Reviews For After the War
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Reviewer: NobleLandMermaid Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: December 14, 2020 07:51 pm Title: After the War

While I’m not one of those fans that thinks Jim’s pranks “terrorized” or even really bullied Dwight (the show needs humor, people!) the snowball always bothered me since it was such a line crossed (I’m honestly not really sure what the writers were doing with Jim in S7, he’s frequently quite out of character). Dwight dishing it back 100x harder was in line for Dwight but still, the whole thing was dark and mean-spirited.

All that said, this is a great fix-it for the iffy choices the show made in this ep. Pam calling Jim out on the snowball is something the actually episode would have benefited greatly from and you write a conversation I can easily imagine, and the voices are all great in the mediation session. The show kinda weirdly portrayed Holly as ineffective HR rep so it’s nice to have her here displaying that she’s quite good at her job. Great work, 3V!

Author's Response:

Many thanks!

Season 7 is one of the weaker ones for me, only redeeming itself with the well-executed conclusion Michael's story.  (Also, Threat Level Midnight.)  And yeah, the episode just made me squirm because, while it's certainly in-character for Dwight (and his guerrilla warfare tactics and lines are just that galaxy-brain), him not knowing when to stop like Jim does just leaves him traumatized.  Like, Dwight deserves the occasional W, but not like this.

I appreciate the compliments on my additions!  To me, Holly was never ineffective, per se, she was just in the show for so little that we had no idea how she operated like Toby did.  She's kind, personable, respectable, and level-headed, all the qualities of a good HRR... *but* her goofing off with Michael was more fun to write, which I get.  And yeah, Pam should have said something then and there... come to think of it, if she did, she probably would have talked Dwight out of it and there wouldn't be a B-plot.

As for the treatment of Jim in S7, to me it's only the middle of the season where he gets weird, especially with that third-grade friend of his showing up at the seminar.  Literally why.  I think they tried to do more of S6 where it delved into the character's shortcomings and have him learn from them... but the co-manager arc pretty much accomplished that.  And while co-manager!Jim is my least favorite Jim, at least it was essential for his character development.  I think they ran out of stuff for him to do before Phillip H.  Pam's line in "New Guys" rings truer than one might think, it seems.

Thanks for the review! 

Reviewer: Dernhelm Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: December 14, 2020 12:20 am Title: After the War

Lovely story! I like that Pam didn't blindly justify her husband's behavior and could call him out on his action, but at the same time - remained a supporting and loving wife and friend.
And further discussion was also great. I like it when Jim and Dwight could be... well, not actually best friends forever, but on good terms and allies. Thank you!
P.S. I watched this episode just once, and my brain mercifully erased most of the episode from my memory, leaving only a soft and fluffy JAM gift exchange. Maybe, that's for the better.

Author's Response:

Thank you very much!

Yeah, it was... not a fun one.  But that, Erin and Jada made up for it.  And as much as I hate the prank... good Lord, Dwight had some great moments during that.

As much as Dwight postures that they're enemies, they're technically allies, and I'm really happy that shone through in this.  Also, I doubt Pam would in canon either.  She's the only one not laughing and is actually shocked by Jim's actions in that scene, and I wanted her to call him out on it, albeit gently.

Thanks for the review!

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: October 11, 2020 06:16 pm Title: After the War

Nice way to get a little more into this episode. Was Jim a little to harsh for gravel? Maybe, but again he didn't know it was in there. Dwight was overboard for his response. Jim has a point, none of his pranks ever drew blood. Dwight was being Dwight and let his little bit of power go to his head.

Nice job on Pam cooling him down on the car ride home. Also good on Holly for facilitating an amicable resolution. Andy doesn't know what he's in for. When Dwight and Jim to team up, they're usually unstoppable. So nicely done.

Author's Response:


As I've said, I love Dwight and Jim was in the wrong there, but the pure severity of the response was a lot.  I mean, Dwight lost feeling in his fingers and groin, that's excessive.  It fits the bill for a Schrute, though.

Holly's ever the voice of reason with a fun streak, so of course she'd have to step in and corral them just a tad.  Andy's just oblivious and a bit of a jerk so he needs a little humbling like Dwight and Jim got.  And Pam drops in to put everything into perspective.

Thanks for the review! 

Reviewer: darjeelingandcoke Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: October 11, 2020 04:17 pm Title: After the War

Okay, fic first, episode thoughts later.

I love the touch about Dwight not being able to restrain himself from coming down and gloating in person, Bond villain style - very, VERY Dwight.

