Tori’s Review: Fun Run

There were a few ways I thought Season 4 of The Office might begin; Michael hitting the “face of rabies” with his car was not one of them. Just one of the reasons to love this show.

Fun Run starts with Michael and Jan in domestic bliss, and Jim and Pam not dating. What the …?

Oh, wait; things might not be what they seem …

After a series of unfortunate events that start with Pam downloading porn, and end with the death of Angela’s cat, Michael decides the reason he ran over Meredith has nothing to do with him being a jackass, but instead a curse — from Satan … and Toby.

Even though Michael is so good at making people want to leave him on the side of the road and never look back, the idea that anyone would be upset with him makes him crazy. Meredith was not quick to accept the apology he never gave her, so he did what any mediocre manager would do; he deflected blame.

Once he realized Dwight exposed Meredith to rabies before he hit her, he was again lifted up and the Michael Scott D.M.S.M.P.M.C. Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race (don’t hang up) for the Cure was born.

As self-involved as Michael is, when Pam mentions Angela’s cat died, he knows the cat is named Sprinkles. I love how they give us these small hints Michael sometimes pays attention to the world around him. Of course, he turned her pain into something all about him, but he did know the cat’s name. One small step for mankind.

I’m interested to see where Sprinkles’ death will take Dwangela this season. Angela put the most important thing in her life in Dwight’s hands … and he put it in the freezer. A relationship doesn’t just bounce back from that. I believe these characters are meant to be together, mostly because everyone else thinks they are insane, but I want to see Dwight work for it.

So while most of the office was running for no reason, we finally got what we’ve been waiting for; flirty and dating Jim and Pam! Karen was so pissed off, Jim dumped her; she took her computer and telephone with her when she left. That’s a hurt woman, right there. I’m happy PB&J were outed to us in the first episode because 1) Greg Daniels doesn’t have to put up that electric fence, and 2) we’ll finally get to see little glimpses of what this couple can be without obstacles. I haven’t been so excited over hand-holding since the 7th grade.

Pam’s new look, bolder attitude, and curiosity about celebrity sex are all adorable. Her necklace, which used to be a pony (I think), is even now a butterfly. Cute metaphor. I know a pony isn’t a cocoon, but a cocoon would make a crappy necklace. These continued changes show she is now in a relationship where she can be herself, instead of hiding behind someone else.

It’ll be great to see Jim and Pam work together again to make Dwight’s life miserable and keep Michael alive. On the commentary for Season 3’s Safety Training, someone said Michael is like Jim and Pam’s child. You see pieces of that in this episode. Good parents keep their kids out of trouble, inevitably they see them naked, admittedly they rarely hire them a stripper, but they certainly never leave them by the side of the road.

Jim and Pam gave Michael the little boost he needed to finish a race and then watched him throw up.

That’s unconditional love.

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.

65 comments

  1. Tori, I don’t know if you remember my comment on MySpace, but I’ve seriously missed you reviews. They’re so funny and usually always spot on with what I’m thinking! Glad to see “you’re back” and this was great as usual :) and I noticed the telephone/computer thing too and found it hilarious for some reason!

  2. Another good thing about the new season starting? New re-caps by Tori and Wendy! Great job here, Tori. I love that you brought in the comments from the commentary for Safety Training about Jim and Pam being like Michael’s parents. That was a perfect description of the relationship between the three of them and it was nice to see it in play here again at the kick off of season 4.

  3. I still haven’t had the time to listen to the commentaries on the Season 3 DVD yet, but that comparison is really cute.

    Jim and Pam having a kid already? Too cute.

  4. Awesome review Tori!! I’m so glad The Office has started back! There couldn’t have been a better opener for the season. I totally missed Pam’s necklace. It’s definitely the small things that make this show so great…well, and the big things too haha! 2 Kudos to you!! :)

  5. hahaha. I didnt even notice that Karen’s empty desk was literally empty of all things; including the computer and phone! Nice catch and lovely review!

