"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Office: Initiation

Usually whenever Dwight gets excessively weird, the show seems to suffer a little bit. I know that all offices have at least one off-kilter staffer (mine included), but with Dwight you have to suspend reality to the nth degree.

That being said, in this episode I got to see a little bit more of what lurks underneath Dwight's pompous exterior. He really seems to be a go-getter, but whatever he's going to try to get still is somewhat questionable.

His attempts at initiating Ryan into sales are certainly unique--I still don't get how Dwight is the number one salesperson in the Scranton branch. Either he's very good or the rest of the sales force have no pulse.

Ryan, to his credit, plays along because he figures he can get at least a kernel of information to use to bolster his career, but Dwight just can't conform. He just has to have this nutty initiation rite, and eventually Ryan has enough and calls Dwight a "freak"--a bold move on his part.

Meanwhile, it's Pretzel Day at the branch, and everyone rushes down to get one. Michael is under surveillance by Pam (under Jan's orders) to see how productive (yeah, right) he is during a typical workday. There's definitely tension between Michael and Jan.

As Dwight's initiation of Ryan continues, Kelly wonders what is going on with her boyfriend, and says that Dwight is a "freak" to Angela, who had defended him by his being "individualistic" and throws the "freak" term right back at Kelly. (How great an episode would it be if we are able to see Dwight and Angela out on a date or just spending time together!)

The Jim-Karen flirtation doesn't do anything for me. The squeaky chair stuff seemed rather forced. I don't think I have the patience to see if this thing will develop or not. I guess I'm so used to seeing the Jim-Pam dynamic that any other situation involving either one of them would pale in comparison. To top things off, Jim and Pam finally spoke on the phone, and although there were some awkward moments, you can just tell that something will happen between them--either a hookup or another rejection on someone's part.

I kind of missed Michael not being the focal point of the episode, but Dwight's interaction with Ryan kept things moving. I especially liked their "bonding" at the end when they were sitting at a bar doing Depth Charges (dropping a shot into a mug of beer and chugging it all down). It brought back some memories for me, as hazy as they might be.

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