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'The Office': mommy dearest

October 23, 2009 |  9:25 am

Michael_scott It was inevitable, right? After Pam’s mom gave Michael a candy from her purse at the wedding, their impending relationship was basically set in stone.  “The Lover” introduced us to a feisty Pam Beasley, er, Pam Halpert.

But first….

The newlyweds returned from their honeymoon. Not much had changed. Michael is still Michael; pursuing his improv ambitions with a new character, “Blind Guy McSqueezy,” who gropes both men and women alike.  Dwight is still Dwight. Peeved by Jim’s promotion, Dwight gives his superior a mallard that has been planted with a listening device; doing so helps with the whole spying thing. It didn’t take long for Jim to figure it out, though (or did he?). But was anyone else underwhelmed by how Jim handled it? Sure, the bit with Andy and listening to an opera aria full-blast provided chuckles. It seemed Jim could have taken it further. Subjecting Dwight to a conversation between Kelly and Ryan was hardly enough payback. 

Maybe Jim was too busy with the situation at hand. Michael bragged to Jimothy that he had taken a “lover” (something tells me Michael has been catching reruns of “Sex and the City”) and confessed that it was Pam’s mom. To prove it, he correctly identified her car (a green Camry, fyi).  The revelation led to a bleeped expletive from Jim.  Jim begged Michael not to share the news with Pam ... but he was speaking to Michael, someone incapable of keeping a secret. And, of course, he couldn’t. 

The news horrified Pam, whose reaction was to run out of the office screaming.  But it’s kind of Pam’s fault, right? Had she not kept pushing for details about who his new gal friend was, she never would have learned it was her own mother. OK, she still would have found out. Michael has his ways.  Pam’s exit left viewers with a creepy-yet-hilarious moment when Dwight offered to give Michael the chills -- which Michael all too quickly accepted -- through the childish technique of “crack an egg on your head.” Did it bring back memories of your elementary school days?

Pam eventually let out her anger in the conference room, where the staff had gathered to brainstorm community-relations strategies, a result of the “60 Minutes” expose about working conditions at the company’s Peruvian paper mill.  But ideas were put aside to make room for Pam’s freak-out, which was soon interrupted when Michael took a call from Pam’s mom.  (Side note: Michael changed his ring tone from Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps” to Salt-N-Peppa’s “Push It.” ) After the Dunder Mifflinites  expressed shock and disgust when they discovered Michael was sleeping with Pam’s mom, Michael responded with a touching moment: “What is so wrong about me? I’m caring. I’m generous. I’m sensual. Is it really so horrible that I could possibly go out and find happiness?” I understand why Pam would be less than thrilled that Michael had taken her mother as his lover. I mean, he’s Michael. But even so, her reaction was irrational. She’s witnessed Michael’s attempt to find love. She’s guided him through relationships. He’s offensive and immature, sure. But he’s harmless. It was a moment of vulnerability for Michael that sometimes peeks its way in to balance out the humor. 

But the squabbling continued. Michael even tried seeking out the assistance of Tobe in an attempt to pacify Pam. The attempt was unsuccessful and Pam went off on another tirade, exposing us to another expletive: “I could give a s--- about your happiness!” Not the kind of outburst we’re used to seeing on the show, but it was an interesting avenue to explore.

And oh yeah … Ryan was wearing a fedora.

What did you think of the episode? Was Pam’s reaction warranted?  Do you see a future for Mama Beesley and Michael Scott?

--Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: Steve Carell as Michael Scott. Credit: NBC Universal

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