It’s May 19th, over a week since I made the biggest mistake of my life.
The mistake wasn’t breaking up with Roy. Nor was it moving out of that apartment. Nor was finding a new place (even though I had to rely on my family to do so, which I hate). I don’t regret any of those at all.
The mistake was letting Jim Halpert walk away.
When I got home (thanks again, Angela), I saw Roy, on the couch, in front of the TV, beer in hand. I hesitated to tell him the truth because, well, what do I say? How does one even address this? “Sorry I kissed my best friend behind your back?” I know Roy, I know how he’ll react. And that beer bottle will turn things from bad to worse.
But then I thought about what Jim asked, “Are you really gonna marry him?” Am I? Why? What’s the point? I’m clearly not happy with him. To be honest, some of it isn’t even on Roy (though most of it is). We’re not who we were nine years ago, we’ve matured into completely different people. I’ve fallen for Jim, and every time I convince myself I haven’t, I fail. He understands me better than I understand myself sometimes, and I still didn’t understand why I said no other than “I’m with Roy.”
I was suddenly shaken by the fact that I was considering splitting up my nine–year relationship after everything we’ve been through…
I can’t anymore.
I’m ending this.
I sat down next to him and told him the truth: Jim’s confession, the kiss, all of it.nbsp; I made sure to emphasize he initiated both. He took it… surprisingly well, all things considered. “Jim came onto you? God, what a creep. Damn, I thought he was cool.”
“Still, I wanted to come clean and apologize. I just… I was thrown off guard.” I really was.
“I mean, it’s not like you kissed him back, right?” I remained silent. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t bring myself to lie anymore. “Right?” Still nothing. His face falls. “Did… Did you just… cheat on me with Halpert?”
I slowly nod, trying not to break down.
“Pammy, you can’t be serious.” It’s one thing to see him angry, it’s something else entirely to see him upset. It broke my heart, and it’s just now dawning on me that that’s one of the reasons I stayed as long as I did.
All I could bring myself to say is a quiet “I… I’m so sorry, Roy.”
“So what, the wedding’s off now?” he asked, the heartbreak evident in his aggression.
I wanted to burst into tears. With a small, even quieter “I guess so.”
I called it off. I actually called the wedding off.
He scoffed, “I can’t fucking believe this.” He was getting more and more pissed as he stood up. “Where the hell is this coming from?!”
“Roy, I’m sorry, I—”
“Oh no, Pam, I’M sorry! Guess I’m not good enough for you!” I can’t help but feel sorry for the man. Wouldn’t I react the same way?
And here come the tears, “No, Roy, that’s not what this is about! It’s just, I…” oh, screw it, “I’ve fallen in love with him.” He’s silent as he looks to his left away from me, an indication of the calm before the storm. “Again, I can’t apologize enough, because I know that’s not fair to you, especially after everything we’ve been through, a-and I couldn’t bring myself to break up with you because—”
“Did you fuck him?” The question was so pointedly vitriolic it caught me off guard.
I was terrified, “Roy, I promise you, we didn’t do anything else. Nothing happened before tonight.”
“As if that’s supposed to make me feel better?!”
“Roy, I’m not excusing what we did—”
“It doesn’t FUCKING matter what you did, Pam!!” He chucks his beer bottle across the room in time with the cuss and it explodes. Well there went all my sympathy. He’s a goddamn adult, yet he was still acting like he did a decade ago.
I stood up in a panic, “You’re gonna wake up the whole neighborhood!”
“Well, put that on the list of why I’m a fucking jackass!” He walked to the bedroom to grab his keys, and I quickly followed. “Where does he live?”
“You’ve been to his place, where does he live?”
“I’m not telling you that.”
“Why? You wanna save your new boy toy’s ass?” Yup, he’s drunk all right. “Oh, don’t worry Pammy, all I’m gonna do is tell him how happy I am that I kept you warm for him!”
I was in such a panic I ignored the cutting insult, “I’m trying to prevent you from doing something we both know you’ll regret!”
“You wanna know what I regret, Pam? The past nine years of my life!”
…And that’s the straw.
I didn’t care whether or not he said this in the heat of the moment, Roy was vocalizing the same thought I had after Jim walked away, and I let him know, all sympathy replaced with annoyance, disdain, and fury.
