The Office: Episode 30 – The Convention

  • The Writers – Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg
  • Director – Ken Whittingham
  • A brief synopsis – Michael and Dwight are heading towards the Annual Northeastern Mid-Market Office Supply Convention.  Angela is going to meet him there in secret.  Pam is going on a blind date.  Toby finds out that Pam is available.  Michael sees Jim for the first time since he left, and he hears from Josh of Stamford that he would have an open for him in sales should Scranton be “absorbed.”
  • The best line – Michael: Now, would you do the pleasure of hitting the lights, sir? [lights go out, leaving Michael’s black light on] Ha, ha, ha.
    Dwight: Ha, ha, ha, ha.
    Michael: Whoa. What are those stains?
    Dwight: Blood, urine, or semen.
    Michael: Oh, God, I hope it’s urine.
  • The best moment – Creed joins Angela and Meredith in the lunch room, and tells her he saw her giving out “shekels” and asks how he can “get on that train.”  Insulted, Angela haughtily tells him that it was per diem for the trip to Philadelphia and leaves in a huff.  Nonplussed, Creed takes her seat, starts eating her cereal while telling a stunned Meredith that “Andrea” is the office bitch.  Meredith is even more flummoxed when he introduces himself to her, as he obviously has no recollection of her, even though in an earlier episode (“Conflict Resolution”), he’d complained that he was ‘tired of looking at the redhead and wants a seat closer to the receptionist.’
  • The best storyline – Toby has a crush on Pam.  This provides many funny, yet heartbreaking moments in the episode, and will continue throughout the rest of the show.
  • Notable guest appearance – Jerome Bettis looks like any of us would having met Michael and Dwight.  Jan and Josh show up, because it is a convention, after all.
  • Would Michael have been reprimanded? – Most likely his lame party would have been shut down early on.
  • Grade – B –

This episode continues the trend of awkward Michael moments that have no place in the real world, primarily his behavior at the convention.  That said, there is so much good stuff surrounding the horrible Michael moments that it is hard to not give it a partial thumbs up.  Toby’s crush on Pam, as indicated earlier, is very inspired, and the Creed moments with Angela and Meredith are pure gold.  Pam’s going out on a blind date at Kelly’s behest opens up for more Kelly moments later and that is always good. Jim’s longing for Pam is to be expected, but his discussion with Michael about it being the primary reason he left and not Michael was well acted by both parties, thus salvaging many average to poorly written Michael moments earlier.

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