On ''The Office,'' Michael takes the crew for a day of sun and ''fun-tivities'' to see who has the most management potential, and Pam finally opens up to Jim -- in front of everyone

By Abby West
Updated May 11, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

”The Office”: A day at the beach

It’s about damn time, Pam! Whooo! Was that a collective yelp I heard last night when she expressed her feelings to Jim? I know it wasn’t a resolution, by any means, but it was a terrific payoff for those of us invested (some might say too much) in the Jim-Pam-Karen love triangle.

This was the actualized Pam we’ve waited so long to see. She was flush with self-awareness and direction after walking over the hot coals that were part of Michael’s beach-day fun-tivities. She charged full on into the circle and asked the lot of them why they hadn’t shown up for her art show, letting them know how much it hurt her. But things really heated up when she turned her attention to Jim and was more honest with him than she’d ever been.

Right there, in front of his girlfriend, Pam admitted that she had called off her wedding because of him. As the shell-shocked (dare I say teary-eyed?) Jim stared at her, she told him how much he meant to her and how much she missed their closeness. This being Pam, she couldn’t go the whole hog and tell him that she wanted him as her man. No, it was their ”friendship” that she missed. Even still, this was huge. It laid bare all the undercurrents that everyone in the office felt.

And though I am thoroughly enjoying the drama, I stand by the fact that Jim and Karen make a great team. Did you see that chest bump when he picked her for his Voldemort team? Or the way they teased each other during the spoon-and-egg race? Or even the way they weren’t threatened by both going after the same corporate job? But I’ll admit that in the back of my mind I, too, wonder…what if Jim and Pam got together?

The best thing about last night was that, despite the fact that I’ve spent so much time talking about it, the Pam thing was only a small part of a wonderful episode. Everyone brought his or her A game (in hilarity, if not in effort) to the race to succeed Michael, who fully believed he’d get the corporate job he’ll interview for next week.

It was gratifying to see Michael wearing his Sandals hat and tee with a Hawaiian shirt as he went all Jeff Probst on the beach. Of all his misguided attempts to decipher who had leadership skills to match his own, the hot-coal walk was the best. Dwight stood (and kneeled, and lay down) on the coals for upward of 20 seconds and still Michael wouldn’t promise him the job.

It was also a stellar Stanley night, as he tried to secure the top spot even though he was only in the running because of all the wonderful things that black people have done. Watching him suck down hot dogs and smile at Michael was worth it, if only for the look on his face at the moment he decided he just couldn’t fake the interest and went back to the bus.

Somehow, this episode managed to make me feel sorry for dumb Andy, who’s probably still floating face up in the water in the dark, wearing his sumo suit. And a little grossed out by Meredith’s boob flash!

Poor Toby continued to fill his Charlie Brown position in the office. He looked deflated after Michael told him he couldn’t go to the beach, but I swear it was only after he learned that he would miss Pam wearing a two-piece bathing suit that being left out elicited a snarl from him.

And you just had to know that once Angela found out Oscar was gay, she would end up treating him like a girlfriend and try to run his life. Apparently she thinks he can cross over to women. Maybe he’ll be the next one to take a run at Pam.

Creed Creep-O-Meter: 10. He caught a fish with his bare hands and ate it! Raw!

What do you think? Were those Phyllis’ or Michael’s pipes that we heard turning it out during the bus-ride rendition of ”The Gambler”? Was it just me, or was Michael’s ”Watch out for snakes!” line a shout-out to MST3K and the craptastic Eegah? And are you all as psyched for next week’s hour-long finale as I am?

Episode Recaps

The Office

The mockumentary-style sitcom chronicles a group of typical office employees working 9-5 at the Scranton branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.

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  • 9
  • NBC
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