“So do I.”
He stopped and laughed bitterly. “Wow. Glad to know I was being strung along all this time.”
This ignited a fire in me that I never thought I had. “You were strung along?”
I didn’t have the energy or patience at that moment to explain the ludicrousness of that statement to him. “Move,” I shoved past him and grabbed a suitcase from the closet.
“Christ alive,” he rolled his eyes. “You’re not seriously shacking up with the guy?”
“Nope,” I answered shortly, placing the bag on our bed, “Staying with Izzy. Then apartment hunting.”
He scoffs, “Fine. Let’s just forget it. You’re probably just drunk. Let me know when this is all out of your system,” he says, about to walk out of the bedroom.
It was my turn to roll my eyes as I unzipped the suitcase. “Of course, you think I’m drunk. The wedding’s off, remember?”
He turns back around, “You were serious about that?”
“Yes, Roy. Yes, I was,” I snidely commented as I walked to grab some clothes.
“Pam, you’re being ridiculous.” As if the camel’s back wasn’t broken enough.
“You wanna know what’s ridiculous, Roy? A man who throws bottles when he’s angry like he doesn’t have any self-control. Ridiculous is a man who thinks sex counts as a Valentine’s Day present. Ridiculous is a man ogling at other women when their girlfriend — oh, excuse me, fiancé — is right fucking there.”
“Oh, don’t you DARE turn this around on me! You’re the one who flirted with Halpert for YEARS and then made out with him!”
“None of that was flirting—!”
“Friends, flirts, whatever! None of that fucking matters after you kissed him back! I ask him to keep an eye on you and you two suck face the minute I drive off! How do you think that makes me feel, huh?!”
The guilt hits me like a train. I stop packing and face him, needing to come clean, “I’m sorry,” I lament, “you’re right. I hurt you tonight. Jim and I both. We never should have done that.”
“Damn right you shouldn’t have!”
“But Jim’s not why I’m calling it off.”
“It’s the truth!”
“Whatever reason could there possibly be?!”
“Roy, there’s a part of me that’ll always love you, okay, but we’re not meant to be! We never were! And for years now, you’ve been selfish, a-and jealous, and insecure, and—!”
“How long has that asshole been saying that about me—?!”
“SHUT THE FUCK UP AND LET ME FINISH!”*
He flinched, clearly scared of what to say or do next. It felt so damn good to see him on the opposite end for once.
“I shouldn’t have to confide in someone else rather than my fiancé for me to express how I feel! I shouldn’t have to rely on a fiancé who discourages me from pursuing something I want because it’s convenient for him! I shouldn’t have to come home to a fiancé who doesn’t even acknowledge me half the time, let alone set a date for our wedding after nearly FOUR YEARS! You want the list of why you’re a FUCKING JACKASS, Roy Anderson? There you go! There’s the list in black and fucking white!”
His face became stark white and riddled with guilt. I felt bad, I really did…
“Do you not realize how badly I wanted this to work?!” …but I pressed on.
The anger hides my tears, just barely, as I kept ranting. “I pushed down my feelings for Jim because I saw a future with you, Roy! I really did! But we’re nine years going and it’s like we’re still right out of high school! And the worst part is it’s all my fault! I just sat on my ass and complained instead of doing anything about it! Tonight I realized that I’m tired of not being happy, and I haven’t been for years now!” I continue yelling as I grab more stuff. “Oh, and just so you know, I turned Jim down, twice, because I thought I should stay in an unhealthy, unhappy, disaster of a marriage instead of moving the fuck on! THAT’S why the wedding’s off, Roy! Now get the FUCK out so I can pack my bag and leave!”
He was taken aback by this new sense of confidence I gained, and honestly so was I. The gears were finally turning in his head, as mine was getting lightheaded from all my yelling. “…Pam—”
And he did. He actually did. For once, I was proud.
After slamming and locking the door, I leaned behind it and just crumbled, sliding to the floor with my head in my hands, satisfied that 10,000 pounds just fell from my shoulders.
