THAT'S HOW AWESOME THIS EPISODE IS. STRAIGHT-UP CAPSLOCK.
Oh, my God, I love Pam more than words can ever express and also to the point where, for the first time since season 3, she has been a significant threat to Jim for the position of favorite character. I was afraid to take a breath, lest a miss a moment of her scenes, in which she blew me away by saying everything I wanted to say, and more. She was perfect. I will not read anyone else's opinion on the subject, because her reactions were so unbelievably dead-on.
Basically: from now until the end of time, whenever I rage about things, think about Pam in this episode, and one of her various responses to the news is sure to be how I'm behaving at the given moment. The screaming, the heavy sarcasm, the snapping at Jim, the silent treatment, the glares...oh, and the near-shaking with the effort of walking out of the kitchen without saying another word? That part especially; that's how I looked last week when I was trying not to curse out Erin.
Some specific lines that brought tears of joy to my eyes:
* "No, I am not being dramatic, you are being CRAZY!" (You know, the real reason I've been so upset about this creepy Michael/Pam's mom storyline is that I didn't understand how she would go anywhere near him after the zillions of horror stories Pam must have told her over the years. This nicely addressed that fact.)
* "I have a way to make Scranton a betterplace - you could leave it." (Yes! I have been saying this for years!)
* "Welcome to my PERSONAL HELL!"
* "Whatever. You know, sleep with my mom, sleep with everybody's mom!" (the best part of this is how Ryan actually takes offense. "Hey, that's my mom you're talking about!")
* "Michael. Let me make this very easy for you. I COULD GIVE A @($*@ ABOUT YOUR HAPPINESS!"
* And most of all, "What is wrong with all of you?? He is sleeping with my mother!" ( This is why I can't even comprehend the idea that anyone thought she was overreacting, because she explains it right here. You hear that, audience? Pam is actually yelling at you from within the episode. It's like an invisible fourth wall, of sorts. )
What's so wrong about Michael Scott? Well, I have a laundry list several miles long, but for one -- he opened tonight's episode by playing Blind Guy McSqueezy and has no concept of why that's inappropriate. That's a good place to start.
Other Things That Were Glorious
-Ryan's Jaunty Fedora of Mysterious Origins!
-KELLY. RYAN. HAVING RANDOM CONVERSATIONS. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! *runs around in crazy circles of speechless joy*
Although I still don't understand why the camera guys lost interest in this relationship, which is clearly continuing to happen in some capacity behind the scenes. They'll drive to Niagara Falls and chase Jim and Pam onto the Maid of the Mist, but they can't spare two seconds to pull Ryan or Kelly into the conference room to ask them how it's going? That's just lazy.
-"Dwight picked the wrong day to put a wooden mallard in my office." Jim's face while holding this sign = *shivers* And then he threatened the duck. Awesome.
-Jim gave the duck to Kelly! Silence your logical explanations; my special wayward shipping radar is not thwarted by silly things like wedding bands.
-PROFESSOR DAMON D. DUCK. Oh my God, I don't even have words for this subplot. First of all, I want a cute wooden mallard in my office. I would make it work with the decor. Second of all...this subplot is definitely the best thing since "Customer Survey.". Jim's half-joking idea to make Dwight live out the plot of "National Treasure"? Using Andy and playing opera music over their conversation to up Dwight's paranoia? "You're not equipped for espionage"? The straight-faced, solemn order that "you will wash and buff our car," which Dwight humbly agrees to?
-How about THE FACT THAT DWIGHT ACTUALLY WON THIS ROUND. I should be sad, and yet! And yet! I am so thrilled that they managed to slip one right past us. Sure, of course I registered him putting the pen back on Jim's desk, but naturally paid it no mind. And then it was a recording device! My eyes are shining with love right now at the masterful sleight-of-hand trickery. BRILLIANT. By the way..
-I would totally listen to 8 hours of Jim talking about paper. Shut up. Stop looking at me funny.
-At one point, Stanley had a literal :D face when Pam was chanting "No more meetings." hjea got me to notice it, so you should all run and take a second look.
