"Viewing Party" is the eighth episode of the seventh season of The Office and the 134th overall. It was written by Jon Vitti and directed by Ken Whittingham. It first aired on November 11, 2010. It was viewed by 7.15 million people.
Gabe enters the Scranton branch to find the bullpen deserted. Erin runs out of the breakroom and tells Gabe that the police have caught the Scranton Strangler, and the entire branch is watching the standoff live on Toby's computer in the annex. Gabe tells them that such standoffs could take a long time and they should get back to work, but his pleas fall on deaf ears. Jim then muses in a talking head how some events are so historic, that people have to stop everything to watch it, even though they are "things that if you didn't see them live, you wouldn't care that you didn't see them at all." As time passes, the standoff turns into a chase that is about to be heading down their street, so Michael races to the windows, just in time to get a glimpse of the chase. As the rest of the office follow behind him, he excitedly claims to have seen the whole thing while the rest of the office were unable to see a thing. Michael then fantasizes being able to tell his grandchildren about this, as he goes outside and collects the gravel which the chase occurred on in a jar, in the hopes of giving the jar of gravel to his children in the future to sell.
Erin tries to invite Michael to a viewing party of Glee, while Michael walks around the bullpen pretending to be busy. Michael then laughs and admit he isn't busy and would love to attend the viewing party, being a fan of the show himself. Erin then relates in a talking head how she isn't sure if Gabe and Michael get along, but believes that if given the opportunity they could be best friends. Michael and Kevin discuss whether they will be attending Gabe's party, but Michael then becomes frustrated after Kevin says "You gotta go to the Boss's party, right?" as he realizes some of the office members view Gabe as the boss instead of him.
Arriving at Gabe's apartment that night, Michael is shown by Erin around Gabe's apartment, and expresses his contempt for Gabe attempting to help him make a pizza. When the show begins, Michael continues to come into conflict with Gabe over the volume of the television set, and decides to watch the show in the bedroom instead, thinking that the other employees would join him. As Pam and Dwight follow him into the bedroom to comfort him, Michael further expresses his contempt for Gabe, and that "better men than Gabe have tried to be my boss." To Pam's horror, he also reveals that he has a loaded gun in his desk at work "somewhere", as he asks her to shoot him if he "ever starts acting like that weenie Gabe." Erin then enters the room and asks if Michael would help Gabe to prepare snacks in the kitchen. Michael further expresses contempt for Gabe, refusing to wash his hands when asked and calling him "the longest baby in this room." After Gabe tells him he is making things harder than need be, Michael replies "That's what she said," and leaves the apartment to unplugs the cable connection for Gabe's apartment out of spite. As he returns to the apartment, he realizes that without the show everyone would just go home. Feeling guilty, he returns outside to reconnect the cable, but is caught by Erin. She demands to know why Michael refuses to get along with Gabe, and reveals that while she doesn't care what the office thinks of Gabe, she does care what Michael thinks. He then asks her "Why? I'm not your father" which leaves Erin with a silent expression. Realizing that Erin sees him as a father figure, he then proceeds to jokingly tell her to go to her room. Erin cheers up at this, and the two continue to roleplay as a father and daughter arguing as they return to the party. As the party ends, Michael takes Gabe aside and tells him that if he hurts Erin in anyway, he will both figuratively and literally kill him and his entire family.
Throughout the party, Pam attempts to pacify Cece, whom she explains is reverse cycling and keeping her up all night by crying. To Pam's surprise, Dwight is able to pacify Cece almost instantly. Dwight then reveals that in the Schrute family, the responsibilities of the children usually fall to the youngest, proudly boasting "I've been raising children since I was a baby." As Jim and Angela enter the room afterwards, Jim is horrified that Cece has taken a liking to Dwight, while Angela is aroused by Dwight's parenting skills and tells him to meet her in her car for one of their "sessions." Pam pleads with Dwight to instead stay to pacify Cece, and he demands that Jim feed him Pizza and beer, telling him that he'd "prefer for (Jim) to think of it as degrading." Pam then volunteers to tell Angela on Dwight's behalf to reschedule their rendezvous, adamant that "the reverse cycling ends tonight."
Meanwhile, Andy is still frustrated that Erin is still dating Gabe. After Ryan expresses admiration for the collection of Asian items in Gabe's room, he ingests what Ryan claims is a potent Chinese supplement, becoming intoxicated and claims he "feels exactly like a real seahorse." In his intoxicated state, he tries to have a personal conversation with Erin, but is instead nauseas and vomits. While vomiting behind a pillow, Phyllis checks on him and expresses her sympathy. He asks her if she can find out if Erin and Gabe are having sex, which she agrees to. Phyllis then corners Erin and attempts to find out by relating her own experience of sleeping with Bob Vance for the first time (all they did was stare at each other naked), but Erin is disgusted as well as concerned about Michael leaving the apartment and leaves the conversation. In the final scene, Andy is still puking into the toilet while Gabe comforts him by playing a soundscape on his keyboard.
