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4.06 Branch Wars
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Nov 1st 2007

He is very matter of fact when he describes his injuries, although rightly indignant and a little bit hysterical. I think.

Nov 1st 2007

You would think Andy would have a better job.

Nov 1st 2007

Aww I like the Toby TH from the deleted scene. Because I prefer my Tobys "sad sack" instead of "creepy" and when he gets creepy I kind of do the plug your ears and say la la la thing.

Nov 1st 2007 edited

(did anyone else notice how there were no cameramen in the car on the way to Utica, but there was one in the backseat when they got there?),

When they pulled up to the Utica branch, the cameramen were filming them from the parking lot, outside the car. Only after Michael and Dwight went in did a cameraman join Jim (who also moved to the driver's seat).

Some gags just work better if you don't see them and can imagine your own hilarious blocking. It was like Joss was saying, "How do you, the viewer, envision Michael Scott's near-death by copier?"

There was a lot to like about this choice.

  • It left it to the imagination
  • It made sense with the conceit; a cameraman would have aroused suspicion and foiled their diabolical plot
  • The bit probably would have come across as more over-the-top if they would have shown them wrecking an actual copier (like when they wrecked the rental car)
  • It'd be awfully tricky to film anyway
  • It let them just track Jim's mortification
Nov 1st 2007

did anyone else notice how there were no cameramen in the car on the way to Utica, but there was one in the backseat when they got there?

When they pulled up to the Utica branch, the cameramen were filming them from the parking lot, outside the car.

Perhaps it was the cameraman already in Utica filming Karen?

Nov 1st 2007

Perhaps it was the cameraman already in Utica filming Karen?

Perhaps. There were two cameras involved (there's a shot of the exterior of the car right before they cut inside, in a continuous scene), and one of them might have been the Utica one. But the crew sends a tracker car whenever they rely on spycam shots for in-the-car stuff, getting out to film whenever they get to their destination. It's reasonable to expect that they sent a car after them this time and parked at Utica.

Nov 2nd 2007

It's not uncommon for there to be a "follow car" with documentaries. So in addition to the lipstick cameras, they had a follow car on Michael. They filmed them when they went back for Jim's phone, and then in Utica.

Nov 2nd 2007

I caught Michael asking Jim to host the Dundies the first time. I really enjoyed that.

Maybe this is for another thread, but I don't really get as creeped out about Toby as some of you do. Maybe that's because I associate with Toby in some respects. I've been that quiet guy at the office, or in the class, who likes the pretty girl but just doesn't have the brass nards to go talk to her. I understand that some of the creepiness factor comes from the assumed age difference between Toby and Pam, but I while I still see some of the 'dirty old man' factor, I also feel something akin to sympathy for Toby each time I see him. He's truly a pathetic character, and for me, that illicits pity. Not the creepy crawlies.

Nov 2nd 2007

What car did they take to Utica? It looked like Michael's Seabring convertible. I'm at work and can't confirm this. I didn't think he had that anymore.

Nov 2nd 2007

It was a PT Cruiser: Michael announced that they were taking it. I suppose it's the trade-in from Jan's Porsche.

Nov 2nd 2007

Cruiser, Cruiser!

I call it. I'm winning.

Nov 2nd 2007

I loved this episode. It harkened back to my favorite scene of all time. "You're not the boss of this van!"

I'm not a Karen hater. She's not evil or a bitch. I think she would have been good for Jim in a universe where there is no Pam. Also, Pam and Karen could have been friends in a universe where there is no Jim.

Both those universes are my idea of hell.

Nov 2nd 2007

I'm watching the episode looking for clues instead of watching it to watch it.

Please do not let the spin-off be Dunder Mifflin Utica. What good could come out of Utica except Saranac beer? I have a feeling that's oustide of town. Wait, Karen's got a job, right? Phew. Scared myself for no reason.

Nov 2nd 2007

Maybe this is for another thread, but I don't really get as creeped out about Toby as some of you do. Maybe that's because I associate with Toby in some respects. I've been that quiet guy at the office, or in the class, who likes the pretty girl but just doesn't have the brass nards to go talk to her. I understand that some of the creepiness factor comes from the assumed age difference between Toby and Pam, but I while I still see some of the 'dirty old man' factor, I also feel something akin to sympathy for Toby each time I see him. He's truly a pathetic character, and for me, that illicits pity. Not the creepy crawlies.

Obviously, you have never had a creepy guy that "liked" you, older or not, sit in the same classroom/office with you and stare at you and always join your group/club just to be able to stare at you more, and never say anything but write a creepy note to you about how your eyes remind him of the moonlight. Obviously you've never had this happen to you.

Nov 2nd 2007

Yeah, I've got to agree. Toby exceeded creep capacity long ago, but that bowtie get-up was nothing less than serial killer caliber.

