Tori’s Review: Ben Franklin

When I clicked off my TV after Thursday’s “The Office,” I heard rumbling in the stillness of night. Rumbling that sounded a lot like people throwing Dwight bobbleheads at their televisions.

But I’m here to say there is no reason to be upset, because from office, to warehouse, to Bob Vance Refrigeration, love is in the air at our favorite Scranton business park.

It’s six days before Phyllis’ wedding; time for a bridal luncheon for the girls, and a manly-meat BBQ for the boys. What could ruin such good clean fun? Why, Todd Packer, of course! Finger sandwiches and card games turned into rubber appendages, strippers and the creepiest historical lesson ever. (But it was worth it just to hear Meredith say, “Shut up, Angela!”)

But that isn’t why you are upset, is it? Admit it; you kind of like strippers and you were curious about Ben’s panties.

You’re upset because Pam just couldn’t get the words out.

Not with Jim and not with Karen. She tried to feel him out but I think, “Karen and I have been up talking” sounded like “I found a copy of the Kama Sutra. We’re on page 71. You thought I was going to say 69? Nooo. We’re waaay past that.” The girl got flustered and turned into a jumbled mess of, “sleeping … better than not.” Poor Pam. Not talking … better than.

Now, let’s go back to “Ben Frisky” and the man-meat laden bachelor party. It may only take a little bit of Pack-man to make Michael lose his mind, but it also only takes a little bit for him to revert back to the scared boy he is. Actually, it takes one half of a lap dance. He truly felt like he had done something terrible. Jan is the closest he’s ever had to an adult relationship and he is terrified to lose her. “I’m closer to firing you.” Luckily, the same stripper who got him in trouble showed him how to get out of trouble, and Michael will be able to embarrass Jan for at least another episode.

As creepy as Benny was, I enjoyed watching the girls play with the man who proved lightning wasn’t God’s “angry-face.” Karen and Pam are a good team when it doesn’t have to do with Jim. But it does have to do with Jim, and again Pam lost her ability to form a sentence that made sense.

Give the girl a break — she found out Jim told his new girlfriend about their kiss. About the one moment in time they were honest with each other. And he said it was nothing. We’ve all been there. When words start tumbling out of your mouth and you have no idea what you’re saying because you only hear sirens in your head. I have faith Pam is going to find her voice. I just hope it won’t be to say, “I object!” at Jim and Karen’s wedding. (I kid.)

I think we learned two very important lessons this week; Ben Franklin never deserved to be President, and strippers give great … advice. “Secret secrets are no fun. Secret secrets hurt someone.”

When we see the gang next, it will be the big day! Phyllis and Bob’s wedding. Weddings are always a nice setting to try and sneak a dance with someone you love. Of course, they can also be a place to get drunk and start throwing cake. We’ll see how it goes down.

Until next time, remember; just twist your hand until … something breaks. Oh yeah, and life is precious.

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.


  1. awesome recap tori. i would say my reaction afterwards was more like…what the??? i was confused. but i think you are right. i hope you are right. you are right, right? “sometimes you just need to grow a pair” – as in Pam, are you listening???
    “is this the same grill you burned your foot on?” “no…yeah. but i got all the foot off” – priceless!

  2. I like this site for the references to all Office clips, spoilers, etc., but I don’t understand the recaps that are not done by the site owner. We’ve all seen the show already so we don’t necessarily need a recap anyway.

  3. Amen. This was actually one of my favorites of the season. And I am horrible at communicating under pressure, so I totally get why Pam talked that way. It was awkward and horrible, and perfect.

  4. I don’t know why everyone is having such an issue with this episode. It’s a great transition epi, sure it doesn’t really stand on it’s own, but I think it’s main objective was to support next weeks episode. Plus, Pams stammering hits way too close to home!!

  5. Your reviews are always excellent. I was a little down about the whole JAM situation, but your rewiew has given me a newfound sense of hope!

  6. Your reviews are awesome!

    I still have hope for Jim/Pam. Pam slipped and said she is still into Jim. Karen busted her and Pam tried to cover it up. Hmm.. I wonder what will happen at the wedding? Yikes!

