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3.18 The Negotiation
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Apr 11th 2007

Yeah, I was only kidding about the agent part, though Jim filled that role as a friend for years and it wasn't enough.

Apr 11th 2007 edited

But to focus your anger on the other man does seem to imply either: 1. You own the woman, or 2. The woman is unable to decide for herself or control herself or keep from being manipulated by a man, the true actor, the only possible actor.

I propose an additional option:

3) You are emotionally unable to face the situation by talking it out with the woman, so you physically unleash it on the other guy, who you see as a more convenient target.

I am irritated by the idea that if a guy takes offense to another guy putting the moves on the girl he is with, then he is automatically a neanderthal. Nothing happens in a vacuum, and in a committed relationship there are issues of trust, betrayal, and respect, and to boil it down to "ownership" is an oversimplification.

ETA: (Not that some guys don't legitimately objectify women, and that isn't cool.)

Apr 11th 2007

I don't think anyone is denying that Roy had the right to be angry, but I don't know why he had to "physically unleash" it on anyone. That's what seems Neanderthal-ish to me. We didn't see Roy trying to talk to Pam about it or trying to explain how he felt betrayed. He started letting loose in the bar shortly after she began talking about it.

Apr 11th 2007

I should point out that I started thinking about this in terms of the generic situation of "boy and girl are together, other boy tries to make a move," rather than the specifics of Roy, Jim, and Pam a while back.

Apr 11th 2007

i guess maybe i'm just a simpleton but i looked at the wtf breakroom scene as jim just doesnt want his heart broken again. If he allowed himself to think pam was actually done with roy he could just get his heart broken, and i dont think hes ready to put himself on the line again.

Apr 11th 2007

Deleted scene from this ep finally up at NBC.com. The origins of that suit are revealed...

Apr 11th 2007

Two quick points: Jim didn't wimp out and turn his back; Dwight got pepper spray in his eyes, and Pam did sort of make a little move on Jim in the Merger; Jim knew what was the deal and willfully wrote it off as the action of an old friend.

Though he may have thought she wanted to or needed "saving" from her relationship, Jim kissed Pam because he wanted to kiss her and that is fudamentally selfish and disrespectful of the committment Roy and Pam shared. It was romantic and brave, but still wrong. There was nothing wrong with the confession.

Apr 11th 2007

Maybe Roy and Pam were in an open relationship. Roy's not mad because Jim kissed Pam, but because he didn't get to watch.

Apr 11th 2007

The kiss did involve Roy-- both implicitly and explicitly. After Pam refuses to kiss Jim the second time, he immediately says (and I am paraphrasing), "You're really going to marry him?"

Apr 11th 2007

Pam's decision involved Roy. The kiss itself did not. Roy is mad about a series of decisions Pam made, but is going after Jim, in the long tradition of western patriarchy that treats women as chattel.

Rather than start up an old fight, I want to be specific and say that this is what I think is going on with Roy.

Apr 11th 2007

Put me in with the other guys. Setting aside momentarily the fact that Roy and Pam were a wretched match from the get-go... well, if my girlfriend was kissing her coworkers, I'd be upset with her, too, no matter how independent of a woman she is. Her independence only means that I cannot force her to be with me, it does not insulate her from the consequences of her actions.

I'm not complaining, though; I think Jim saw the empirically obvious fact that Roy and Pam were wrong for each other and was willing to accept the consequences in undertaking efforts to correct it. He could've just as easily run from Roy, after all.

Apr 11th 2007

well, if my girlfriend was kissing her coworkers, I'd be upset with her, too, no matter how independent of a woman she is

That's not what's at issue here, as far as I'm concerned. Roy has every right to be mad at Pam, especially given the way she explained what happened. If he wasn't mad at Pam, I'd be worried about him. The questions are: What drove Roy to lash out against Jim? Is he justified in lashing out at Jim?

Apr 11th 2007

The questions are: What drove Roy to lash out against Jim? Is he justified in lashing out at Jim?

I think sometimes it's hard to tell where pain leaves off and anger begins. I think Roy lashed out against Jim from a mixture of hurt and indignation, and both emotions were understandable (so, in a sense "justified"). If I were engaged to be married and one of my fiance's coworkers with whom I was also acquainted approached him with a romantic overture, I would definitely be angry at her. I would also be angry at my fiance for not having seen the signs and steered clear before such a thing could take place. I'd be especially angry if my fiance was agreeable to kissing that person as well. I think ownership isn't the right word, it's something more like a sense of entitlement. When you are in a committed lifelong relationship with a mate, you naturally feel entitled to 100% romantic loyalty.

