The Office Recap: “The Negotiation”

April 5, 2007 by  

The Office: The Negotiation

WARNING! The following contains spoilers for “The Negotiation”. If you haven’t seen it, just wait a few more hours and watch it on iTunes…it’s worth the 99 cents.

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a new episode of The Office, and after waiting this long I’m happy to report that “The Negotiation” left me satisfied and smiling (TWSS). There was a lot JAM packed into tonight’s episode (sorry I can’t help myself). I’m in the mood to talk all things Dunder Mifflin so get some caffeine in ya and let’s do this.

The long awaited Halpert-Anderson showdown finally came to a head when Roy confronted Jim inside Dunder Mifflin. Just as he was about to throw the first punch Dwight attacked him (and the rest of the office) with pepper spray. It was genius. It was a way to make a very heavy, not do funny moment hysterical. Roy never landed a punch and Jim’s face remains in tact, much to the joy of women all over this great country. But sadly Roy’s actions led to him being fired from Dunder Mifflin. No more Roy in the warehouse; despite everything it makes me sad. Roy was there from day one and knowing he isn’t going to be around bums me out. But I suppose he can’t go around trying to throw the smackdown on Michael’s #2 guy so that’s that! There were some definite ramifications from all these happenings, but let’s get back to that later.

With Roy’s dismissal Darryl decides to go to Michael for a raise. Michael being the diligent manager that he is properly prepares for his meeting with Darryl by studying up on Wikipedia’s tactics for negotiation. The tactics are probably good in theory, but they don’t work quite as well when being administered by Michael Scott. And to make matters worse, the salary negotiation gets sidetracked when Darryl notices Michael is wearing a woman’s suit. Classic! The office has a nice big laugh at Michael’s expense…and his shoulder pads and lack of back pockets. Michael isn’t convinced that he’s wearing a woman’s suit, nope, he thinks at the very least the suit is bisexual….ha! Steve Carell did what he does best which is find the vulnerability hidden below Michael’s asshattery, and I almost felt bad that he was wearing women’s clothing…almost. I mainly just laughed at him.

If Michael wasn’t feeling bad enough for cross dressing, he’s emasculated even more when it’s revealed that Darryl, the warehouse foreman, makes just slightly less in salary than Michael, and Michael’s been with Dunder Mifflin for 14 years. Ouch. But hey, women’s suit or not Michael takes Darryl’s advice to man up and ask – no demand – a raise from corporate…and his boss Jan…who is also his girlfriend, yeah you can see where this one’s going.

Darryl, Michael, and HR representative Toby pile in Darryl’s pickup and head to New York and the Dunder Mifflin Corporate offices. Despite all the black man catchphrases Darryl (makes up) arms Michael with things just don’t go smoothly. You know it’s not going well when within the first few minutes Michael is threatening to withhold sex from Jan in exchange for a raise. Meanwhile Toby is preparing for the ground breaking law suit which will inevitably follow. But when push comes to shove, Michael deserves a raise (ok he probably doesn’t, but it’s been a while) and an exasperated Jan concedes.

Here’s my two cents on Jan and Michael’s whack job of a relationship. The writers do a great job of every once in a while reminding us why Michael is still Regional Manager despite all his screw ups. He’s a good salesman, and sometimes even a really good boss (ok, not that often, but sometimes). If they didn’t remind us of that then it wouldn’t be believable that he could still work there as his actions should have gotten him fired years ago. I think I need that same kind of approach with Michael and Jan’s relationship. I need a little reminder why she is with him. I don’t feel any genuine affection between them. Hell, I don’t even get the feeling that Jan likes Michael – I might even go as far as to say she almost disdains him. I’d like a little reminder of why they are together and why we should be rooting for them as a couple. Am I the only on feeling this way?

Speaking of couples, it was a fun episode for my two favorite Dunder Mifflin couples: Ryan & Kelly and Dwight & Angela. The bible belter by day/kinky authoritarian by night, Miss Angela Martin reveled in hearing the tale of how Dwight took down Roy in the fight between good and evil. She liked hearing the story so much she asked everyone in the office to tell their version, all the while trying to keep her libido in check. But after listening to the story, and even going as far as stealing Toby’s HR documentation of the event, our little blondie couldn’t take it anymore and got it on with her man Dwight. The Angela Martin we know would not approve of making out in the office…what have you done to her Dwight, you stud?

