'The Office' - 'The Delivery' Recap
by Joel Keller, posted Mar 4th 2010 10:35PM
(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
-- 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.]