After my mini-breakdown, I packed some underwear, work/casual outfits, toiletries, my sketchbook, pencils, and charcoal. That took 30 minutes. Thankfully, Izzy texted me back, agreeing to let me stay at her place for a few days while I get back on my feet. The following hour was me calling my folks, Penny, and Joyce Anderson. Mom, Dad, and Penny lovingly agreed to come down, help me find my own place; I told Joyce that I’m sorry for breaking her son’s heart, who comforted me by saying I’ll always be her family and that God has a plan for both of us.
Throughout this entire ordeal, I couldn’t stop crying.
I’ve calmed down after a while. I walk back to the living room in a casual outfit, hair down, waiting for Izzy to pick me up. He was back on the couch, in front of the TV, another beer in hand. It’s the only activity that seems to give him any peace anymore. He looked so… broken. I slowly sat next to him, needing to say something, “I’m so sorry, Roy. I really am… for everything. I never meant—”
“Don’t apologize, Pammy,” he began, his regret evident, “You’re right. I’m pissed about Halpert, but I get it. And if you want him instead, fine; I’m not gonna kill him.” He’s… vulnerable. I’ve never seen him like this. “I’m a fuck-up, and I’ve never treated you right. And you deserve better. But… I can learn to be better. I-I can change. I’ll prove it to you, I can. I’ll do whatever you need me to do in whatever way you want it. Please,” I can hear the earnestness and desperation in his voice, “just… give this another chance.”
I sigh, appreciating the gesture yet knowing that it won’t make a difference, “I believe you can change, Roy,” I assure him, “And I’ll always care about you. But… I can’t keep doing this. To either of us.” Finally, after four long years, I took off the ring and placed it on the coffee table; another 10,000 pound weight is free from my finger. “It’s over.”
He’s crushed. All this information hit him like a train. Again, I don’t blame him either, I suffered the same thing, not six hours ago. The next thing I knew he embraced me, beginning to cry, and I joined him.
“I’m so sorry,” he apologized into my hair.
“I’m sorry, too,” I replied through my tears. I honestly never meant to hurt him. I know that’s how breakups are, yet there’s a part of me that, even now, that still sees him as the Roy I once knew. It’s why I stayed. But the way he’s been acting… of course, it was inevitable. The writing was on the wall for years: he’s not that Roy anymore, he can’t be, and that realization finally caught up to the both of us. But I never wanted it to come to this, this wasn’t the right way to do it. In fact, this is the exact wrong way to do it.
I just broke two guys’ hearts in the span of two hours. A feat that only Heather Chandler would celebrate. God.
After a few more minutes of mourning, we gave each other one last chaste kiss, both of us knowing that this is it. As I slowly let go and got up, he looked at me, his eyes tired and sad. “If you ever need anything.”
“Thank you,” I responded with a small smile as I walked away, never looking back. It was the hardest bandage I’ve ever had to rip off, but at least I’m healing.
I got to work the next morning, tired from all the crying I did at Izzy’s. I saw Ryan sitting at Jim’s desk, figuring he was out for the day, understanding why. About an hour later, Kelly walked to my desk.
“Oh my God, Pam, I am so sorry,” she consoled me, surprisingly genuine.
“Why?” I asked.
She gasps, “You don’t know?” She looked around to see if anyone was listening and leaned down as if to gossip (like gossip’s not a daily occurrence in this damn office). “Jim transferred to Stamford.”
I was shaken to my core, “W-what?”
“Yeah, I overheard Toby talk to Jan about it, and I feel so bad because you two were, like, best friends and hung out all the time. Apparently, he talked to Jan about some promotion…”
I drowned her overly-long explanation out as my heart sunk. He left me. He left me because I pushed him away. I should have told him the truth, but I chickened out. And now he’s gone. The moment I could be with my best friend, the one who knows me better than anyone else, has passed.
It’s all my fault.
I tried to focus on work, but as soon as my usual lunch break rolled around, I just couldn’t. When I walked to Michael’s office, I noticed he’s kinda downtrodden himself. I told him that my grandmother died and I needed time. I could tell he knew there was more to it than that, so he wrapped me in a hug as I just cried on his shoulder for a bit. He let me leave for the day and advised me to “Get yourself some ‘Haygen Days’ and relax, that’s an order.” Michael’s obliviousness gave me some comfort; it was the first and only time I smiled that day.
As I walked out, I sat on the bench in the hallway, still crying, still overcome with emotion, trying to take in the news. I saw Dwight walk up to me, sensing I was upset.
