The Office Recap: The Initiation - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

The Office Recap: The Initiation

October 20, 2006 by  

The Office: The Initiation

Sometimes TV is just so good that you are still in a good mood the day after the show airs. Such was the case with last night’s episode of The Office. It made me happy, dare I say giddy with joy. BJ Novak wrote a wonderfully full episode that just happened to employ all the aspects that makes The Office the best comedy on TV today.

First off there was the obvious hilarity. Ryan going on a sales call with Dwight is premise enough for some high comedy, but when the trip turns from a business meeting into a hazing ritual that involves beet seeds, a coffin AND Cousin Mose – well that my friends is high comedy.

After temping at Dunder Mifflin for just about a year, Ryan has resigned himself to his fate as a Jr. Sales Associate at a mid-range paper supply firm. Somehow that translates into thinking that Dwight would be a good mentor. Um, have you met Dwight?

In Dwight’s warped mind, Ryan will be a better salesman only after learning some valuable life lessons – all of which Dwight is more than eager to share. Dwight channels his inner Confucius mixed with a little Mr. Miyagi and a whole lot of Schrute to put Ryan through a series of challenge on the Schrute Family Beet Farm.

Dwight: And just as you have planted your seed in the ground, I will plant my seed in you.
Ryan: I don’t think you know what you’re saying.
Dwight: It smells pretty bad doesn’t it?
Ryan: Uh huh
Dwight: It’s called bullcrap, and a client can smell it a mile away

I’m just waiting for a book of Schrute-isms. You’d buy it, right? Exactly.

Tossing Miyagi’s approach aside, Dwight tries to get through to Ryan with a police style interrogation.

Dwight: What is the greatest danger facing Dunder Mifflin?
Ryan: Outsourcing and consolidation of competition.
Dwight: Wrong! Flash floods

Dwight: What is the true cause of Robert Mifflin’s suicide?
Ryan: Depression?
Dwight: Wrong. He hated himself.

Dwight: What is the Dharma initiative?

(later….oh poor Ryan)

Dwight: Final question, young Ryan Howard. What is Michael’s Scott’s greatest fear?
Ryan: Um lonliness…maybe women.
Dwight: Wrong. He’s not afraid of anything. Also, I would have accepted snakes.

Ryan has somehow held it together despite Dwight’s crazy ass antics, but he’s pushed over the brink when Dwight suggests that he wrestle Cousin Mose. Hilarious!! Cousin Mose sporting a homemade FEAR shirt. God, I can’t wait to see more Cousin Mose!!

In the end, it seems that Dwight did actually have some valuable advice to impart, most importantly:

“Michael always says, ‘K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid. Great advice. Hurts my feelings everytime.”

The boys finally make it to a sales call, but it didn’t go as well as Ryan had hoped and the former temp dealt with the lost sale just as they taught him in business school – by hucking eggs at the client’s building. This thrilled Dwight to no end, and the two finally bonded by throwing a few eggs and then later a few pints back at the pub. And in a touching moment, Dwight’s acceptance of Ryan Howard came full circle when the chants of “Temp! Temp! Temp!” faded into “Ryan! Ryan! Ryan!”.

Dwight: Just think…that temp agency could have sent you anywhere.
Ryan: I think about that all the time.

Back in the Scranton office Jan’s frustrations with Michael are coming to a boil, and in light of company woes, Jan insists that Pam track Michael’s activities on and hour-by-hour basis. Pam tries her best to steer Michael in the direction of work, but her efforts are futile. Michael would rather spend the day in the pretzel line than actually doing any real work.
Oh I almost forget – it’s Free Pretzel Day at the Scranton Business Park. An event that brings joy to the otherwise sullen Stanley.

Stanley: I wake up every morning in a bed that’s too small, drive my daughter to a school that’s too expensive, and then I go to work to a job for which I get paid too little, but on pretzel day? Well, I like pretzel day.

Michael too loves pretzels, and after ordering his with 18 different toppings, a sugar high ensues which actually culminates in Michael landing a HUGE contract…right before he falls asleep on his desk. Well at least Pam has something valuable to report back to Jan.

A few states over, Karen claims that Jim swapped out his squeaky chair for hers. Her schemes to get him to leave his desk to swap the chairs once again are worthless. Don’t try to pull one over on Halpert – it ain’t going to work. When all else fails, Karen tries to annoy him with the irritating noise that comes with rocking in the chair. Jim reponds with a high-pitched, annoying (yet adorable) version of The Cardigans “Lovefool”, a song Andy seems to enjoy as well. Didn’t I just tell her not to go up against Halpert. Geesh.

It’s closing time, and the employees of the Scranton branch and the Stamford branch are heading home. Pam is about to leave for the night when the phone rings. She stops to answer it and thousands of JAM fans around the world collectively hold their breaths for the first contact of Jim Halpert and Pam Beesely since the angsty Casino Night. And here’s how it played out.

