"The Client"
Written by Paul Lieberstein; directed by Greg Daniels

Ryan brings Michael’s dry-cleaning to the office, noting that he’s weird enough to have his jeans dry-cleaned. Pam interviews that when Michael wears those jeans, he starts going a little crazy because he loves the way he looks. She’s sure that’s the reason he instituted casual Fridays. Pam takes the jeans from Ryan and stashes them under her desk. In the conference room, Jan talks to Michael about the county as Jim interviews that they’re about to meet with a big client who works for the county. If they make a deal with him, they may not have to downsize and close the Scranton branch. Michael tells Jan that he’s changed the location of the meeting from a hotel to a Chili’s, since he thought the hotel was too snooty. Jan makes it clear that she’ll be the one running the meeting. Michael comments under his breath that she’s on a power trip. In the kitchen, Oscar talks about a bad date he recently had (the woman ran a background check on him). Pam describes her worst first date and the others realize that it was her first date with Roy.

Michael and Jan prepare to head out to the meeting, and Michael tells his employees that they should probably just head home since he’ll be out late. Jan tells him they won’t take that long and wonders if he always shuts everything down when he leaves for just a little while. Michael accidentally admits that they get more done when he’s not in the office anyway. He orders the others not to leave until he gets back, no matter what. Out in the parking lot, Michael offers to drive, teasing that Jan doesn’t know Scranton very well. He interviews that she’s a pretty cold person. In the car, Michael tries to come up with a signal they can give each other in case they get into trouble and want to leave. “What kind of trouble are you planning on getting in, Michael?” she asks. At the restaurant, they meet with Christian, and as Michael is doing the introductions, he learns that Jan’s last name is now Levinson, not Levinson-Gould. He bugs her until she tells him that she’s divorced. Jan tries to get his mind back on the meeting.

Jan starts off the meeting, but Michael wants to order food, then tell a joke. Christian is game for both. However, pressed with only being able to tell one joke, Michael has to think of a better one to tell. He calls Pam and asks her to get some “data” for him. After she’s done relaying a joke, she finds something intriguing in Michael’s papers. Pam and Jim gleefully look over Michael’s screenplay, which stars an FBI agent named Michael Scarn and even includes drawings. At Chili’s, Christian enjoys Michael’s company but Jan decides that it’s a good time to start drinking. At the office, Jim gathers everyone in the conference room to read the screenplay, “Threat Level: Midnight.” He announces that he’ll be reading the action descriptions and Phyllis will be Catherine Zeta-Jones. Dwight announces that they shouldn’t be doing this, but shuts up when Jim offers him the lead role.

At Chili’s, Jan tries to steer the conversation back towards business, but Michael tries to give her their undeveloped signal, shouting nonsense words. He decides to order them some ribs, leading him and Christian to sing the “Chili’s baby back ribs” song together. At the office, the script reading begins. Roy arrives as Ryan begins his role as Scarn’s partner, Samuel L. Chang. Pam tells Roy she’s working late, which he finds ridiculous. Kevin interviews that he gives Michael’s movie two thumbs down. At the restaurant, Jan is disgusted to have to watch Michael and Christian loudly eating ribs. At the office, Oscar reads the role of the villain, Goldenface, who, of course, actually has a gold face. As Scarn yells at Samuel, it quickly becomes clear that Samuel is based on Dwight. Pam explains in an interview that Samuel was originally named Dwight, but Michael changed the name to Samuel using search and replace. However, one “Dwight” was misspelled as “Dwigt,” and Dwight figured it out.

Dwight quits the reading session and starts to leave, inviting the others to come outside with him for a fireworks show (he got some fireworks from his uncle). Jim announces an intermission and goes off with Pam to get something to eat. At Chili’s, Michael and Christian play Truth or Dare and try to get Jan to join in. She finally talks about the reason behind her divorce (her husband didn’t want kids). Michael and Christian try to convince her that she wasn’t stupid for believing that things would be okay with her husband. In the kitchen, Jim makes sandwiches for him and Pam and interviews that he was supposed to meet a friend (Katy?) that night, but this is fine. The two head up to the roof and eat by citronella candlelight. They’re also able to see Dwight and Kevin fooling around with fireworks. At the restaurant, Michael tells Christian that he’s been in Scranton his whole life and knows all about it. They bond over how horrible discount suppliers make things, and when Jan tries to join in, Michael shushes her. Christian tells Michael that he wants to do business with him, and both Michael and Jan are pleased.

Jim and Pam start to head home but take a minute to listen to some music on Jim’s iPod together. Michael and Jan say goodbye to Christian, then celebrate their successful meeting with a hug, then a kiss. A tipsy Jan wants more and convinces Michael to go somewhere with her. In the morning, Dwight wakes up on the couch at the office just in time to see Jan arrive by cab to get her car. Later in the morning, Michael interviews that nothing happened, then admits that they went to a hotel and talked, and then Jan fell asleep. Dwight confronts Michael, reminding him that Jan is his boss, but Michael is ready to defend her honor. Later, Pam and Jim discuss the situation as Michael wonders if he needs to tell HR that he’s in a relationship with a coworker. Jan calls and tells Michael that what happened was a mistake, but he finds it hard to accept her rejection. Elsewhere, Jim tells Pam that they kind of had a date the previous night, including dinner, a show, and dancing. She tells him they swayed to the music they were listening to, so they didn’t really dance. He tries to tease her about her first date with Roy, but she doesn’t take it well. Later, Michael and Jim exchange a glance, possibly realizing how similar their situations are.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Michael: “Here’s the thing. Chili’s is the new golf course. It’s where business happens. Small Businessman Magazine.”
Jan: “It said that?”
Michael: “It will. I sent it in. Letter to the editor.”

“Yes, I have acted before. I was in a production of Oklahoma! in the seventh grade. I played the part of Mutie the mailman. They had too many kids, so they made up roles like that. And I was good.” - Dwight

“A gentleman does not kiss and tell. And neither do I.” - Michael


Back to Office episode guides

Back to Fun and Games