Here are lots of thoughts, in no particular order. After having my heart stopped in my chest over Numb3rs, and realizing that this is the only show whose cancellation would hurt more, I'm feeling so grateful about the fact that Jim and Pam still exist for the forseeable future that I hardly have any room in my heart for hate towards the other characters.
1. Dear everyone who defended Michael's virtues two weeks ago, mostly by repeatedly bringing up the one time he was sweet to Pam at her art show: you feeling at all chagrined yet? Maybe understanding Pam's horror a little better? Remembering that this is not an isolated case of Michael being shortsighted, shallow, and/or blunt to the point of cruelty? I'm feeling vindicated, is all, and I'm taking the opportunity to bask in how right I was, i.e. "gloat."
2. Pam? I thought we agreed, after Local Ad, that neither Jim nor you would ever wear brown again. It's very much not your color.
3. Um, Pam's mom seems kind of insane. And mean. I think I actually preferred Jim's brothers, which is desperately sad. Rather than believe she has always been this way, I choose to embrace my theory that insanity is a high-risk side effect of sleeping with Michael Scott. For example --
4. In the brief time we have known Mama Beesley 2.0, her litany of accomplishments includes: trying to talk Pam out of marriage, badmouthing Pam's dad, repeatedly calling her Pammy, dating her boss, nagging her about not being good enough at her job, making weirdly mean-spirited retorts about how long Pam has been pregnant vs. married, and sharing way, WAY too much information about her sex life (spare yourself and avoid deleted scene #1). I don't understand how Pam is still on speaking terms with her.
5. Seriously, I hate Pam's mom. This is depressing. Please never let her appear on screen again, even if she's not dating Michael, because the damage is done.
6. In fact, the only halfway decent thing she did the whole time was agree to be called "Grandma," which was a fleeting but sweet moment between the new in-laws.
7. thousandandonewords.com is my new favorite website. I'm starting to be okay with Ryan & Kelly only existing in online bonus footage, because that bonus footage is quite frequently more interesting & entertaining than what's happening on TV. Ryan's pretentiousness is a beautiful thing to behold.
8. Oh, and screw this Andy/Erin nonsense. I would believe in an OT3 of Kelly/Ryan/Erin. And by OT3, I mainly just mean kinky threesomes. "Exposure in the Workplace" has opened my eyes to a world of possibilities, okay?
9. NON-SEQUITUR: Speaking of how my brain is always attuned to The Office at all times, I saw this on thrifthorror , and after I finished laughing my ass off, concluded, "Really, Pam, would it have killed you to be as cheesy as possible for your Halloween costume?" I think she could have rocked this look:
10. I love that Pam tries to get payback for "Dinner Party," and that Jim shuts that escape route down every bit as effectively as she stopped him back then. Mostly because Pam is a far, far less convincing liar.
Jim: Oh, right as we were on our way out, too.
Pam: I know, isn't that always the way it goes?
Jim: Rarely, if ever.
11. Defensive!Jim, hooray! "Pam's sales are fine, actually..."
12. If anyone wants to mention how sweet and thoughtful Michael's scrapbook is, that's fine, but make sure you're not also one of the people who was disturbed that Jim bought the engagement ring after a week. Be consistent with your standards of what constitutes a creeper.
13. Once it devolved into a polite-off with Andy, I'm amazed that Dwight even remembered why he was trying to curry owed favors in the first place. At one point I got confused and wondered if they were dueling over Angela's affections again.
14. "Pamela Beesley Halpert"! It's the little things that make you happy.
15. Awww, look, Jim's arm is around her shoulders while they peruse the menu. (I am so easily placated, it's not even funny.)
16. Michael: Do you and Pam ever get frisky?
--I like how he doesn't even miss a beat on these types of questions anymore.
17. In a choice between a raise and hitting Michael Scott, I would hit Michael too. But unlike Pam, I would feel better afterward, because seeing her haul off and slap him was the most deeply satisfying thing I have seen since Jim proposed.
18. On the subject of Toby teaching Pam how to throw a punch: GLORIOUS. But I also couldn't help thinking, "Stop trying to live vicariously through her, Toby. You had your chance."
19. Ryan, to Michael: I'm concerned that you don't seem to understand what's going to happen.
20. Jim: Feel better?
Pam: No, you were right.
Me: Ugh. You've been so good about conforming to my beliefs, Pam, don't deviate now! This might be the first time in my life I have fundamentally disagreed with Jim, but I was not on board with his opinion at all. And maybe irrationally wanted to punch him for his superior attitude at the end.
21. I hate saying this, but: there's something endearing about the fact that even after she hit him as hard as she could, Michael still dreams about Pam being one of his best friends.
22. Conclusion: not a spectacular episode, and Dwight's subplot got old 5 minutes in, but I was so thrilled by the fact that Pam continued to do and say everything perfectly (until her lack of enthusiasm at the very end), thus making this whole Michael/Helene subplot barely 1/10th as unbearable as it could have been, that I hardly noticed the shortcomings.
--This review has been brought to you by Rainbow "Clearly Not Doing A Damn Lick of Work Today" Stevie.
Oh! Another thing I keep meaning to mention - the news that David Tennant's set to star in a series on NBC (Rex Is Not Your Lawyer). No, like American, broadcast network TV. A channel I get. In primetime. With lovely FCC standards in place. The medium with the potential for lots of episodes, assuming it is not a massive flop,
Even the idea that he might end up with an American accent only threw me for about five seconds, because I went straight from disappointment to OH BUT WAIT, this would coincide nicely with the fact that I've mentally cast him for one of the more important roles in my Great Big Complex Fictional Universe, for a character who is supposed to be American, but for whom I could never quite picture having anything less than the Doctor's accent. So basically: no matter what voice he winds up with, it's a winning situation. *pleased*