Nov 2nd 2007

I love me some Toby, but the deleted scene, and the bowtie, did not help matters.
Also, when the Finer Things Club actually met, he had removed the bowtie for a regular tie. That was the same day, right?

Nov 2nd 2007 edited

Obviously, you have never had a creepy guy that "liked" you, older or not, sit in the same classroom/office with you and stare at you and always join your group/club just to be able to stare at you more, and never say anything but write a creepy note to you about how your eyes remind him of the moonlight. Obviously you've never had this happen to you.

Well I kind of had an older friend growing up. But he wasn't creepy. He was kind and gentle. His name was Father Thomas. He was my Sunday school teacher, my swimming instructor, my boy scout leader, my testicular cancer checker, my....wait. Oh shit.

Nov 2nd 2007

Wait - isn't the Utica receptionist named Rolando, not Ronaldo? I think all that soccer talk in the Sports thread got Ronaldo in all your brains. Hopefully not in your butts though.

And I'm sorry, but Karen...seriously. She's hot, has a good job, seems to be socially adept, so I don't buy the 'she's still pissed off at Jim' angle. She could have another man in her life like THAT, so whatevs. Although, if Jim dumped me, I'd cry about it. A lot. But not on camera, that would just be embarrassing. Patheticsville, even.

Nov 2nd 2007

I buy that's she's still pissed at Jim. You can have a perfect life with a a husband and a baby, and still be mad at some guy who dumped you at a fountain in a city neither of you lived in, for a girl he continually lied about wanting. It doesn't mean she hasn't moved on, but I was quite happy with her little speech. I doubt she was even wound up about it to feel a little edgy getting back to work, but those things needed to be said to Jim's face.

Nov 2nd 2007

Eh...whatever. It was pretty good, but somewhat disappointing for me.

There were alot of funny parts. I liked the whole Finer Things Club bit - it was nice for me to see Pam and Oscar being friends, because it puts a new spin on the idea that Oscar was the only one from Scranton (besides Michael) who went to her art show last year. I just think it's cute - they have this little club at work, they support each other enough that they'll do outside stuff. I've always liked Oscar. :)

The Karen/Jim thing was off to me. It always seems like they're setting up for stuff on this show but when the moment comes for the payoff, it falls a little flat. Maybe that's how it is in life, I don't know. I just thought, in that conversation, that Karen was a baby and Jim was a wuss. The conversation began very oddly (what the hell was she thinking? "If you wanted to see me you could have just called"...what? What made her think that he came to see her?) and then went nowhere fast. I didn't think Karen was 'bitchy', per se...I'd probably be peeved if I were her. But she wasn't very dignified. And she needs to stop talking about how much she cried over Jim - girlfriend, he TOLD you he was in love with someone else. Months before you got dumped. You did it to yourself by sticking around and letting the door hit you on the way out.

And Stanley's last talking head made me lose it. He's always been my favorite supporting character. "Sometimes I say crazy things...heh heh heh...."

Nov 2nd 2007

"If you wanted to see me you could have just called"...what? What made her think that he came to see her?

I agree. If he'd shown up alone and was stalking around the parking lot, then maybe she'd have a point. But he's with Michael and Dwight, who trashed her big copier, AND THEY'RE ALL DRESSED LIKE WAREHOUSE WORKERS AND WEARING FAKE MUSTACHES. Geez, take a hint, there's clearly more to this than it just being about you.

And she needs to stop talking about how much she cried over Jim - girlfriend, he TOLD you he was in love with someone else. Months before you got dumped. You did it to yourself by sticking around and letting the door hit you on the way out.

I don't know if I this is right or not, but I totally agree with it.

Nov 2nd 2007

for a girl he continually lied about wanting

Sorry for the double post, but...he didn't lie. He told her he wanted Pam.

Nov 2nd 2007

Oscar stated definitively that he liked sex with men. I don't think he's giving girls a try.

Nov 2nd 2007

Precisement. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, Karen!

Nov 2nd 2007

And she needs to stop talking about how much she cried over Jim - girlfriend, he TOLD you he was in love with someone else. Months before you got dumped. You did it to yourself by sticking around and letting the door hit you on the way out.

Amen. I find it hard to imagine Karen "crying for weeks" over Jim anyway. She just seems too hard edged. I got a bit nervous during the Karen/Jim scene in this episode, I too wished Jim would have explained that he was basically shanghai'd into the Utica visit. At least he said "I didn't want to see you" I kinda wanted more of that.

Oh well, the review of Karen trying to dominate agreeable Jim was nice because now we can share in the relief of Jim being able to just walk away.

I think it's cute that Jim's an uncle! I hope we can see Jim and Pam interacting with the family with the baby. We got to see Roy's brother and Pam's mom, I'd love to meet at least one of Jim's brothers and see how they react to Jam.

