Wendy’s Review: The Return

Psycho Ass (Andy’s new title this week) was one Large Tuna of a catalyst for a long-awaited return in this week’s episode.

I’m not talking about the return of Oscar, back from “gaycation.” (Poor Kev — three agonizing months waiting to say that.)

And I’m not talking about the return of Dwight. OK, he was technically only gone 22 minutes. Still, it was enough for all of us to mourn his absence, including Jim. (“Thank you, Universe. You win.”)

I’m talking about JAM.

Because let’s face it peeps, this season has suffered a JAM drought …

We don’t need these two professing undying love before making out on the copy machine (though it certainly wouldn’t be the worst season finale.) But hardly any interaction this season? That’s just cruel.

Seeing JAM return to their prank-filled roots and take down Psycho Ass for his “Rocking Robin” ringtone antics was like watching an orchestrated waltz. They communicate beautifully without words. (Tell me Jim’s hand reaching back for the cell phone in Pam’s wasn’t loaded with subtext.)

I was ready to shake Jim like a Polaroid picture for denying his true feelings for Pam last week. But when Karen asked him again, he finally came through with a breathtaking “yes,” confirming Karen’s one-way ticket to Brokenheartville. Poor Karen. While I can appreciate her no-nonsense maturity with Jim, it’s no match for the complicated mess she faces in Scranton.

Meanwhile, Psycho Ass managed to bring out a Mexican fiesta of uncharacteristic emotions in our other Office pals.

Michael was dark and pensive, tired of Psycho Ass being up in his “bidness.” He got a glimpse of what a man with very little self-awareness looks like and no, it wasn’t from looking in a mirror. But say what you will about Michael Scott, he finally saw through Andy’s underhanded tactics like a sheet of Saran Wrap. Thankfully, glimpses of the old Michael were still around, most notably when he asks Phyllis to “find firecrackers and a Chihuahua” for Oscar’s “Mexicanity” party.

Angela failed to stand by her man Tammy Wynette-style last week. That guilt culminated in a touching break room scene with Michael and a hilarious meltdown with Oscar. My sympathy for Angela was limited ever since her Lady MacBeth maneuvers landed Dwight in the Michael Scott doghouse during “The Coup.” But when she finally tells Michael why Dwight really went to NYC, exacting her revenge on Andy simultaneously, she proves there’s much more to our uptight, cat-loving gal than meets the eye.

Michael rescues an exiled Dwight from Staples, a land of paper shredders, itchy red shirts (at least they look itchy) and employees who hate his “giant head and beady little eyes.” I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t choked up over Michael’s heartfelt plead to Dwight: “You should come back. Please.”

Of course he follows this up with “I don’t want somebody sucking up to me because they think I’m going to help their career. I want them sucking up to me because they genuinely love me.” Another gem for Michael Scott’s School of Philosophy.

There’s lots to look forward to with February Sweeps upon us. There’s yet another return. (Todd F. Packer … guess what the ‘F’ stands for?) We may see some explosive action when Phyllis and Dwight’s big personalities ignite again. And it’s safe to predict that exciting twists probably lie ahead for Man (Michael/Jan), Dwangela, and dare I say it … JAM.

In the words of Psycho Ass, that’s nothing short of doompity dawesome.

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.

39 comments

  1. great recap wendy, very awesome.
    as a KaJim fan and an Andy fan i’m already saddened at the prospects of the oncoming weeks : – (
    and as a fan even more saddened because there’s no office for an agonising while
    at least HEROES is coming back *dies*

  2. I’m watching the producer’s cut and am surprised the scene with Angela and Pam wasn’t in the broadcast episode — as it is, we don’t have official acknowledgement between them that Pam knows of Angela’s and Dwight’s relationship — curious …

  3. HAHA…”shake Jim like a polaroid picture”

    Wendy great recap. You got an awesome episode to write about.

  4. OMG! Lol your awesome i enjoyed reading that!&& If i do say so myself, making out on the copy machine would be the best season finale ! hahaha or at least SOMETHING!! =) I’m still wating for some awesome JAM stuf!!

  5. Awesome recap, Wendy! Hilarious! “Tammy Wynette-style” hahaha!! I think the majority of the fandom will agree with you there was more than one return this week! /

  6. (Tell me Jim’s hand reaching back for the cell phone in Pam’s wasn’t loaded with subtext.)

    Yes! and it almost looked like she might have also checked out his tush when he walked back to his desk to put the prank in motion. Oh, passive-aggressive Pam, what are we going to do with you?

    GREAT recap, Wendy!!

  7. Perfectly put! You described the episode to a “T”. The best part of the show was when Jim handed Andys cell phone back to Pam….just that 2 second sequence was unreal. On to next weeks episode! I can’t wait.

  8. Thanks for the amazing comments so far, guys! It really means a lot to me. Keep them coming, ha ha!

    Jose, I agree there were definitely JAM moments this season, but none where they were back to their old selves. Every interaction has had the 100 lb. elephant of ‘Casino Night’ lingering. JAM was kicking it old school this week.

