrum that is when it got to be a little much. She needs to remember that as flawed as Michael has been he has been there for her always and deserves this whether or not it is something she wants. Back when she had her art gallery and nobody showed up, Michael was there to support her and even bought the painting. Last season, Michael gave her a dose of compassion and reality in front of his condo when she realized the severity of quitting her job. Throughout the years, Michael has always been there for Pam at times even when Jim was not. It was especially heartbreaking when Michael said his piece in the conference room and Pam continued with her tantrum, I thought his speech was really affecting and rang true.

October 23 2009 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved this episode!!!!! It's good to see Michael and Pam confronting each other, like never happened, awesome!!!!!

October 23 2009 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

whats the name of the multi-coloured toy on Michale's desk? the ball that get bigger by stretching it ... I need the NAME ...please ! :)

October 23 2009 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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