The Office: Season 6, Episode 7 “The Lover” (B+)
You really have to hand it to this show for making the reveal of Michael’s affair with Pam’s mom come out in both a hilarious and believable way. Michael’s excitement at telling Jim and his subsequent panic was a great way to start out, but nothing was better than Pam’s glee at office gossip and trying to pinpoint just whose mom Michael might be sleeping with, only to discover with a disbelieving horror that it was her own mother. Some of the later scenes with Michael calling Pam’s mom lovey-dovey names and yelling at Pam in front of the whole office bordered on the more uncomfortable moments of the show, but they never went too far, and there was enough that didn’t come to close to crossing a line that was still funny. The deadlocked trash talking between Michael and Pam where they agreed that they’d both be willing to die in the office and Michael’s sympathetic speech about whether it was actually so hard to be happy that he was happy ranked among the best moments. It’s really just nice to give Jenna Fischer so much to do, because as Stanley put it, he’s rarely seen her talk that much. Pam’s confrontation with Erin where she had to check with Michael about whether she could put out Pam’s candy was an intriguing moment, and hopefully will be developed further in the future. Dwight’s plan to sabotage Jim by bugging his office resulted in some brilliant responses from Jim and quite a few hilarious comments from Dwight, and every time Dwight insists that he’s not a crazy person is always fun. Another interesting interaction was that between Michael and Toby, where the boss was finally nice to the HR guy because he thought he could help him with Pam. Even when Toby failed miserably, he wasn’t that cruel to Toby. As Toby himself put it, he always thought that if Michael got to know him, they’d get along. Did that happen and I missed it? I suppose it’s a good thing, and another thing to revisit in future story arcs.