I'd I don't think Roy was justified in physically attacking Jim, though. In fact, that whole move seemed so dim witted and childish that once again I was beyond sorry that Pam had ever been attached to him; I was embarrassed for her.

As much as I liked this episode, I still have the feeling that there wasn't enough Jim/Pam progression. Jim is still ignoring Pam. She's trying, but not hard enough. I still don't quite understand why she insisted on apologizing to Jim for the Roy attack. She told Roy about the kiss to help clear the air so their relationship (her and Roy's) could move forward, just like Jim told Karen about the kiss so their relationship could move forward. What happened wasn't Pam's fault at all. I think the scene may have been written to suggest that Pam wanted to apologize for more than the Roy incident ,that she wanted to apologize for having turned Jim down, or for not having the guts to call him over the summer, or for not breaking up with Roy years ago, everything. But of course the Pam character could never get all of that out, so she just said "I'm sorry I almost got you killed". Unfortunately the scene didn't play out with the Jam chemistry we saw in S2 so it felt kind of flat. Jim's "you'll find your way back to each other" jab just sounded like a jab, not much more. The camera didn't capture any meaningful looks between them or potent pauses. I think after all this time, the audience deserves more.

Apr 11th 2007 edited

I think sometimes it's hard to tell where pain leaves off and anger begins.
both emotions were understandable
I'd be especially angry if my fiance was agreeable to kissing that person as well.
you naturally feel entitled to 100% romantic loyalty.

I agree with all of these things. The implications of aggression against the "other man" or "other woman" still bother me, however.

I still have the feeling that there wasn't enough Jim/Pam progression

For once, I'm going to come to the defense of an episode. I felt like this episode was very well handled, totally realistic, and moved at a pace that was willfully -- and correctly -- immune to the pressures of a fanbase unsatisfied with how fast things were moving. This is in contrast to earlier in the season, when things moved at a snail's pace and were aggravatingly contrived. We should have reached this point back in December. But I think that, now that we've reached it, things feel better, and in this episode worked better. Rushing at this point just to get back on track for a timely Jim & Pam reunion would have been a mistake as well. Further proof that the months of January and February were pretty much wasted in Jim & Pam land.

Apr 12th 2007 edited

I still don't quite understand why she insisted on apologizing to Jim for the Roy attack.

Phenomenal post, Wink. I agree with your take on the apology, that it wasn't so much that she was taking the blame for Roy's actions but just saying that she wished it didn't happen. Like when someone tells you bad news and you say you're sorry to hear that. You didn't cause their bad news, but you feel bad about it all the same. Pam's sorry was more remorseful than that but only because I think, as you pointed out really well, she is remorseful about the overall situation. She apologized for Roy, but she's really sorry for every decision she made that preceded that day. This is just an interpretation, but I think it rings true.

edited, because I confused my Ws

Apr 12th 2007

I think the phenomenal post you're referring to was written by Wink. I and agree with everything you just said about the apology.

Apr 12th 2007

Got my W's mixed up. Thanks. I'll edit it. Apologies Wink.

Apr 12th 2007

She told Roy about the kiss to help clear the air so their relationship (her and Roy's) could move forward, just like Jim told Karen about the kiss so their relationship could move forward. What happened wasn't Pam's fault at all.

Wink, it's funny you said that, because it kind of reminded me that Pam also got confronted by Karen after Jim told her about what happened, just not in a physical way. I agree with whomever it was that said (pages ago) that Karen's talking head comparing hers and Roy's reactions bothered them. I thought at the time that comparing how she and Roy came down on Jim for the kiss was stupid because the situations (hers and Roy's) weren't comparable at all with regards to how they relate to Jim (or even Pam).

But I WILL say that all this talk about how the kiss wasn't between Jim and Roy, but rather Jim and PAM, is an extension of what I said bothered me right after watching Karen confront Pam in Ben Franklin. Karen said, "He told me you kissed, and that it was no big deal, and it's totally cool"...as though Pam needs Karen's reassurance that the kiss she and Jim shared doesn't make her (Karen) upset...even though it had even less to do with Karen than with Roy.