“Who did this to you?” he asked, determined, ready to defend me, “Where is he?”
“What?” I asked, puzzled, “No, it’s not… it’s nothing,” I claimed. He took out his handkerchief and handed it to me. “Thanks.” He slowly sat next to me. “You don’t need to stay here—”
“I know.” He put his arm around me as I continued crying. As gullible, arrogant, and infuriating as he is… Dwight was there for me, just like Michael.
“So you’re PMSing pretty bad, huh?” He’ll get there.
The following six days were an exercise in misery. Having to move out all of my stuff, having to avoid Roy at work, having to rely on my family to provide for me because of my spur-of-the-moment decision, having to not look five feet in front of me when I’m sitting at my desk so I don’t feel like shit once again.
By Monday, I didn’t even cry anymore. I just became numb.
Now, it’s three in the morning. Of course I can’t sleep. I’m lying here thinking about everything I’ve done wrong, how I deserve it. I deserve to be single. I deserve losing him. I deserve
I’m not wallowing in self-pity and refusing to a damn thing about it anymore. If I had the guts to break up with Roy, I have the guts to call Jim and tell him the truth.
I’m going for it. He hates me, he won’t wanna talk to me, at least he’ll know. So I get my laptop and look up his office number; I’m not calling his cell because I doubt he’d answer. I leave him a message, and of course I cry through it. Whatever. I don’t care anymore.
He needs to know.
If he rejects me like I did him, so be it. At least he’ll know. And he’ll hear it from me.
I fall back asleep until my alarm wakes me up at 7:00.
*(I kicked myself for thinking ‘That’s what she said’ immediately after saying that. Thanks, Michael.)
3.01 “Gay Witch Hunt”
“…You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do that.”
“Me too. … I think we’re just drunk.”
“No, I’m not drunk. Are you drunk?”
“No. … Jim—”
“You really gonna marry him?”
And that’s how Ryan Howard became a real boy.
Jim’s transfer to Stamford (and subsequent promotion) meant Ryan got promoted as well to Junior Sales Associate at the Scranton Branch of Dunder Mifflin. He’s certainly hyped to flaunt his new title at his high school reunion, right after he wipes deskmate and (self-proclaimed) Assistant Regional Manager Dwight Schrute’s fingernail clippings off his desk. That’ll show ’em.
Meanwhile, Receptionist Pamela Beesly continues staring at Ryan’s desk, lamenting her decision once more.
Though she looks on, remorseful and downtrodden, her physical appearance seems to have improved. She’s still in her usual attire, but her skin and hair have more color to them. Her usual hairstyle is slightly shorter and, while still curly, lacks all the frizziness it used to have.
The whole situation still hits her hard. She honestly never meant to hurt either of them, but she couldn’t lie to herself anymore. She was tired of her relationship with her ex-fiancé, drained of energy. Yet she couldn’t bring herself to admit it to Jim, the man she loves, until he was already gone. Though time worked its magic and healed all those wounds, they can still be reopened.
Naturally, her boss, Scranton Branch Manager Michael Scott, makes things worse off-camera when he suggests she should get a body pillow.
She’s not the only one upset about Jim’s departure.
“Ji-him is go-o-one,” Dwight laments through his tears to the doc crew, “He’s go-one, I miss him so much! Buhuh… Oh, I cry myself to sleep, Jim! Buhuhuh— False. I do not miss him.”
“No!” Michael presses to Human Resources Representative Toby Flenderson in his office the next day, “That is the fun of this place. I call everybody ‘f**gy’, Why would anyone find that offensive?”
“Okay, I think Oscar would just like if you used ‘lame’ or something like that,” Toby ever-so-gently refutes.
“That’s what f**gy means!”
“No, not really.”
Michael’s groan of exasperation means he’s as clueless as ever. He (usually) never goes out of his way to be offensive, but much like a middle schooler, he’s never really considered the phrase ‘time and place’. Case in point, when Accountant Oscar Marinez mentioned he prefers Shakespeare in Love over Die Hard, Michael found his opinion to be lame, and thus, f**gy. There’s nothing wrong with that—
Toby informs Michael that Oscar is actually gay. Now it sets in. “And, obviously he hopes he can count on your discretion,” he advises him.
