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The Office Recaps: “Body Language”

April 30, 2010
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Almost forgot there was a new one this week and was pleased to see that The Office keeps delivering some quality episodes. In one of the best cold opens yet, Michael decides to learn Spanish and enlists Oscar to help him along with the gender basics. I won’t say how he keeps track of them, but his unique…uh…”method” (oh what the hell, here’s a hint: It invoves post-it-notes and boobs) got me to wake up most of my neighbors with laughter—especially when Michael slaps one on Angela’s forehead.

Jim and Pam are excited for their first two-man tag-team sales pitch, which has somehow sent Pam into an excited but refreshingly off John Wayne impersonation (“refreshingly off” because everyone does John Wayne impersonations, and they’re all the same. Plus she doesn’t say “pilgrim.” Cringe).

Their client is Donna, the sly barkeep whom Michael hit it off with in “Happy Hour.” She needs some printers (anyone else forget that’s what Dunder-Mifflin’s pushing these days—oh, excuse me, Sabre) and possibly something else—either a discount or, dare I write, some more time with Michael. Both are suggested by her low-cut blouse sporting an ample two scoops of cleavage.

Meanwhile, Dwight comes upon oily corporate guy Gabe pitching a minority executive training program to Darryl. Worried that it’ll put Darryl on the fast track to promotion (and end in Darryl firing his sorry –), Dwight encourages Kelly to apply, despite her inability to name a CEO (and no, Kelly, Julia Roberts is not one).

Back at the sales pitch, Michael, somewhat desperate for Donna, interrupts Jim’s cost-analysis presentation with a slideshow juxtaposing glamour shots of his own doughy eyes (“Shrek green!”) with a handful of Adonises. The idea is to get Donna to associate Michael with the ideal man (and actually, in a different context, is it all that bad an idea?). When that plan doesn’t work, he offers the printers at an unreasonably low price, and, lastly, makes a classically cringe-inducing attempt to kiss.

Dwight’s not faring too well either: Kelly teams up with Ryan, and if she gets the program slot and eventual promotion, the two plan to clean house, forcing Dwight to sabotage his sabotage by pushing for either Stanley or Oscar (“Come on, Oscar, you’re, like, two minorities!). Neither seems interested, so in his last-ditch effort, Dwight tries to convince Gabe that Indians can’t technically be considered minorities since they originate from the Caucus mountains (or something like that).

Michael doesn’t get anywhere either, and after his second try for a smooch, the rest of the office wisely intervenes to convince him that Donna’s just playing it up for a discount. Everyone, that is, except Pam (“If she didn’t really like him, then why is she still here?”). Michael naturally sides with Pam and refuses to admit defeat, even after Donna’s left. And then he discovers that Donna left her berrette.

Gabe chooses Kelly  (who thanks Dwight for his support…then makes a veiled threat), and Donna confesses her genuine “like” for Michael, and everyone lives moderately happy thereafter.

In all, not a bad episode. We’ve seen Michael date an aggressive goal-setting woman before (whatever happened to Jan anyway?), so hopefully if this relationship takes off it won’t be a retread of the tragedy that came before (though another “Dinner Party”-caliber episode would be oh-so welcome, but personally, I’m much more interested in the dynamics of Andy and Erin). And if Kelly’s ready for business school, should we expect a Legally-Blonde-esque turn from Ms. Kapoor? Not as funny as recent episodes, but there’s a lot of good asides, and with Gabe becoming more and more of a presence, is it too much to ask for an episode starring him and Toby?

Highlights:

The Spanish are our neighbors to the south.

I wasn’t talking to you, paleface.

SEX

PAM: Maybe she’s just pushing her breast together to make them look bigger.
KEVIN: Like that?

“It’s almost too black.”

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