January 1, 2011

The Office Recap: Classy Christmas pt. 1

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The special one-hour Christmas episode began with the entire office staff, trying to pose for their Christmas picture … as Charlie’s Angels.  They also attempted to capture their group jumping in the air in a cool picture. Try to calculate the success rate for such a picture, and you end up with Michael concluding, “We didn’t get it.”

Again, while everyone suggested different ways to make the picture work, only Oscar asks the question that viewers were wondering: “Here is a question nobody is asking, is this worth it?” Oh Oscar, playing right into the role of the “smug gay Mexican.”  So began another deep and brilliant episode of the office.

As many of us know by now, Pam is a successful office administrator, which means that she is actually paid to be the head of the party planning committee. What is the first thing that she does as its leader? She shuts down the committee – the subject of many office episodes. On describing the committee, Pam says, “At its worst, it was a toxic political club used to make others feel miserable and left out.  And at its best, it planned parties.”

I’ll be honest; I’m going to miss the committee, especially since it wreaked havoc as the source of a lot of office drama. Who doesn’t love that?

Speaking of office drama, Michael comes dressed as Santa, asking everyone how they are doing. For the first time, everything is running smoothly. Even Stanley is happy since – he has the sugar cookies that he likes.  Michael lovingly mentions, “My kids are growing up… that’s what every boss wants…a wonderful Christmas with no drama.” Correction Michael: that is what everyone wants.

However, drama does indeed ensue. Kelly enters with the gifts she has chosen for all the employees as minority executive trainee. When she pulls out Hello Kitty laptop sleeves, everyone is pissed.  She then wonders, would they be as pissed if she were white?  Kelly would pull out the race card for Hello Kitty laptop sleeves. In any case, the only person that is really happy is Daryl, who might be able to use the gift for his daughter that is coming to spend Christmas with her father.

In the meantime, we see busy Dwight working whilst Jim notices that it is snowing outside. As Dwight shrugs off the snowfall as merely the first “dusting,” Jim comes back and hits him with a snowball.  Embarrassed Dwight challenges Jim to a snowball fight, and at this point, I really want to emphasize the word fight. There is nothing that Dwight doesn’t take seriously, especially when it comes to dealing with Jim.

Meanwhile, my personal favorite, Toby, has an important announcement; he tells everyone that he will take a leave of absence because of jury duty. Toby doesn’t just get any case; much to Michael’s dismay, he gets the high profile case regarding the Scranton strangler – an ongoing joke from previous episodes. For Toby, the case provides him a way to actually talk to people and help them realize that maybe he is an interesting person after all.  However, Toby’s departure also allows for the best news of all. Holly – as in Michael’s Holly that broke his heart – is coming back!

For many of us, we remember Holly as the girl that broke, not only Michael’s heart, but our own hearts as well.  For Michael, she was an old friend and lover; for Creed, she was “one sassy black lady.”  Regardless, she made an impact enough for Michael idealize her return, hoping to win her back.  For him, it’s the “most important Christmas party.”

So, of course, Michael is now Santa Bond – a cooler sleek Santa with a robe and no beard.  Michael goes on to make the best party the office has ever seen. He hires a jazz musician because, as we all know, nothing is classier than boring old jazz music. Not only that, Michael realizes that a fake Christmas tree isn’t going to cut it, and sends Pam on a mission to find a real Christmas tree. Pam employs the help of Andy and Daryl.

Daryl is perhaps one of my favorite characters because of his dry attitude.  However, his badass nature lifts in this episode, revealing a softer Daryl, who thought he was enough family for his daughter.  Andy and Pam comfort him, helping when his daughter does not want to spend Christmas with him.

Jim and Dwight seem to be people who should not spend Christmas together. Dwight goes overboard (as usual), and pelts Jim with multiple snowballs. This time it seems that despite not having feeling in his fingers or penis, he has the upper hand.  So much so that, the fight actually causes Jim to bleed and move around the office in constant fear.

Holly comes back, but Erin completely ignores her because she doesn’t see the big deal with Holly. When Holly walks in, struggling to carry a box, Erin simply replies, “I’m really sorry I can’t help you. I’m waiting for my bosses’ pretty friend to arrive.”

Erin grows on me with each new episode.

Back to Holly and Michael, the minute they interact reminds us why they may be so perfect for one another. They greet each other in a weird way that nobody else – including the audience seems to catch on – but it works for them. However, as Michael begins questioning Holly, he realizes that she is in love with her current boyfriend, A.J., and that they live together. Michael is clearly heartbroken, like the rest of us.

However, as the ladies of the office interrogate Holly, we realize that her relationship with A.J. is not perfect.  She gives him an ultimatum: to marry or to move out.  Kelly thinks that this is fine because nobody does anything for her unless she threatens to kill herself.  Regardless, we get the sense that Holly and Michael do have the potential to rekindle their relationship.  Michael want to try, but might have destroyed his chances when he wrecking the Woody doll (from Toy Story) that A.J. gave Holly.

What I loved about this episode was, even though it wasn’t as funny as the recent episodes this season, it brought back many vital relationships.  Holly’s departure, not only left Michael heartbroken, but the viewers as well. Even when she came back, I wanted her to stay away from Michael in order to spare him the pain.

Michael wrote many letters to corporate, trying to get Holly back and revealing his desperation.  Who was responsible for bringing Holly back? The Scranton strangler, to which Michael deliver’s one of the funniest lines of the episode, “You just took one more person’s breath away.”

I also particularly loved that Pam made a comic book for Jim, making him into a hero. Every year, we have seen Jim give the most thoughtful presents to Pam, and this year, it was her turn.  And boy, did she get it right (although Ryan doesn’t seem to think so).

We also witnessed the old love-hate relationship between Toby and Michael. When Toby mentions he has a case, Michael says, “The case of the horrible red headed sad sack, and the verdict.  It was Toby. The sentence.  Death.  Death to Toby.”

Original Author: Aishini Thiyagarajan