Jim and Pam finally get together in a sweet scene in the season 3 finale. According to Fischer, they filmed a different version that did not work.
The Office‘s Jenna Fischer (Pam Beesly) and Angela Kinsey (Angela Martin) say that the season 3 finale ended with the perfect scene to propel Jim and Pam’s relationship forward—but the ending was one option out of two that they filmed. The last episode of season 3, titled “The Job,” revolves around the question of who David Wallace will choose to take on a position at Dunder Mifflin’s corporate office. Michael (Steve Carell) fully believes it will be him, leading him to anoint Dwight (Rainn Wilson) as regional manager, who spirals into a power trip that is very on-brand for his character.
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Jim (John Krasinski) and his then-girlfriend Karen (Rashida Jones) are the two other candidates for the corporate job. This further strains a relationship that has been tense ever since Pam confessed her feelings for Jim in “Beach Games.” In the episode’s last few minutes, viewers see a talking head of Pam as she contemplates the possibility of Jim never coming back to the Scranton branch. She is in the middle of saying that she’s happy for him and admitting that they always had bad timing when Jim interrupts to ask her out on a date. The camera pans back to Pam with tears in her eyes and a huge smile on her face.
Fischer thinks that this scene was the perfect way to mark the beginning of their relationship after years of build-up, which is why she thought it was a clear choice over the alternative ending that they filmed. Fischer recalls that there is a different version of this scene in a recent episode of Office Ladies, a podcast about The Office that she and Kinsey host together. She said that the script told them to film an alternative ending, which the actresses both agree was not a satisfying way to see the two characters come together. You can read Fischer’s recount of it below:
“In the second version, you hear a voiceover of Jim throwing his interview with David. But it’s even more. It’s like, he’s really cracking jokes. He’s not taking it seriously at all, to the point that David actually says, ‘Do you even want this job?’
… Meanwhile, while all that’s happening, you see Pam leaving for the day. She doesn’t do a talking head. She’s just leaving for the day. She gets in the elevator, she goes down the elevator, and then when the elevator doors open, Jim is standing there and she says, ‘You’re back.’ And he says, ‘Yeah, do you want to go to dinner?’ And Pam says, ‘Yeah, I do.’ She walks out of the elevator and Jim pushes the camera back into the elevator. And as the doors are closing, they walk off together and he puts his arm around her and they smile at each other.“
Fischer said that this version of the scene didn’t make it into any cut of the show or even a deleted scenes reel. Apparently, everyone knew pretty quickly that the version that actually aired was the best one due to the raw emotion visible on Pam’s face. In the podcast, Fischer reveals that the tears were a genuine reaction from making eye contact with director Ken Kwapis who has been described by herself and others as a father figure on set. While filming the scene, Fischer saw Kwapis had tears in his eyes, which led to her crying too. “We just shared this moment,” Fischer explains. “This private moment of acknowledgment for this journey of this character. And he smiled at me in a way that a parent smiles at you when they’re proud of you.”
The Office Ladies podcast is a treasure trove of information and has already provided fans with tons of insight about filming different scenes throughout the show. Furthermore, the podcast lets people revisit old episodes and see them in a new light, with a new understanding of why directors, writers, and actors made the decisions that they made. It reminds viewers that making a good show is a collaborative effort, and few can do it as well as the cast of The Office.
Next: The Office Almost Had A Jim & Pam Spinoff (Which Would’ve Been Terrible)
Source: Office Ladies
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