The Pilot: Episode 1.01

101thepilot.jpg“The Pilot”
Season 1 Episode 1
Air Date: March 24, 2005
A documentary crew arrives at Dunder-Mifflin Paper Inc in Scranton, Pennsylvania to begin filming the misadventures of Michael Scott, who thinks he’s the funniest, hippest boss on Earth (his employees, naturally, do not agree). Among Michael’s employ are Dwight the eternally loyal Assistant (to the) Regional Manager, Ryan the bewildered temp, Jim the friendly but bored salesman, and Pam the plain, lonely receptionist (and object of Jim’s affection).

Supplemental Materials
View the “Pam Pong” scorecard for this episode
Recap in my new format here

Episode Recap
“World’s Best Boss”
The show opens with salesman Jim telling Michael he couldn’t close a deal with the library. Michael’s over-confidence in his teaching abilities and people skills are apparent from the beginning when he calls the library himself to close and mistakes the woman he’s talking to for a man.

Michael introduces himself and the company to the camera crew, revealing he has been with Dunder Mifflin for 12 years, 4 as region manager. He introduces the camera the receptionist Pam, and displays his tendency to make inappropriate comments by whispering that Pam was much hotter a couple years ago. Michael then shows his laissez-faire approach to work by crumpling a fax from corporate. In his first “talking head” interview, Michael proclaims what a great boss he is and proudly displays his “World’s Best Boss” mug (which he bought for himself).

In addition to thinking he’s the world’s best boss, Michael considers himself a master of pop-culture, coming out of his office for a round of “Wazzap!”s with Dwight and Jim (“I still love that…after seven years” Jim sarcastically utters). Michael later picks up some messages from Pam and walks back to his office slowly and with sound effects, impersonating the Six-Million Dollar Man. Later, talking to new temp Ryan in his office, Michael tries to “punk” Pam by telling her she was fired for stealing Post-It notes, chuckling to himself before Pam gets upset and calls him a jerk.

Towards the end of the day, Michael is telling a touching story about how he is in the business for the people, and how he gave a Guatemalan man his first job in America, and as thanks he asked Michael to be the godfather of his child. The sentimentality is lost when Michael reveals the Guatemalan man was fired, because “he sucked.”

Early in the day, a professional looking woman that comes in talking on her cell-phone. It’s Jan Levinson-Gould, Michael’s superior. Michael states in a worried voice that he is not intimidated by her. Cut to Michael’s office, where Jan asks if he’s prepared with the agenda. He tries to blame Pam, who is sitting in, for not receiving an agenda, but Pam quickly retaliates by telling him the agenda is in the “garbage can that was a special filing cabinet.”

Jan breaks the news that the board decided the company can’t justify having a Scranton branch and Stamford branch, and therefore the possibility of downsizing is great. Jan asks Michael to keep quite about the possibility of downsizing secret, so of course it’s all everyone is talking about in the next scene.

Michael then calls a meeting to inform everyone there is a downsizing possibility, but tries to paint himself as a hero by acting like he has the power to keep the branch open. He is the head of this family, he states, and “you ain’t gonna be messin’ with my chillen” (he says to Stanley, an African-American employee).

The Schemer
Next we met Jim, watching his desk mate unlock his desk draw to pull out a phone receiver. Behind his bored look, the wheels seem to be turning in Jim’s head. In his first talking head, Jim describes what he does at Dunder Mifflin as a paper salesman, quickly proclaiming that he even bores himself talking about his job.

Jim spices up his workday by winding up Dwight. His first joke on Dwight is taping sharpened pencils around his desk as a barrier, smiling to the camera as Dwight states the pencils could pierce an organ, and proceeds to knocked them down with the receiver of his phone.

But Jim’s true pranking nature comes to light when Dwight, reaching for some photos to show Michael and Ryan, discovers his stapler has been put in Jello. Pam giggles with delight and Jim can barely hide his grin as he takes bites from a Jello cup. Dwight demands Michael reprimand Jim since this is the 3rd time Dwight has found something of his in Jello. Jim starts off with a seriously apology, then adds he as always been Dwight’s “biggest flan.”

Jim’s shenanigans aren’t exclusive to Dwight, thought. In the very last scene, he motions the camera to follow him as he walks into Michael’s office with a covered plate and reveals Michael’s beloved “World’s Best Boss” mug, encased in Jello.

A Not-So-Secret Crush
In Pam Beesly’s very first talking head, she says that the idea of the branch shutting down and her being let go wouldn’t be a bad thing, being that it “not many little girl’s dream to be a receptionist.” She reveals that she likes to illustrate, and there’s a little twinkle in her eyes when she says that Jim thinks her drawings are good.

In a short scene, we see what would become a mainstay of “The Office” in the first two seasons, Jim leaning on his forearms at Pam’s desk. Pam pretends she’s asking a serious question, but can’t control her giggles as she asks if Jim is going to Angela’s cat party. Jim gently teases back, telling Pam to stop, and that she’s being ridiculous.

Later, as Jim talks about the possibility of downsizing, he says he doesn’t know what he would do with all the information in his head, such as Pam’s favorite flavor of yogurt, “Which is Mixed Berries,” he quickly adds. Pam later blushes Jim’s knowledge of “mixed berries.”

As Jim invites Pam out for a drink, a blue-collar looking man walks into the office and to Pam’s desk. In a talking head Pam reveals the man is her fiance of three years, Roy.

Pam asks Roy if it’s okay with him to go get a drink with Jim and some co-workers, but Roy asks (tells) Pam they should just go home. A defeated Pam goes off to finish her faxes. As a last ditch effort, Jim awkwardly invites Roy to come along drinking, but Roy insists that he and Pam really need to get going.

In his next talking head, Jim repeats back the question of whether or not he thinks he’ll be invited to Roy and Pam’s much delayed wedding. He scratches the back of his head, and stares at the camera.

After Michael’s horrible joke on Pam, she comes out of the bathroom upset and sees Jim still at his desk. She says she thought he was going out, unaware Jim’s plan were hinging on her coming. Aware the camera is watching, Pam bumbles as she asks Jim is he was leaving and if he wanted to walk out with her. Jim says yes exuberantly, but the moment is quickly spoiled when they hear Roy downstairs honking.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s