Summer Viewing Club: Office Marathon

This is the 5th installment of my “viewing club” series. Each week, whatever rerun NBC airs, I will suggest 2 or 3 episodes with the same “theme” and post some discussion questions.

Jim and Pam apartThis week’s reruns: Casino Night, Branch Closing, The Merger
The theme: Jim and Pam’s time apart
After 3 years of spending 40 hours a week together, Jim and Pam were suddenly in different states and facing big changes. Pam was single for the first time in her adult life, and Jim was trying move on from the heart break he endured on Casino Night. Just when each was settling into a new routine, they were back in the same office, but their relationship would never be the same.

The Viewing List
Casino Night (2.22): With her wedding and his transfer looming, Jim puts it all on the line and confesses his love to Pam.

Gay Witch Hunt (3.01): It’s four months after Casino Night, and there are a few surprises as we find out what’s become of Jim and Pam.

Branch Closing (3.07): The Scranton Branch is closing, or is it? Pam contemplates a life after Dunder-Mifflin, and Jim wrestles with the possibility of seeing his old coworkers again.

The Merger (3.08): After half a year apart, Pam is thrilled to have Jim back in Scranton, but quickly sees things just aren’t the same.

Extra Credit
Initiation (3.05): Jim and Pam are getting use to life without each other when a fateful phone call unexpectedly reconnects them.

Discussion Questions:
1. How did Pam change in her time apart from Jim. Did she change for the better or the worst?

2. How did Jim change in his time apart from Pam. Did he change for the better or the worst?

3. Why didn’t Pam contact Jim when she called off her wedding?

4. What would have become of Jim and Pam if the Scranton Branch had closed and Stamford stayed open?

5. What was your favorite Jim moment while he was in Stamford? What was your favorite Pam moment while Jim was in Stamford?

You can keep these questions in mind as you watch these episode and/or write up some answers and post.

I welcome suggestions for what the theme of next week’s viewing club should be. Next week is another Office marathon with repeats of “Office Olympics”, “Booze Cruise”, and “The Secret”.

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4 thoughts on “Summer Viewing Club: Office Marathon

  1. i think they added different scenes to branch closing, i totally do not remember meredith asking michael to sleep w/ him or pam saying she thought she’d slap someone in the face and walk out…and i just checked on my itunes and yeah, those are different scenes…anyways…yeah…

  2. Oh yeah? It just started airing where I am. They must be showing the producer’s cut version, which was online after BC aired, and is available on iTunes. They cut my favorite line from the producer’s cut, though, which is Jim saying he figured the Scranton branch would close because Michael would sell the building for some magic beans.

  3. Why do I wait so long to answer these questions? I swear I look at this page almost every day. *smacks self*

    Is there a reason we didn’t get to see Initiation (on NBC in the past few weeks, that is)? That phone call is one of my favorite moments from earlier in the season.

    1. How did Pam change in her time apart from Jim. Did she change for the better or the worst?
    – I don’t know if she actually changed because of Jim. I think she changed more because of Roy and she changed FOR herself. If anything, she became more assertive and more ballsy (for lack of a better term here, haha). I think she definitely changed for the better.

    2. How did Jim change in his time apart from Pam. Did he change for the better or the worst?
    – Jim became a whiny little douche. Haha! No, I’m kidding. But I’m really not a huge fan of Jim’s character post-Booze Cruise. It’s like, Pam and Roy set that wedding date and it was all downhill from there. His actions are realistic to what happens in real life, yes, but I think that he could have handled his return a lot better.

    3. Why didn’t Pam contact Jim when she called off her wedding?
    – I like to think that she did and Jim ignored her. 🙂 Haha

    4. What would have become of Jim and Pam if the Scranton Branch had closed and Stamford stayed open?
    – I still like to believe that they would have gotten together at some point.

    5. What was your favorite Jim moment while he was in Stamford? What was your favorite Pam moment while Jim was in Stamford?
    – Favorite Jim moment in Stamford…oh man, does the phone call to Scranton count? Haha! If it doesn’t, I think when he bought the Gaydar for Michael and Dwight was pretty golden. OH! And faxes from Future Dwight. 🙂
    -Favorite Pam moment (phone call count again?? Haha). I think her role in Grief Counseling was pretty nice, and I also really liked her in Diwali (of course, Jim had to be drunk when she called so booo to that).

  4. 1. How did Pam change in her time apart from Jim. Did she change for the better or the worst?

    I’ll start off by saying I do think Pam changed for the better. Part of the reason she was with Roy was so long, I think, was that he was an integral part of her identity. I don’t know if she could imagine herself without him. When she left him she basically had to find herself again. I think it was also good that she didn’t immediately run into Jim’s or anyone else’s arms, she needed some time on her own.

    2. How did Jim change in his time apart from Pam. Did he change for the better or the worst?

    I don’t know if Jim changed so much as he created an elaborate facade that looked like change. He tried to be more mature, to take his job more seriously, but he still has his mischievous side and still needed pranking to cope with the day to day routine. When he got back to Scranton he was distant, basically cutting himself off from everyone for fear of returning to his old habits. However his facade cracked over the season and I dare it just simply fell apart in the finale, I think Season 4 Jim will look at lot more like S2 Jim than S3 Jim.

    3. Why didn’t Pam contact Jim when she called off her wedding?

    Pam is extremely moral, I don’t think she could accept that she had developed strong feelings for Jim while she was with Roy. I think part of her was worried it would look like she dumped Roy to be with Jim.
    I think it was also guilt, she knew she hurt Jim very deeply on Casino Night and part of her thought he didn’t really want anything to do with her anymore.

    4. What would have become of Jim and Pam if the Scranton Branch had closed and Stamford stayed open?

    The romantic in me would like to think Pam would have contacted Jim and they could have eventually found their way back to each, but unfortunately I think Jim would have been to stubborn to contact Pam and Pam would have been to scared to contact Jim and they just would eventually have moved on, found other people and always be each other’s “one that got away”.

    5. What was your favorite Jim moment while he was in Stamford? What was your favorite Pam moment while Jim was in Stamford?
    – My favorite Stamford Jim moment was probably when he rolled his chair to the copier (which of course also made me sad since he was flirting with Karen and it showed he was getting settled in Stamford)
    – My favorite Pam moment was in Grief Counseling first when she started the whole “movie death” plus her lovely bird eulogy and song.

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