Tori’s Review: Beach Games

Paaaaameeeeeela Beeeeeesly!

It didn’t take calling off her wedding.

It didn’t take seeing the guy she loves with a new girl.

It didn’t take her ex-fiancé trying to punch the guy she loves while he made plans with the new girl.

No.

It took burns that will need butter and bubble-wrap, but you know what? I’ll take it, because Pam finally had her Oprah moment!

Let’s start at the beginning — Michael’s an idiot.

The CFO of Dunder Mifflin called to ask Michael to interview for a corporate position. While most would practice interview tactics, do some soul-searching, and buy a new suit (not a woman’s—unless you are a woman), Michael did none of these things.

Instead, he planned beach games to find his successor. I gotta admit — not a terrible idea. When I’m old and the end is near, I plan to decide which grandkid gets the most in the same manner. It just makes sense.

Toby was cut before they left the office. The only lasting impression he’ll have of the day is the thought of Pam in a two-piece. I love Paul Lieberstein’s voice inflections. One of my favorite Toby lines is when Pam calls him from the conference room in The Convict, “Hey Pam. Where ya calling from?” Last night it was, “But it’s beach day.”

It was “beach” day.

Michael used Survivor-like games to find the next regional manager. Here’s a reason why I love The Office. The egg and spoon game was funny, but predictable. The sumo wrestling was hilarious, but also what you might expect. But, when Sumo!Andy fell in the lake and floated away like a bloated tick, I lost it. I did not expect that.

Game after game, Michael only found disappointment, and competition when he realized Jim and Karen planned to interview for the position (in) well. The only person who showed strength, courage or honesty was the one not allowed to participate.

I crave moments when we connect to this dysfunctional group. I love to laugh, but I love to laugh at the people I love even more. Someone said courage and honesty were not Pam’s strong points. Last night, she proved him wrong. (BTW, Gil, you’re getting dumped. Sorry you had to find out this way.)

I know it wasn’t the coal walk that pushed Pam to her breaking point. This has been building since one night last May. It took her longer than most, but I feel Pam is still a teenager in so many ways. Being with Roy sheltered her from experiences she needed to find her voice. Pam’s probably only had one or two first dates, one or two first kisses, and certainly only one serious relationship.

People were upset when she asked Jim to get coffee on his first day back. But, Pam has probably never asked anyone on a date. Coffee was safe.

This year has been a lesson she needs to ask for what she wants in life, or she will literally spend it watching from the sidelines.

The look on Jim’s face when Pam “said a few things” was awesome. Now he hopefully understands the dumbstruck look Pam had when he spilled his guts — last night he was the one wearing it.

Whether this leads to a broken heart, or a new beginning, Pam had one of the important experiences she needs to make better choices for herself.

I’m sure Halpert will agree when he picks his jaw up out of the sand.

Only one episode left. If there is a group hug, I want you to stand next to me.

Tori Weber is a Web Producer and writer for a television news station in Orlando, FL. Writing keeps her sane, and ice cream makes her happy. Dogs are good too. Visit her here.

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