Connections to other episodes
- The car driven by the suspected Scranton Strangler previously appeared in the Dunder Mifflin parking lot in the "parkour" cold open to "Gossip". Some fans have interpreted this to mean that the Scranton Strangler works at the Scranton Business Park. (More likely is that it is a crew member's car being reused.)
- Michael lists better men than Gabe who have tried to be his boss and got fired:
- Creed's Chinese skills were shown before in "Dwight's Speech".
- Dwight asks Jim to "beer" him, just like Andy asked Jim in "Traveling Salesmen".
- Dwight is helpful with Cece. In "Baby Shower" he says that babies are one of his 'areas of expertise'.
- Pam asks Dwight if he remembers their friendship while he had a concussion. The two of them had bonded while Dwight had his concussion in "The Injury".
- Dwight's "legal obligation" to have intercourse with Angela began in "The Chump".
- Kevin thinks Gabe is the boss even though Michael made him cry because he was accused of thinking Gabe was the boss in "Costume Contest".
- Kelly is extremely interested in the show at the viewing party even though she rants to Erin about how she doesn't want to go to the party because the show is terrible.
- In a talking head interview, Kelly points out inconsistencies in the writing of two characters on Glee. This is possibly a tongue-in-cheek inclusion by the writers, who may be aware of the irony that the character Kelly herself was not initially a chatterbox, but was later written to be one.
- Kevin is visibly afraid when Michael asks him why he called Gabe the boss. In the previous episode, he was brought to tears by Michael when it seemed like he was going over Michael's head.
- When Dwight objects to the chase being televised he states that it encourages copycats to which Angela replies "just say copies why do you have to drag cats into this" while glaring at him.
- Oscar eyes both Michael and Kevin warily in the breakroom as Michael demands to know from Kevin why he called Gabe the boss.
- Pam carries Cece in her car seat with both hands. This is a classic new-parent technique. More experienced parents carry the car seat by putting one arm through the handle and holding it in the crook of the elbow. This frees up an arm and both hands.
- Ryan incorrectly notes Gabe's Marantz tube stereo in his bedroom during the party. The turntable Gabe owns in this episode happens to be a Sony PS212.
- There is a picture of Erin next to Gabe's bed and among his collection of Asian items. These are the only personal pictures seen in the apartment.
- Gabe's collection of Samurai swords is mounted upside-down, which will result in damage due to constant pressure between the blade and the sheath.
- When Jim checks the sports scores, the scores are accompanied by an upbeat sound clip. This sound is a default iMovie sound effect. The TV station was cheap and didn't commission their own music. (Or the production was cheap and didn't commission their own music for the fake TV station.) Comparison.
- Creed says, when translating for Andy, "Hǎimǎ bùyào gēn jiǔ luàngǎo", which inaccurately translates to, "do not mix the seahorse with alcohol." (海马不要跟酒乱搞]). However, the Chinese characters 乱搞 for "mix" is more commonly used for social situations (or slang for sexual intercourse) rather than the mixing of ingredients.
- Andy asks Phyllis to find out if Erin and Gabe are having sex. In his intoxicated state, he appears to have forgotten that it is previously suggested that they are in fact having sex in "Sex Ed".
- While Erin asks Michael "What's the longest thing you've ever seen?" it is led to believe she was going to mention Gabe's penis, but she was in fact talking about the tail from a jet plane.
- After Dwight gets Cece to go to sleep, Michael sits on Gabe's bed staring ahead blankly until he called to the kitchen by Erin.
- Kevin whispers that he's having pigs in a blanket—in a blanket. Although he doesn't know that Cece is sleeping, he may be taking his cues from the silence in the room.
- Michael says that his favorite character on Glee is "the invalid." Wheelchair-bound Artie Abrams is portrayed by actor Kevin McHale, who appeared as the pizza delivery boy kidnapped by Michael after he refused to honor a coupon in "Launch Party".
- During Michael's talking head about steamed vegetables, Oscar is in the background giving clues for charades. Spoiler: The answer is Back to the Future. Oscar's clues are (1) movie, (2) four words, (3) first word: pats his back, (4) second word: holds up two fingers (two/to). The scene ends before Oscar can finish the clue, but it is almost certainly Back to the Future.
- An iMac and a MacBook Pro can be seen on Gabe's desk.