He reflects on this revelation with the crew, “I would have never called him that if I knew. You don’t… you don’t call retarded people ‘retards’. It’s bad taste.” Okay, good. “You call your friends ‘retards’ when they’re acting retarded. And I consider Oscar a friend.” There it is.
He decides to walk up to Oscar, offering a sincere apology, telling him that he doesn’t understand what it’s like, and invites him for a beer. Oscar, very forgiving but clearly in a panic, accepts the offer. He sits back down… the other accountants staring at him, knowingly.
Michael’s apology took place at the copier.
Oscar was just outed.
While his fellow Accountant Kevin Malone just giggles to the crew, Head Accountant Angela Martin tells them that “It explains so much.” Oscar tries to cover it, lying to the crew, but then he decides to embrace himself, revealing in front of the camera — and, subsequently, millions of viewers — he is gay. Kevin’s still giggling about it.
Cut to Stamford, Connecticut, where the branch’s Head Sales Representative James Halpert is on the phone with a client. “I can’t say whether Dunder Mifflin paper is less flammable, sir, but I can assure you that it is certainly not more flammable.”
Jim’s certainly changed for the better. He’s improved his eating habits, leading to a better figure, and has gained some muscle. He’s cleanly shaven, and his hair, while disheveled as ever, is at least more organized, slightly more coiffed, the bangs not as pronounced. His wardrobe has not changed, the only difference being he now wears his suit jacket throughout the workday.
“Why did I transfer to Stamford?” he answers the crew, “I think that’s pretty obvious… I got promoted!” Yeah, that’s it. “And you can’t beat that view… right?” You really can’t. It’s a blessing and a curse. He can’t help but look on, thinking about her, wondering what’s going on at that reception desk, a smile on his face.
Fellow Sales Representative Andrew Bernard, his ‘desk neighbor’ for lack of a better term, interrupts Jim’s running thoughts. “Hey, Big Tuna!” Andy greets, “You’re single right?”
“Mm-hm, yeah, I am.”
Andy gestures across the room to a young blond woman getting herself coffee, “She’s pretty hot, huh?” Jim shrugs in agreement. “She’s completely crazy. Steer clear, Big Tuna. Head for open waters.”
Jim doesn’t know how to respond but “…Okay.”
Jim just looks at the camera, weirded out, as usual; he can’t help but sense the irony in that statement.
(It doesn’t help that his usual ‘Jim schtick’ is used later on when Andy wonders what happens when you google ‘Google’. Jim goes ahead and does so, but Andy says was supposed to ponder the idea instead. Apparently “Big Tuna” removed the fun.)
“I ate a tuna sandwich on my first day,” Jim explains to the crew, “So, Andy started calling me Big Tuna.” He doubts anyone there actually knows his real name. He’s yet to meet Pete Miller; they’ll share the same struggle.
“Big Tuna is a super ambitious guy… you know?” Andy tells them, acting as if he’s known him for years instead of four months, “Cut-your-throat-to-get-ahead kind of guy, but I mean I’m not threatened by him.” Again, irony. “I went to Cornell, you ever heard of it?” he chuckles, “I graduated in four years. I never studied once. I was drunk the whole time, and I sang in the a cappella group ‘Here Comes Treble’.” He has just presented his entire autobiography.
Josh Porter, Stamford’s Regional Manager, meets with the staff in the conference room. “So, end of day, we are going to have a little diversity policy refresher, because of some more problems at the Scranton branch.” Jim turns to the camera as if to say ‘Big shock.’ “And I have a list of business startups I got from the chamber,” Josh brags, the rest of the branch excited, “Yes, I am going to need someone to cold call them.” Jim, naturally, goes for it.
The camera pans to his fellow Sales Representative Karen Filipelli, looking at Jim suspiciously… almost longingly, as well.
“Jim’s nice enough,” Karen shares to the crew, “I don’t— I don’t know how well he’s fitting in here. He’s always… looking at the camera, like this,” she replicates the ‘Jim Look’ with superb accuracy, “What is that?” She has a point.
Michael consults with Dwight on who is gay and who isn’t. Dwight believes Oscar’s not gay since, well, he’s not wearing women’s clothing. He also advises Michael that he can just assume everyone is and not say anything offensive (a surprisingly apt if not odd suggestion from Dwight), but Michael doesn’t want to treat everyone like they’re gay. He asks about Angela, and Dwight doesn’t think she is; Michael can see her with another woman.