And Pam's car talk with Jim was important and in character. We rarely see Pam push back on Jim's pranks, but we do get the impression she feels that way a couple times - I think it makes a lot of sense that she might be saving some of those talks for a) key moments where Jim has clearly crossed the line and b) some legitimate no-cameras no-coworkers privacy. And it's also very Pam that she brings it back around to the real deep-seated reasons WHY Dwight has so much trouble letting stuff go - which I think are on point, and it makes a lot of sense that Pam has an easier time seeing them than Jim. (It's always struck me in trying to make sense of the Dwight-Jim relationship that they by and large get along better when Dwight is happier... and that for all his protestations to the contrary, he spends a lot of the series not being especially happy.)

The ending is genius. Uniting Jim and Dwight against a common enemy is always high comedy, and honestly, that mutual enemy probably should've been Andy more than it was in canon. And this is very Andy - he WANTS to be included, but he doesn't quite get that the moment has passed.

Re: end notes. I wouldn't quite put myself in the "I wanna Watch Scott's Tots instead" camp (if only because I can't get beyond the part of Scott's Tots where they sort of suggest that Michael did a good thing????), but I'm with you on Classy Christmas being pretty uncomfortable viewing. The snowball fight is just too harsh to be funny, and while yes, Michael has a point, it's kind of hard to imagine the vastly more mature Holly marrying the dude who does this like a few months from now.

I have mixed feelings as to whether or not Jim deserved the comeuppance - I hate watching it, but I do think there's a certain logic behind it. Jim gets almost all the wins in Jim vs. Dwight, but when Dwight does get a rare win it tends to be correspondingly big - physically harmful or legitimately financially damaging like in Diversity Day, as opposed to annoying. In that way, there's a sort of balance. I'm not on board with it, but I get it, and I think it fits with Dwight's character - he's a guy without much of a sense of proportion.

Unrelated: that was a fun moment for Pam to break out the vaudeville, but is there any explanation for Pam's weird forays in vaudeville humor in Seasons 6 and 7? I mean, it produces some good moments, but on my last rewatch it kinda struck me as out of nowhere.

Author's Response:

This reply is gonna be all kinds of disorganized, LOL.

That's the thing about "Scott's Tots", I don't have the *highest* cringe tolerance, but my favorite episode is "Dinner Party" so there you go.  It's an episode one can watch if they have a high tolerance.  ("They're lithium!" kills me every time.)  However, no one except Pam and Erin are the least bit likable in it (and Jada but she's a little girl).  When you've previously seen the characters evolve and become better over time, only to see them become so nasty to each other IN THE CHRISTMAS EPISODE is just... sad.

I 100% agree with you on how perfectly in-character Dwight's snowball war is.  Jim deserved a comeuppance, and Dwight serving it means that he just doesn't know when to stop (as Jim says traumatized).  Dwight's "war general" mentality is what makes him think that it's okay to make someone fear for their lives, or take away a huge portion of their wages, because he believes he's just making a jab.  What I wanted to present here is he's grown to have *some* self-awareness and can be humbled to the point where he can realize "Oh shoot, that was a bit much, wasn't it?"  Besides, the talking head Dwight scenes are just pure gold.

As perceptive as Jim is, I feel Pam is as well, just in different ways.  She's known Dwight for longer and better at picking up one's emotional state.  That's why she was so shocked and annoyed when Jim threw the snowball: Jim is not this unjustly mean, and Dwight's response isn't justifiable, but nonetheless inevitable, because she knows how he'd respond emotionally.

On Dwight again: he's often had the mentality that emotion is weak, so when he actually expresses himself to Jim, he starts to understand him better.  Dwight slowly becomes a more empathetic person, which benefits Jim because he can easier express his own emotions as well.  That's how they become a dream team.  Poor Andy's not quick on the uptake, and that can get the better of him.  Jim and Dwight are in a different stage after the snowballs were thrown, which gives them a reason to ban together once again.

Lastly, my assumption with Pam and vaudeville is that she's a big fan of old Hollywood.  She came in dressed as Charlie Chapman at Pratt in S5, so that's an indicator that she loves black-and-white movies.

Thanks for the review!

Reviewer: DoomGoose Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: October 11, 2020 02:46 pm Title: After the War

I enjoyed your take on this episode, and I can't help but agree with most of the points you raise! Gravel in a snowball fight is no joke!

Pam and Holly being the voices of reason here was very on brand, and I'm glad you had Jim and Dwight work everythjng out in the end.

Author's Response:

Thank you!

The best part is when you rewatch that clip of Jim hurling the snowball, you see Pam's the only one not laughing and is honestly taken aback.  She's Jim's partner in crime, after all, so she knows when he goes too far.  And Holly's basically if Michael was an HR rep; it's ironic his worst nightmare fits the description of the woman of his dreams.

And, yeah, Jim and Dwight's rivalry is one for the ages, but as much as they deny it their alliance is one for the history books.

Thanks for the review!

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