- Erin and Michael's roleplay as father and daughter reflect both of their deepest wishes. Erin wishes she had parents, and Michael wishes he had children. Spoiler: In "Finale", Erin imagines having an argument with her parents and being told to go to her room, but then having dinner together later because she knows they did it because they love her.
- Stanley speaks one word in this episode, and does not appear outside of the office.
- Toby does not appear in this episode.
- Several of the references to the Glee episode playing ("Duets") are not correct. Kelly tells the group that "Blinded by the Light" was performed by a blind person, but this song has never been performed on the show nor has it ever featured a blind individual. Creed also tells the group that Puck and Finn "worked it out" and that a solo song was changed into a duet. Puck was absent from this episode and it is unclear which song he is referring to being changed into a duet. However, it's possible Creed was deliberately misleading the group.
- When Jim changes the channel to check basketball scores, one of the games is listed as "Los Angeles vs Philadelphia." Seeing as there are two NBA teams in Los Angeles, neither team would ever be listed as only the name of the city. They probably had to do this for copyright reasons, but it's still unrealistic.
- When Pam comes into the bedroom to get Michael, she carries Cece in a car seat. Cece is too large for that car seat; her legs dangle over the end.
- Michael mentions that he liked Ed Truck, but in "The Carpet", he strongly expressed how he disliked his old boss. However, he was upset by Truck's death in "Grief Counseling", and may be looking back at their relationship with rose-colored glasses.
Behind the scenes
- Mindy Kaling was the one who pitched "Glee viewing party," and writer Jon Vitti turned it into an episode.
- The Scranton Strangler car chase is shown on "WBRE Eyewitness News". WBRE is a local television station that operates from nearby Wilkes-Barre. It is an affiliate of NBC, the network that shows "The Office".
- A SWAT team is a police unit specializing in operations with a high risk of violence such as hostage rescue or subduing heavily armed criminals.
- Gabe worries that the stand-off with the Scranton Strangler may lead to "another Waco", referring to the Waco siege of 1993 which ended in the religious sect members setting fire to their own building, killing 76.
- Jim mentions events like the Balloon boy hoax and the funeral of pop star Michael Jackson.
- When Erin invites Michael to her party, they engage in a walk-and-talk popularized by Aaron Sorkin in The West Wing.
- Glee is an American musical comedy-drama TV series. Michael calls himself a "Gleek", a nickname for fans of the show.
- Oscar says an actress on Glee also appeared on the American sports drama TV series Friday Night Lights. The actress he points to is Dianna Agron, who has never appeared on Friday Night Lights.
- Phyllis wears the perfume White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor, a best-selling perfume from 1991.
- When arguing with Gabe about the volume on the TV set, Michael exclaims: "Turn it up to eleven!", a phrase that was popularized by the 1984 comedy mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, but which Michael incorrectly identifies as "Spinal Cord". This Is Spinal Tap was also one of the main inspirations for the original UK version of The Office according to Ricky Gervais.
- When Pam tries to go talk to Angela for Dwight, he says, "She is in heat. She will eat your face off." Heat is a term for female mammals in a part of their reproductive cycle when they are trying to reproduce. Animals can become easily agitated in this time.
- Steve Carell as Michael Scott
- Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute
- John Krasinski as Jim Halpert
- Jenna Fischer as Pam Halpert
- B.J. Novak as Ryan Howard
- Ed Helms as Andy Bernard
- Leslie David Baker as Stanley Hudson
- Brian Baumgartner as Kevin Malone
- Creed Bratton as Creed Bratton
- Kate Flannery as Meredith Palmer
- Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor
- Ellie Kemper as Erin Hannon
- Angela Kinsey as Angela Martin
- Oscar Nunez as Oscar Martinez
- Craig Robinson as Darryl Philbin
- Phyllis Smith as Phyllis Vance
- Zach Woods as Gabe Lewis
- Harris, Will. "A chat with Paul Lieberstein". Bullz-eye.com, November 19, 2010.
|"The Mentor"||The Office: Season 7||The Office: Season 8|
|#01||Nepotism||#07||Christening||#13||The Ultimatum||#19||Garage Sale||#25||Search Committee Part 1|
|#02||Counseling||#08||Viewing Party||#14||The Seminar||#20||Training Day||#26||Search Committee Part 2|
|#03||Andy's Play||#09||WUPHF.com||#15||The Search||#21||Michael's Last Dundies|
|#04||Sex Ed||#10||China||#16||PDA||#22||Goodbye, Michael|
|#05||The Sting||#11||Classy Christmas Part 1||#17||Threat Level Midnight||#23||The Inner Circle|
|#06||Costume Contest||#12||Classy Christmas Part 2||#18||Todd Packer||#24||Dwight K. Schrute, (Acting) Manager|