Angela isn’t the only one that thinks Dwight is a bit of a stud. Jim Halpert was quite impressed that his arch nemesis stood up to Roy on his behalf. Jim tried repeatedly to thank Dwight, even going as far as buying him a glass case for his bobblehead, but Dwight will have none of it. He was doing his duty as a citizen and citizens don’t get rewarded for their heroics. No matter Jim’s approach at gratitude he was rebuffed at every turn. In the end Jim found a way to properly pay back Dwight, as Jim declares (to the camera) that despite witnessing their hot and heavy makeout session, Jim will never say a word about Dwangela to anyone else…now they are even. And let’s face it, for Jim, holding his tongue is the ultimate sacrifice.

Not holding their tongues were Kelly and Ryan. Nope, between the arguing and the make out sessions their tongues were being used quite well. Poor Toby has to sit next to the two of them, like his life at Dunder Mifflin doesn’t suck enough. As Toby says, “I don’t think Michael intended to punish me by putting Ryan back here with Kelly. But if he did…wow…that was genius.” Classic! Kelly and Ryan had some of the best lines of the night in their throwaway arguments that were heard in the background. First there was Ryan arguing with Kelly about her calling him in the middle of the night, to which she responded: “I only call you in the middle of the night to tell you that I love you” Ha!! And then the classic Kelly Kapoor line “What’s so wrong with wanting to name a baby Usher? Usher Jennifer Hudson Kapoor!” I don’t know if that was improvised or written, but I made the mistake of swilling some water seconds before and it ended up all over my couch.

Who would have guessed that Pam and Jim would have a more dysfunctional relationship that Dwight & Angela or Kelly & Ryan? But sadly it’s so. As I mentioned before, there was some fallout from the heated Roy and Jim exchange. Karen for one doesn’t know what to make of it or Jim’s reaction: “When I heard Jim and Pam had kissed, my reaction was to have a lot of long talks with Jim about our feelings. Roy just attacked him. I’m not sure which one Jim hated more.” Well let me tell you Karen, Jim hated talking about it more…much more. Jim hates talking about his feelings in general because it seems that every time he does it ends badly – either with the girl he loves breaking his heart, or the girl he wishes he could love talking his ear off for five nights straight.

But for some reason the women in Jim’s life always seem to want to talk. Unfortunately for Pam, Jim really doesn’t want to talk to her right now – especially about Roy. After a feeble attempt at trying to make light of what went down, Pam ends up apologizing for going back to Roy. But Jim’s heard it all before so you really can’t blame him when he’s not convinced that Pam truly is done with Roy. He even goes as far as to tell her that she and Roy have a strong connection and maybe one day they’ll get back together (ouch). Yeah. And I know a lot of people are pissed at Jim right now, but I’m not one of them. The way I see it, Jim was the one that gave it a shot last May, and it didn’t work out for him. But the thing is, it’s almost a year later and somehow he is still paying the price for his ill timed declaration of love. Because of it he’s lost his best friend, it’s become an ongoing issue in his current relationship and he still has Roy coming after him. I think Jim has lost all hope and he’s just sick of Pam being a negative force in his life which is made even worse by the fact that he still loves her. But here’s the other reason I didn’t mind the Jim/Pam break room scene tonight. I think it was another step leading up to the Jim/Pam brawl that we’ve been waiting for since the first episode of Season 3. These two need to finally…FINALLY talk about what went down on Casino Night (since they never have discussed it), and just put everything out on the table. I think when that happens Jim will be surprised (if that’s even the right word) to find out just how Pam feels about him. It’s going to happen. It has to. We’ve only got a few episodes left in this season, and I miss Jim and Pam.

And yeah, I hate Karen. I try to get in the mind set of those of you who like her, but I just can’t do it. She and Jim just don’t fit. She irks me. If you are a Karen fan, I’d love to hear your two cents on her talking head about her long talks with Jim, as well as the break room scene where she encouraged him to sell more paper so they can go on a vacation. I see that scene and it’s just shadowed by my dislike for her, and therefore she comes off as annoying and high maintenance. But if you’re a fan of Karen you might have seen it play out differently, and I honestly would like to hear from you.