Nov 2nd 2007

Don't you love it when you write a long post but get interupted at work and when you come back to finalize it and submit, the system kicks you out and you lose said post? Good times. Any who, thought the episode was ok. I think it's one of those that you have to go back and watch again to catch everything. There were many parts that I laughed out loud at. Ocsar's line when describing the FTC was the best he's delivered thoughout the entire series. Dwight peeing into the empty coke can was great - nice take from Dumb and Dumber there Mindy. Jim's reaction to the molotov cocktails in the trunk was great. I'll join many others here in the "Toby is a creep camp" and I might even nominate a re-naming to "Toby is a punk ass creep compound". Back off of Jim's kool-aid there Tobster. The Jim/Karen scene was a bit anti-climatic when compared to how a few us here would have written that scene. I think some of the theories from last week are coming through in which the season is being depicted as Jim's path of discovery as opposed to last year being Pam's. We get some insight that Jim is a new uncle to go on top of the dreams he had/has. And how cool would it be to have Jim as your cool uncle if you were a kid. Pranks galore! Take losing the phone that has his new niece/nephew's pictures, declining the job offer, and his reaction to Ryan in the breakroom, we are getting some good stuff on Jim's core values - just don't get to see many other shows give that much subtle insight and character development and I appreciate how the writers are going about it. Not much on the JAM front. Sure he didn't read the book but at least he's trying to be into something that his girlfriend is into which says alot about the guy. I saw it as a cute gesture of finding a way to connect on another level and commend the guy for attempting to appeal to Pam's artistic side. Let's just hope we see Pam reciprocate by perhaps going to a Phillies game with Jim. Plus it would be nice to see her sporting the jersey and hat look which would be rediculously cute on her. Ok episode, need to watch it again and I think it'll end up being one I really like.

Nov 2nd 2007

I don't know if I this is right or not, but I totally agree with it.

I'm mostly referring to "The Return". But everyone assumed those five nights of talking were Jim convincing Karen to stay in the relationship by lying to her about his committment level or downplaying his feelings for Pam. But...

I always assumed it was more of Jim going, "Look, I really like you, and that's the truth. But I can't deny that yes, I still have feelings for Pam, and I don't know what I want or what I'm doing right now. I wish I could get over it, and I'm trying to move on, but...I don't know. If she came to me and said she wanted to be with me, I just...I don't know. I don't know what I'd do. I'm sorry, I know that's crappy, but I just want to be totally honest with you. And I'd understand if you wanted out."

And the subsequent talking was Karen talking him 'through' his moment of thinking it might be better to call it quits with her, and making the decision that she was into HIM enough to stick it out and hope that it would come out alright in the end. That fits more, to me, with her demanding answers from Pam regarding Pam's feelings for Jim in Ben Franklin - she needed to see if she should be worried about Pam going to Jim, because she knew it would all be over once she did. And so it was.

But she shouldn't be acting like Jim led her on and then blindsided her. That's just false.

Nov 2nd 2007

Sure he didn't read the book but at least he's trying to be into something that his girlfriend is into which says alot about the guy.

I don't know that he is trying to be into the book club. He didn't read the book and he made them wear hats. And I didn't think Pam was upset that he wasn't in it. He was just looking for fun.

I loved Andy calling it the most exclusive club in the office.

Nov 2nd 2007

Dwight peeing into the empty coke can was great - nice take from Dumb and Dumber there Mindy.

Exactly what I was thinking when I saw it. I was just waiting for Jim to say "What are you, a camel?"

The Jim/Karen scene was a bit anti-climatic when compared to how a few us here would have written that scene.

Fanfic? Summer hiatus contest? Writers strike hiatus contest? I'd love to read some of your interpretations on how this should or could have played out.

Nov 2nd 2007

I liked this episode, just because we got a sense that Jim is "back" to his old ways at Scranton (Karen even called him out on it), and yet Pam is growing. That's got to be torture for his self-esteem (the old "does she really need me anymore" sort of way of thinking when one partner seems to be doing more than the other, and seperate from him or her).

This season may be the one where we see Jim start to get antsy about doing more. Yes, he has the girl, but the job doesn't get any easier. The series could very well end with Jim leaving D-M down the line because of how unhappy he is, even with Pam. Of coruse, I'm hoping that they leave at the same time, or something like that. But I can see it headed in that ultimate direction when the time comes to wrap up the show.

The Karen-Jim confrontation was exactly as bad as I imagined it would be. She really tore him a new one when he started talking about being happy with Pam (implying that he wasn't when he was with her, something no ex wants to hear). I'm surprised that she went after Stanley, just because of the lack of interaction between them when she was still in Scranton.

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