  6. I agree, I was also VERY excited to see Jim and Pam hold hands. I thought it was the sweetest thing! I would also like to see Dwight work for his and Angela’s relationship, he owes Angela big time! Although, I’m not sure how he is going to make up for sticking her cat in the freezer.

  7. Great review. I too was moved to find out that Michael knew Sprinkles’ name. That’s part of what made him such a good salesman…he picks up on small but important personal details in people’s lives that others dismiss. Unfortunately, that ability tends to muddle your thinking when you’re trying to be a manager…

  8. This review was awesome. Its so true, the whole Pam/Jim = Parents to Michael. I did however enjoy when Pam quickly confirmed she was INDEED downloading celebrity pornography. Beyond adorable. I love Jenna.

  9. Pam’s old necklace was even better than a pony: it was a unicorn, a fantasy pony that could never be, no matter hard you wished for it. (Not that wishing for a pony ever did *me* any good, but it was theoretically possible.)

    The butterfly is extra-meaningful, then.

  10. Another great review. Thanks, Tori. Love that you catch details like the butterfly necklace. I can’t wait to see the episode again so that I can look for that too.

  11. Tori: thank you for getting it! For some reason, I’m seeing a Dwight/Angela/Andy love triangle coming. Any thoughts?

    AP and Snarky New Beesley: I think it was implied that Pam accidently downloaded the celebrity sex tape. Like she clicked on a link or a spam mail out of curiosity and then it was downloaded. The IT Tech said something about how she shouldn’t click on Internet offers that she hadn’t requested (meaning she hadn’t sought it out) and Pam finally said “It all happened so fast.” To me, that doesn’t imply that she was just sitting around wanting to look at and download porn all day. In the context that she was being teased by Jim for clicking on a link and accidently buying a sex tape, which does sound like a backwards thing Pam would do in her awkwardness, it was kind of cute.

  12. I am absolutely certain that Pam and the celebrity sex video thing had something to do with Michael originally, and that Jim was just teasing her in front of the IT guy about it.

  13. For starters….Pam calls it a celebrity sex TAPE. Not download, or even video…TAPE. Implying that she just ordered the TAPE to be delivered to her home probably. So watching it at work is being assumed.

    Next…Pam buying the tape shows that she’s becoming more interested in her sexuality. She’s opening up and having fun with Jim. This is completely in line with the direction of her character over the last year.

  14. The Pam/porn thing kind of makes sense. She’s bored all the time and is always looking for something to keep her attention, something dumb she and Jim can laugh about. Also, this isn’t reality…more than likely if her boss had been anyone other than Michael Scott, she would have been fired. It was just an odd choice of writing to start off the show.

    And Angela — I can TOTALLY see a Dwight/Angela/Andy love triangle thing going on. As a matter of fact, I kind of look forward to it! Great review!

  15. big tuna:
    You are absolutely right! Thank you! I’ve actually been reading so many of the comments here that I got caught up in the semantics. I think maybe Michael says later that Pam was downloading it, but that might not even be right. Also, that scene was simply supposed to be a short transitional scene showing Jim and Pam in their post-season 3 dynamic before their talking heads. Again, you’re absolutely right. It shows both of their characters’ development and implies some of what we missed over the summer. Pam had been in the same relationship for ten years and now she is growing in a new relationship. And it’s not like she beamed at the camera like Kevin would have and said, “Yes! I ordered a sex tape!” Whether or not it was intentional or accidental (although I still think Pam’s comments and the IT Tech’s comments imply that it could have been unintentional, or definitely done out of burgeoning curiosity), she was visibly embarrassed (which is in line with her character) and appears to just want to try to stop Jim from teasing her in front of the cameras.

  16. And Tori…Sorry your thread got hijacked by the sex tape controversy. It really is a wonderfully written review in what I think is a somewhat misinterpreted episode.