So in the end Roy was fired. Escorted by building security he came back to the office one last time to retrieve his final paycheck. Obviously embarrassed by his actions, Roy apologizes to Jim for what went down, and tries one final time to talk to Pam. They agree to meet for coffee because there are some things he needs to say. Later the two meet and he once again apologizes for everything. And in an odd turn of events, its Roy that is the first person to confront Pam on why she’s not with Jim now. After acknowledging that Jim was part of (but not the only reason) she called off the wedding, Pam says she’s not with him because he has a girlfriend. Roy asks the obvious, “You’re not even going to try to go out with him?” Pam sadly shakes her head no as Roy becomes the voice of Office viewers around the globe: “I don’t get you Pam.” Yeah, tell us about it Roy. You’ve only dealt with this for a week buddy…try since last May. It’s been hard on us.

Despite all the drama involving yelling, pepper spray, babies named Usher and women’s suits we had a bright moment when in the end Andy Bernard returned to Dunder Mifflin from his anger management course. He’s a new and improved man (we’ll see). He proudly walked through the door of the office, greets his fellow employees and immediately gets sprayed in the eyes with pepper spray by Dwight. Ha ha…yeah, that’s how they do it in Dunder Mifflin. Once again Dwight saves the day. But he’s not hero. Hiro from “Heroes”, now he’s a hero…and Bono.

And with that I bid you good night. I make no apologies for this incredibly long recap. I’ve been without my Dunder Mifflinites for over a month, and I just wanted to bask in the glory of a new episode for as long as I possibly can. Until next week…may your Easter prayers be filled with well wishes for your friends and family, and if you could sneak in a few hail mary’s on behalf of Jim and Pam it would be greatly appreciated.

One final note. If the rumors are true, then tonight was David Denman’s last episode on The Office. This saddens me because I’m a big fan of David’s and I’m sad to see him go. On behalf of everyone here at Give Me My Remote, I just want to say THANK YOU David for making The Office the show that it is today. You’ve been there from the beginning and there is no way that the show would be where it is today without your contribution!! Best of luck, and I really do hope we see you in Dunder Mifflin at some point in the future….you will be missed!!

Comments

65 Responses to “The Office Recap: “The Negotiation””

  1. Lisa on April 6th, 2007 2:54 pm

    I feel like Jim and Pam’s friendship is like over. They hardly talk and it’s been sad watching them lately. Hopefully things will get better. They have to.

    Great scenes between Ryan and Kelly though. Great! I love what Toby has to say about it too.

  2. Lola on April 6th, 2007 3:54 pm

    yeah lisa i agree. i feel like their friendship died a long time ago………

  3. KC on April 6th, 2007 4:34 pm

    I love Michael and Jan together and while on the surface it appears Jan hates him, we get glimpses now and then that she really does care about him and doesn’t want to see him hurt. Remember the car scene in Cocktails? Jan immediately regretted what she said when she saw how much it hurt Michael. If she didn’t care about him, she would have just broken up with him then and there.

    And her words to Michael about deserving “some kind of happiness” makes me think that he makes her happy. Besides, how could anyone put up with Michael unless they truly cared about him? Ok maybe she’s filled with self loathing and self destructive tendencies, but underneath it all she wants the same things Michael does. And I think they are equally nutty and socially impaired in their own very different ways… a perfect match for one another, IMHO.

    At any rate, they are hilarious together–and very passionate in their interactions, which is more than I can say for a certain other couple on the show.

  4. jenn on April 6th, 2007 5:44 pm

    AT LAST! That hiatus was WAY too long, but it was worth the wait! What a great episode! I was laughing so loud I scared the cat.

    Just wanted to say that I cannot understand what Karen is doing with Jim? What I mean is, she knows he has feelings for Pam, but still she stays with him. I don’t get it. I couldn’t do that–feeling second best is not good enough.

    I loved the closure with Pam/Roy but am sorry to see him go! It was brilliant when Roy said “I don’t get you, Pam” and she said “I know”. Of course, WE know that she knows now that he NEVER got her the way Jim does.

    This whole dragging out the Jim/Pam thing is exhausting. It’s painful to see them together. I miss the flirty glances and pranks. I hope they don’t get together in the last episode. It’s too much angst for us all!