The knowing grin on Dwight’s face confirms otherwise.
He offers to Michael that Jim mentioned something about a ‘gaydar’.
Jim, having no work to do at the moment, decides that he needs to promptly disclose as much information regarding the coveted gaydar as he can to the two Scranton employees over the phone. “What’s a ‘gaydar’? … Oh, oh, gaydar, yes! No, uh, I think they have it at Sharper Image,” he can barely hide his laughter, “… Oh, you know what? I could check for you. … No problem,” he fake types on the keyboard, “It’s sold out!” he claims, about to lose it, “Yeah sorry about that, that’s a bummer.”
Jim really missed that. It’s not the only thing he misses.
Michael and Dwight express their disappointment. Dwight tries Brookstone instead.
As Pam looks into Michael’s office window, trying to hold in her laughter, privy to what’s going on, Warehouse Worker Roy Anderson enters the office with two plates of food covered in tinfoil. Her face suddenly falls, though she tries to hide it for him.
Roy has had a rough go of it. He’s gained a few pounds, grown a scruffy beard, and now constantly sporting bloodshot eyes. Still quite an improvement over how he was a few months ago.
“Chicken and fish,” he offers, faking a smile.
She deliberates, “Chicken.”
He hands her the dish, figuring out what to say next, “So you havin’ a good day?”
“Excellent,” she says genuinely, “thanks.”
“Good, glad,” he answers genuinely. A beat. “Okay.” He walks off.
As she turns back to the computer, the camera zooms in on her left hand… ringless.
She broke up with Roy.
“Yeah, I didn’t go through with the wedding,” she confirms to the crew.
Her chair’s the only one next to the outside window of the conference room.
“I got cold feet a few weeks before,” she continues, “And… I can’t really explain it, I just had to get out of that relationship.” She really did. “We still had to pay for all the food. So we froze it. But,” she continues, her mood brightening, “I’m-I’m doing well. I have my own apartment, and I’m taking art classes… and I have lunch for the next five weeks.” It’s best to find the silver linings.
Down at the warehouse, Roy shares his own experience of the past four months with them. “After Pam dumped me, I um, I kinda stopped taking care of myself there,” he shamefully admits, “and uh, I hit bottom when uh, drunk driving arrest.” The editors make sure to slip in the mugshot, much to Roy’s embarrassment. “I’ve been working out and um, you know, I’m not gonna take her for granted.” After a brief reflection of what he’s become, he now knows what to do next. “I gotta win her back.”
Sales Representative Stanley Hudson now owns two toasters.
Meanwhile, Oscar’s day goes from bad to monumentally worse when Kelly Kapoor from Customer Service stops by, “That is so cool that you’re gay. I totally underestimated you.” She walks off, leaving him flabbergasted.
“Yes, I’m super-cool,” Oscar informs the crew, “I am an accountant at a failing paper supply company, Scranton. Much like, um… Sir Ian McKellen.”
Angela, meanwhile, can’t help expressing her disdain to the crew, right after she uses hand sanitizer around the filthy heathen. “Sure, sometimes I watch Will and Grace… and I want to throw up. It’s terribly loud. I do like it sometimes when Harry Connick Jr. is on. He’s so talented.” They’ve just learned her celebrity crush.
Meredith Palmer of Supplier Relations walks over to Angela’s desk and uses the hand sanitizer herself… and licks it off her hand. Gotta get that buzz somehow.
Jim decides to get back at Andy because of how annoying he is (naturally), so he dusts off an old classic. With some lime Jell-O mix, hot water, a large bowl, and Andy’s calculator, he replicates probably his biggest achievement in Dunder Mifflin.
It does not go over well.
“Oh-kay,” Andy begins after he discovers the dish, “Who put my calculator in Jell-O?” Karen looks on, curious, while Jim sports a satisfied smirk. “Good one. …But uh, seriously. Guys, who did this?” No one pipes up. Andy stands, trying to control himself. “Seriously guys,” he tries to smile it off, “who did this?” Jim’s still wearing that smirk. “I need to know who put my calculator in Jell-O,” Andy finishes as he strides over to a trash bin, “or I’m gonna lose” he kicks the bin across the room, “MY FREAKIN’ MIND!”