  7. Spot on, Tori! Excellent recap. I’m all for drunk cake throwing. That could be fun ;)

  8. That’s what she said, I don’t think this is a recap so much as an interpretation of the episode. Fans love to gather here and debate our different viewpoints of the show- just check out an average night in the Officetally chat room. So a weekly review by an OT regular makes sense to me.

    Different viewpoints of the show exist all over the internet, from fansites to Poor Tanster can’t do it all, but she knows that true fans cannot get enough of these reviews. And now Officetally has them too.

    Great job, Tori! You reassured us with your take this week that our Poor Pam is beginning to unravel under the realization that she does love Jim after all. That Kama Sutra inner monologue cracked me up!

  9. Wow, Tori…spot on! Great review! I like how you explained Pam’s lack of words. That worked for me. Good Job!

  10. Awesome recap Tori! Poor Pam, she just fumbled words everywhere in her sleep conversation with Jim. I want her to just confess all to him! Well, here’s to hoping anyways. :)

  11. I dunno, all. That last scene with Pam might have been the weakest thing I’ve seen on this whole series.

    “God, I need a boyfriend????”

    All I can say is, the writers had better get their collective act together so they don’t fumble the big Jim/Pam release. It’s clearly too important to risk bungling.

  12. Tori,

    Nice review. Personally I thought the episode was the weakest in the series, and I fail to see how it advanced the storyline. Nice job trying to explain it though. I guess Pam’s tongue-tied-ness had to do with her surprise that Jim told Karen about the kiss. Still, overall weak episode…particularly the part with the stripper.

  13. I agree with about everyone on here. That was a horrible episode, and I don’t think my wife and I laughed once. The Pam scenes were painful to watch, as was Todd Packer (though he’s always painful to watch). However I think the all-time weakest part was Dwight saying how he “didn’t think that the Ben Franklin actor was the real Ben Franklin”. Yes, yes – Dwight can be dim-witted at times(ie – “Future Dwight”, which was hilarious, BTW). But this? That was taking it just a little too far. No, Dwight – of course an actor with a wig is not the real Ben Franklin, “no matter what Jim says”.

    Another gripe: This started as a Phyllis-centric episode. Yet it failed to include any quality scenes with her. That was sort of a letdown.

  14. Oops – one more comment after reading some of the others. Other people seem to foresee a ‘Pam breaking up the Jim/Karen wedding’. I’ve always hoped it would be a ‘Jim breaking up the Pam/Roy re-wedding’, since the writers seem to be trying really hard to turn Roy into a genuinely ‘re-likeable’ guy, (heck, I’m starting to like him a little more than Jim at times!). But if those others of you are aware of some spoilers I’m not, then I give in!

  15. Thank you for all of your comments :) I have a great time writing these and it is great to read your reactions to the episode and my view.


  16. Did I miss something? where was Andy in this episode?

    But I personally liked Michael’s fumble with the guy shower… and then using the Foreman grill he burned his foot on to cook steaks outside!

  17. Andy has been sent to anger management counseling. The scene is at the end of the “producer’s cut” available on the NBC Web site.

  18. I think that pam was experimenting with flirting in this episode. I think you did a great job of explaining her feelings with jim’s “We were up late talking,” and that he kind of threw her.
    Pam did annoy me a bit because she was struggling so much, but you could also tell that she was anoyed with herself… and whether we like it or not, she was acting pretty realistically. i just hope that she goes back to her cute, old pam-self that we all know and love and want to live forever with jim.

  19. Ugh. Hated this episode. Any time I see Todd Packer I reach for the remote and indeed I fast-forwarded through a lot of this one.

  20. Oh, for God’s sake, the repartee between Ben Franklin and Dwight was fabulous! “Why, the tyrant King George, of course!” Only Rainn Wilson’s genius could allow Dwight to say “I’m 99% sure that’s not the real Ben Franklin” and have it be fun. Dwight lives in such an alternate universe that you almost buy it.

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