I think the more appropriate and reasonable comparison that Karen could have made would have been between how Roy reacted towards Jim and how she reacted towards Pam. I know, by the way, that it's too early in the morning for me to be posting with any semblance of cohesiveness, but hopefully what I'm trying to say makes sense to someone. ;)

Apr 12th 2007

Got my W's mixed up. Thanks. I'll edit it. Apologies Wink.

Actually, in a way it's kind of nice you got me mixed up with another W, it makes me feel like I fit in. Thanks, Brian.

I agree with your take on the apology, that it wasn't so much that she was taking the blame for Roy's actions but just saying that she wished it didn't happen... she's really sorry for every decision she made that preceded that day

Her very last line in that scene, the plain but pointed "Jim...I'm really sorry" had the potential for suggesting all the regret she was feeling but for me all that potential just died with Jim's brush off reaction. She had everything to be embarrassed and sorry and regretful about, that is, the whole situation made her look stupid at best, and she still had the nerve to bring it up, to look at him and make an effort to be understood. When he wouldn't even look at her, when he shrugged off the whole exchange, he was saying once again, "I'm not interested in what you have to say." When I watched his reaction I just wanted to slug him. (figuratively speaking, of course).

But I think that, now that we've reached it, things feel better, and in this episode worked better.

Glad you feel more positive, DftF. I know it's not hopeless for Jim and Pam. I just wished that breakroom scene had been directed to make that hope a little more obvious.

Apr 12th 2007

I think the more appropriate and reasonable comparison that Karen could have made would have been between how Roy reacted towards Jim and how she reacted towards Pam. I know, by the way, that it's too early in the morning for me to be posting with any semblance of cohesiveness, but hopefully what I'm trying to say makes sense to someone. ;)

It ALL makes sense to me, Emmyjean, great post. (Are you on Pacific time too?)

Pam also got confronted by Karen after Jim told her about what happened, just not in a physical way.

Exactly. This is the comparison worthy of consideration. I feel bad for Pam because the comparison just makes her look dumb. Jim could have said to her "I tell my girlfriend about our past and she tells you it's no big deal so you can still be friends. You tell your boyfriend about our past and he attacks me like some sort of overgrown playground bully. "

Apr 12th 2007

Jim could have said to her "I tell my girlfriend about our past and she tells you it's no big deal so you can still be friends. You tell your boyfriend about our past and he attacks me like some sort of overgrown playground bully."

I am in the camp that believes it was inappropriate for Karen to approach Pam at ALL, for many of the reasons people find it inappropriate for Roy to have attacked Jim. The kiss was between Jim and Pam...NOT Karen and Pam. Pam had no reason to have to justify the kiss, or her feelings for Jim, to Karen. In fact, Karen had even LESS of a reasonable right to approach Pam about it than Roy did to confront Jim, in my opinion.

Besides, the situation between Karen and Pam wouldn't have BEEN awkward, nor was it, until Karen brought all that up. Since then I don't think they've spoken to each other...at least not on camera. Karen didn't bring it up to Pam to reassure her and let her know things wouldn't be awkward...she did it to put Pam in her place and make sure Pam felt awkward interacting with JIM from that point on. I strongly believe this. Many women operate JUST like this, in a passive-aggressive way.

(Are you on Pacific time too?)

Haha...no, Central. I live in Chicago. :)

Apr 12th 2007

What makes me hopeful about Jim and Pam is not the conversation they had in the breakroom, but the fact that there was a conversation between them. It takes a while to mend broken bridges, and communication is essential to that. I'm not saying Jim and Pam will be back to their pre-Kiss shenanigans, but it's a start. Sure, he's a bit distant right now. But as long as Pam doesn't give up on communicating with Jim, there's always a chance.

Apr 12th 2007

she did it to put Pam in her place and make sure Pam felt awkward interacting with JIM from that point on.

I didn't see it that way when I first watched the scene, but after you and others pointed out this interpretation, I can see it too. If it's true, I agree that Karen "had even less of a reasonable right to approach Pam about it than Roy did to confront Jim" since the kiss happened before Karen knew Jim but while Roy was weeks away from marrying Pam. (However, I think it's plausible that although the kiss happened before Karen, the issue was really more Jim's feelings about Pam which by his own admission were ongoing. That brings the relationship between Jim and Pam much further into the category of being Karen's concern at the time she confronted Pam. Karen approached Pam as if she wanted to reassure her that the kiss was in the past and no big deal, but in fact she may have been thinking more about how to manage the present feelings all around -- also not really her job, but still)

Since then I don't think they've spoken to each other...at least not on camera

I've noticed this too.

