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4.08 The Deposition
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Nov 16th 2007

The thing that really stood out and made this episode amazing, in my mind, was Michael returning David Wallace's "nice guy" sentiment. He's okay with the fact that he was basically outed as an incompetent manager in front of his superiors and corporate lawyers. But he stuck by the company because while both Jan and David gave him poor performance reviews, David called him a nice guy, and that's all he's ever wanted to be seen as.

Well-said. I liked that, too. And it made me feel bad for Michael. Again. David Wallace does seem like a nice guy, too.

Nov 16th 2007

Do y'all think Michael has enough self-awareness to realize he's not the best manager and doesn't care because he thinks he's fun? Or, more likely, does he think he's the best manager precisely because he's fun and not like the late Ed Truck?

Nov 16th 2007

My sense of Michael Scott is he has always known, deep down, that he has difficulties managing the office. Much of this manifests itself as denial and redoubled efforts to make everything fun. He clearly works hard at it (intentionally, as the tag from last week makes clear), but the fruits of his labors are questionable.

The element of Steve Carell's performance that knocked me out in Season One was the amount of fear in his eyes. He's aware on some level that he is not succeeding and has to bury that awareness with a mountain of denial.

Nov 16th 2007

Well put, Science. I really think that's the case. The confidence he displays belies the lack of confidence just below the surface because he knows what he's about.

Nov 16th 2007

The element of Steve Carell's performance that knocked me out in Season One was the amount of fear in his eyes.

This comment is awesome, Science, because it is both so very observant and correct.

Nov 16th 2007 edited

I love watching Michael teeter on the edge of competence. I was sure his mnemonic devices would turn into gobbledygook in the deposition, but they worked! It was only when he strayed from the script. Oh Michael.
Looks like I may be alone in being a little irked at the Pam/Kelly ping pong showdown. When Pam threw down the challenge, I was really excited to see what would happen. When she missed her first shot, I thought, oh no, she's choking, pull it together! When I realized that, instead, the story was just going to be, hey, these girls can't play ping-pong, ha-ha, it was disappointing and felt generic. I like little surprises, like Kevin sinking all those 3-pointers. I would have liked to see Pam beat Darryl. Or Kelly beat Darryl, and feel confused.
Incidentally, I'm a woman who's good at ping pong.

Nov 16th 2007

Looks like I may be alone in being a little irked at the Pam/Kelly ping pong showdown.

You're not. I didn't love it.

Nov 16th 2007

Hey, was Jan driving Michael's PT Cruiser on the way to New York? What's up with that?

Nov 16th 2007

This was a great showcase for Steve, easily the episode they should send for an Emmy nod. Maybe next year he'd win it for real.

What amazed me about this was just how vulnerable Michael is, yet he's able to salvage some dignity in the end. You feel bad for him, but he won in the end. I think Wallace might start looking at Michael very differently because of this (and also wonder about Ryan). I loved Toby trying to connect with Michael, the tossing-of-the-food really helped cement the high-school feel of the lunchroom scene.

I actually don't mind that the Jim-Pam storyline was not that prominent. If Pam had been an amazing tennis table player, just think how much more insecure Jim would have been. I loved her comment about "my boyfriend is twelve years old", that was priceless (but I see that spark of affection still there, not a condescending "I can't believe I'm dating him" sort of way that might have come off in earlier episodes where Pam's growing and Jim isn't).

God, I hope the strike ends soon, I wanna see how Michael comes out of all this...

Nov 16th 2007 edited

This episode had the fewest talking heads of any I can remember. But it did have Michael, and later Pam, "conversing" with the camera, which is something they did more of in the early shows but haven't done as much lately. I like that effect.

Probably not a good idea to rehearse your deposition strategy on camera. If Jan would have won, but that footage aired later, could DM sue her back to recoup their losses?

My favorite Kelly smack talk was the line about Jim's chicken legs.

Jan's line about Michael's ice skating was funny and a good callback to Michael's Birthday.

I wonder how much the strike affected the story lines of the last two-three episodes. They had to know well in advance how the production schedule and the strike would play out, maybe they didn't want to get into any big Jim/Pam or Dwight/Angela/Andy stuff knowing they wouldn't be able to finish it anytime soon.

ETA:

Hey, was Jan driving Michael's PT Cruiser on the way to New York? What's up with that?

Maybe they just have that one car between the two of them now.

Nov 16th 2007

Probably not a good idea to rehearse your deposition strategy on camera. If Jan would have won, but that footage aired later, could DM sue her back to recoup their losses?

Come to think of it, all the footage that has been shot for the documentary is discoverable, so DM wouldn't even have to wait until it aired.

Nov 16th 2007

TIVO some how decided to stop recording around minute 20 of the show and start back up in time to see Dwight playing Mose. From what I saw, I liked. Pam is by far the cutest character on television. Ever.

Nov 16th 2007

Maybe they just have that one car between the two of them now.

True, but I get the feeling Michael never drives if someone else is in the car.

Nov 16th 2007

True, but I get the feeling Michael never drives if someone else is in the car.

Wasn't he driving on the way home from NY when Jan was in the car and they were trying to decide between cheap Chinese food and cheap fast food?

Nov 16th 2007

Don't throw facts in my face. I mean, oh yeah. Never mind.

Nov 16th 2007

Once again, Jim is portrayed as a dufus.

