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TV Recap: The Office - Baby Shower

Baby Astird has arrived! Actually, Jan’s new daughter’s name is Astrid but Michael had the spelling wrong. Had little Astrid been a boy, she might have been named Chevy, though something tells me that Jan wouldn’t have let that happen. After all, Chevy was Michael’s choice and Jan hasn’t exactly been letting Michael in on any of the major baby-related events, including Astrid’s birth, which took place at some point before Michael and Dwight began practicing birthing techniques on a watermelon (which he later ate).

The second we found out that Jan was pregnant with a sperm donor’s baby, most of us probably knew that regardless of what Jan may have said, Michael wasn’t really going to fit into the picture. This is something Michael has to learn for himself though and for the first time, it appears that’s happening. In tonight’s episode, while Michael prepared for Jan’s baby’s birth, Phyllis reigned over the party planning committee.

While Phyllis is keeping Angela’s “little grape head” under her heal, Michael is making his usual party demands, adding in that because they gave Phyllis a “golden shower” for her wedding, he wants a golden shower of his own for Jan. Oh, Michael. So Phyllis goes about trying to get money from the staff for the party. When people show little enthusiasm for the sperm-baby shower, Phyllis reasons with them that the money would be going towards a sheet cake… and that’s really what it’s all about, right folks? Anyone who’s ever been to one of those random office parties celebrating someone they barely know (or in this case, don’t really care about), knows it’s all about the cake.

Before Jan shows up for the shower, Michael warns Holly that he might be rude to her because she’s one of the more attractive people in the office and he doesn’t want Jan and her bloated feelings to feel bad, being in the “terminal” stages of pregnancy, and all. Nice of Michael to refer to Jan’s condition in cancer-terms. When Jan comes to the office, she’s wearing her baby on the outside. Yeah, she had the kid and never bothered to call Michael, on her birth coach’s advice.

Jan relays the child’s birth to the staff. She discusses the tub birth, explaining that the afterbirth floats in the water. Creed says that must be like the tide at Omaha Beach. I wanted to laugh at that line but then I forced myself to think about the first ten minutes of Saving Private Ryan and threw in a couple mental images of what floating afterbirth might look like and that pretty much did the trick.

While the rest of the staff sits around looking bored during the shower, Dwight takes Jan’s $1200 Orbit stroller out for a test drive. He drags the thing all over the parking lot, running it over with his car and throwing it around to test its durability. Afterwards he deposits it back in Jan’s trunk. While I’m sure the thing got pretty scratched up after everything Dwight put it through, the watermelon he put in it never once fell out so I guess those things are worth the money (when used for transporting an infant rather than produce anyway).

Jan takes a break to take a nap and leaves baby Astrid in Michael’s arms, finally letting him actually hold her instead of just cradling the car seat. We learn through a series of video clips that Michael is really good with babies. Like really good. It’s evident that he connects with them on a level he doesn’t seem to connect with almost anyone else. But when holding Astrid, Michael doesn’t feel the connection. In fact, in his own words, he feels “shortchanged.” So he goes to talk to Darryl about it and Darryl makes clear to Michael what he hasn’t really allowed himself to realize as of yet – He’s not that baby’s daddy.

While Michael is off having baby-daddy-bonding time with Darryl, Angela attempts to photograph Astrid set in a cornucopia, surrounded by fruit. As Jan’s looking for her daughter, she runs into Holly, whom Michael has been being rude to in front of Jan. Earlier he told Jan (in front of Holly) that Holly smells like old tomatoes and dirt. Holly makes some silly Michael-like joke to Jan about the baby going on a sales call. Now Jan might be completely self-absorbed but she’s not a stupid woman and she’s got a pretty good intuition. She picks up on how alike Holly is to Michael and it’s likely that Holly’s good looks don’t escape Jan’s notice either. As she’s leaving with her daughter, Jan turns around and asks Michael not to date Holly. Like this is some kind of reasonable favor or something. Michael blows off the request as though he never even considered that but then agrees, no problem.

He promptly goes inside and hugs Holly. He doesn’t just hug her. He holds her and where there was no connection with baby Astrid, he finds it with Holly. He asks her out and Holly, looking fairly emotional from all of the holding, says yes. And I said “Yes!” Jan’s a nightmare. Holly’s Michael’s match. All is right in Scranton.

Actually, no. All is not right in Scranton. While everyone else is caught up in Astrid-gate, Jim and Pam are having an off-day. Meaning they were having trouble connecting. Earlier in the episode, Pam is rattling on about some drama she witnessed in her art class. At least that’s what I think she was talking about. I was with Jim in that I couldn’t totally follow her end of the conversation. Pam has to go to class and hangs up on Jim before he can even say goodbye.

Later Jim calls Pam to tell her all about how Jan’s singing Son of a Preacher Man in full force to the baby in front of everyone like some kind of weird (and fairly inappropriate) concert, but she’s doing laundry and can’t really hear him. Later they both call each other at the same time and get each other’s voicemails. Where they couldn’t connect one-on-one, they manage to make up for on the voicemails. Both talk about similar things including a funny story having to do with laundry and Pam staying safe. I was feeling a bit worried about these two, thinking the long distance thing might be taking its toll but the voicemail scene squashed those fears in a hurry. They’ll be ok. Pam just needs to come home soon!

Other things we learned in the episode include:

Dwight performed his own circumcision.

Stanley has zero-appreciation for pregnant women, believing their complaints are no different than his own.

Michael screaming “keep pumping!” at Phyllis while she inflated the balloon was icky.

Angela may be a teeny little thing now but she was quite the chubby baby.

Melora Harding has a really good voice… even when she’s playing the creepy-mom act and singing “Son of a Preacher Man” to a baby.

Kelly West
Kelly West

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.