Friday, February 16, 2007

The Alliance

The Alliance (Season 1, Episode 4)

Jim Halpert

Dwight Schrute

Dwight is not easily shaken, but all this talk about downsizing really has him worried. Since all the water cooler talk is passing him by (he brings his own water), Dwight suggests to Jim to form an alliance. Jim is nothing but excited. By his own admission, he sits for hours thinking of ways to get back at him, and now this golden opportunity falls in his lap. Despite Dwight’s insistence on secrecy, Jim wastes no time in telling Pam. Of course, Jim pleads ignorance and even convinces Dwight to ignore all interaction between Pam and himself. Jim, in plain sight of Dwight, goes and says absolutely nothing to Kevin and Toby during their lunch break, but tells Dwight tales of their conniving and attempts to get Angela kicked off. Jim still manages to get Dwight even more paranoid about other possible alliances. The big sting comes when Pam fakes a conversation with Jim about Michael getting her to dictate meetings and spy on other co-workers. Dwight falls for the bait; hook, line and sinker. Paranoid almost can’t describe Dwight at this point. As Michael calls him into his office to discuss Meredith’s birthday, Dwight immediately mentions that she could be fired and not missed. The coup de grace comes when Jim relays information that an alliance is meeting in the warehouse during the birthday celebrations. Dwight offers to be put into a box so he can hear all information. Jim, playing the subtlety card, questions the move. Jim happily tapes down the box with Dwight inside. The only thing left is for Pam to come in and plant fake info for Dwight to eat up. She almost couldn’t contain herself and runs off. Dwight bursts out of the box like a newborn. Jim even convinces Dwight to go to the Stamford branch and spy and bleach his hair blonde. Unfortunately, Roy comes and spoils the fun.

When the prank finally lands on Dwight, he plays the lame duck. He still hasn’t realized that Jim was serious in his confession to Roy. I wouldn’t think so since Dwight’s amazing hair shows.

8 – This is the score, not so much for adapting to the idea, but for all the brilliant ideas during the course of the prank. From Pam’s dictating meetings, to the bleached hair, Jim is the king.

Length Taken
9 – Not breaking through the first 20 minutes of the episode, Jim leads Dwight on the entire time and his never the worse for wear. Even after his brilliant and daring escape from the box, Jim only gives up the info after the confrontation with Roy. This would have been a 10 if he had stayed the course throughout the talk with Roy. I can’t blame him though…Jim would snap like a twig if he was hit by Roy.

Special Awards
Sidekick Award – Pam plays her part to a tee. According to Jim, it was all her idea. She’s great…not that he likes her or anything.
From the Hip Award – More Halpert adaptation. Jim gets the best present he could from Dwight when he openly invites a huge prank. I’m almost renaming this award to the Jim Halpert Memorial Award. No one does it like him.

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