Date: August 26, 2019 10:51 pm Title: Say Something ('m Not Giving Up On You)
First of all, anytime of year is a good time of year for a Christmas-esque story! This felt very in tune with Season 9 for me (& by that I mean it left me a little sad). I wish Jim had the confidence (for want of a better term) to have these difficult conversations with Pam at the time. It may have resulted in a slightly less angsty time for the pair of them. This fit perfectly in that he left everything that really needed to be said unsaid... Playing it out in his mind doesn’t really get him/them anywhere.
This was lovely in that aching, reality sort of way. I don’t typically go for Season 9 stories, but I’m glad I read this one.
Date: August 25, 2019 06:53 pm Title: Say Something ('m Not Giving Up On You)
Well I love Dwight Christmas partly because it’s one of the few S9 episodes that finishes with Jim and Pam in a solidly happy spot. Now you’ve written this and angstified all that up, so thanks for that!
But seriously, these are exactly the conversations Jim and Pam needed to be having in S9 and clearly were not. I like the exploration of Jim’s fears about Athlead and the acknowledgement that he does depend on Pam being right there all the time and is worried about navigating a new job without her. That said, his way of facing these fears is keeping them to himself, only present a happy face and avoid any disagreements, rather like how we see Pam dealing with everything. Not surprising that our pair who are always so in sync are in sync with their unhealthy coping mechanisms!
While I feel for Jim during his monologue, I do notice he’s not really fully considering things from Pam’s side, he *knows* he is asking a lot from her, but he isn’t quite *understanding* just how much and how tough it’s gonna be for her. And that’s partly seems to be if he does think about that too much he’ll talk himself right out of Athlead.
You also picked up and expanded on a troublesome trait I saw in Jim in S9 (and other points in the series too): which is him keeping things from Pam because he’s so afraid of Pam’s reaction not being the “ideal” one. Though he never did it maliciously or intentionally, Jim kind of set up Pam to fail a lot during S9 and this was one of the main ways.
So in short, even if you made an otherwise happy JAM episode angsty for me, I really love the exploration of these internal issues that contribute to their rift. And I 2nd warriors suggestion of having a follow up around Paper Airplanes with them actually addressing these issues.
Date: August 24, 2019 04:49 pm Title: Say Something ('m Not Giving Up On You)
Lots of great introspection here AG. The deleted scenes with both Jim and Pam add a lot of nuiance to the episode. The way you expounded on it with Jim watching the reunion was a great catalyst to get him to return to the office for the rest of the party.
I think it can be a challenge to write S9 fics. You hinted at some of the reasons here. In S9 the conflict that Jim and Pam face is of their own making rather than more external forces. I loved Jim's confession. That he needs to explain himself to her since he knows how she deflects things. Real communication has always been an area of struggle for Jim and Pam. This is a good attempt on Jim's part to break through that, but there's still a few barriers in the way.
Like you said, the hole is still there. So yes Pam is supportive of him here, but even this big speech of his is really only a band-aid on a broken bone. It's something yes, and clearly they're not giving up on each other, but the deeper issues still remain.
Great job at getting all that out. If this were to continue I'd love to read your take on the night after when they really connect again in "Paper Airplanes." Maybe see why those good mornings caused Pam to blush and smile so much.