TV Recap: The Office - The Dinner Party

Wow. Never have I felt more uncomfortable during an episode of The Office. Oh don’t get me wrong. This is by no means a complaint. In fact, it’s a compliment on the brilliance of the writers for being able to create pretty much the exact scenario most of us would’ve pictured when trying to imagine what a dinner party at Michael and Jan’s house would be like. Is it any wonder that Pam and Jim would go out of their way to try and avoid attending?

Michael managed to trick Jim and Pam into finally accepting his longstanding invitation for a dinner party by telling the office they had to work late that day. Then once he ensured that Jim hadn’t made any plans (thinking he had to work late), he made a fake phone call to corporate telling them he wasn’t going to make his people work late. After cornering Jim and ensuring a positive RSVP from him and Pam, Michael extended an invitation to Andy and Angela. Dwight was naturally devastated.

When Jim and Pam arrived at Michael and Jan’s condo, they quickly realized that around Casa Scott, everyone is “babe.” Michael and Jan constantly calling each other babe was just the tip of the iceberg of awkward. During the tour of the condo, Pam and Jim got to enjoy the potent aroma of Jan’s candle room “work space,” as well as a few majorly TMI moments in Michael and Jan’s bedroom that included a video camera set up on a tripod and the sight of Michael curled up on the bench at the bottom of the bed. And as expected, Michael proudly displays his Dundies in his living room. Though he seemed even more proud of his tiny plasma TV.

Pam and Jim score points for their admirable effort to be polite throughout the ordeal and even more points for the priceless facial expressions. Jim’s miserable look of disgust over the smell of the candle room and Pam’s look of shock when she saw Michael and Jan’s little home-movie camera set-up, added to the looks both of them had when they found out dinner wasn’t going to be served for another three hours were some of the best laugh-out-loud moments in the episode. At one point Jim actually tried to abandon the party by claiming his apartment was flooded and was even willing to leave Pam behind if it meant getting out of there.

Remember back in the Fun Run episode when Jan told Pam to back off and stay away from her man? Well apparently that’s still a thing. Jan spent the whole night making rude comments at and about Pam. When she finally got Pam alone (if you don’t count Angela being in the room), she claimed that Pam and Michael once dated and wouldn’t accept Pam’s denial that any kind of relationship ever happened. Meanwhile, when Michael got Jim and Andy alone, he tried to get them to invest in Jan’s candle company (Andy’s in.)

Dwight crashed the party with his much older date, whom we later learn is his former babysitter. By that point, Michael and Jan were already headed into bicker mode, and they let Dwight and his date stay. Now onto dinner. This is what I love about The Office: the attention to detail. Dwight and his date crashed the party and therefore, had to sit chairs that didn’t match the dining room table set. This resulted in both of them sitting significantly lower than the rest of the table while they ate the picnic food they brought with them. I don’t know why but that sight cracked me up. “Good turkey leg.” After Michael commented to Pam that he thinks Jan might be trying to poison him, she refused to touch her food.

Jan and Michael’s bickering turned into all out fighting when Michael hung up the neon St. Pauli Girl sign in the dining room. When he turned it on and the thing glowed bright blue and emitted a low annoying hum, that was all Jan could take. After screaming at each other, she threw one of Michael’s Dundies at his tiny plasma TV. That pretty much ended the party. The cops showed up after a neighbor complained about the noise (remember how thin the walls are in that condo?) and one of the cops suggests that Michael spend the night at a friends. Dwight takes him to his house (farm) and as Hunter’s cheesy song plays in the background, we see Jan trying to fix Michael’s broken Dundie, Jim and Pam enjoying some fast food together and Angela getting annoyed with Andy for licking her ice cream cone. She takes the giant waffle cone full of ice cream and smashes it onto the outside of his car.

So it looks like it could be splitsville for Michael and Jan. And things didn’t look so good for Andy and Angela. Between her disgust over the ice cream thing and her irritation when he gave her the rose, I’m thinking they’ll be done within a couple of episodes if something major doesn’t happen to pull them back together.

A few other notable quotes and moments worth mentioning:

“That has sort of an oaky afterbirth” – Michael after drinking some wine.

Jan slow dancing by herself to her old assistant, Hunter’s CD.

Apparently Michael’s had three vasectomies (or two and one un-vasectomy)? (snip-snap-snip-snap-snip-snap!)

“The thought of popping one of your beets into my mouth makes me want to vomit” – Angela to Dwight

I’m so happy The Office is back.

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

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.