I'm torn on how I feel about this episode. On the one hand, I loathed the dumbass murder-mystery game like you wouldn't believe. On the other, Jim hated it even more than I did, and his explosive reactions were even more satisfying to watch than Pam screaming at Michael. So did I hate this episode on principle, or love it in spite of itself? I tell you, it is an agonizing paradox.
-Seriously, that game was painful. The hideous accents, Andy's more hideous attempt to correct the accents, and nearly everything Pam did, which I refuse to let into my brain because it will take me back to a place of season 5 hatred...
-Relatedly: anything Andy and Erin said (most of which I am still blissfully ignorant about, because I AWESOMELY slapped muzzles on their moronic thoughts and skipped nearly every scene they shared or talking-head they gave)
-Oh, Jim, you did not just shoot down the idea of having an office filled with adorable hamsters. Lame! Tube City is the best idea Michael has ever had; I would kill to work in an office like that. For the sake of my sanity, I have to believe that he did this solely out of compassion for the little creatures, fearing that they would get lost in the miles of tubing and starve to death before they made it back to their food.
For the record, in a choice between hamsters and hitting Michael Scott, I would pick hamsters. To recap: Tube City > hitting Michael Scott > a raise.
Some pictures to remember the glory of what might have been:
-Oh, no way. Tell me I did not just see Erin eating mixed-berry yogurt. HAVEN'T YOU TAKEN ENOUGH FROM PAM? I better hear in the next five seconds that it was only blueberry on that container, otherwise it's going to get very ugly, very fast.
-Cold Open: Well, at least if Jim & Pam want to save money on entertainment, they can always count on Dwight for a free show. (on a related note: how is everyone watching this with a straight face? I have tried, and tried, and I cannot get to the end without laughing at least once.)
-What the hell is Ryan wearing today? I cannot stop staring at him. It's this baffling mix of preppy college kid and total nerd. What is that, I don't even know*. On the other hand, I feel like if he was wearing his jaunty fedora, he could have pulled this look off no problem.
*Edit: and why does everyone keep talking about how hot he is all of a sudden? Uh, Ryan, in order to get hotter you take glasses off.
-Explain to me how, with an entire cupboard shelf full of awesome games, Michael picked the only one that I couldn't stand? I would have paid money to see the office engage in a little Risk warfare. Or even a vicious Connect 4 tournament.
-A little part of me is sad that Co-Manager Jim has had his sense of fun and whimsy removed. A voiding all semblance of work, plus amusing accents? Young Jim would have been all over this.
-Is it just me, or does Andy look about 20 years older than Erin? The idea of them together is so incomprehensible, I don't even think I can believe in its existence enough to hate it.
-You know how Pam has been my sounding board this year, saying and doing everything exactly as I'd want her to, and generally being amazing? Well, in this episode, that was Jim. Every knee-jerk reaction, facial expression, and emotion that I experienced, Jim was playing out on screen at every turn. I was particularly proud of him when he gaped and threw up his hands in disbelief as Pam actually left his office to go back to the game.
-I was also pretty proud of him at the end, when he didn't even try to play along with her antics, just sounded tired and bugged her to go home. Awesome.
-I love that Jim twitches his way through Michael's introduction of the game. And keeps silently begging the camera guy to kill either Michael or him.
Me: O.O (stunned silence)
Holy crap, I maybe needed to rewind that a time or ten. And then he slammed the door so hard I'm surprised the glass didn't crack. Damn. I need to consult a thesaurus on how to make "hot!angry!Jim" sound a hundred times more intense, because that description doesn't even begin to cover what I just saw.
-However, I love that in the end, Michael's insanity actually turns out to have a sweet purpose. Which doesn't make the game any less stupid, but it softens my anger when I know it's less about Michael burying his head in the sand ostrich-style, and more about consciously trying to protect his little office family.
-OFFICE CONVO. I think Pam is somehow getting prettier by the day:
Funny, I almost missed this moment the first time around. My musing out loud: "Erin/Andy, skip. Michael/Dwight, skip. OMG JIM/PAM! Screeeeeech, back this thing up!." I would have missed the joint-TH entirely if it hadn't come immediately before this scene, which would have been a shame ("Both. They're both worse."), but the fact that this conversation in his office exists immediately boosted my mood 300%.
God, I love when Jim goes into Reassurance Mode. And even though Michael rudely interrupts before they can get anywhere significant, I still feel a lot better.
-I also love when Jim is in Actual Working Mode, and that behind the scenes, he's spent the day busting his hump to secure a potentially massive client. And apparently reacting to crisis better than David Wallace, albeit probably because he's more removed and has less direct responsibility on his shoulders. Sometimes, I am okay with trading part of his sense of fun and whimsy in exchange for this.
-Stanley: Do we have to play?
Because Jim's not my only hero in this episode. :)
One: Ahahahaha, my only comfort in Erin's existence comes from when everyone is mean to her. Like, remember on the Board of No Teasing, where her request is about being an orphan? My immediate reaction was to point and laugh, Nelson Munce style, and quote "Ha-ha! You're unloved!" So having Michael gripe at her = awesome.
Seriously, crying for no reason and then laughing two seconds later? Idiot. She is the special kind of pea-brain girl that makes Kelly Kapoor look smart & self-aware.
Two: "My name is 'Jim,' and I am a time traveler from 2009." Hee!
The internet is talking this episode up like it's the greatest thing ever, which was exactly the impetus I needed to determine it's actually down near the bottom of this season's offerings so far, boxing with the wedding episode for 6th/7th of 9. Which does not at all detract from how I thought I would die from paroxysms of glee every time Jim appeared on screen, but he can't be everything, can he?
Up Next: If "upsetting Jim" was an understatement in this episode's description, I can only hope that "Jim has a hard time getting Ryan to do work" is an understatement in the next one.