A meeting with a potential client leads to some unexpected sparks between Michael and Jan. Back at the office, Pam unearths a screenplay written by Michael. Jim rounds up the rest of the office employees for an improptu table reading, but a botched search-and-replace leads to some hurt feelings and an abrupt end to the proceedings, which frees up just enough time for a nice, candlelit dinner on the rooftop.

The Michael Scott School of Hard Knocks

I was surprised to see Michael take charge during the meeting at Chili’s. I thought he was just being his normal, juvenile self at first, but then Christian played right into his hands — suddenly our bumbling boss isn’t as incompetent as he seems. It was nice to see Michael shine, and not in a way that made you want to laugh hysterically at him (though there were plenty of those moments as well). And, to top it off, he makes off with Jan after sealing the deal. Way to go, Michael.

Dwight Being Dwight

Why is Dwight sleeping in the office? Trouble at home? The vaunted beet farm not doing so well? Whatever the reason, it gave us the opportunity to see Dwight in a wife-beater.

The Many Faces of Jim

Jim : If we get this, they might not have to downsize our branch. And I could work here for years. Years. Ye…years.

Watch how his face falls as he says this. I get the impression that there’s only thing preventing Jim from ditching his job as a paper salesman — three guesses as to what that thing might be.

Confessions of a Receptionist

Pam : Michael and his jeans… he gets in them, and I’m not exactly sure what happens, but I can tell you he loves the way he looks in those jeans. I know that’s why he started casual Fridays.

I love how she takes the jeans from Ryan and unceremoniously chucks them under her desk, Pam-style.

The Jim/Pam Index

Well, I was way off base with last week’s prediction — it didn’t take much time at all for Jim and Pam to get over the incident at the dojo. However, I do recall reading about how The Client was originally supposed to air before The Fight, which would explain the apparent continuity gap.

In any case, this episode was chock full of Jim/Pam moments. Between the private rooftop dinner and the swaying to Sing by Travis, there were plenty of pleasant moments to go around. My favorite, however, would have to be the not-so-pleasant sequence near the end of the episode. It starts off with some playful banter before Pam catches on to what Jim is hinting at and methodically begins to shoot down his advances. “Swaying isn’t dancing.” It’s all done very convincingly as we are made to experience Jim’s disappointment secondhand. The most devastating part of it all is his closing interview:

Jim : Okay, we didn’t dance. And I was totally joking anyway. I mean, it’s not really a date if the girl goes home to her fiancee.

He pauses for a moment before quietly finishing the sentence with a dejected “… right?” as he stares down, avoiding the camera. Bummer.

Despite all of this, I’m still giving The Client an Even rating on the JP Index. Jim may have experienced defeat, but I’m betting the grilled cheese on the rooftop made a lasting impression.

Supporting Nod

Jan, not just because she plays a considerable role in the episode, but because she plays it so well. “Dunder-Mifflin can provide a level of personal service to the county that the warehouse chains just can’t match.” Delivered like a true executive.

The Superstar

Michael. We finally see a flicker of how he might have made it up this high on the managerial ladder. Also, his entire Levis sequence during the preshow was a riot.

Transmissions from the Office

  • Jim : Wait, when was this?
    Pam : Um… it was not that long ago.

    It’s funny watching Pam as she tells the story of her first date with Roy and then begins to regret it as she realizes what she’s gotten herself into. Awkward glances at the camera ensue.

  • Michael : Actually, they just don’t get very much work done when I’m not here. That’s not true. I know how to delegate, and they do more work when I’m not here. Not more… the same amount of work is done whether I am here or not.

    And here we are with Michael making a fool of himself yet again.

  • Michael : Uh, Jan, what happened? Is Gould dead?

    Michael playing the sensitive guy as only Michael can.

  • Ryan : You so funny. Word.

    Michael showing a clear knack for writing natural dialogue.

  • Christian : You put your arms out there. You slit your wrist. You said: world, this is my blood, it’s red just like your’s, so love me.”

    That’s not disturbing at all. Vintage Tim Meadows delivery.

  • Pam : I can’t remember the last time someone made me dinner.

    See Jim glow.

  • Michael : I don’t understand. You want to see other people. Only other people.

    We get a nice overhead shot of Michael’s desk as the camera circles around to catch him hiding underneath, and on it, we see a model of a… hand grenade?

Odds and Ends

  • Dwight wishes good luck to Jan and Michael before they head out to their meeting. Jan thanks him courteously. Michael calls him a kiss ass under his breath. Alternative strategies of employee reinforcement at work.
  • Dwigt. Not only is he a complete idiot, but he’s causing the downfall of the United States. I laughed so hard during this part of the episode, my stomach hurt.
  • You can hear Use It by The New Pornographers playing in the background during the bar scene at Chili’s. A rad song from an excellent band.
  • Check out the covert camera work during the Michael/Jan make out scene. You know, I bet she’s had her eye on him all along.
  • The silent exchange between Jim and Michael at the end of the episode is wonderfully done. What a brilliant way to end everything.

The Story in Pictures

Gallery Image

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A few quick bullets about tonight's episode:

  • Dwigt. Awesome.
  • It doesn't take long for the real Tim Meadows to come out.
  • They were playing Use It by The New Pornographers in the background during one of the scenes at Chili's. Great song.
  • Jim/Pam groupies will dig this episode. Their scenes are very well played.
  • The look exchanged between Michael and Jim at the end is flawlessly shot and delievered.

    That's all for now. Check back in a little bit for the full scoop.

1Posted by James on November 8, 2005

LOVE the caps. I completely agree with the closing shot. My favorite part of the whole show. Funny how a look can have so much meaning.

2Posted by kelly on November 9, 2005

Do you think Dwight might've slept at the office because as he was leaving Michael told them to 'sit tight till I get back' (or something like that)? Maybe Dwight took him a little too literally.

3Posted by bp on November 9, 2005

bp: I agree with you. That's what I thought it was about. Great screen capture for that one!

4Posted by Marc on November 9, 2005

I've just gotta add- The beginning with Pam talking about Michael's jeans and show him dancing and everything was just so.. "Michael." I loved it!

5Posted by Marc on November 9, 2005

kelly : That was probably my favorite part of the episode as well. There aren't many shows out there, I think, that could comfortably close on a scene like that.

bp and Marc : Good call on Dwight. It all makes sense now. And I agree, the scene about Michael's jeans was great stuff. These pre-credits sequences have all been fantastic.

6Posted by James on November 9, 2005

Love the site.

I hope that you eventually have time to review the S1 and the previous episodes of S2.

Keep up the good work!

7Posted by Jamey on November 10, 2005

Yes, I agree, James, this episode finally showcases a little of Michael's sales acumen. It was actually quite impressive watching him close the deal with Christian!

Faced with a losing battle against Extra Awesome Blossoms and Brown Probes, Jan says the only thing she can say: "Excuse me, could I have a vodka tonic, please."

And therein commences her downfall.

8Posted by Jennie on December 9, 2005