    Finally, Dwight is the hero. No, maybe Hiro. Or Bono.

    Now were even steven!

  5. Kelso on April 6th, 2007 6:16 pm

    Yeah I can’t stand Karen either. She annoys the crap out of me with her stuck up, high maintenence comments. Overall I didn’t really like this episode. I liked that the writers could make me feel like I was really there and really feel for Pam, but i felt like the episode was hyped up too much. The funny moments were VERY funny though. I liked that, but the emotional scenes were a little too emotional for me.

  6. jenn on April 6th, 2007 7:58 pm

    AT LAST! That hiatus was WAY too long, but it was worth the wait! What a great episode! I was laughing so loud I scared the cat.

    Just wanted to say that I cannot understand what Karen is doing with Jim? What I mean is, she knows he has feelings for Pam, but still she stays with him. I don’t get it. I couldn’t do that–feeling second best is not good enough.

    I loved the closure with Pam/Roy but am sorry to see him go! It was brilliant when Roy said “I don’t get you, Pam” and she said “I know”. Of course, WE know that she knows now that he NEVER got her the way Jim does.

    This whole dragging out the Jim/Pam thing is exhausting. It’s painful to see them together. I miss the flirty glances and pranks. I hope they don’t get together in the last episode. It’s too much angst for us all!

    Finally, Dwight is the hero. No, maybe Hiro. Or Bono.

    Now we’re even steven!

  7. Lauren on April 6th, 2007 8:03 pm

    Just wanted to say YAY for this website and all the intelligent things people have to say about The Office! I used to frequent the imdb boards but everyone just bitches on those…and here people disagree on somethings but everyone is still ultimately a huge fan! Hooray! :)

  8. jenn on April 6th, 2007 8:06 pm

    sorry about the double post-don’t know why it happened!!!

  9. Jake on April 6th, 2007 9:24 pm

    I just gotta throw out some props to Paul Lieberstein for bringing Toby to life. His “sad eyes” are perfect for the character and he’s got to be one of the best doormats ever on TV. Just cracks me up.

    And Jenna. As great as she is with comedy, she’s equally amazing being emotional and sad. Remember her shocked look when she first realized that Jim and Karen were together? Last night, the deep sorrow on her face when she apologized to Jim was so believable. And heart-wrenching. Just an awesome job.

  10. Lisa (aka lmr722) on April 7th, 2007 10:48 am

    I’m late this week reading your recap, GMMR, but it was extra awesome.

    Not much to add but I will vote that I have had an irrational dislike for Karen since the get-go. Could this have something to do with the fact that Rashida dated JKras in real life? As I said, it’s historically been irrational and so was glad that she was giving me some rational reasons this week :-)

    As for Michael/Jan. I think she’s legitimately drawn to the child in Michael. Plus he wants the picket fence, tickling, etc., and I think she does too!

  11. cam3150 on April 7th, 2007 2:03 pm

    I loved this episode!! GMMR, I your review was pitch perfect, as usual.

    The whole episode was so hilarious, there really was no bad moment. Everybody (except Meredith) got to shine, Michael was just right (not too annoying and not too pitiful), all the couples were so funny, Toby was awesome, Dwight was a hero, Andy’s back, and we got to see Darryl and Michael interact. Too, too good. Besides Traveling Salesman, this is the funniest episode this season.

    I agree that Karen is being portrayed as less and less compatible with Jim. Her whole, “awesome girlfriend” thing was ridiculous. I loved Jim’s reaction, “Yes, exactly.” or whatever he said, clearly indicating that he’d rather watch a game than go out on a date with Karen.

    Also, her comment in the kitchen about Jim needing to sell more paper, give me a break. You could see just a flash of annoyance on Jim’s face too. He has never once smiled at Karen the way he’s smiled at Pam so many times in the past. He is realizing that Karen’s just not the one for him

    After seeing the promos of the “fight” between Jim & Roy, I was kind of excited to see some action there. I figured that FINALLY, everything was going to have to come out in the open. But, the way it was handled was sheer perfection! A fist fight would have been too dramatic for The Office and Dwight’s TH and his “Pam, call security!” were hilarious!! The perfect amount of drama and comedy, which is a signature of this show.

