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The Office recap: Blood Drive

March
8

Classic Office” is the phrase I first uttered after “Blood Drive,” Thursday’s episode, ended.

That’s what it was for me on a lot of levels. I won’t say it was the funniest or most memorable 22 minutes in the show’s history, but writer Brent Forrester gave us some of the more choice elements that make the show great.

I’m talking about that occasional camaraderie the staff shows for one another, as when everyone stayed with Michael while he waited to see if his blood donor love connection would show up. And I’m talking about bizarre discomfort, like the kind Pam and Jim felt after the Vance’s returned to the table from their bathroom romp. I’m still shuddering at Bob offering Phyllis a little meat.

And what can I say about Dwight and Kevin? The episode summary led me to believe they paired up in this one, which intrigued me. Even though they had separate storylines, they both rocked the episode, Dwight with lines like the one about his retractable genitalia and Kevin finally winning one again.

I have one beef about the plot, and it’s really probably just a matter of personal taste. I wish Michael’s new friend would have shown up. I know it would have undermined the actual ending, but it’s hard to root for Michael and see him come up short. He deserves that after losing Holly, who’s even hotter than Stacy, so you can imagine how he feels.

But like I said, that a matter of preference, and I’d rather the writers stick to erring on the side of reality and of the unexpected.

Diving right in to the episode, it was hard to imagine Michael giving blood, but I could see him comparing himself giving blood to a human juice box of Type O-cean Spray Hawaiian Blood Punch. He might have lost his new friend right there, but she seemed a good sport about it. She was so nervously chatty, she gave the impression of being perfect for him.

Even he could tell that, and he was so nervous he didn’t eat for three days. But when he woke up again, she’d turned into Hank and hadleft only a glove behind.

When not oblivious to everyone else’s feelings, Michael is making his own feelings out to be the same as theirs only more important. So not having Holly on Valentine’s Day made him miserable just like everyone else but worse.

Kelly’s only Valentine was her dentist, Kev was still missing Stacy, Angela and Dwight were broken up and Meredith was, well, Meredith.  That crew didn’t need to be staring at Pam with her groovy dance moves, her goo-goo eyes for Jim and her gaudy bouquet. Seriously, that thing was the size of a bowling ball; contrast that to three years ago when she got squat while Phyllis lugged home a life-sized teddy bear and half a greenhouse.

For all that, it’s too bad Jim and Pam are breaking up, as that ugly talking head in which he joked about her two engagements made all too clear. Commence freak-out, Jammers.

Banished from the place for a sexiness that is almost hostile, Jim and Pam accept Phyllis’s lunch invite. Based on later events, it’s curious that Phyllis would even want company.

Michael’s Lonely Hearts Party was like a bad therapy session. Bring on the bad memories. It’s funny how, in these situations, you think Oscar is going to know better than to get sucked in. Then he goes and gets sucked in, revealing a painful story of rejection that totally went over Michael’s head.

Angela was almost sympathetic, if predictably judgmental. Her own story is a stunner: she’s had men duel over her before, in Ohio. The stunning part is their names: John Mark and John David.

I bet Andy would have had a doozie of a tale to tell himself if he wasn’t off on one of his honeymoons. Dang those nonrefundable deposits, though hot-air ballooning and couples massage are not bad ways to spend a day.

Kev sure had me feeling the pity. He never saw it coming when Stacy let him go. He eventhought it was football-related. I can’t believe it took this long to reveal what happened there, even if he’s not sure exactly what happened there. In all likelihood it was his obliviousness that sent her packing in the first place.

Michael knows there’s someone out there for everyone, and there must be a way to bring them together. It’s not a giant net, mind you, but good one, Dwight. He hates Michael’s mixer idea.

“Oh God, that’s a terrible idea. No. Lonely people mixing with one another? Breeding? Creating an even lonelier generation? You’re not allowing natural selection to do it’s work. You’re like the guy who invented the seatbelt.”

As usual, Michael’s plan to shoot his sparrow at unsuspecting victims is self-serving. He even put the glove on the flier. Funny little bird but he gets the job done.

You know what? It worked for Kev. His sweet-talking abilities aren’t so great, but he only gets better. “Are you on e-mail?” Nice one Kev. Very nice.

I cringed when he brought up Stacey, but that woman’s eyes lit up when he turned it around. He might just be the man. The look on his face was the best since “Night Out,” when he got the parking spaces back and declared it was nice to win one. I also liked his Kool-Aid Man face.

The episode wrapped up on a warm note that was telegraphed pretty early on. Dwight was typically attuned to Michael watching the door and typically suspected an assassin might be on the prowl. Kudos to Oscar for actually questioning him on that, by the way.

But Kelly went a step further and openly rooted for Michael’s new friend to show up. It’s like a modern-day Enchanted. Nice. Even Meredith was encouraging, though Dwight accurately points out that with three billion women on the planet, most in Asia, the numbers don’t add up in his favor.

I was sure the woman that showed up late was the one, but it was worth the disappointment for the hilarity of everyone’s disappointed groan at the sight of her. It was just great that Michael didn’t have to wait alone, and his final Talking Head/Voice-Over bodes well for his happiness the remainder of the season.

Four months ago I dated a woman named Holly, and this is actually the first time that I’ve even considered getting back into that arena again. You know, sometimes it’s not about whether Cinderella gets her slipper back, but it’s about the fact that the prince even picked up the slipper at all. There’s a lot of princesses out there. You know, they have all differing sizes and shapes of feet and hands. So I think, I think my odds are pretty good.

That was much better than how things ended for the Vances and the future Halperts.

Jim and Pam should have suspected what was up when Bob and Phyllis were gone so long. More power to them, I say. But the handicapped rest room? Yecch. And Bob asking her, on their return, if she wanted a little meat?

There were a bunch of other funny parts, that have me rethinking my reaction to this episode. It might stand up to some rewatching. For example:

Dwight’s holding up a little lopsided because of all the blood they took out of his right side. Did anyone else think the woman he was charming looked a lot like Angela, except maybe prettier? He’s got some smooth lines. “So where does a woman as charming as yourself find herself employed on a day such as today?”

She’s the perfect woman. She uses a lot of paper at work.

Apparently Bob still doesn’t like those jackasses his wife works with. He and Phyllis sure like to talk bowling, huh?

Kelly and Meredith are an intriguing pairing. I can’t imagine getting too much mileage out of it, but it was hilarious to see Kelly tear a heart in half before tacking it to the wall and Meredith respond by tearing the wings off a cupid cutout and sayingn ow it’s just a stupid baby.

Michael thought a good conversation starter with the tool and dye repair guy would be Meredith’s total hysterectomy because, you know, repair.

The line of the night came from Dwight, and it wasn’t even close: “I trained my major blood vessels to retract into my body on command. Also, I can retract my penis up into itself.”

The cold open was an understated but well done. Pam doesn’t want to be made redundant, as they say in British Office parlance, so she’s steering phone system reps away from Michael, lest she be replaced by a machine. Go John Henry Beesley.

How she and Jim team up to get rid of the guy with Michael standing right there has to be seen. But I like Pam’s line justifying her measures.

“I’d like to see a mchine that puts out candy for everybody.” Pause for thought. “Vending machine.”

And how great that the tag showed Phyllis and Stanley trying to steal cookies. That’s not bad. Creed stole blood.

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 8th, 2009 at 8:02 pm by Brian Howard. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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