  17. Great review, Tori! I loved how Michael knows Angela’s cat’s name is Sprinkles too. I like your attention to detail…I totally didn’t notice Pam’s necklace was different. I love your analogy that Michael is like a son to Jim and Pam…I think Jim and Pam are going to make great parents, with all the practice they have with Michael :) Looking forward to your next review!

  18. i think that pam & jim were just purely playing a prank on their fellow office employees or just trying to crash a computer.

    theres no way that i think pam would really want to look at porn or that jim would be so casual about it.

    im pretty sure it was just a joke or a prank that they were doing and that pam wasnt really interested in porn.

  19. I got the idea that she just clicked the tape because she was interested, but wasn’t really looking at or for porn. Most of us have mistakenly run into porn on the internet without meaning to.

  20. I think you guys are taking this tiny aspect of the episode a little too seriously.

    Great review, Tori! I had no idea about either of Pam’s necklaces. Really cool nuanced thing.

  21. I think what they meant about JAM playing a prank on the IT guy was that she clicked on SOMETHING that caused her computer to crash/freeze/download virus. *mine does that too by accident* But anything could cause that, accidently opening an email, clicking on a “you’re a winner” or whatever can do that. She just said it was porn just to have a laugh w/ jim.

  22. What I came away with on the “celebrity sex tape” with Pam was that it was innocent curiosity with one of the hundreds of pop-ups you get on your computer. She clicked it on and it started to download and when she tried to stop it, the computer crashed, thus the need to call the IT guy. I didn’t see it any other way other than showing she is a little curious now that she is in a different relationship. I thought it was funny and also Jim laughing about it….. GO JAM!!

  23. I totally forgot about the commentary line that Michael was like Jim and Pam’s kid. Great memory and observation in this episode because it totally felt that way at the end when they were giving him the encouragement to cross the finish line and puke, haha.

    Great review to go with a great first episode of Season 4. I really loved it! :-)

  24. The necklace she wore in the past season was an Alex Woo “Little Faith Peace Dove” not a horse. If you look at screen captures you can see a dove. She also mentioned it in her last Christmas blog.

  25. I got the feeling that Jim clicked on the celebrity porn ad as a prank and Pam just played along with it. It seemed like him to try to tease/embarass her just a bit.

    Also, I don’t think Toby maliciously threw the water at Jan, i think that is just want a runner might do (throw the water cup away) and Jan wasn’t expecting it.

  26. The sex tape thing was just a plot device to get the IT guy back in the office, just so they would have another religion in the conference room during Michael’s speech. Felt too contrived for my tastes.

  27. Great review. No sex download talk here. Still LMAO over the most poignant but twistedly hilarious line of the show which was about the frozen french-fry bags being clawed to shreds, and Dwight’s look in response. Brilliant.

  28. I have been sensing an Andy intrusion into the Dwangela storyline. What better way to upset Dwight than to mess with his woman? Andy has been really nice to Angela at times, and I think she notices… especially since Dwight can be so cold and matter-of-fact. I don’t care what happens. It’s all fantastic. Tori, really well-done review. Your attention to detail is astounding!

  29. I agree with #27 big tuna regarding the TAPE. And I’m surprised that no one caught Angela’s new look.

    Just as our Pammy has grown up, so has Angela in a way.

    And someone else I think on another page was wondering why Angela was open with Pam about Dwight, but she could have simply asked him as a friend to take care of Sprinkles over lunch or something.

    Oh and in closing, my friend’s dad is a runner and he was telling me about the reality of nipple rub… painful… Go Andy!!!!

    Sometimes, people read too much into things.

  30. I really didn’t think much of the porn order thing during the episode. At work I get a ton of inappropriate emails for offers of that nature, despite a firewall and whatever else is in place to stop it. I think the telling part of the scene was Pam’s embarrassment and her declaration at the end that “it all happened so fast!” I really don’t think her intention was even to order the video, she was just curious and got too far into and then it caused her computer to crash. It wasn’t so much a commentary on Pam’s new found sexual curiosity as it was a situation I think anyone curious about sensational stuff like that might get caught up by thinking no one would know, and then being stuck in a situation where you have to admit to it. The episode was so great and I’m really happy with all the developments. I have high hopes for season 4.