-EVERYTHING ABOUT JIM FINDING OUT. I was speechlessly happy throughout the entire kitchen conversation. I particularly like that he doesn't even miss a beat while switching from casually bemused to swearing, takes another sip of coffee, and then proceeds to have a total meltdown, culminating in ANGRY SHOUTING, unhinged enough to make him immediately self-conscious of the camera. Even more priceless than his wide eyes and tight-lipped headshake at the suggestion that he might be underestimating Pam's potential wrath.
-"Don't call her 'the mom'."
-Was a bit sad that Jim had to continue his slow but horrific morph into Michael Scott 2 by yelling at Toby, though. Next he'll be driving his car into a lake. ...now I'm just wondering if he said anything along the lines of "Where are the turtles?" upon seeing Dwight's wedding gift.
-Michael: "I hope that you are willing to die in this office."
-Jim: "Just take the parrot." Speaking of which, omg, how cute was that thing? I want one to go with my hypothetical wooden mallard. I don't even drink, and I need a bottle of rum with a stuffed parrot clutching it.
-Michael and Toby hugged it out! Temporarily. But still! It was a day that shall live in infamy.
-The unholy gleam of pleasure in Angela's eyes before asking Pam how her day was going. Evil!Angela is the best!
-10,000 other things I've already forgotten, because this episode was perfect.
-[Edit: Oh! In one of the deleted scenes, Pam throws up after her screaming fest in the parking lot. This, too, I felt was an appropriate reaction to such horrific news.]
-I'm slightly ashamed of myself that I was on my third rewatch before I remembered to look for, and then flail about, seeing their wedding rings worn for the first time. Still. There is no denying that Jim's hotness just increased fivefold.
-"Frank and Beans" is one of the only things I did not like in this episode, so I hate that it's central to their storyline. It's so horrifically godawful and cringe-inducing, it actually out-awfuls those Fonz impressions last season. They look and sound like idiots; I DESPISE WHEN PEOPLE MAKE FOOLS OF THEMSELVES. /angry rant.
That being said, the level of Jim/Pam in general made me faint with joy. First the opening talking head, then the joint gift-giving that slowly devolved into horror, then...
-He brought her hot chocolate and her coat. I can has a Jim? I love, love, love how patiently he's riding out her mild wave of insanity (I still don't think she's overreacting. She is, however, reacting a lot. And loudly. The best thing to do is let her blow off steam).
-Furthermore, this made me laugh ridiculously hard:
-So their honeymoon was really great and romantic, despite all those crazy phone calls and credit card cancellations? They even brought candy & parrot rum back for the same people that kept interrupting them? You know what I think, I think my theory that the previous episode didn't actually happen just got some serious support.
-Meanwhile, I get to treasure the idea of them night swimming. Which is terribly adorable, and also, writers? You deserve like fifteen tubs of Coco Leche for finding a way to drop as many details as you did about their honeymoon. I love you.
-LAST SCENE FTW. I love that he totally lies, covering up his victory over Dwight with something that will make her feel even better. I love that she's finally calmed down, and I love her cute little request for him to "Say more nice things." His arm around her and her head on his shoulder made me squeal.
-But best of all? Besides the fact that Jim has learned the fine art of "your wife is always right," is that Pam is awesome to the end and never lets me down - I may have punched the air in triumph at her last line.
"Maybe I'm overreacting."
"I don't think I am, though."
"You're not. Nope."
-Also, there's a deleted scene in which Erin, perhaps in an attempt to make up for the fact that she's really @(*$&% annoying and needs to die yesterday, calls them "The Halperts" and thus redeems .02% of my angry wrath. *bliss*
-Oh! I forgot to mention, I hated Pam's clothes a lot less after noticing that she and Jim are sickeningly matchy-matchy with their outfits. It's the little things that keep me happy.
Very Minor Things I Did Not Enjoy
-Dwight giving Michael "chills"
-The aforementioned Frank-n-Beans
-Erin. The hell? I don't even...."the hell" is literally I can say about her levels of freakishly slave-like obedience.
But every other second was pure friggin' gold. Far and away the best episode of the season, and better than anything from last year to boot - this is one of the series highlights.
In conclusion, I repeat: PAM!!!! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
Thank you for fully expressing the horror of Michael dating your mom so that I didn't have to figure out how to say it myself.