Why? Because he can't play ping-pong? I don't think he's a dufus for not being able to play ping-pong. I bet he can beat Darryl at basketball. I thought it was cute that he wen't through all that trouble of practicng because Pam asked him to.

Nov 16th 2007 edited

Sometimes it’s refreshing to see Dwight One-Up Jim. Jim seems to always get the drop on the poor guy. My “Jim” and I have a ping pong table, he was on a team in High School and Pam could beat me.Other than the train, which I’m starting to wonder how sincere that was, has Jan ever shown Michael a true sign of love? Or was that bit in the train yards a survival tactic on her part. And yes, Melora rocks the house. So happy they mentioned Michael’s ice skating – they are really paying back the die-hard fans this season and those references add so much depth to the show.

True, but I get the feeling Michael never drives if someone else is in the car.

Maybe his passengers insist on driving as to not hit another pedestrian?

ETA: I'm assuming the heroes Dwight mentioned actual ping pong champions...? Here's to Balls of Fury

Nov 16th 2007

So happy they mentioned Michael’s ice skating – they are really paying back the die-hard fans this season and those references add so much depth to the show.

Was this really a throwback? Was Jan even at the skating rink? I don't think she was because that's where he talked to Carol.

I suppose its still a throwback because we've seen a previous episode that had Michael skating in it. I think Jan may have had the chance to go skating with Michael at some point, like on a date or something.

I see the Jamaica Jan pic as more of a throwback than the ice skating reference. But that's just being nitpicky.

Nov 16th 2007

Once again, Jim is portrayed as a dufus.

I don't get this either. I saw nothing in this episode that pointed to this.

My “Jim” and I have a ping pong table, he was on a team in High School

There was a ping-pong team at his high school? Really?

Nov 16th 2007 edited

Y'know, I'm the doofus. I didn't realize why the talking heads are out in the annex until it dawned on me -- the conference room is unavailable because Jim is playing ping-pong!

But now it makes me wonder why nobody complained that the cameramen in the conference room made it too cramped to play ping-pong.

Nov 16th 2007

Weren't they filming through the window at that point, having given up on the possibility that it's a secret? It was only kept secret from Dwight, really. Once he knew, why not open the blinds?

Nov 16th 2007

They definitely had shots where two cameramen had to be in the room shooting when Jim and Dwight were playing and Pam popped in.

Nov 16th 2007

cuz cuz cuz cuz cuz he sucks at ping-pong!

every single kelly line was awesome. everyone is so ga-ga over jam, and it's refreshing to get some jam bashing in. i know most people love all the jam gooey-ness, but then again, the audience can't be expected to be very smart... otherwise why would deal-no deal and earl still be on air?

i don't think this episode was editted very well. i can't remember all the instances, but it felt choppy overall, like they were really struggling to get it to 22min.

my main evidence was the dubbing when jan was sorta apologizing for pulling out the diary. she said something like she took the diary and gave it to her lawyer, but her lips obviously didn't match that.

i thought the ending scene with the schrute's was poor and largely unnecessary. it was like watching a bad version of forest gump playing ping-pong. it looked horribly awkward.

i don't know. maybe b/c i was expecting this episode was rushed because they knew they had this strike impending, but it felt like a college paper where you pull an all-nighter to finish, and you get it turned in and get a good grade, but you left a lot of mistakes in there and it was generally sloppy.

still, sloppy office episodes are better than none. time to update the netflix queue.

Nov 16th 2007 edited

I now love David Wallace as a character. This isnt verbatim, but his exchange with Michael after the meeting went something like this:

Wallace: "Michael, hey look, about what I said..."

Michael: "No problemo."

Wallace: "No, I want to apologize..."

That scene was handled very well in my opinion. If this was Jan or even Ryan who had wronged Michael and they heard him say it's okay, I imagine that would have just "Oh, cool." and walked away. Wallace seemed sincere in apologizing.

God, this season has been good.

Nov 16th 2007

I think I was just brain-dead after three solid days of meetings but I couldn't get into this episode...the emotional part of the deposition was tough to watch, and I did enjoy the "bring me players" line from Jim, but overall, I wasn't engaged with either storyline. Maybe the knowledge that this was the ergo de facto finale had me bummin' too. Harshed my mellow. Nards.

Nov 16th 2007

Three days of meetings and it was a episode set 75% in conference rooms. I could see that being tough to watch.

Nov 16th 2007

Yeah. Flashbacks. shudder

Nov 16th 2007 edited

The best Office moments come from empathetic pain, those conference rooms included. I latched on to the fear in Michael Scott because he reminded me so much of my wife's old boss in Pennsylvania. His name was Michael, and he constantly lived in fear of his superiors. (That fear in the eyes I mentioned upthread resonated because I had seen it before.) This would cause him to make irrational, idiotic (and occasionally illegal) decisions that frequently enraged the staff. We suspend our disbelief of The Office because we know how much a bad boss could get away with...for a few years anyway. Mrs. Science's experiences with Michael X make us appreciate Michael Scott's shenanigans even more.

...though we are glad Michael X's hijinks are a distant memory. If he was still Mrs. Science's boss, Mrs. Science would find the show too painful to watch. We understand your pain, BigTunaFishing.

(Since I am throwing around the assumed handle a lot, I must digress and mention Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock yelling "Tell her she should donate her body to science! And you're science!" If my assumed identity needed a pickup line, that would be the one it/he would use.)

Nov 16th 2007

Try that line on me--let's see how it goes over.

Nov 16th 2007

You should donate your body to science!

I'm Science!

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