Last week’s opener really got my hopes up for another stellar season of The Office. I was doubly looking forward to actually watching a full season from start to finish instead of sporadically catching episodes as I have done for the last two seasons. Unfortunately this week’s episode, “The Convention” failed to live up to my expectations. Oh certainly I’ll keep watching, but my dream of a perfect season has already died.
It starts off with a whiz-bang having Michael come in talking of adopting a child after having watched Angelina Jolie on Oprah. He quickly gives up the idea after learning the application process could cost upwards of $1,000 and the waiting list is a good eight month.
“I don’t even know if I’ll want a baby in eight months.”
After a bit of bartering, Pam and Michael agree to have a child together if both remain childless in thirty years.
“If I haven’t had a baby in ten years then you and I…”
“In twenty years?”
“In thirty years?”
The rest of the episode centers around a paper convention pitting the Scranton office against the Stamford one, at least in Michael’s eyes. He is immediately jealous of the relationship that Jim has developed with Josh, the manager of the Stamford office, or as Michael says, “the poor man’s Michael Scott as he is known around my condo.”
Josh does get off a line that he would let Michael work as a salesman if his office absorbs the Scranton one. An interesting if mostly innocuous remark that may serve as a means to get Jim back into the company with the rest of the cast.
This is also one way to solve the whole two office dilemma. By holding a convention they can merge the two offices, making a more cohesive storyline than trying to keep up with multiple settings. Although certainly they can’t keep holding conventions and it still created two settings having a side plot involving Jan.
Jan has her first first date in nine years with a cartoonist friend of Kellys, and Angela is upset at Dwight for leaving her for Philadelphia.
“Looks like someone took the slow train to Philly,” Angela jibes, “which translates to she’s a slut!”
The blind date goes poorly, but as a possible interesting sideline Toby seems to have taken a shine to Pam, though is to shy to approach her about it.
In Philadelphia, the rest of the office tries to drum up business, while Michael invites everyone to a party back in his room. Nobody actually seems to come to the part except Jim who suddenly stops playing the prankster and is suddenly as kind to Michael as anyone ever has been. Even going as far to admit he left Scranton because of Pam. It is as touching as it is weird to see somebody opening up to Michael.
The episode wasn’t bad, in fact it had some very nice moments, and the writers definitely seem to be trying to create some interesting story lines. The line about the two offices merging may prove interesting fodder for later episodes, and the Pam, Jim, Toby triangle may also open up new drama. Some interesting ideas, but they also managed to slow the episode down. In trying to lay down some strands to expand the series, they bogged this particular episode down.
The show closes with its best gag: Michael turns on a black light only to expose many large stains on this bed. Dwight surmises that it is either “blood, urine or semen.”
“God, I hope it’s urine.” Michael concludes.