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'The Office' - 'The Delivery' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 4th 2010 10:35PM
'The Office' - 'The Delivery'
(S06E16 / S06E17)
Remember how the one hour Pam/Jim wedding episode was considered by many -- including me -- to be 'The Office's' best episode of the season? Well, the one-hour Pam/Jim baby episode definitely isn't in that category.

Why? Because, through a lot of the episode, Pam and Jim displayed none of the charm that made us fall in sitcom love with them in the first place. To compound the situation, they're being written into situations that would make fans of 'Yes, Dear' cringe. But we'll get to that later.

As usual with most one-hour 'Office' episodes, the first half was better than the second. But even the first half of this one had some problems.

Not sure why the writers decided to have Pam give birth halfway through, then spend the second half of the episode with the pair during those first couple of tough days in the hospital. Maybe it was their usual desire to make hour-long episodes play out like complete half-hour episodes when they're broken up for syndication.

They got their wish; it really felt like two separate episodes, but not in a good way. Yes, we needed to see Jim and Pam struggle through the first couple of days of being parents, but did we really need to see them struggling to the point where Pam mistakenly breast-feeds her roommate's baby? Did we need to see Jim get jealous of the handsome lactation specialist as he manipulated Pam's nipples to get the baby to latch on? Both of those plot points seemed to come out of the Old Sitcom Joke Factory instead of something from the clever 'Office' writing staff. It smacked of filler.

But, then again, the writers haven't had any idea what to do with PB & J since the wedding. Two episodes ago, they were having daycare-searching mishaps. Now, Pam's obsessed with "nipple confusion" and such a difficult patient that the nurse says "You know everything, now" in a snide tone. It's almost as if Michael was the new mom, not Pam.

I'm not even sure I buy Pam's insistence on making it to midnight in order to get an extra day in the hospital, even though she looked like she was going to drop the kid right there in the lunch room. Pam has usually been pretty rational, and even through her pregnancy she's been cool-headed. It felt so uncharacteristic of her to do something so reckless. Jim going nuts, I can see. Jim diapering everything in sight, I can also see (loved Angela's reaction when Jim diapered her cat). But Pam pressing on through "Ultra Feast" even though her water broke was insane.

I did like how the entire office scrambled to get them out the door; they really are like a family. Even Michael was reasonable, and Jam seemed to trust him to get them to the hospital. I bet he wishes he didn't enter that room while Pam was in the extremes of labor. Some things just can't be unseen. I even give Dwight a pass for destroying their kitchen after seeing the mold; at least he rebuilt it. Hopefully, Jam will wash their sheets before they settle in for their first night.

Notice I'm not mentioning the second-half plot where Michael takes it upon himself to play matchmaker, citing his success with Pam and Jim. It felt like a means to an end, but that's about it. It finally got us to the point where Andy -- expert at hiding behind plants -- finally got the stones to ask Erin out. Even his last cute, indirect attempt got him nowhere, because he for some reason didn't realize that you send a fax to the same number you're sending it from. I'm just happy that the writers finally cleared all the artificial barriers and got these crazy kids together.

More fun stuff:
-- I always love how innocent, young and trusting Erin is. Michael talked her into having lunch with Kevin because she really did think Kevin was in mortal danger (then again, who wouldn't?).
-- We saw a glimpse of Pam's mom Helene, and how she reacts when Michael says "I love you... as a friend... only as a friend..." That look of disgust will always come across her face when she thinks of Michael.
-- Not sure why Pam's sister friend Isabelle has such a thing for Dwight, but she does. It's enough to get him to rethink his baby pact with Angela.
-- Only Dwight can contractually obligate Angela to have a boy, and also have specific instructions on how to make it happen ("keep the womb cold for five months").
-- Seeing placenta photos on the internet is probably the last thing Kelly should be doing. But it gave her more respect for Pam.
-- Of course Meredith has a shirt with nipple holes.
-- Great joke when Michael asked who wanted to live in a world where they're single and Stanley has two lovers: Stanley raised his hand.

