Whether they're waiting patiently, pushing for an answer, or basking in the glow of newness, for three men in the office it’s all about their women

By Whitney Pastorek
Updated October 24, 2008 at 11:29 PM EDT
Paul Drinkwater/NBC

The Office

S5 E4
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PAAAAAAMELAAAAAA!

Good evening, my little binder clips, and welcome to your Office recap! I couldn’t be more thrilled with tonight’s episode, in which they took all the notes I had about last week’s hyperactivity and calmed things down a notch or twelve. (Yes, I have the power to control not only television shows, but also the time-space continuum.) What a lovely little gem of a half hour, all about the show’s three romances: the long-distance love of Jim and Pam, the estrangement-affair of Dwight and Angela, and the sickening, perfect happiness of Michael and Holly.

It seems Michael is far more charming on the putt-putt course than he is whenever we see him, because after going out the night before, Holly jumped at the chance to go out with him again right away. Steve Carell and Amy Ryan spent tonight bouncing off each other like a couple of really dorky puppies in a box, and because of their chemistry, every bit of Michael Scott’s traditionally awkward verbal diarrhea was adorable…and successful! For example: It seems Date #3 is traditionally the time for sex in his world, and though he didn’t know Holly’s perspective on the issue (“If she starts having sex with me, I’ll know for sure”), he couldn’t quite keep it inside. As they chatted about what to eat later, he suggested their choices might somehow hinge on whether or not they’d be consummating anything afterwards. She looked shocked, so he tried to cover by laughing, but couldn’t help himself. “Are we having sex tonight?” he asked. “Hell yeah,” she responded. (“Probably get soup,” Michael thoughtfully said later, just to clear up the lingering question. “Or something light.”)

The two killed time before their 8 p.m. dinner reservation by playing Extra-Crrrazy Eights in the conference room, then walked out of the building holding hands. Holly suddenly claimed she’d left her keys upstairs, but as they headed back inside, she turned and slyly locked the doors — with the documentary crew outside. Then she pulled Michael into the stairwell to make out, as he helpfully turned their mics down so no one could hear. Except, you know, he accidentally turned them up. (Confession time: Whenever they use the camera crew as a character on this show, I totally eat it up. The fact that I got three breaks of that fourth wall tonight made my week.) And then at some point on that magical night, the Boss and the HR rep left the building, forgot to lock the doors behind them, may or may not have had dinner, then went against all the laws of Office nature and did the deed. There’s hope for all of us, kids.

NEXT: We wuz robbed!

Meanwhile, Andy was happily prancing about the office, handing out save-the-date cards for his and Angela’s wedding, adding “-Money” to the end of everyone’s first initial. D-Money was the picture of misery when he learned things were moving forward, and P-Money couldn’t help but notice. She found Dwight whittling a weapon in the break room (“You’re making a knife with a knife?” “You got a better way?”), and took a second to make sure he knew she was there for him. Remember, Phyllis is the only person who knows about all the recent D-Money/A-Money sex — besides the crew (cue zoom!) — and though Dwight initially rejected her offer of a kind ear, he came back later as she was eating some undisclosed-but-allegedly-fattening food item involving lettuce, and started to confide in her. “She introduced me to so many things,” he said, wistfully. “Pasteurized milk. Sheets. Monotheism. Presents on your birthday. Preventative medicine.” Phyllis tried to explain why she thought Angela was going through with the wedding, and in this, she dropped perhaps this show’s loveliest line of the season: “Angela’s not really a risk taker. And Andy’s not really a risk.” Wow. Nicholas Sparks wishes he could write stuff like that.

