Tonight’s double-episode of The Office brought forth some classic series moments. From a demolished kitchen to conception negotiations and of course, the birth of Baby Halpert, “The Delivery” definitely delivered.
It wouldn’t be The Office if the writers didn’t find a way to work in the work-aspect of the show with the birth of Pam and Jim’s baby. In this day and age, squeezing the most out of your health plan is always a good thing and for Pam, that meant crossing her legs and adamantly refusing Jim’s pleas to take her to the hospital until midnight. Waiting until midnight meant an extra night’s stay at the hospital and that was worth enduring increasingly painful contractions while surrounded by her annoying coworkers.
As tonight was the last of the “pregnancy” theme for the season, we did get to see a bit more of the other character’s reactions to Pam’s condition. While Kevin enjoyed eating for two alongside Pam, Dwight complained of waking up snuggling a gourd and determined that it was time for him to produce offspring. Who better to bring forth the baby than Angela? She’s a woman who shares his appreciation for strict discipline and vegetable-mash diets, right? So it seems the two might be sparking up a new arrangement. Rather than sneaking around as they used to do, now they’re negotiating the terms of a potential Schrute-baby. There seemed to be hints in there about Angela having feelings for Dwight as she smiled when he proposed that they “bang it out” and make a baby. And her willingness to draw up a contract on the terms seemed positive as she proposed to “celebrate” after the contract was signed and notarized. As for Dwight, it seems like its all business for him. While he’s happy to produce a child with Angela, he was also happy to flirt with Isabelle, Jim and Pam’s friend (the girl he hooked up with at the wedding). Unless he was serious about getting his teeth cleaned, in which case Isabelle might be just as misled by Dwight’s intentions as Angela is.
Tonight was a big night for Erin and Andy! He finally asked her out! Of course, that came after he made her cry. Erin had a rough day as Michael, believing he was the matchmaker responsible for getting Jim and Pam together (despite how “insurmountainable” the odds were), insisted on trying to fix Erin up with Kevin. After a lunch date and an argument between Michael and Kevin over Erin’s hotness as compared to Holly and Jan, Erin was feeling pretty defeated. So when Andy made a dorky attempt to ask her out on a fax he was pretending to have her send, he had no idea that making a joke about her being fired would result in her tearing up and then getting a bit snippy at him (which was adorable). “You read the fax!” I thought Andy might just grab the fax and run away but he finally manned up and asked her out. Erin’s mood flipped back to her usual chirpy self and the two are set for a date! Michael was off in the background taking the credit, of course.
Oh, right. A baby was born tonight! Despite the promise made to name their first born “Sylvia” or “Sylvio” after Pam’s grandmother, Jim and Pam named their new little girl Cecelia Marie. As it turned out, Pam was using the excuse of the HMO guidelines as a way to put off having the baby. She was scared. And throwing that realistic little nugget of honesty into the show is part of what made tonight’s Office ep so great. Because having a baby is a big deal. They can crack jokes, have Andy do the Evolution of Dance dance to no music, let Erin list off horst names, have Ryan read sexy poetry to Kelly and have Meredith reveal that she has a shirt with the nipples cut out in the car, but in the end, Pam’s still having a baby. The series wouldn’t be true to itself if they buried Pam’s true emotions under a flood of silly jokes. Being scared is probably pretty common among women about to have a baby and Pam was no exception there. Jim’s “frazzled”-ness was also very realistic. He just wanted his wife to be at the hospital where doctors would be around to help her when the baby was ready to come out. One of the best moments was when Jim, after freaking out over Pam’s refusal to leave the office, got in her face and assured her that she could have this baby.
Michael’s attitude toward the baby was predictable. He pretended like he was family and like he was supposed to be a part of everything. He got his reward in the end when he walked into the delivery room just as Pam was crowning and got an eyeful of Pam and Jim’s baby making her grand entrance into the world. At this, he commented, “That kid’s gonna have a lot of hair.”
Cecelia was born and all was well, except Pam was having trouble getting the breast feeding thing down. Little Cecelia wasn’t latching on. The biggest laugh-out-loud moment of the episode came when the baby woke up crying and Jim, half asleep, pulled her into the bed and handed it off to Pam, who promptly brought the baby to her breast. Pleased that she latched on right away, she relaxed and went back to sleep. It wasn’t until the following morning when Isabelle came to visit and Pam was about to let her hold the baby that she realized she was holding the baby of the woman sharing the room with them. Yeah, she breastfed the wrong kid. The looks on both of Pam and Jim’s faces as they quickly put the baby back in the basinet and prayed the mother in the bed next to them didn’t notice her baby’s hunger was satiated by another woman’s milk was priceless.
The struggle to get Cecelia to eat on her own also resulted in a visit from the male lactation consultant who is probably the first and only man who will ever get away with flicking Pam’s nipple while her husband looks on awkwardly. In the end, Cecelia did latch on. All it took was Pam and Jim leaving the hospital, which both of them did reluctantly. Clutching the crying child while Jim went to get the car, you could see that Pam was nervous about being alone for the first time with her baby. But she did her job. She sat down, covered herself and the baby up and fed the child, proving that while it won’t be an easy road for new parenthood in the Halpert house, they’re up to the task.
Other notably great moments:
Dwight and his crew demolishing Pam and Jim’s kitchen after failing to find Pam’s iPod. Mold discovery led to Dwight renovating the Halpert kitchen and building them new cabinets. Not a bad deal for them, I’d say.
“The hospital will provide dictionaries, bring a thesaurus!” – Oscar to a frantic Michael.
“Have fun!” – Creed’s goodbye message as Jim rushed Pam out of the office to get her to the hospital.
Stanley rushing to the elevator so he could leave on time just as Michael, Jim and Pam get on to go to the hospital. When Toby tries to get on too, Michael shoos him away and yells, “No! No! Out! Out! Out!.... Idiot.”
“You’re pushing the milk out, right?” – Jim offering a breastfeeding suggestion to Pam.
Andy reveals that his name was changed when he was six. After his little brother was born, his parents determined that the new baby was a better fit for the family name then Andy was. So they gave the baby Andy’s original name and picked “Andrew” from a baby names book to rename him. So sad.
Michael put diesel fuel in his car to save some money.
Meredith’s never getting married: “Like Clooney.”
Jim practiced putting diapers on everything from a doll to a football to Angela’s cat, Bandit.
Dwight made some friends through the escort service he started (so he could escort people places)