Friday, April 06, 2007

Recap of The Office: "The Negotiation"

After a fairly long layover, The Office returned with a new episode this week. But not just any episode -- a Super-Sized episode! But I've gotta say, not even its super size could save this episode from utter mediocrity.

If you'll recall
the last episode, Pam told her ex-fiance Roy she had kissed Jim, followed be a freak-out and death threats. So right off the bat, Roy bursts into the office and rushes Jim, but Dwight defused the fight before it started by blasting Roy with pepper spray. Roy was fired, and later made his apologies.

Errr...that's it? That's IT? You didn't want to build the tension? You didn't want them to duke it out in a sweeps-month, season-finale rumble? There were a million different directions this could have taken, and this one was sub-par. The rest of the episode was reasonably funny, but couldn't overcome the disappointment resulting from the whimpering end to this storyline. Michael does some silly stuff, embarrasses Jan, gives Darrell a raise, blah blah blah.

But I want to get back to Jim for a second here. I think that character needs to be broadened a little bit. As I see it, there are only three phases to his personality: prank-playing Jim, aw-shucks Jim, and smirking Jim (the smirking can be subdivided into the "wow, this is a funny situation" smirk, the wide-eyed "I'm nervous" smirk, and the "Pam, I'm totally over it, don't even worry about it" smirk). When Roy apologized to Jim at the end of the episode, guess what? Jim shrugged and smirked. Not only is it oddly emotionless, it's cowardly for the character! Is Jim's character a coward? I know Roy's a big, ornery dude, but Jim's big, too. You mean to tell me they couldn't have slugged it out for Pam, just for a little bit? Jim's character has been flat as a board lately. If you still want him to be the main character in the plot (which he absolutely is), then he needs to grow a pair and find some emotion. Until then, his parts of the show are going to fall a little flat, just as they did last night.

The Office [NBC]
Previous Recap of the Office [No One Appreciates Me]

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