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The Office's 10 Best Episodes: Pretzel Day, A Night Out, A Wedding And More
"The Job" (Season 3, Eps. 24/25)
Karen got the short end of the stick in the world of The Office. By the time Pam steps on hot coals and affirms her feelings for the friendship she and Jim share, the show’s entire audience was rooting for Jim and Pam to get together, if they hadn’t been doing so for weeks prior. It’s not that Karen is particularly unlikeable, it’s just that Jim and Pam are the perpetual Office it-couple and by season 3, the writers and viewers both knew it. While the “will they or won’t they” plotline dominates the episode, “The Job” is almost as notable for its corporate job interview plotline, in which Michael, Karen, and Jim compete for a position in New York and in which Dwight briefly takes over as the Scranton manager.
Clearly, The Office is at its best when it offers both wily shenanigans and poignant conversations, and “The Job” offers the right balance of both. From Michael hilariously selling his condo before he’s earned the New York gig, to Pam semi-apologizing to Karen, and to Jim and Pam finally setting up their first date, “The Job” not only offers some of the finest writing in NBC history, it also is one of the most watchable season finales in existence. Any episode of a comedy with that much emotional payoff is worth investing in again and again.
"The Deposition" (Season 4, Ep. 12)
Michael Scott is an idiot. He’s a self-pleasing, drama-causing dope with a serious lack of common sense. He’s easily manipulated, and he’s completely unpredictable. More importantly, however, he’s also a guy that, deep down, really means well, and at no point during the series’ entire run has that ever been more obvious than in “The Deposition”. Torn between backing his girlfriend Jan’s manipulative plan to sue Dunder Mifflin for supposedly firing her for getting a boob job and backing CFO David Wallace, who never actually considered promoting him as her replacement, our hero ultimately chooses honesty over deception and leaves fans with one incredibly fitting statement. You expect to get screwed by your company, but you never expect to get screwed by your girlfriend.
Apart from Michael’s heart-wrenching decision, “The Deposition” also offers a hysterical plotline back at the office focusing on ping pong. Jim and Darryl are locked in a long series of grudge matches, and the ill will gets so thick it winds up infesting Pam and Kelly who talk shit and root for their men, despite the fact that they’re both horrendous at table tennis. It’s a classic Office serious-plot-goofy-plot mash-up, and it’s one of many reasons why “The Deposition” is one of the beloved comedy’s all-time great episodes.
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