The Office (S05E03): “Baby Shower”
Due to a crazy series of unexpected events this past week, my reviews are way behind. In order to catch up I’m going to be writing a lot less. So here are just some of my mostly unorganized thoughts on this week’s episode of The Office, which I enjoyed less than last week. But while I wasn’t laughing as much, I think this episode did a good job of adding some depth to some of the series’ characters.
Jan resurfacing in this episode is a reminder of just how bad she and Michael are together; a fact made more painfully obvious by the addition of Holly and the oozing amounts of chemistry they share. While the entire office realizes in a very matter of fact way that Jan’s baby is not Michael’s to begin with, it takes the potential daddy to be the longest to come to terms with these facts (well, right after Dwight, who plays in his own little world as usual). Michael gets to act a little immature here by feigning hatred toward Holly, but it’s only because his fear of Jan is back.
Pam and Jim are having an “off” day and not feeling as in-synch as usual, which proves that long distance relationships can be hard. He doesn’t understand her stories about people he doesn’t know (Remember, all their stories before centered around people at the office) and she’s doing laundry and can’t hear Jim very well. At the end when they both call each other at the exact same moment and leave voice mails reminiscing on the exact same funny story, we get to see the chemistry is definitely still there and it truly was just a singular bad day for them, which is realistically going to happen to any happy couple now and then.
A lot of this episode felt more serious than usual, conjuring up some genuine sympathy on my part for Michael and how Jan has treated him. He’s planning a big baby shower for her and then she shows up not pregnant, but with a stroller. He tries to forge on and pretend everything is OK, even treating Holly like crap for Jan’s sake, but after going on about how good he is with kids and then holding “his” baby, he feels nothing and realizes at the same time he no longer feels anything for Jan, who is singing semi-sexual songs at her baby shower. When Jan and the, not his, baby leave, he finds Holly and gives her a hug that might seem awkward, but is incredibly sweet when you take into account who he is and what he’s wordlessly admitting in that moment.
The highlights of the episode for me were Andy’s “wtf” reaction to Angela’s baby photo (believing Phyliss’ baby photo is Angela’s and then reacting poorly to the real photo of her as a toddler) and Michael’s ignorant moment of the half-hour when he goes on about golden showers in a wholly innocent way that for anyone other than Michael sounds totally pervy. Also, I liked how everyone in the office is worrying about issues such as who the real baby daddy is while Dwight is simply preoccupied with the safety and durability of a thousand dollar stroller (which he steals and puts through a variety of tests, like launching it from a high ledge and tying it to the back of his car). It’s all almost as funny as Dwight’s opening moments, pretending to be a pregnant woman whose water is breaking and then going into labor and announcing “I’m crowning!”
Oh and apparently Dwight circumcised himself when he was but a young lad, but is that really all that surprising?