[gv data=”krKqv69hCto”][/gv]

Sigh. Any chemistry I thought Karen and Jim may have had was squashed by this one scene with Pam. He’s her lobster. He knows it. She knows it. But they have a long way to go before they get back to the way they were. Tonight was a sweet and touching start. The still heartbroken and fragile Jim, and “Fancy New Beesly” are the heart and soul of this show, and this scene was so wonderfully acted that it wasn’t until after it was over that I could finally get back to normal breathing.

And with that another episode of The Office comes to pass. The Initiation had the perfect mix of absurd and subtle comedy with a touch of sentimentality – just awesome!! You know it’s a good episode when the thought of a repeat next week seems almost ok…I said almost.

Sorry the long winded recap, but it was cathartic for me. Now let’s talk!!!!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out the deleted scenes at


34 Responses to “The Office Recap: The Initiation”

  1. GMMR on October 19th, 2006 9:00 pm


  2. Clare on October 19th, 2006 9:25 pm

    FANFRICKINTASTIC!!! That was an awesome episode.

  3. Jim on October 19th, 2006 9:34 pm

    I’m glad I guessed wrong: I thought the phone call was going to end badly. Like with a why-didn’t-you-ever-call-me fight. Which still may happen someday. These kids still have a looooooong way to go, obviously. But they perfectly nailed the initial awkwardness part.

  4. Micha123 on October 19th, 2006 9:34 pm

    So good
    So good
    So good
    So good
    So good

  5. Joey on October 19th, 2006 9:55 pm

    Dude that was one of the funniest episodes I have ever scene. Halpert singing that song was genius and only got better when Andy followed up.

  6. Mrs. JBK on October 19th, 2006 9:57 pm

    are we really not talking about the jim and pam phone call? i thought it was so good. the conversation lasted longer than i thought and they are stil in love. no?

  7. Jim Mosby on October 19th, 2006 11:09 pm

    thumbs up 🙂

    love me love me…say that you love me!

  8. Elisabeth on October 19th, 2006 11:12 pm

    I loved this episode…it’s the closest this season has been to the greatness of season two. The Pam and Jim conversation was both sweet and heartbreaking at the same time. They need to be back together, kissing, babies, etc.

    Some of the highlights for me:

    1) The unbelievably sad existence of Stanley Hudson….364 days until the next pretzal day.
    2) The Bob Vance conversation (him calling them marys or something) in the pretzal line and Michael and Stanley high fiving.
    3) Michael’s sugar rush (Toby: Second?) and the fact that sometimes he’s actually good at his job. But just sometimes.
    4) Dwight and Ryan at the bar. And the eggs.
    5) I loved how Jim kept calling her Beesly, it seemed to me that he was just really happy about that.
    6) Jim and Andy singing Love Fool. (Whatever happened to those guys?)
    7) Angela: You’re a freak!

    Mose…that was weird.


  9. Clare on October 19th, 2006 11:13 pm

    I think Bob vance is my new office crush 🙂 “You’re a couple of Marys” tooo funny. Yes, Mrs.JBK the call was dreamy. Sweet stuff all around!!

  10. Post-it Thief on October 19th, 2006 11:37 pm

    Just a great, great episode. Lovefool is now my myspace profile song. How much do I love JAM? A whole freakin’ lot, that’s what!

  11. tori06 on October 19th, 2006 11:38 pm

    yay!!! thanks for the song!! and can i just say that i love jam….so glad to have that back in my life 🙂

  12. mg714 on October 20th, 2006 12:30 am

    First Pam sings last week, then Jim sings this week? They’re obviously made for each other! 😉 Really, though, I loved this episode! The call at the end was perfect – at first I was sad that they couldn’t go on talking longer, but it was actually right that it ended a little bit awkwardly.

    And I also liked that Dwight wanted to be friends with Ryan! I’m sure they’ll be an interesting pair! (Loved seeing Mose in person too!)

    Great episode – I think it might be my fave so far this season, or maybe tied with The Convention.

  13. carly on October 20th, 2006 12:32 am

    Lol, thank you so much for posting the clip of him singing. That just re-made my night =]

    This episode was so good. I loooved how the Jim/Pam phone call went and Michael napping after his sugar high was so cute.

  14. Jenny on October 20th, 2006 2:50 am

    Did they show the clock after the phone call ended? I kept wanting them to show the clock and it be 10 pm, and 5 hours had just drifted by while they caught up. I guess I will have to watch it again. Yea!

  15. Josephine on October 20th, 2006 3:21 am

    Happy Happy Happy Happy, good good good.

  16. kimberlee on October 20th, 2006 7:31 am

    I never wanted that phone call to end! *sniff* Over on the prop guy’s myspace, he mentioned that this call was filmed simultaneously. He was on the Stamford set with John. Excellent!

    BJ is a master writer – just such great moments all around. The male bonding egging/beer shot scene with Dwight/Ryan, Michael’s sugar rush, Angela standing up for D., Kevin’s “Heyyyy!” during Rock & Roll – Pt. 1, the squeaky chair, Cosby impersonation/pretzel line.