The fear in Jim’s eyes as he looks back at his computer screen means he’s learned a powerful lesson: one size does not fit all.
Enter Vice President of Sales Janet Levinson, who brightly waves at Oscar, trying to prevent a potential lawsuit; she’s already had enough of Michael, and it’s not even noon. “You know, it’s amazing to me that in this day and age, you could be so… obtuse a-about sexual orientation.”
“I watch The L Word,” Michael defends, “Okay? I watch, ‘Queer as F***’,”
“That’s not what it’s called.”
Toby and Jan inform him how serious coming out for a gay person is. It’s a significant moment where they can express who they are. And Oscar’s outing means he’s being discriminated against by his coworkers, primarily Angela.
“I think Angela might be gay,” Michael points out, “Could Oscar and Angela be having a gay affair?”
(That sentence is an instance of foreshadowing for the ages.)
After another 15 seconds of Michael still not getting it, Jan makes it perfectly clear, “Michael, your immaturity is extremely disappointing and may even lead to a lawsuit which is the absolute last thing this company needs right now. Do you understand?”
Michael announces his new mission to the crew, “The company has made it my responsibility today to put an end to 100,000 years of being weirded out by gays.” Truly a noble cause.
“Am I the first gay man you ever knew?” Oscar asks him in his office later on, clearly annoyed.
“Trick question!” he answers, “’Cause you can’t always tell, so… how would I know. Is that the right answer?” Oscar’s already done.
It gets even worse when Pam reveals that Dwight is watching gay porn on a company computer. Per Michael’s request. Doesn’t matter the porn, it’s alll goood!
Oscar, wanting to fade out of existence, shoves a disgusted Angela out of the way to get to his desk; a vengeful Dwight needs to be corralled by Michael, who aggressively sends everyone to the conference room. Because a conference room meeting is always how these things end.
Michael begins, “Did you know that gay used to mean happy?” Here we go. “When I was growing up it meant lame. And now it means a man, who makes love… to other men.” Oscar’s so tired. “We’re all homos! Homosapiens.”
Ryan turns to Pam with a smirk, expecting some sort of back-and-forth, but she just nods politely in agreement; it’s not the same.
“Gays aren’t necessarily who you think they are, people,” Michael continues, “I mean anybody could be gay. Businessmen. Like… antique dealers, or hairdressers, or… accountants.” Oscar’s so damn tired. “Oscar, why don’t you take this opportunity to officially come out, to everybody here. However, you want to do it. Go ahead. Stand up.”
“I’m doing this for you.”
…Oscar slowly gets up and comes out to the room, “Yes I’m gay. And I didn’t plan on sharing that part of my life with you today, so… whatever. Can I sit down now?”
Meredith tells the crew how upset she is, “Why are all the best looking single men always gay?”
Creed Bratton of Quality Assurance, however, is more accepting as he gives them a life story, “I’m not offended by homosexuality. In the sixties, I made love to many many women, often outdoors, in the mud and the rain. And it was possible a man slipped in, and there would be no way of knowing.”
Michael makes a point that gay marriage is not yet legal in all 50 states (They’ll get there eventually), which clearly means the LGBT community can have “torrid, unabashed monkey sex” as much as they like; Kevin agrees that that sounds great. Dwight then demands that all other homosexuals should be identified; he suspects Sales Representative Phyllis Lapin, who reveals that she’s getting married to Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration (the other employees briefly celebrate).
Oscar is losing more and more patience by the second, “I think the problem with this office is that you are sending mixed signals about my being here.”
“No no, no,” Michael interrupts, “The only signal that I am sending is: Gay good.” Pam just… watches on. “Look, if I was gay… I would be the most flamboyant gay you have ever seen. I would be leading the parade covered in feathers, and just… I would be waving that rainbow flag.”
Oscar desperately seeks freedom from this hell, “I don’t think I can work here any longer,” Oscar weakly says, “This has been the worst… most backwards day of my life.”
Michael then pushes Oscar for them to make a statement together by hugging each other (he wants to make sure Angela sees so she can see that she won’t catch it). Pam and Ryan’s reactions say it all.
