If You Slap Michael Scott, Does He Not Bruise? (Brief Thoughts on ‘The Office’)

And does he not need a Schrute Farms frozen chicken to ease the pain?

Well, he might bruise, but he definitely needed the makeshift ice pack.

Michael Scott: Bruised Face, Bruised EgoAfter we argued for the usefulness of the lovelorn Michael Scott earlier today, tonight’s “Double Date” served up another helping of that quixotic Scott, while also mixing in his cringe-inducing, myopic unpleasant side.  Realizing that Pam’s mom (aka “Pickle”) is a (sorta) much older woman, Michael slowly, painfully, tries to extricate himself from the relationship.  He’s selfish and inconsiderate, but in this case it’s not so much his intentions that are wrong, just his actions.  His epiphany that being with a soon to be Grandma would hinder his life plans, which still include having children (and maybe snowboarding) is understandable.  Why he didn’t see this before is open for debate, but we must keep in mind that this is Michael Scott, master of obliviousness.  However, instead of waiting another day or two, or at least until after the birthday lunch, Michael decides to break it off right then and there, just as Pam begins to accept him as a suitable mate for her mother (and perhaps as a possible step-father to herself and step-grandfather to her unborn child), creating the awkward tension that Michael has elevated to an art form over the years.  But his heart was in the right place.  Just at the wrong time.

Any lingering distaste with Michael’s words and actions might also be mollified by the fact that he cited his true love, Ms. Holly Flax, and that he had previously planned to grow old with her.  It’s interesting that the last three episodes involved Michael’s never-ending search for happiness and acceptance.  It’s a theme has been present since the early days of the show, just look at “The Dundies,” but it makes you wonder, with Jim and Pam together and their arc somewhat completed, will the show’s central romance will be Michael and his future wife, whomever that may be, and not Dwight and Angela or Andy and Erin or Ryan and Kelly?  And perhaps, with the unresolved sexual tension between Jim and Pam forever resolved, will the arc of the show itself will be the eventual reunion of Michael and Holly?  As speculated with Desmond and Penelope on Lost, maybe the central story to The Office has always been Michael Scott, the star crossed lover, trying to get back to his soul mate in Nashua.  Indeed, Michael hints at this in “Company Picnic,” last season’s finale, remarking about his relationship with Holly, “I think that we are one of those couples with a long story, when people ask how we found each other.  I will see her, every now and then, and maybe one year she’ll be with somebody and the next year I’ll be with somebody. And it’s going to take a long time… and then it’s perfect.”  And with that I think we might have an idea of what we’ll see in the eventual The Office series finale, whenever that day comes.

Burning question:

Both Andy and Ryan have developed into hilarious, unique characters.  However, if you look at these characters now compared to when they first appeared there are distinct differences, contrasts that might not be entirely chalked up to typical character evolution.  Sure, it’s not unheard of for a character’s personality to change (see Eric Matthews, Boy Meets World), but on The Office we expect a little more consistency.  We’ll revisit this another time, with a well argued thesis statement and several supporting paragraphs.

1 Comment

Filed under Analysis, Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam, LOST, Must See TV

One response to “If You Slap Michael Scott, Does He Not Bruise? (Brief Thoughts on ‘The Office’)

  1. Pingback: Will the Real Andy Bernard Please Stand Up? « Jumped The Snark

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