Officers, we’ve been sans Scranton for a few weeks now, which pales in comparison to how long Pam has been pregnant: “Company Picnic” aired May 14, which makes this about a 10-month gestation. Felt longer! But the day is finally here, and bouncing baby Halpert had to arrive eventually. How would Michael awkwardly insert himself into the situation? How would the rest of the Dunder-Mifflinites react? And would Erin and Andy finally just go out already? All that and more, friends. All that and more.
We opened at DMHQ, where Pam and Jim were tying up loose ends before she went on maternity leave. Dwight, jealous of the family-geared sales potential, took Pam’s advice to be more personal with his clients: “My cousin came down with a case of that nasty new goat fungus,” he proudly announced. Poor Mose. Dwight’s biological clock was apparently ticking — “sometimes, I wake up cradling a gourd” — and he decided to ask Angela to carry his child. I would be about nine hellatons more excited to watch those two parent than to watch PB&J do it. They agreed to draw up a parenting contract.
Pam was putting off going to the hospital, despite being in the early stages of labor, because she wanted the HMO-allowed maximum amount of time in the maternity ward. Per Michael’s lead, the DMites brainstormed ways to slow Pam’s labor by doing the opposite of the suggestions of how to induce. What’s the opposite of stimulating nipples? Wearing a shirt with the nipples cut out, maybe. Meredith: “I have a shirt like that in my car.” God, I love Meredith. The opposite of eating spicy food? Kevin: “Stick spicy food up her butt!” God, I love Kevin, too.
Jim wanted to go, Pam wanted to wait, panicky bickering, etc. etc. — at this point I was really, genuinely afraid that Pam was going to deliver the child at the office, and we would all have had to set ourselves on fire at that point. Michael convinced Jim and Pam to let him drive them to the hospital (whaaaat?), and with Dwight providing a police-impersonating escort and then getting Pam’s iPod from Chez Halpert, what could possibly go wrong?
At the hospital, it was finally actually baby time: Officers, let’s welcome Cecilia Marie Halpert to the fictional world. Luckily we were spared the delivery-room cliches, but just barely. An elated Pam and Jim gazed at their new baby, and I started hoping the writers for the show are familiar with STFU Parents. Luckily, the scene was radically improved by Jim’s claims to diapering mastery. He’d been practicing his diapering skills and had slapped a Pamper on everything from a football to Angela’s cat. (Angela’ reaction here was priceless. More Angela!) We were then treated to a series of high-laaarious scenes re: breastfeeding and competing with other parents. How totally unlike every sitcom ever! I’ve never seen any of that on any other show!
Dwight, of course, neglected to get the iPod, and instead, upon discovering mold under Jim and Pam’s sink, “did what anyone would do: I read a book, got a good night’s sleep, and made plans to eradicate it.” By destroying their entire kitchen.
Back at the office, Michael realized he’d played a key part in “creating a family,” and was determined to do it again by playing Yenta within the office. Who’s paired off? Ryan and Kelly (though he considers himself single), Erin and Andy, Dwight and Angela, Phyllis is married, Stanley is married, Meredith vows never to settle down because she’s “like Clooney!” — Who does that leave? Kevin, Creed, Oscar, and Toby? Michael tried to convince Erin to date Kevin, and Andy tried to opt out of the matchmaking due to his “torn scrotum,” but lo and behold those two crazy kids finally figured out a way to get together. The date is on!
++ We got some really awesome lines from the supporting cast, between Oscar’s “take the thesaurus!,” Phyllis’s “I have an ice cream cake in the car…,” and Meredith’s constant fabulousness. But there was barely any Kelly, Ryan, Toby, or Creed.
++ Ryan’s hipstery outfits are getting better and better.
++ I wish over the last few weeks (months?) we had seen more of Kevin and Pam eating together. Even just a second lunch or two.
++ Did any of you have Cecilia in the naming pool?
++ There were a lot of callbacks to “Niagara,” including poor Andy’s banana split, Isabelle and Dwight’s bizarre yet strangely credible flirtation, and Michael and Irene’s spotty history.
++ Nice to see Nick the IT guy is still there. But what about Gabe?
“The Delivery” was solid episode — it had a clear enough mission, and as far as comedy birthing story lines go, this wasn’t reinventing the wheel, but it worked within the context of the show. I got a major series finale vibe from it, though: The end of the episode had a ’twere-always-so resolution that seemed just so perfect. Jim and Pam? Domestic bliss. Dwight and Angela? Round and round they go. Erin and Andy? The start of something cute. Michael? Incredibly self-satisfied with his over-presence in his employees’ lives. Ryan, Kelly, Phyllis, Stanley, Creed, Toby, Oscar… whatever serialized stories those characters once drove have long since been concluded. Where does the show go from here?
What did you think, PopWatchers? What happens now?