“No, NO!” Oscar refuses after Michael’s attempts, “I don’t want to touch you! Ever consider that? You’re ignorant and insulting and small!”
Oscar’s cutting words pierce a near-tears Michael, everyone else feeling sympathetic towards him for the first time in a while. Oscar, feeling guilty, actually welcomes Michael’s hug.
“’m sorry I called you ‘f**gy’,” Michael cries into his shoulder.
“I know, I know.”
“You’re not a f**gy.”
“I know I’m not.”
“You’re a good guy.”
Dwight concludes to the crew that “Michael appears to be gay too. And yet he is my friend. I guess I do have a gay friend.” Good for you, Dwight.
Michael unwisely decides to raise the stakes. “I want you to watch this. And I want you to burn this into your brains.” Oh no. “Because this is an image that I want you people to remember for a long time to come.” No no no. “Whenever you come into the office, I want you to think about this.”
And that’s how Michael and Oscar performed the most awkward kissing scene known to man.
And Pam looks at the camera, floored.
“I did it,” Michael announces, “See? I’m still here. We’re all still here.” Kelly and Kevin applaud this true achievement in LGBT rights, while everyone else, Oscar especially, just wants to go home.
Dwight tries to kiss Oscar as well and Michael promptly stops him.
Michael finishes the episode by presenting a moral to the crew as if there is one to be found. “We are not in the playground anymore. There are new rules. We have to be mature. But we can’t lose the spirit of child-like wonder.
“What is love… anyway? Maybe it’s supposed to break all the rules. Like me and Jan. Or Oscar… and some guy.
As Oscar leaves in a huff, Pam stares at Ryan’s desk again until she hears the vibrating of her cell phone. She grabs it and is touched by the text message she receives.
“Life is short. When two people find each other, what should stand in their way?
Back in Stamford, as the mandatory diversity presentation begins (brought to them by Scranton), Jim shifts in his chair, almost happy. Looking at the empty chair beside him, his face falls and he looks down. He promptly looks up again, watching the presentation.
“I am glad that today spurred social change,” he concludes, “That’s part of my job as Regional Manager. But you know what? Even if it didn’t, at least we put this matter to bed. …That’s what she said. Or he said.” He then notices Oscar’s roommate, Gil, picking him up. “I wonder if he knows?”
The next day, Oscar tells the crew that he was about to quit, but he was then offered a paid three–month vacation and a company car if he doesn’t sue; he and Gil are gonna have a nice vacation in Europe. “Kids, sometimes it pays to be gay.”
Soon after Oscar signs the agreement from the company, Dwight receives the coveted gaydar, overnight shipped by Jim. He tries it on Oscar, working perfectly. He then accidentally tries it on himself… and gets the same result. While Oscar looks at him weirdly, Pam just shakes her head and giggles.
She was the last person interviewed that day and was asked a question about a certain someone. “No, I’m not sad at all. I’m… really happy for Jim.
“He deserves the promotion. I mean, why wouldn’t he take it?
A hidden camera rolls after Creed leaves; he was the last person to leave beside her. It zooms in on her walking to the ladies’ room, carrying a gym bag.
“He’s totally qualified and smart, everyone loves him…
Another hidden camera catches her leaving the office, now in a casual outfit of jeans, a t-shirt, and a sweatshirt, with her hair down. She turns the lights off.
“And… if he never comes back… that’s okay.
A cameraman catches her unlocking her new car and getting in the driver’s seat.
“We’re still friends. And we’ll always stay friends.
Later that night, another cameraman from the doc pulls up on a street, filming a small apartment from afar; Pam’s car is parked in its driveway, right next to a Saab 9-2x. A zoom reveals her outside grabbing the same gym bag and another from the backseat, then shutting the door.
“We just, we never got the timing right, you know?
She walks towards the front door with the bags, then sets them down to knock enthusiastically. The door opens and the person who answers
“I shot him down, and then he moved away, and… But you know what? It’s okay. I’m totally fine.
is Jim, in his usual casual attire. They happily embrace, share a passionate kiss, and giggle after they pull apart.
“And so is Jim. We’re both just fine.”
After they let go, he gestures for her to come in — smiles plastered on their faces — as she picks the bags back up and enters his apartment. He closes the door behind him.