We were first introduced to Kathy Simms (Lindsey Broad) as the office temp who was assigned to fill in while Pam Halpert was out on maternity leave in the episode "Pam's Replacement" (first aired on 11/ 10/ 2011). And while she was used as basically a side character and the driving force behind Pam's all out effort to get her husband to admit he found the new temp attractive, little has been done with Kathy's character since. Little that is until the recent episode "After Hours" (first aired 2/23/2012).
Finally with the group at headquarters in Tallahassee, Kathy seems to make a play for Jim. With Pam back in Scranton taking care of business, Kathy talks her way into Jim's room to watch TV with him. Though Jim is clearly feeling uneasy with this, Kathy assures him that it's OK, that she understands he is married and nothing is going on. However, that is before she makes herself at home, takes a shower and attempts to cuddle up next to Jim. Lucky for Jim that Dwight Shrute (Rainn Wilson) intervenes and gets rid of the temp by spraying the room for bed bugs.
But should this really be the end of Kathy and Jim? No, not unless NBC wants to lose what little ratings the show is still bringing; after all this is a show that seemingly jumped the shark when Pam and Jim got married, and then had to suffer through the departure of Michael Scott (Steve Carell). If there is a show that needs a little bit of drama to jump start its rating this season then this is the show.
So what does "The Office" now do with Kathy and Jim? Have an affair in Tallahassee of course. Blaspheme? Not really, after all this is a show in which Michael Scott had an affair with a married woman. Dwight had one with Angela, and Jim did kiss Pam while she was engaged to another man. And let's not even talk about Stanley and his extra material activities. Even more bizarre than all that was when Michael Scott dated Pam's mom. So are there really any sacred cows in this dying docucomedy? The answer is no.
So what should happen next? Well, Jim, weakened by 4 am baby feeding, and maybe egged on by a few phone calls gone wrong with Pam, goes out drinking with Stanley and Ryan and comes back a tad bit uninhibited. From there it's just a short hop across the hotel to Kathy. The episode fades to black as the door to the motel room closes and we are left to imagine what happens next. Then after that, the writers of the show have a three show arc to work out the details of how far things got inside that hotel room, and how the dynamics of Pam-Jim-Kathy will affect the show for the rest of Season 8. Crazy? No, not for a show whose rating continue to diminish. I mean, what do they have to lose? Season 8 can end on a cliffhanger with Pam finding out about Jim and Kathy…leaving things wide open for a Season 9.
- Pam Halpert