The Office Recap: “The Negotiation”
April 5, 2007 by Kath Skerry
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!!