Apr 12th 2007

as though Pam needs Karen's reassurance that the kiss she and Jim shared doesn't make her (Karen) upset

I don't think Karen was reassuring Pam that she's not upset. No matter what the circumstances, discovering that your boyfriend kissed another coworker in the past might cause there to be some "weirdness" between you and that coworker, even if nobody actually did anything wrong. I think Karen was just trying to tell Pam "Hey, it's cool. We've kissed the same guy, but it doesn't have to be weird between us." Of course, Pam's response pretty much cemented that weirdness between them.

I think the more appropriate and reasonable comparison that Karen could have made would have been between how Roy reacted towards Jim and how she reacted towards Pam.
Pam also got confronted by Karen after Jim told her about what happened, just not in a physical way.

Right. Well put.

Apr 12th 2007

Karen didn't bring it up to Pam to reassure her and let her know things wouldn't be awkward...she did it to put Pam in her place and make sure Pam felt awkward interacting with JIM from that point on.

Okay, Karen did want to find out if Pam still had feelings for Jim, but I still don't see it as wanting to "put Pam in her place". She likes Pam. She's worried that Jim will want to pursue Pam again but I don't think she thinks Pam is going to try to steal him away.

Apr 12th 2007 edited

I think the more appropriate and reasonable comparison that Karen could have made would have been between how Roy reacted towards Jim and how she reacted towards Pam. I know, by the way, that it's too early in the morning for me to be posting with any semblance of cohesiveness, but hopefully what I'm trying to say makes sense to someone. ;)

I agree that that's a more closely comparable situation, but that's not the point Karen was trying to make. She wasn't looking for the best analog, she was expressing worry that Jim may be sick of her long talks by comparing his reaction to them with his reaction to being attacked. The comparison she chose was appropriate to that end.

Apr 12th 2007

I think Karen was just trying to tell Pam "Hey, it's cool. We've kissed the same guy, but it doesn't have to be weird between us."

If that was her aim, I wouldn't have had a problem with that scene. That's why I disagree that she had no right to approach Pam. I mean, they were becoming friends and suddenly there's this 800-lb. gorilla in the room (no, not Carol). My problem was with the way Karen went about it. She struck me as manipulative and defensive. Back off honey!

Apr 12th 2007

She wasn't looking for the best analog, she was expressing worry that Jim may be sick of her long talks by comparing his reaction to them with his reaction to being attacked. The comparison she chose was appropriate to that end.

Good point, Nathan.

She struck me as manipulative and defensive. Back off honey!

I know I'm probably in the minority, but I just didn't find Karen's approach to Pam as manipulative. But ever SINCE that conversation, because of Pam's response, I would agree that she's acting defensive- particularly the deleted scene where she almost takes down Pam's art flyer.

Apr 12th 2007

If I were engaged to be married and one of my fiance's coworkers with whom I was also acquainted approached him with a romantic overture

I think ownership isn't the right word, it's something more like a sense of entitlement. When you are in a committed lifelong relationship with a mate, you naturally feel entitled to 100% romantic loyalty.

I dot a little worked up over this yesterday, and I don't want to start in on it again, but this pretty much sums up my feelings on the issue (great job, Wink). And it was never my intention to defend Roy's actions. I think he had a right to feel angry with Jim (and Pam too), but the way he acted on it was out of line.

Regarding the break room scene, I don't know what I think Jim was "really saying" with his responses. Pretty much everyone's thoughts on it have sounded valid to me, but it was just very hard to read. I'll have to watch it again. I definitely agree, though, that Pam's "I'm really sorry" at the end was delivered in a way that had "for everything" implied at the end.

Apr 12th 2007

Okay, can I change my mind? I looked up exactly what Karen said...

Well, that you kissed. And we’ve talked it through, and it’s totally fine. It’s not a big deal. It was just a kiss.

You guys are right. This is definitely more than just trying to tell Pam that it doesn't have to be weird. She says "it's not a big deal"- like she has any right to judge what Jim and Pam did in the past when she didn't even exist in Jim's mind. Can I just strike my previous comments from the record? Thank you.

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