The Office: Season 3, Episode 5 – “Initiation”

theinitiation.jpgPlot: Having been hired permanent, Ryan decides he needs more experience as a sales rep. Dwight is the top salesman in the office and as such Ryan asks him to take him on a sales call.

Dwight decides instead of an actual call he will create a fraternity like initiation, and takes Ryan to his family farm. There he lectures him about planting seeds, leaves him in the middle of the field and quizzes him inside a barn. There Dwight’s cousin, Mose, runs around wearing the word “fear” on his chest. Eventually Dwight declares the two must fight, as Ryan needs to cast out “fear.”

After Ryan runs out, Dwight takes him on an actual sales call, where they both fail miserably. Upset, Ryan chunks raw eggs at the building and Dwight joins in.

In Stamford Jim and Karen fight over a squeaky chair.

Back at the main office, Jan is getting sick of Michael’s work ethic and asks Pam to give a report on what he does all day. Pam is only able to write down two items: Imitates Cosby, and Waited in Line for Pretzel.

The pretzel comes from the free pretzels that the office gives away once a year and is a big hit amongst staff members.

As the show closes Jim calls Pam accidentally expecting her to already be gone, intending to get the automated menu as he forgot Kevin’s extension. The two exchange a friendly, awkward conversation before being interrupted by the returning Dwight and Ryan.

Funniest moment: The initiation questions: “What is Michael’s greatest fear?” “What is the Dharma Initiative.” Watching Mose prepare for a fight was brilliant.

Rating: ****
Once again the Office proves to be the funniest show on television, with a heart. It was nice to see Ryan get some screen time and Dwight’s initiation was priceless. He’s so incredibly awkward and dumb and unintentionally hilarious. Yet I’ve known so many just like him. Pam got great laughs keeping tabs on Michael.

The show tends to be ending on a sweet moment, and the phone conversation was an especially nice touch. I think we’ve all been in relationships like that, where there is so much to say, and yet no one says anything. I both hope Pam and Jim wind up together and hope they stay a part for years to come.

Best gags:

  • Pam accidentally renting the zombie flick 28 Days Later when what she wanted was the mushy Sandra Bullock comedy, 28 Days.
  • Ryan to Dwight when Dwight mentions that the temp agency could have sent him anywhere: “I think about that every day.”
  • The opening gag where Dwight quizzes Ryan with brain teasers and Ryan answers them all correctly, often before the entire teaser is spoken.
  • Jim singing “Lovefool” to the annoyance of Karen and the delight of Andy.

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