The Office ‘Business Trip’

Thursday, November 13 by

Michael travels to the land of Can-a-DA on a business trip and nearly hooks up with an exotic Canadian concierge, while Oscar and Andy bond over drinks at the bar. Back in Scranton, some Jim/Pam trouble starts to brew once Pam realizes she’s failed one of her classes, and Ryan tries to win back Kelly.

A Foreign Land

Accompanied by three huge suitcases (“Two for souvenirs,” Michael explains), the three amigos, composed of Michael, Andy and Oscar, jet off to Canada to close a business deal, with Michael positively bubbling with excitement over going “overseas” to this new exotic land, helpfully giving the camera little tidbits of advice about life on the other side of the border, including “geishas”, who take care of and pleasure you. He even meets someone he thinks is a geisha, but is actually just a concierge. Later on that night at the bar, one thing leads to another and he almost succeeds in getting her in the sack before she shoos him away from her room.  The next day, as he’s about to board the plane, he yells at David Wallace over the phone about how terrible his trip was, taking out his anger on him for taking Holly away from him.

Beer Me Some Drinks

Meanwhile, while Michael is hitting it off nicely with the concierge, it’s up to Andy to find Oscar some good man-lovin’ somewhere in the bar, but fate is not with him, as Andy, carrying his two long island iced teas, fails to woo two potential hook-ups. Nowhere for the drinks to go but into the two business-men’s stomachs, Oscar and Andy get fairly drunk, so drunk in fact that Oscar gets Andy to call Angela to ask her what’s wrong with her and why she won’t have sex with him. While he’s on the phone, though, another voice is heard in the background, clearly Dwight, but Andy, clueless as ever, doesn’t even notice. The next morning he wakes up, perfectly cheerful, until Oscar informs him that the previous night wasn’t a dream, which causes him to freak out and subsequently call Angela. We learn that instead of sex, Angela will let Andy kiss her on the forehead.

Love is in the Air

Of course, what would an Office episode be without some focus on the two lovebirds?  Jim and Pam continue to have more issues with their long distance relationship. Pam finds out that she’s failed a class and has to take it again, which means she’ll be stuck in New York for even longer. Jim, ever faithful, supports her decision and it looks like we’re off to another few months with these two chattering on the phone back and forth – but wait! Near the end of the episode, as Jim walks out on the office building, he sees Pam waiting for him in the parking lot and the two share a quiet reunion before Dwight interrupts them and nods at Pam. “Oh, you’re back,” he deadpans.

Happily Ever After

While all this is going on, there’s a little tryst developing in Kelly’s back corner as Ryan gets ready to move back into the desk next to Kelly once Pam has returned from New York. After doing several “manly” push-ups in an attempt to impress her, he succeeds, and a torrid love affair unfolds between the two, despite Kelly still supposedly going out with Darrell. Ryan, though, ends up convincing Kelly to text message breakup, and it’s easy to tell why he’s doing it – he wants to piss off the lumbering warehouse manager. But then Kelly receives a text message back nearly right away, and Darrell says, “It’s cool.” Kelly is, of course, exuberant, while Ryan looks frightened. We get a shot of Darrell walking off to his car with a spring in his step, and the episode ends with Ryan and Kelly talking to the camera, Ryan clenching his teeth, Kelly bubbling with joy over their fairy tale ending. Yup, love surely is grand.

Review

There’s a lot to like in this episode –  Michael’s arrogant naivete in relation to cultures different from his own is reliably hilarious. It’s also kind of fun to have a night out with the guys, and Oscar and Andy actually end up working together as a comic duo – while at first I thought it an odd choice by the writers to include Oscar on the trip, it works; the two are really funny together, and it’s almost sweet how Oscar kind of helps Andy with his relationship problems with Angela – it helps to push that plot point a bit further in the series as a whole, so we won’t have much more hemming and hawing on the Dwight/Andy conflict. As for Jim and Pam, it was wise of the writers to finally bring Pam back to Scranton – the office just hasn’t been the same without her, and more importantly, they’re not going to turn it into a Ross-Rachel dynamic that could easily kill the show with years of pointless back and forth. Pam and Jim’s relationship actually feels real – yeah, they experience problems, but they’re never more than bumps or potholes in the road, something any real couple would experience. So far this season The Office has remained pretty solid – let’s hope it continues next week, too.

Recap by Brandon Sullivan
 

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