Friday, February 16, 2007

Making Up Diseases

Health Care (Season 1, Episode 3)

Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly

Dwight Schrute

As Michael’s laziness shows through, he puts Dwight in charge of picking a new health care plan for the office workers. After cutting benefits to the point of having a $1,200 deductible, he wants a list of ailments from all the employees so he can pick the correct plan. Jim and Pam won’t take this lying down. Jim’s form includes Mad Cow Disease and the Ebola Virus, while Pam puts down the deadliest form of spontaneous dental hydroplosion (when your teeth melt and drip down the back of the throat).

Dwight doesn’t think it’s funny. He even repeats other ailments which neither have claimed, but obviously wrote. These include leprosy, flesh-eating bacteria, hot dog fingers and a government-created killer nanorobot infection (which Pam would later take credit for). Dwight takes to interviewing everyone individually and suspends all health care coverage in the meantime. The interview is just more ammunition for Jim. As Dwight asks about the Count Choculitis, he wants to know if Jim wrote it because he, himself loves Count Chocula. This even gives Jim the chance at another quick prank.

8 – Making up diseases isn’t that original, but the names of the ailments are the real shining glory here. Not only does Pam think of the brilliant melting teeth, Jim thinks up a name for it in record time.

Length Taken
6 – If “24” has taught us anything, is that you can’t crack under the pressure of interrogation. I’m not sure Jack Bauer could break Jim. With his super-cool responses and his lack of sway by Dwight’s threats, all credit goes to the young salesman here. It would be higher if Dwight was more intimidating.

Special Awards
Partner in Crime Award – Instead of Jim starting things out, he has the original idea and wants Pam in on it as well. But, Pam has already gotten started on her own. This is the first time in the series the two have worked independently but for the same goal. That’s teamwork!
Creativity Award - Government-created killer nanorobot infections wins in a runaway.

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