    Tori, I watched that scene again and OMG, you are brilliant! She is checking him out. Pam, Pam, Pam…you are cute but driving us all insane!

    And Elizabeth, Tori and I approached Tanster about recapping and we will be switching off each week, so check out Tori’s recap for the Feb. 1st new episode.

    Thanks again everyone!

  9. i agree completely!
    this one definatly one of the best episodes ever.
    Dwangela and Jam stuff all in one day is very exciting.
    Pam and Angela are going to become friends i think. that would be pretty cool considering they are in real life too.

  10. Nice recap. But ‘Man’, just doesn’t cut it when it comes to Jan and Michael. Jachael it should be.

  11. good recap!!
    i think that episode made us realize how much we all love mr dwight kinda scary as the staple guy!!..& hate psycho andy the most annoying co -worker ever???!!
    pretty happy the jam & the dwangela team back !!can’t wait to see what ‘s gonna happen for jen and michael best and unexpected twist so far this season!!

  12. Andy: “You said ‘rid-it-dit-didoo’ and Pam was like, ‘blah blah blah’ and then you said ‘Yeah..PPSSHHH.’ Nailed it.”

    Andy is awesome, and everyone knows it. I love him.

  13. “My sympathy for Angela was limited ever since her Lady MacBeth maneuvers landed Dwight in the Michael Scott doghouse..”

    I totally agree, I was so annoyed with Angela at the end of last week. I felt it was just as much her fault that Dwight quit as it was Andy’s. She totally redeemed herself this week and I’m back on the Angela bandwagon.

    Chili Mac – I think the reason that scene was cut was because even though we know that Pam knows about Dwangela, it was never established that Angela knows that Pam knows. When they went out for coffee in last weeks episode, Angela was using code names (or middle names, assuming Angela’s middle name is Noelle, we know that Dwight’s is Kurt) when she told Pam about what Dwight did for her, and now all of a sudden she’s able to talk openly with Pam; it’s close but it doesn’t quite fit and that’s probably why it was left out.

  14. Wendy, that was absolutely hilarious!!! I loved the recap. I totally agree with the passing of the phone…that made the little JAM section of my brain go on overload!! I think my brain might break before the end of the season!!!

  15. Smokin’ recap! I am loving all these lovely new names we are getting for Andy! And yes…the Jim/Pam action in this episode brings back wonderful memories of season 2 :)

  16. wow, and i said i would be the first to read it. where’ve i been? anyways, that recap was top notch. thanks for sharing wendy!

  17. Did anyone notice the song that was playing in Staples when Michael came to get Dwight? I tape the show b/c sometimes I’m not home when it’s on (I know – bad fan!) and I had to rewind a couple of times but I’m 99% sure it was “Up Where We Belong.” It was Musak, but the chorus came on just as Michael was asking Dwight to come back. I doubt it was planned, but it was really cute. I was ready for them to start singing “love lift us up where we belong, where the eagles fly on a mountain high.” Or maybe that’s just me.

    Quote of the season is Jim’s: “I miss Dwight. Congratulations Universe, you win.”

    I really liked the new side of Michael when he called out Andy for his behavior. It makes him oddly attractive, like he’s grew a backbone.

    Also, I loved the Producers cut that was online, because there is so much we miss, especially with the supporting cast. They are fantastic. Thank God for DVDs and the internet!

    Thank you Wendy for the awesome post and everyone for your comments! I’m glad I’m not the only person who analyzes every subtle moment of this amazing show. Viva La JAM!

  18. YAY! Wendy! Great job on the recap! It’s so fun seeing my friends work in print…er…screen! Is it just a coincidence that two great recappers started with the two best episodes of the season? I think not! Doompity dawesome, indeed! Go JAM!!

  19. I just want to say thanks to everyone for the really supportive comments. Fans of The Office are the greatest! I had a blast doing this. I look forward to reading Tori’s next recap and writing another one after that. And many thanks to Tanster for this opportunity!! Thanks again, peeps! :-)

  20. ABby – I’m sure that playing the theme from An Officer and a Gentleman during the reunion scene at Staples was absolutely planned. Michael is Richard Gere and Dwight is Deborah Winger. If only Michael had carried Dwight out . . .

  21. Great recap, I loved the JAM stuff and can’t wait to see what happens this week.

    Oh and I used to work at Staples and the shirts aren’t itchy :-)

  22. Great recap, Wendy :D i like one scene where Andy’s cell phone driving him crazy thanks to Jim who put his cell phone in the ceiling! lol and other scene where Dwight reunited with Angelina and it was sweet when they shake hands at each other :)

  23. Ah yeahh the Pam handing Jim the phone thing is so cute, it kinda looks like they’re gonna hold hands or something.
    Aw man, we’re so deprived. I hope the pranks make a full comeback.

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