Oh, hey, the office got robbed! Wonder how that happened? (And if the culprits were indeed vintage HP computer collectors, as D-Money suggested.) Interesting to watch as everyone reacted so differently, like Creed nonsensically spouting some nonsense about how the last person who stole from him disappeared (even though the last person who stole from Creed was apparently Creed), or Angela needing to Lysol everything. “So much for sex without consequences,” Michael half-smiled, but I certainly didn’t mind, because it gave us another classic Office set-up: the Big Event! Think Dundies, think Olympics — only this was an auction called Crime Aid (bonus points if you remember what that stands for), where everyone was supposed to contribute an item up for bidding, and all the money they bid on these items would go to compensate for their own stolen property. Michael even suggested they auction off people, “like in the olden days!” (Sorry, Stanley.) The big news in the pre-auction meeting was that Michael had a pair of Springsteen tickets to donate, which sent him spiraling off into some weird conversation with himself about lookie-loos (during which Amy Ryan was just barely holding it together). “The boss scored the Boss,” Holly said. “He knows how to get things. He got me.” “Twice,” Michael added. Then they grinned at each other. DOOMED.

NEXT: The boss finds out

Throughout this, Phyllis was still counseling D-Money, and her latest suggestion was to give Angela an ultimatum. Dwight did so in resounding form: Angela could either break up with “the singing buffoon,” he said, or lose access to his pants, so to speak. Her deadline? 6:14 p.m. Tragically, 6:14 fell in the middle of the Crime Aid auction, which was exactly the fiasco you’d expect, right down to “Heart of Rock n’ Roll” being played on a boombox. (“Mike gave me a list of his top 10 Springsteen songs,” said Darryl, acting as DJ. “Three of them were Huey Lewis and the News, one was Tracy Chapman, ‘Fast Car,’ and my personal favorite: ‘Short People.'” Someone, for the love of God, please give Craig Robinson more to do on this show.) Holly’s yoga lesson sold to the only bidder, Michael, for $300 after he banged his squeaky gavel (that’s what she said?); Darryl and the guys from the warehouse sold the chance to leave “right now” and go get beers to Jim for $5. I don’t think anyone bought Creed (all-inclusive), and no one seemed to want Kevin to do their taxes. And then, as Hank the security guard sang the down n’ out blues, 6:14 came and went. So Dwight did what any sane person would do, which is tell Phyllis someone was letting the air out of her tires so he could talk to her in the parking lot. (He also helpfully let the air out of her tires.) “Now what?” he asked her. “Now you move on,” she said. This did not sit well with Dwight. He accused her of just trying to stay in charge of the party planning committee, she slapped him, he told her she slapped like a girl… and then, folks, I do believe we saw the most human realization Dwight Schrute has ever had: Phyllis was trying to help him. In that moment, I believe he became a man.

Back inside, David Wallace had shown up from corporate to auction off a weekend at his place on Martha’s Vineyard, and Michael revealed he didn’t have any Springsteen tickets after all. So everyone, for some reason, decided to throw their money at getting a hug from Phyllis, with a very motivated-looking Dwight upping their bids by “one penny” until Bob Vance went to $1,000. And then the auction was over, having raised $1,803 for I’m not exactly sure what. Holly seemed fine with the big ticket item being a big ticket lie: “The Springsteen tickets seemed too good to be true,” she confessed. “But a lot of Michael seems too good to be true.” When he came over to where she was updating the tote board, they couldn’t help but kiss, and then kiss a little more. Which was, again, sickening and perfect. It was also right in front of David Wallace from corporate. Those of you still in denial that Amy Ryan is leaving us, raise your hands.

Finally, there’s that third couple, the one that hangs like a shadow over everything. Jim went to the bar with the warehouse guys, where they ran into Roy. Jim told Roy he and Pam were engaged, but that she was in New York at art school and having a blast. Just the night before, in fact, she had stayed out with her friends until like 8 a.m.! “Wow,” responded Roy. “But…you were a friend.” It was at this point that Jim decided to drive to New York. He didn’t go all the way through with it, of course, pulling a U-ey mid-road and heading back home, “because I’m not that guy. And we are not that couple,” he explained. Except maybe he should be that guy, because I can’t help but think there’s at least one Mad Man in NYC with an eye on his gal, and because I’ve watched a lot of TV and can see where this is going like I’m lookin’ at I-80 on a map.

But what did you think, binder clips? Did you prefer the sweet tone of this week’s episode, or last week’s frenzy? How much has Phyllis been rocking this season? (SO MUCH.) Does anyone know what Kelly was wearing on her head? And am I the only one who weirdly thinks the only one of our three Office love affairs that will have a happy ending is the one between the Amish freak and the cat lover?

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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