A Benihana Christmas

Talk to me, Tivo: Strife in the party-planning committee results in two competing Christmas parties; Michael gets dumped for the holidays.
Jaminess: 2 [3=Casino Night]

Jam Cam: Ew! First scene of the hour-long episode and we already have Jim and Pam trying to deal with a dead goose. Blech. At least Circle Jim got the square.

It�s the season of giving so Michael brings in an old bike that, of course, Jim has to make fun of. On the other end, Pam gives Michael his gift from corporate. Too bad everyone is getting the same damn gift so he�s not special after all.

Speaking of presents, Pam has a big one for Jim. She�s been working for months on a Dwight prank and Jim gets to choose the final move to send Dwight over the edge. Squee! Jim looks at the red Classified envelope with a look of awe at the coolness that is Pam. Squee again! And then Jim pulls some crap about how he can�t do that stuff anymore because he�s assistant regional manager or something like that. Either Pam REALLY broke Jim�s heart or he�s become a corporate hack.

�I feel this is a chance for me to start over,� Jim tells the camera, referring to his job, but we all know he�s trying to distance himself from Pam despite the fact that she came up with a cool present for him. So broken heart or corporate hack? Maybe a little bit of both in the end.

Ha. Jim has blue balls on his desk. Anyway…

Pam gets invited to hang out with Michael at Sandals Jamaica. Anyway again…

As with any party, Pam has been roped in to being on the party planning committee � with Karen. Blech. Although, Pam has a little bit of sympathy for Karen after Angela treats every one of her ideas like crap. Karaoke? No. Raffle? No. Time for you to leave? Yes. As Karen walks out, Pam looks a little uncomfortable.

Speaking of uncomfortable, Pam seems to feel bad about the way she has been treating Karen and walks over to comfort her after her ill-fated stint on the party planning committee. While Pam and Karen small-talk about the Stamford parties, Jim is looking a little weirded out about this new friendship.

Too bad for him because it looks like Karen and Pam are throwing a rival Christmas party that�s going to be awesomer than Angela�s party. Because, you know, the flyer on colored paper says as much. Uh oh, Jim�s looking uncomfortable again and I�m not sure if it�s because his girlfriend and the love of his life are working together or because…nope, that�s probably why.

Dwight pulls his number three ranking out to order Pam and Karen to cease all planning for the alternate party. But who cares? It�s Jim to the rescue. Jim, the number two, declares the Paren committee valid, giving them the go-ahead for the margarita karaoke whatever. He must just need the alcohol to dull the weirdness of the budding Paren friendship. Who can blame him?

With Michael�s heart broken, his posse together to go out to lunch. Jim gets suckered into going to Asian Hooters when Ryan takes all his potential excuses. Mean Ryan. It gets worse when Jim gets stuck at one end of the table with Andy and Michael with Dwight yelling from the other end. Poor Jim � from awkward situation to another.

Meanwhile, Paren are back at the office planning their margarita party, much to the chagrin on Angela. The set-up seems to be going really well too � with help from Roy. Blech. He�s hot now but blech. Roy tries to flirt with Pam as she tries to politely have a conversation with him. As he walks out the door, Karen leans over and tells Pam she should date him. Blech. Pam says �Yeah, maybe,� instead of �Well, he was an ass when I was engaged to him for three years.� Speak up, Pam! You don�t need Karen trying to set you up on a date with your ex when you have your salesman back in town.

But no time for that now. Now is the time for Paren to roll out the red carpet. Time for their party! It takes a little persuading, but Stanley finally decides to take the leap and be the first one to drink at the alternate party with the drunk Meredith quickly following. Karen seems to find the little party to be a big stand for her to the point where her �Rally the troops!� speech even gives Pam goose bumps.

Jim is still at Benihana�s and seems to be the only sober one. After trying to explain to Michael that the food isn�t family style, he gets stuck describing Andy�s conversation with the waitress to Dwight at the end of the table. Only it�s not really Andy�s conversation. It�s Jim telling Dwight she�s asleep and then wakes up to talk about killing a goose. In his talking head right after, he tries to explain that lying to Dwight like that is different than Pam�s CIA plan. Then he realizes that nope, they�re pretty much the same.

Meanwhile, it�s boring at Angela�s party while a little snag with the karaoke machine at Paren�s party just means Darryl has to get his synthesizer from the car. Awesome!

After finally making it back with Michael�s new girlfriend in tow, Jim is able to let loose a little at Paren�s party, drinking margaritas to deaden the awkwardness of Paren together. Hmm…what is the significance of Kevin singing �You Oughta Know�?

The final nail in Angela�s coffin comes as Paren show up at The Nutcracker Christmas with a present for the winner of the raffle � Dwight. Oops. As Dwight opens his present, Pam and Karen see that Angela is actually bothered by the whole thing and they soften up a bit. Putting differences aside, they combine parties for everyone to get drunk together. Whee!

But with the party in full swing, Jim and Karen exchange the same copy of a cheesy DVD and hug as Pam looks on. Ugh. Pam looks a little heartbroken about it all, but keeps pretending likes she�s listening to the phone messages.