  31. Good review.

    I’m getting scared that The Office is getting too big and popular. I don’t want it to be “the next ‘Friends'” as I’ve heard some say it is. Is seems like it would then lose its appeal for the true fans and its focus on comedy will shift to dramady.

    Any feelings on this?

  32. Michael did say something about the power outage while downloading “porn.” It was part of the three things that went wrong that day.

  33. I definitely agree with the excitement over hand holding!! And the look on Jim’s face when they admit to the cameras that they are dating and it’s going well!

    Yeah, I thought the porn thing was a little odd for Pam, even with her new blossoming personality. But some thoughts different people mentioned here seem to make sense as the prank idea.

    My husband thought that the Pam seeing Michael naked could’ve expanded into an entire episode itself. There was just so much stuffed into this premiere!

    I like the Michael as Jim & Pam’s child thing too. I recall that commentary and thought it fitting here.

    At times I felt some things were forced (like the religion talk in the conference room) but watching it a second time made me love even the forced parts more.

  34. Thank you for the comments! I’m so happy I get to do these reviews again this year.

    Wow, I didn’t think Pam’s click of the mouse would spark such controversy. I don’t think surfing porn is at work is “adorable,” but do think her curiosity is adorable.

    Pam is plain, and can’t always express what she wants, but I don’t see her character as being a nun either. She is almost 30, and was in a relationship for 10 years – she knows what’s going on.

    In my mind, Pam wasn’t sitting at her desk surfing porn. I saw that scene as maybe she was reading a celebrity gossip blog, saw the ad, got curious and figured the link would show more info. I don’t think she expected the computer to start downloading it and crash her computer.

    It certainly isn’t appropriate behavior for a workplace, but 1) this is the same office where Michael has been known to circulate inappropriate content, and 2) it is an imaginary workplace.

    I think it is funny that people are so upset about PamPorn. Dwight’s the one that euthanized a cat beet-farm style and stuck it in a freezer.

  35. RE: #43 – I remember that Jenna blog, but I am pretty sure the dove necklace is a personal necklace she bought for herself. From what I can see on the show, Pam’s necklace was some variation of a horse.

  36. Pam’s old necklace was most definitely a dove, not a horse. I didn’t notice the butterfly – that is cool!!

  37. “In my mind, Pam wasn’t sitting at her desk surfing porn. I saw that scene as maybe she was reading a celebrity gossip blog, saw the ad, got curious and figured the link would show more info. I don’t think she expected the computer to start downloading it and crash her computer.”

    This was exactly my take on it…I thought it was funny and not out of character for Pam…she and Jim have always goofed around at work when they should be working.

  38. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed Pam’s necklace shift from pony to butterfly.

    I really liked the horse though :)

  39. I remember that blog from Jenna too and I think that may have been a necklace she wore to a talk show appearance and then bought for herself and friends. Pam may have had a couple of necklaces, but I definitely know I’ve seen a screen capture of a unicorn or a horse.

    I’ve never seen Pam as sweet and innocent. She has a quiet suffering to her, but not sweet and innocent. And to be completely honest, sweet and innocent people don’t kiss their best friend while they are still engaged to their boyfriend of ten years.

    Yes, this is also the same office where Michael had Dwight research gay pornography on the web so they could understand Oscar.

  40. Whoa, I’m not upset that people think Pam was the one who clicked it on purpose, I just think we have evidence that Michael had something to do with it, namely his statement later on in the episode. It seems a little out-of-character for Pam to want a celebrity sex video, to me, when we’ve had no inkling of it before. And her shyness about it when questioned by Jim speaks volumes. Were porn surfing really a part of Fancy New Beesley, she would have challenged Jim about it, as opposed to merely saying “irrelevant”.