[You can see clips and free episodes of 'The Office' from our friends at SlashControl.]

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The Office is one of my favorite shows, and I've loved most of the season thus far, but Thursday's 1 hour episode where Pam goes into labor was easily one of my least favorite episodes ever. It wasn't that funny. And at times I thought it was over the top silly. I couldn't fathom why Pam wanted to wait until midnight, as the contractions grew closer and then after her water broke. It was simply beyond stupid by that point. And by the time they did get Pam to leave, they turned into farce. What was up with the moment where Dwight stops to mention that he saw a dear?

There were moments of funny though...

I thought Andy's part where he had to change the paper he framed for the day the baby was born was hilarious. Scranton Strangler Strikes Again!

Pam breast feeding the wrong baby was cringe worthy, in a good-bad way, that reminded me of moments from the original BBC Office.

And I liked the guy who came in to assist Pam with breast feeding. Also cringe worthy!

Dwight sleeping naked in Pam and Jim's bed.

I guess I liked the second half of the hour more than the first half. Too bad it was a 30 minute episode, because it could have been a lot funnier with editing.

March 06 2010 at 10:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
launita loptien

seems like the writing is getting a little stale - this was not one of their best episodes and I am usually a avid fan of "The Office" !

March 06 2010 at 1:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Look, if you've had kids this is exactly what the Office wanted to compel in you. It's cute, touching, and makes you think of your escapades in childbirth.
If you haven't had kids, this episode is nice in a way. Shows the culmination of so much in the Jam relationship.
Was it funny? Not really. Was it up to par for the Office? Not really.
Did it make for great TV for some people (with kids)? Yes
Did it make for great TV for the rest of us? Not really.

March 06 2010 at 12:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I LOVE the Office, and this one-hour episode was no exception. I also thought Pam breast-feeding the wrong baby was HILARIOUS. How could one not laugh? LOL I also thought the actions of Pam and Jim were very realistic, which added to the funny factor of the episode.

March 06 2010 at 12:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Very unrealistic, Pam waiting so long. It's her first baby and she has no idea of what to expect, so she wouldn't take the chance to wait.

March 06 2010 at 12:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Janice's comment

A woman about to give birth is not always a rational thinking person. I know a perfectly sane woman, whom upon being left alone in the hospital room prior to birth tried to escape out of the window, due to her fear of having the baby. If you have ever watched your wife go through labour you soon realize that what took place in this episode what not that far fetched.

March 12 2010 at 11:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved the whole birth part of the show. My kids are in their 40's, but it made me remember so much - no private rooms, or rooming in, back then. But to pick up the wrong baby? It's entirely conceivable because it's true - midnight feedings are a knee jerk reaction! I thought that was the wrong baby as soon as Jim pulled the bassinette over - didn't know their baby was on the other side of the room, thought they'd suddenly realize she was in the nursery! lol But the midnight thing does go back to the insurance thing. Problem is, though, that Mom isn't admitted until she delivers - so the hospital stay begins at 12:01, regardless of the time she delivers - it depends on what time she's discharged from the recovery room (or delivery room, if she recovers there) as to what day her time starts. Maybe some hospitals, though, give 48 hours, since they had to be discharged by 3 PM. And I didn't even like The Office when it first started - Pam & Jim have turned me into a fan!

March 06 2010 at 12:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"If only you'd had sex seven and a half hours later!!!"

March 05 2010 at 11:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


I liked the 2nd half a lot better.

March 05 2010 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved both episodes. I have an eight-month old and the hospital scenes with the trouble getting the baby to nurse was so familiar to real-life. Being the office, they had to take it a couple of steps further and end up nursing other woman's baby but even that made me laugh so hard. Some of the other comments are right...when you are giving birth and the days afterward, everyone is different from their usual self. I was glad it was more realistic with a portrayal of happy, nervous, unsure new parents rather than a usual Jim and Pam easily having their baby.

March 05 2010 at 9:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This was a great episode. You may have lost your mojo Lea.

March 05 2010 at 9:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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