the indiscretion with the cake behind them, everyone buckles down and gets serious about the party. kelly swallows a tapeworm that creed sells to her “that wasn’t a tapeworm”. this is the hardest thing andy has ever had to do in his life and at least he has the “self-awareness”(?) to admit he hasn’t “had a very hard life”. can i take a moment here to say that the andy talking heads alone in this episode make it one of the funniest things i have ever seen on television. the dance invitation looks to have been the kiss of death for ronnie and as luck would have it, things have come completely full circle (not in a good way) for ryan and he is back at the scranton temp agency and is ready to be promoted from egg mcmuffins to “dunder mifflin, this is ryan”. fire-d guy!
jim acts like a badass, calling out ryan on his boasting over court-assigned community service (i like this side of jim) and ryan makes an attempt to get back into kelly’s good graces (the motivation behind this is unclear to me but i have been wanting to reunite kelly and ryan since the beginning of last season so bring it on). he also has decided that the baby beard wasn’t douchey enough so instead he has a goatee and michael decided he wasn’t clueless enough so he copied ryan. now everyone looks like a super douche.
since fruit flies are the only ones who have taken advantage of dwight’s vending machine alternatives, he decides to encourage more drastic methods. “i'm gonna randomly select three names and these three people will get liposuction. uhhhhhh stanley, phyllis, kevin. and you will be responsible for your own medical bills.” the last statement makes this so much funnier. i love how dwight just tramples into inappropriate territory. in an unbelievably transparent attempt to pretend to make it up to phyllis, dwight offers to go 60/40 on a “sure-thing” sale with her. 2 things are great: 1. dwight is so blatantly obvious when he is trying to pretend to be sincere 2. he won’t even go 50/50 on a sale he knows is fictional.
as michael and holly laugh together about the “dreadmill” jim admits he really feels pam’s absence during lunch. she is enjoying her present company a little more than he is, making new friends in school. we grow wary. what better way to make jim miss pam during work time as well than by calling a meeting in the conference room! phyllis is so upset having had to walk home from the sketchy neighborhood that dwight dropped her off in (on the bright side she “burned over 1,000 calories walking home”), that she calls david wallace and the incident is addressed at a body image awareness meeting. and we get another reference to corporate h.r. guy kendell. when can we meet that guy and can he be played by ben stein? they are all in the conference room but something is missing… oh here we go. printed out photos for the walls and an offensive sterotype of overweight people. perfect, now we are ready to get started. plus we have the return of the sumo suit (thank god michael bought instead of rented)! the cast takes turns doing their best “michael klump” impersonation (the award goes to dwight) as michael protests that the character is a celebration of fat people. and then goes on to disprove this claim by being totally offensive. gene and lee always write michael on the obnoxious side. but they also always write in a redemption or else we might get him mixed up with david brent. it’s confusing enough with the goatee. in this case redemption comes in the form of michael’s intervention for kelly. it looks like it is going to start badly, with michael making her stand on a chair, but after people call out compliments ranging from nice fingernails to perfection, he decides to end it badly instead by sticking his face in her boobs. not bad.
it’s the last day of the competition and the scranton branch’s final weigh in. they lose the competition to utica by only 8 pounds. also lost? michael’s goatee, just in time for dwight to have grown his own, presumably trying to reunite the 3 musketeers. michael is seriously on fire this episode though, maybe holly inspires him, and he suggests that they weigh in at the end of day and make a last ditch effort to shed some weight. andy is on it boss, “andy bernard doesn’t lose contests, he wins them. or he quits them, because they are unfair”. he cranks up the heat and throws on the trash bags (tie on the outside, but of course) to try to sweat it out. i bet the office smelled awesome. maybe we can get kevin to take off his shoes. also warming up? angela. she is still feeling positive from andy’s sentiments and requests that her favorite song, the little drummer boy, be their first dance. andy is totally into it (yay!) “i always thought it was bigger than christmas anyway” and thinks that it will sound awesome courtesy of the a capella stylings of 'here comes treble' (uh oh). here comes trouble. bssssssst. (that is a sound effect. pager vibrating. good one, right?).
jim meanwhile is showing the frustration of missing pam, seeming less patient with michael’s theatrics and not interested in engaging in dwight’s bullshit at all. the look he gives dwight after protecting his computer screen from probing eyes shuts even the persistent mr. shrute down, toute suite. if he feels bad he can practice his apology speech on the printout of pam’s dwight drawing. his surprised glance over at dwight’s computer generated face is the best silent TH since that one from season 2 after a now scarred ryan witnesses the “no cookie!” conversation between angela and dwight. jim seems increasingly dejected at the prospect that he will be getting no cookie of his own until the weekend and decides to have an impulsive lunch meeting with pam at a rest stop about half way between them.
what could be more romantic than dwight, dressed in a garbage bag and holding the can of aerosol bug spray he just unloaded into the vending machine (no ozone layers were damaged in the filming of this episode) following a tiny uppity blond down into the warehouse? i can think of one thing…
through lanes of traffic and a torrential downpour we can barely see jim, rushing out of his car towards pam as she teases him over the unequal distances they have driven. he drops his coat, and then his knee and we all drop our jaws. he couldn’t wait. red herrings! they were all red herrings! well played cast and crew, i am as surprised as pam and nearly as happy. jim and pam you guys, you’re pumped right?
holly, in a michael-esque impulsive and overly eager move, has bought tickets tojamaica, i mean, the counting crows for her and this guy she went on one date with. when he doesn’t call, michael offers to buy the tickets from her (could he have redeemed himself for cluelessly sending kevin to eat pie with her after toby’s party?) only to tear them up so she doesn’t have to worry about it any more. oh michael. that wasn’t what you were supposed to do.
wet tuna arrives back just in time for the final weigh in, and to drip all over dwight, and although the gang lost an additional 4 pounds, it is not enough to defeat utica. don’t be disheartened, you lost a ton of weight, literally, a lot of weight. yes, that is what literally means. hooray, everyone is a loser. especially….
toby. what an eeyore. his luck has not turned around he is in a costa rican hospital with a broken neck and ironic entertainment. ENTOURAAAAAGE!!!!
sorry so long on this one, a lot happened! eight weeks friend. what can you do. anyway, as casey’s final text said: “ok, it ended REALLY well”. true, and the end is just the beginning. great episode and great way to kick off the new season. i give it full marks and i am ready for more.