The Office
The Client

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The Client

It's another day at Dunder Mifflin, and Jim and Pam are at reception as usual when Ryan rushes in and reports that he's got Michael's lucky tie. Pam reports that "they're" in the conference room already, and she wants to know if those are Michael's jeans Ryan is carrying. They are. "Who dry-cleans jeans?" Ryan asks, still laboring under the delusion that Michael's behavior can be explained using logic. Pam THs that Michael is very attached to the idea of himself in his jeans, as we see a montage of him dancing in them, sitting on the reception desk in them, and shuffling around in them with his feet in a pair of trashcans. Michael apparently believes that everything he does looks better swathed in denim, including...walking in trashcans. Pam adds that she's quite sure his love of seeing himself in jeans is why he introduced casual Friday. Pam takes the jeans from Ryan and hurls them under her desk.

Credits. I could watch Dwight throw his tie over his shoulder all day.

Jan lays out papers on the conference table as she and Michael discuss an upcoming meeting they have, which apparently involves the school district, given Jan's collection of charts (which Michael compares to USA Today, because he's like that, and also because USA Today is like that). Jim explains in a TH that they're actually meeting with Lackawanna County, which is potentially a huge account. Getting it might mean the branch wouldn't be downsized. "And I could work here for years," he says, a little grimly. "And years," he adds, more grimly. "And years," he double-adds, like he might go drink some turpentine now. In the conference room, Michael informs Jan that he changed the meeting from the Radisson to Chili's. Jan is upset, but Michael insists that Chili's is "the new golf course," according to Small Businessman. "It said that," Jan says with disgusted skepticism. "It will. I sent it in. Letter to the editor," Michael tells her. Jan tells him that he must let her run the meeting. "Poooower trip," he mutters.

In the break room, Oscar is telling a bad-date story about a background check that someone had done on him. When Pam wanders in, Jim tells her that they're on "worst first date" stories. She immediately declares that she'll be the winner, and goes on to recount a first date when a guy took her to a minor-league hockey game, brought his brother, and left without her. "Wait, when was this?" Jim asks. She looks around skittishly, and then gives him a "help me out here" look and says, "It was...not that long ago." "Wait, not Roy," Kelly laughs incredulously, showing the first flicker of her future self. "Say it's not your fiancé." Jim THs that this explains why Pam won't go to sporting events with Roy. "Interesting," he adds. Every time Roy's dickishness rings, Jim gets his wings.

Michael and Jan leave for the meeting, and she looks enormously irritated the entire time. "Good luck, Michael! Good luck, Jan!" Dwight calls out. Jan thanks him, and Michael just mutters, "Kiss-ass." The more Dwight tries, the more Michael hates him. Michael tells the group that he'll be gone late, and they can all go home. Jan, confused, says it should only take an hour or so and wonders whether it's his habit to shut the place down when he leaves for an hour. Michael tells her that he doesn't, but he says, all boss-to-boss and you-know-how-they-are, that they don't really get anything done when he's not there. He pauses and realizes that sounds bad. "That's not true, I know how to delegate," he says, "and they do more work when I'm not here." This, he can hear as he's saying it, so he immediately adds, "Not more work; the same amount of work is done whether I am here or not." This, too, sounds bad. It's really excellent the way they set that up so that you realize it really does sound bad, no matter what he says about what happens when he's not there. This is how you are driven to feel for Michael -- what do you say, as a boss, about how things go when you're not there? Grasping for some feeling of power over his circumstances, Michael turns and tells everyone to "sit tight," and then tells them "it's an order -- follow it blindly! Ya-ha-ha!" Yeah. Finally, he and Jan are gone. As they're leaving, Michael gives her shit about not knowing her way around Scranton, and he winds up insisting on driving her to Chili's -- a word you can tell it pains her to say. Michael THs that Jan is "cold," and could pass for dead much of the time. In the car, he tells her that maybe they should have a signal they can use during the meeting in case one of them gets in trouble. She tells him she's doing the talking, and she won't get in trouble.

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