    The scene in the breakroom (now referred to as the Breakroom of Despair, or BoD over at the TWOP forums) was so heartbreaking. Jim’s emotions were evident all over his face as he paused at the vending machine for a few seconds too long.

    I am not on on the “Jim’s a jerk” train at all. Both he and Pam have made mistakes and have grown into more complex characters with more emotional depth because of them. If they’d gotten together a year ago, they would not have been on the same emotional footing. Now that Pam has lived a year in Jim’s Season 2 shoes, she has a much better understanding of what she (unintentionally) put him through.

    I completely believe Jim’s anger was not really directed at Pam at all but at the fact that she had the nerve to get back together with Roy in the first place. Jim’s whole attitude towards her changed, and what little hope he was still hanging on to died, the second he saw her leave Phyllis’ wedding, hand in hand with Roy. If Pam and Roy had never reunited, the same “fight” scenario would have brought out a very different reaction in Jim. But, he’s heard it all before and his anger is a by-product of him trying to protect himself from more pain than anything else. If he didn’t still love her, if she wasn’t still in his heart, he would not have cared one way or the other about Roy coming after him. It’s a good sign that he’s mad. It means he cares.

    I am so excited for the rest of the season because I believe that Jim and Pam have sunk as low as is possible for them. Jim’s never been mad at her before, not really. He’s never been mean to her like he was. This is the most disconnected that they’ve ever been. Things will have to start looking up for them now. I cannot wait for the next five episodes!!!

    I say, bring on that fight that seems more and more likely!! That is what they need – a good, cleansing fight to clear the air so that they can start to heal and move forward….together, of course :)

    GMMR, I am taking it on faith that Jim’s hair will be back to normal, as you said it would be on the TWOP forums. We all have faith in that because, seriously, his hair like it has been the last two episodes? It cannot go on like that. Not for one more second…

  12. Tina (aka scorpiomom) on April 7th, 2007 2:43 pm

    GMMR, love your recaps and insight in general. I ADORE this show and live for Thursdays. I, too, believe the writers will give us some JAM goodness soon! But seriously, Jim’s hair is way too distracting and I hope you are correct about it getting better. It has bugged me since “Cocktails”!

    Off topic: Am I the only one having problems with TWoP? I keep getting a “Forbidden” and a database error. It was fine last night. The problems started this morning.

  13. BuyMeACoke on April 7th, 2007 3:02 pm

    I thought this was one of the best episodes ever. I laughed so hard that I suspect I also scared MY cat! If I had just taken a drink when Creed said “In a way you did”, I think I would have done a spit take. That, and Darryl laughing at Michael’s paystub and immediately grabbing his phone were such laugh out loud moments!

    I loved all of the little storylines. Great Angela episode, great Toby episode, great Darryl episode, CLASSIC Michael episode, Kelly & Ryan – what can you say?

    I have never liked Karen much, but she is getting on my last nerve. If she even has a clue about what makes Jim tick (I really doubt she does though), she certainly wants to change him and turn him into the boyfriend she wants him to be.

    And Pam just broke my heart this week. That scene in the breakroom was so painful to watch, but I think it was necessary and will just be another scene that moves this story along. Pam & Jim were starting to regain their friendship, but since the wedding, Jim is just so pissed at Pam that he doesn’t seem to want to have anything to do with her. Unless I missed it, I don’t think they have shared so much as a glance with each other. And the conversation in the break room this week was their first I think – and Jim really wanted nothing to do with it. Did you notice him plaster the smile on his face before he turned to her?

    The relationship has nowhere to go but “up” from this point.

  14. noelle on April 7th, 2007 4:37 pm

    The way Jenna looked at Jim as he walked from the snack machine toward the breakroom door was devastating. So hopeful and sad. She’s really a wonderful actress. As for Karen, I haven’t been a fan mainly because she was such a blah character, and she made Jim boring. But now that she’s showing some life, I can tolerate her…as long as there’s hope she’ll be out of Jim’s life before too long.

  15. mg714 on April 9th, 2007 9:32 am

    Is David Denman really not in the cast anymore? I don’t see why or how he would come back to Dunder-Mifflin, but I hate to see Roy or David himself leave the group. I’m happy to see Ed Helms back but I hate to see David gone when he’s been on the show since the beginning.

    Otherwise, I loved the show and cannot wait to see what happens this week!