  41. Loved the review Tori. Sooo good.

    A Dwight/Angela/Andy triangle seems in the cards, but what I can’t figure out is Andy’s motivation. If Andy knew that Dwight and Angela were an item, he’d move on Angela just to put a spoke in Dwight’s wheel. But Dwangela is a secret from him, so does he really want Angela or is she a step in his grand plan that even he doesn’t understand yet?

  42. a great review!!! i just love how pam is more confident, and not so shy. can’t wait to see what will happen with the PB&J storyline.

  43. He wasn’t even there when Pam was downloading it–he was taking Meredith to the hospital.

    We don’t know the specific timeframe in which she clicked the ad.

    When Jim was asking her about it, she definitely would have told him that Michael had ordered her to do it.

    I’m not sure she would, especially when Jim was not asking her specifically why the incident happened.

    I think it’s pretty clear that she had picked it and paid for it.

    Well, matter of opinion, of course, but it seems highly unlikely to me that she would do it out-of-the-blue.

  44. Though, I will say that Pam is wearing the same outfit that she is during the first day when they have the conversation, but there is no evidence that the porn download did not transpire the day before.

  45. After one episode..I am already seeing all the “out of character” comments when no one even knows the reasoning behind it. After 3 years I think that the writers have proved that they know what they are doing and know these characters better than any of us.Just like last season when people were talking about Jim being a jerk and trying to screw Michael and how he was being sneaky and called David Wallace, but when you watch the deleted scenes you see that David Wallace called him.For all we know the reason that Pam was doing whatever she might have been doing might actually be explained next September on disc one.

  46. While I don’t think it had anything to do with Michael or a prank, we’ve never gotten to see Pam talk about anything related to her sexual life (except maybe the “bath” comment in “Basketball” and Roy’s “best sex…” comment in “Valentine’s Day”) because Pam wasn’t in a particularly happy relationship. We do know that she is willing to do some different things, like unbutton the top button of her shirt for a blind date. Rather than this being “out of character” it was part of “character development”; just because the camera doesn’t go home with Pam every night, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. And if you don’t like to see Pam as the type who would order a sex tape, I’m sorry but it’s far past the age where a woman should be shunned for wanting to explore and be curious about sex. Just because she may be sexually adventurous doesn’t mean she can’t still be a generally nice person. If we question why the writers put a scene in there to develop Pam’s character, then we can start to question why they put any scenes in at all.

  47. “I’m sorry but it’s far past the age where a woman should be shunned for wanting to explore and be curious about sex.”

    Angela, no one has a problem with Pam being curious about sex. The problem is that she was downloading pornography at work. That’s not curiosity–that’s just weird and creepy. I’m no prude; I have no problem with exploring sex, believe me. But if I were to download porn at work and crash a computer doing so, I would be fired on the spot and would hope there wasn’t a lawsuit coming. I don’t think anyone would care that I’m a grown woman curious about sex.

    There are some boundaries that decent people just don’t cross. Downloading porn at work is one of those things that decent people simply don’t do.

    That’s why this is such a big deal–it’s putting into question the basic decency of Pam’s character.

  48. People are trying to come up with off-the-wall excuses

    Michael being responsible for her downloading it is as far from “off-the-wall” as excuse as I can think of. Frankly, I never entertained the notion that Pam was the one responsible.

    That being said, I am absolutely not shunning Pam for doing it, if that is what the writers intended.

  49. What’s with all this drama about Pam?!

    #59 has it right.

    If you re-watch the episode, the IT guy says something like, “You shouldn’t click on offers that you didn’t ask for”.

    It was an accident….

    …..and very funny.

  50. I agree! What’s with the Pam drama?!?! I love the new Pam. She seems more at ease and really shines. I love this review of Fun Run. It’s exactly how I feel.

  51. After seeing that Pam was able to confuse “28 Days” with “28 days later,” I think that it is very possible that this was just a simple mistake. Because she said “it happened so fast!” I don’t see this as something she did on purpose. On another note: Jim and Pam, Dwight and Angela, Jan and Michael, Kelly and Ryan. Come on now, what is going on?

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