This week, Phyllis wed Bob Vance (that’s PHYLOB to you.) If you’re like me, you were probably reduced to a shaken martini glass of emotions by the end of the half hour. Despite the happy occasion of a wedding, we were served a healthy spoonful of pathos mixed in with our Thursday night comedy.
After the familiar comic energy of a classic Jim prank on Dwight (Altoid, anyone?), the wedding mayhem commences. Creed attaches a card to someone else’s wedding gift (at least he didn’t steal anything this time), Kelly sets etiquette aside and shows up wearing white (because she looks awesome in it) and Scrantonicity rocks the house — sort of.
Savvy Phyllis asks Michael to push her wheelchair-bound father down the aisle, leveraging a six-week honeymoon in the process. This leads into a series of cringe-worthy Michael moments.
Michael’s need to be loved is so intense that it overshadows any self-awareness that might save him. (So much for his insight with Andy.) There’s no internal barometer telling him that it might be a bad idea to ask the bride if she broke wind on her wedding day, for example.
We do get some insight into Michael’s cringe-inducing behavior. The only other wedding Michael attended was when he was young and his mother remarried. He peed his pants at that one, so there’s been some growth over the years. So when Dwight throws Michael out as a wedding crasher, my heart breaks for the guy.
Speaking of heartbreak, what about the obvious awkwardness of Pam and Roy as guests? Add to that the fact that Phyllis copied all of Pam’s original wedding ideas, and I was waiting for Scrantonicity to break into the Twilight Zone theme for Pam.
Instead, Roy pays them $20 to play “their” song. While I question the song (Jewel — yuck), Roy’s sincerity toward his ex is hard to resist these days. And after Pam’s reaction to Jim’s slow dance with Karen, she’s probably thinking the same thing. Pam’s not a talker, not verbally anyway. Kudos to Jenna Fischer — the girl can communicate more in a brief glance of despair than most people can with an entire monologue.
Despite the obvious map of heartache on her face, she and Jim miss their moment yet again. Even the documentary crew seems fed up seeing these two apart and poses a “hypothetical” to Jim. Jim does a bad job convincing us (and himself) that he’s moved on. “I’m really happy I’m with Karen.” Yeah, Jim, and your “kicked puppy dog” expression when Pam leaves hand in hand with Roy is because you didn’t see those famous Beesly dance moves.
This brings us to the hot debate since the episode aired — did Pam sleep with Roy? Pam’s heart is bruised, so it wouldn’t be her fault if she fell back into what’s familiar. We may never know if they slept together that night … I’m not sure it matters. What matters is Pam’s frame of mind now and how that will affect her actions towards Jim.
I still think there’s hope, and while it’s frustrating for fans sometimes, this show is committed to what’s real over what’s contrived. The clear path to Happyville is often road-blocked with the conflicts that people need to work out within themselves first.
And if that doesn’t happen for JAM, Pam can always follow Kelly’s advice — freak out, get drunk and tell Jim she’s pregnant. Considering the latest debate in the chat rooms, though, that might not be something Office fans could bear …
Wendy is the founder of Limelight Media, an entertainment marketing company in Los Angeles. She enjoys procrastinating with friends (online and elsewhere) and laughing at her dogs when they snore in their sleep. Visit her here.