    Just fantastic!!

  17. Sus on October 20th, 2006 8:24 am

    I was screaming at my tv when they ended the phone call so abruptly. “NOOOOO!!!!” I wanted it to go on forever.


  18. Nicole on October 20th, 2006 9:58 am

    Definitely my favourite episode of the season – it was the perfect mix of funny and sweet. “Lovefool” was genius – I rewound my tivo about five times. When Mose ran behind Ryan in the barn, I almost died. I like earnest Dwight – so cute that he’s trying so hard to make a new friend. And I really like that we got to know Ryan a bit more – for a main character he’s always kind of on the sidelines.

    The phone call – so so so so so good. I loved how it was edited together to show the free-flow of random topics when you’re having a marathon phone call like that. It was so realistic. I figure the call was at least a couple of hours long. I’ve been loving this season’s new aspects, but the incommunicado status of Jim and Pam was starting to really suck. This episode was just what we needed. B.J. just really outdid himself – fanfarkintastic. “Michael Scott fears nothing – but I also would have accepted snakes”. Ahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

  19. Emily on October 20th, 2006 9:59 am

    The “JAM fix” that I needed… YAY!

    The absolute *best acting moment* in the episode was so simple and subtle: Jim’s facial expression after Pam says, “I don’t know… It felt far…”, right before and as he says, “Yeah.” Watch it again and see if you don’t agree. It’s heartbreakingly perfect!.


  20. Angelica on October 20th, 2006 12:01 pm

    I could not have loved this episode any more than I did. It was incredible.

  21. Whirl on October 20th, 2006 12:03 pm

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one with breathing problems, I mean OMG! I was dying, just dying. I loved how the just switched right back into being Pam and Jim. I mean after that encounter, how could Karen hold a match?? Yes I like Karen but COME ON!

    And let’s not forget Angela and Kelly talking in the breakroom, when Kelly says “Dwights crazy.” and Angela defends her man! It was AWESOME!

  22. Cara on October 20th, 2006 12:18 pm

    Most squee-worthy moments:

    All occuring in the phone call, of course…

    “Oh my god!”

    “Everythings pretty much the same here, a little different.”

    “How far away did you think we were?”
    “I don’t know, it felt far.”

    “Bye Pam.”
    “Bye Jim.”

    I think I’ve watched that ONE scene 20 times. 🙂

  23. Jim Mosby on October 20th, 2006 1:38 pm


    I’ve had that stupid song stuck in my head all day long.

  24. amanda on October 20th, 2006 2:51 pm

    I loved the episode last night! And you cannot imagine how insanely amused I was, when I found they had a soft pretzel bar in my cafeteria today. People probably thought I was crazy, because I could not contain my laughter as I made my pretzle, a sweet pretzel I might add. Unfotunately they didn’t have 18 toppings, but it was still good.

  25. Post-it Thief on October 20th, 2006 2:59 pm

    You too, Jim Mosby? Thing is, I actually don’t mind it being stuck in my head now. A year ago would have been a very different story.

  26. Elisabeth on October 20th, 2006 3:52 pm

    This has been said before, but Jim and Pam have more chemistry over the phone then Jim and Karen do face to face.

  27. Eliz on October 20th, 2006 5:49 pm

    WAIT – I just tried to download only the initiation episode and it looks like itunes now only lets you do it for the whole season! is that true!??

  28. Big Tuna on October 20th, 2006 5:55 pm

    That was a spectacular episode. I loved it so much. GMMR, you are right when you say that this happiness will carry us over for 2 weeks until the next show. Ive watched Initiation 3 times already, and Im loving it more than the last!!!!!!!!

  29. Big Tuna on October 20th, 2006 5:55 pm

    That was a spectacular episode. I loved it so much. GMMR, you are right when you say that this happiness will carry us over for 2 weeks until the next show. Ive watched Initiation 3 times already, and Im loving it more than the last!!!!!!!!

  30. Jinxyflonkerton on October 20th, 2006 10:39 pm

    OMG! I was just rewatching the episode for like the fifth time and I just noticed that at the beginning of the Jim/Pam conversation it is still light outside (you can see past Jim’s head) and then at the end of the conversation it’s dark out so they must have talked for a long time! They did have a lot of things they needed to catch up on.
    I just am more in love with the scene now that I know their conversation was longer than just 5 or 10 minutes.

  31. Mel aka foggy on October 21st, 2006 8:29 pm

    Fantastic. I laughed, I cried, I squealed, and I laughed some more. Definitely the best episode so far this season!

  32. acorns everywhere on October 23rd, 2006 4:37 pm

    Pam’s face after she hears Jim hang up.


    These actors are really nailing their parts, so to speak.

  33. AmeGee on October 26th, 2006 12:25 am

    LOVED it. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. but i really think my favorite part was the Friends reference in the recap. so perfect.

  34. patrick on September 25th, 2009 11:05 pm

    what is the song that Michael is dancing to???