Thursday’s episode was somewhat reserved compared to what we’ve come to expect. Although things have happened since the week before, most of the significant events don’t occur during the actual course of the episode. This is the calm before the storm, though. Next week’s the finale, and I’m sure they’re going to throw something insane at us.
Most of “Job Fair” takes place at Pam’s old high school, where Oscar, Michael, Darryl and Pam try getting kids to intern at Dunder-Mifflin. From the outset, it’s obvious that the whole job fair thing is going to fail. Michael, of course, is at it again. This episode was probably one of the most frustrating for me, and that’s saying a lot for Michael. But then again, it was probably even more frustrating for Pam, forced by Michael to drive back to the office to pick up a single piece of paper for the “presentation.”
Like most episodes, though, the focus doesn’t fixate on the fair. At the beginning of the episode, it’s revealed that Ryan has put Jim on probation. This is a result of last week’s encounter with Toby, who tells Ryan that Jim’s performance has suffered because he spends too much time at Pam’s desk. Anyway, Jim goes golfing with a very stubborn prospective customer to whom he wants to sell some paper. That’s made even more difficult by Kevin and Andy’s goofy antics — there’s a golf-cart crash in this episode. Never fear, though. Jim, through borderline annoying tactics, makes the sale.
The last leg of the plot deals with Dwight and the rest of the office workers, who all leave work without Dwight’s consent. But one stays. That person is Angela. There are at least three “scenes” that are nothing more than awkward moments between Dwight and Angela.
The final clip of the episode is of Pam at the job fair. While checking out some of the booths, she stumbles upon a graphic design opportunity and jumps on it. But she doesn’t know Photoshop or any other software necessary for graphic design. Too bad, but I’m sure it’ll come up again later.
One of the best things about The Office has always been its ability to downplay dramatic events that happen in the characters’ lives. Were this a real documentary, the cameramen obviously wouldn’t be able to capture every single important moment on tape, and it works to the editors’ advantage. It keeps the primary focus of the show the comedy, and it stops the show from turning into a soap opera.
That said, I expect next week’s episode to do something big. It’s the hour-long finale, and we all know what The Office is capable of (think, “Casino Night”).