After Michael gets ditched by the waitress, Jim walks over to the couch to talk to him. Michael can�t understand why he feels like crap after the waitress left. Jim tells him it�s just a rebound, that rebounds just help you try to forget the one who broke your heart. Wait a minute…is Jim? No way! Is he talking about Pam? Is Karen just a rebound from the girl that broke Jim�s heart? Yes, it has to be. It�s a Christmas miracle! KAREN IS JUST A REBOUND FOR PAM! Ah, my Jam heart feels all squeeish.

In the conference room, Roy gives Pam a present and she hugs him as Jim wistfully looks on from the office. Eh, who cares if Jim looks a little sad? Karen is a rebound so he can get back together with Pam. It will all be ok.

Speaking of ok, that Christmas present from Pam wasn�t that bad. In fact, by giving Pam an idea for Dwight�s final mission, he�s also giving Pam a little gift that says �Hey, let�s forget about the past and be friends again…if not more sooner or later.� Let�s hope it�s sooner.

The Others: Michael goes a little overboard and Photoshops his head into a photo with his girlfriend Carol�s family. She rightfully freaks out and dumps him. What�s a poor guy to do? Benihana�s! At the urging of Andy, Michael�s entourage heads out for lunch where Michael and Andy proceed to get drunk on Nog-a-sakes while hitting on the waitresses. Too bad Michael can�t tell Asians apart because the waitresses he asked back to the office Christmas party are not the waitresses he shows up with. Too bad it doesn�t matter for too long since when she ditches him. In the end, Michael has two tickets to Sandals Jamaica that finally go to…wait, who do they go to? Meanwhile, Dwight and Angela weather the party committee storm together � even holding hands at one point. How come no one in the office notices this?

What have we learned today, kids: Rebounds can be a really fun distraction, but when it’s over, you’re left thinking about the girl that broke your heart. [Just keep reminding us of that, Halpert.]

– written by Jenny 


Pam: Psst! Jim? [motions for him to come to her desk] Um…hey.
Jim: Hey.
Pam: I need to give you your Christmas gift now because…um…well, I�ll just tell you.
Jim: What?
Pam: For the past few months, I�ve been sending Dwight letters from the CIA. [hands Jim a red folder] Jim: Are you serious?
Pam: They�re considering him for a top secret mission. There�s his application. Oh, and this is where I made him list every secret he promised he�d never ever tell.
Jim: �Last year, my boss, Michael Scott, took a day off because he said he had pneumonia but really he was leaving early to go to magic camp.� Wow.
Pam: So here�s the gift: you get to decide what his top secret mission is. Sorry I didn�t wrap it.
Jim: You know what? Um…I really don�t think I should be doing this stuff anymore though.
Pam: Oh.
Jim: No, just �cause of the promotion…
Pam: Oh yeah.
Jim: Just feels a little bit like…
Pam: No, I get it. Of course. Ok. [takes folder back]

Jim: I feel like there�s a chance for me to start over and if I fall back into the same kind of things I used to do, then … what am I doing?

Pam: I feel like I�ve been kind of cold to Karen and there�s no real reason for it. I mean, it�s not like she�s done anything to me so I think I probably shouldn�t be cold to her.

Jim: Ok, I think I can help here.
Dwight: Ok, good.
Jim: As ranking number two, I am starting a committee to determine the validity of the two committees and I am the sole member. The committee will act on this now.
Dwight: This is stupid.
Jim: Can you please keep it down? I�m in session. [pause] I have determined that this committee is valid.
[Pam and Karen laugh] Dwight: What? No no, wait wait wait wait wait. Permission to join the validity committee.
Jim: [pauses] Permission denied.
Dwight: Dammit.

Michael: That waitress was the one.
Jim: No, she wasn’t.
Michael: How can you be sure?
Jim: Well, for starters, I’ve known you as a couple since the beginning of your relationship, which was approximately three hours ago, so…
Michael: Don’t make fun of me. You’re making fun of me.
Jim: Sorry.
Michael: I guess I didn’t really know her that well. [pause] I marked her arm.
Jim: You what?
Michael: I put a mark on her arm so I could tell them apart. I know, I know. I can’t believe I gave her my bike.
Jim: Yeah.
Michael: Why do I feel like crap?
Jim: You just had a rebound.
Michael: I had a rebound.
Jim: Which, don’t get me wrong, can be really fun distraction, but when it’s over, you’re left thinking about the girl you really like, the one that broke your heart.

Jim: Night, Pam.
Pam: Night.
Jim: Oh, you know what? Sorry, I forgot to tell you. I intercepted a transmission earlier and it seems that the CIA is gonna need Dwight down at their headquarters at Langley for training and an ice cream social with the other agents.
Pam: We should get him a bus ticket….to make his trip easier.
Jim: Oh no, that would be great.
Pam: It costs $75.
Jim: Oh, hm…well, maybe the CIA can send a helicopter.

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