Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Office: Please Don't Make Me Look Like a Moron. Please.

I’ve become very attached to one of my theories. Weeks ago, I predicted that The Office’s season finale would end with a quickie wedding for Jim and Pam. While she loves Jim to pieces, Pam’s last engagement left a sour taste in her mouth. I could TOTALLY see her agreeing to marry Jim if and only if they, like, drive RIGHT NOW to Atlantic City and seal the deal.

Since then, I’ve taken every spoilery tidbit from the elopement perspective. (I was convinced “Did I Stutter?” was going to include their engagement, just based on the title.)

Now, though, after seeing “Job Fair,” I feel like I’m being led to believe that Jam’s going to end the season on a much different note. If The Office really was real, Jim and Pam would be ready to leave Dunder-Mifflin. If you look at their season-long story arc, that’s what it’s been about—their gradual evolution toward each other and away from the office. We’ve long suspected—hell, known—that Jim and Pam only really stayed at Dunder-Mifflin because of the other. They knew that their friendship (when it was just a friendship) would not survive if they had to actually, you know, make plans to see each other. She would’ve married Roy and their lives would have played out very differently.

Now they’re together, and they’re going to stay together. They’re going to get married, whether it’s this week or this fall or next spring. (Please don’t let it be next spring.) They don’t need that link of Dunder-Mifflin Scranton to keep them in each other’s lives.

I’m still hopeful that they’ll tie the knot next week. Actually, I’ve told so many people about this dumb theory that I’m going to look awfully stupid if they don’t get married. But what is so interesting about Jim and Pam and this year’s finale is that SO many things have been set up that nothing and everything would surprise the crap out of me.

Toby pulling a “Casino Night” and laying a big one on poor, engaged Pam? We should being seeing that one coming.

Jim quitting Dunder-Mifflin? It’s been planted and was supremely heightened by “Job Fair.” All that stuff Michael said about Jim Halpert being able to do anything, but choosing to work there.... It’s not quite Sydney Bristow undercover material.

A last-minute Jam elopement? I could see it happening.

So while surely not ALL of these things are going to happen—sure, it’s an hour-long finale, but the show isn’t just about these two—I’m really interested to see what does. When everything seems like it could be in the cards, can you really settle for less than all of it?

Now, here’s the thing. The Office isn’t real; thus, Jim can’t quit Dunder-Mifflin. Because, like I said, if Jim quits, then there’s really no reason for Pam to stay, and then there’d be no logical reason why they’d still be on the show. Now, you could send them both to Corporate (Ryan gets fired, Jim gets his job, and Pam takes that graphic design internship Jan talked about in “Boys and Girls”) and have them be, I don’t know, the subject of a spin-off, except that you can’t. Because I would just, like, stop watching The Office if they actually made the spin-off just about Jim and Pam. The Office would lose all value to me.

Secondly, remember how Jim tried to leave Scranton last season? We all knew he wasn’t going to end up in New York. And those Stamford episodes were painful enough. No, Jim and Pam have to stay at Dunder-Mifflin Scranton for the show to continue to make logical sense. So I wonder what the point is of having these longing-for-more-than-this storylines. The way I see it, the Jam-wanting-more story can go one of two ways:

1. The Coach Taylor Way. One or both leaves for three episodes, then decides they actually miss Michael. (Seriously?) This only really makes sense if only one of them leaves, and they realize they just can’t make it through the day without the other. Which is bullshit, because spending twenty-four hours a day together without ever getting on each other’s nerves is inconceivable.

2. The Charlie Salinger Way. I am currently rewatching Party of Five with my roommate; we just finished season one. And it’s silly, because it’s only been 22 episodes and yet so much ridiculous crap has happened! Charlie/Jack/Foxy has tried to move out of that house SO many times. (Which is just really irresponsible. Yes, Charlie/Jack, we know you are the reluctant leader of this family/island civilization, but we also know you shouldn’t leave Owen/Aaron under the sole supervision of Julia/Claire.) ANYWAY, so in the episode right before the finale, Charlie/Jack decides it’s time to move out of the house he shares with the rest of his orphaned siblings and his girlfriend the babysitter. He even gets an apartment with the babysitter, but they don’t ever even sleep there, I don’t think, because Claudia/Gretchen Weiner doesn’t feel safe in the house without Charlie/Jack and the babysitter. And so before they can even really move, Charlie/Jack decides it’s not a good idea to move. It’s super-predictable right down to the “Let’s go home” line.

See, ultimately the show needs to end with Jim and Pam getting more out of their lives than what Dunder-Mifflin has to offer. But in the context of the story, unless they have some secret strategy I can’t even conceive of right now, there’s no reason to flirt with the idea of them leaving when we know they’re not ever really going to go.

Okay, moving on from Jam, I want to touch on two points really quickly.

One: Dwangela—OMG. Wow I love them. Loved their awkwardness and cuteness in “Job Fair.” It’s like you could almost feel Angela’s Dwight-hate melting away. Those two are totally going to get back together in the finale and it’s going to be the best reunion since Derek and Meredith had sex at the prom! (I’m actually curious to see which Office couple creates a bigger finale squee-attack.)

Second: There’s an Office pregnancy rumor going around, and for comedy’s sake, there’s only two people who it could and should be. One is Kelly Kapoor, if only because HOLY CRAP I love Kelly, would love to see her get a bigger storyline, and I’m just insane with love for Kelly. But the other, the one who I really think it’ll be, is Jan. How else are they going to keep Melora Hardin on the show? (Aside from a brilliant OfficeTally poster who specced that the spin-off would be Andy and Jan running Serenity by Jan.) And, I mean, just...Michael as a dad. Jesus, that’s funny.

I’m not even hoping it’s going to be Jam. Too much, too soon, if you ask me. Save some drama for season five! Baby Girl Halpert can wait. The engagement can’t. (Oh, bitches, if they don’t even end up ENGAGED by the time this episode is over, you’re going to have a very angry Caroline on your hands.)

Hopefully, there won’t be a cliffhanger—it’s kind of unnecessary. Last year’s ending was sweet and definitely left me wanting the premiere ASAP, without having to sweat bullets all summer.

Hopefully my elopement prediction will come true. At least then I won’t look like an idiot. Hmm.

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