"Performance Review"
Written by Larry Wilmore; directed by Paul Feig

Dwight is sitting on an exercise ball at his desk instead of his usual chair. Jim is annoyed by the noises it makes, Dwight’s babbling about the benefits of the ball, and his inability to keep his balance. Jim asks how much the ball costs, then grabs a pair of scissors and pops it. As Michael calls Pam into his office, she interviews that it’s performance-review day. Last year hers started with Michael asking about her hopes and dreams and ended with him telling her how much he can bench press. Instead of giving Pam a review, Michael has her listen to a voicemail message from Jan. He interviews that this will be the first time he and Jan are seeing each other since they got together in “The Client.” He claims that both of them wanted to end things after that, though that’s definitely not what happened. Michael plays the message for Pam again and she tells him that he’s probably not going to be happy with the way things end up. Now he’s in a bad mood and about to do her review, so Pam tells him that Jan likes him but wants to be professional. Michael makes her listen again.

Dwight tells Jim that he should suggest to Michael that they need more double-tabbed manila folders, something they don’t actually have. Jim tells him he’ll be asking for a pay decrease instead of a raise. Dwight tells Jim he’s going to ignore him for the rest of the day, and he’s happy that the next day is Saturday so they’ll have two days away from each other. Jim gleefully accepts the challenge of keeping up the charade that it’s Friday, not Thursday. Michael has Stanley listen to Jan’s message, and Stanley gladly goes along with it, wanting a bonus. In the kitchen, Pam tells Jim that Michael and Jan made out and Jim tells her that Dwight thinks it’s Friday. “Yay!” Pam cheers. After Stanley’s review, Angela heads in for hers, interviewing that she enjoys being judged. Before they can begin, Jan calls to return a bunch of Michael’s messages and makes it clear that his review with her will only be about work. He tells her he’s been thinking about her and she tells him he’s being unprofessional. She also wants to know if there are cameras in his office; he lies and says there aren’t. Elsewhere, Kevin and Oscar talk about Michael and Jan but Angela tells them that office romances aren’t anyone’s business.

Michael decides that he needs a compilation of all of his ideas and asks Pam about their suggestion box, which she says doesn’t exist. He announces to everyone that Jan is on her way and they need to have their supposedly weekly suggestion-box meeting. Jim leaves someone a message, reinforcing Dwight’s belief that it’s Friday. Jan arrives and Michael tries to hug her, but she’ll only shake his hand. He then accidentally touches her breast while trying to put a hand on her shoulder. Jan tries to make it clear again that they’ll only be discussing business, but he interviews that it’s strange because they were discussing business when they kissed. Michael tries to ask a business-related question, but he wants to know if Jan is wearing a new perfume. “Please don’t smell me, Michael,” she replies. As Meredith and Kevin put suggestions in the new box, Pam and Jim pretend to talk about The Apprentice, which would have been on the night before if it were indeed Friday. Dwight wonders why he went out with his laser tag team on a Thursday, since he never does that.

Pam buzzes Michael to remind him about the suggestion-box meeting. He tells her he’s busy and she reminds him that he told her to buzz him while Jan was there. Jan decides to sit in, but the meeting gets off to a bad start when the first question asks about Y2K preparations. The second is about depression, which Michael thinks is a joke until Phyllis notes that it was written by a former employee who committed suicide. Someone else’s suggestion is that Michael smells, and the meeting quickly starts to fall apart. It officially ends after the suggestion that Michael not sleep with his boss. Later, Jan tries to confront Michael but he’s still not quite clear on the business-talk-only rule. Elsewhere, Dwight tries to psych himself up for his performance review, sure he’ll be getting a raise. Michael asks Jan why she’s pretending that nothing happened. She says nothing did, but he smiles at the camera, implying that she’s lying. Dwight comes in for his review and Michael just tells him that his performance has been adequate. Dwight tries to fight for his raise, but Jan’s presence doesn’t make anything better for anyone. Jan heads out of the room and tells a camera man that she’s not going to discuss what he obviously wants to talk to her about.

In the break room, Pam wants to talk more about Michael and Jan but Jim doesn’t want to picture it. “How do you come back from that?” she asks. He thinks she means an office relationship, but she means sleeping with Michael. Jan tells Michael she’s heading home and someone else will finish his review, adding that they’ll never have the conversation he wants to have. He bugs her as to why and she tells him that she doesn’t like his personality. She does, however, appreciate that he listened to and cried with her when they stayed up talking all night. (Pam likes this news.) Jan adds that she’s not in the right place to be in a relationship, but she’d like to be friends with Michael. He’s just glad her decision has nothing to do with his appearance. At 12:20 the next afternoon, Pam drops a message on Dwight’s desk as his phone rings. Michael wonders where Dwight is, remembering that he mentioned in his review that he’s never missed a day of work. Minutes later, Dwight races into the office, shouting that he’s there.

PRANKS JIM AND PAM PLAY ON DWIGHT: Dwight thinks it’s Friday, so Pam and Jim happily play along.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Jim: “Well, I’m not asking for a raise. I’m gonna actually be asking for a pay decrease.”
Dwight: “Uh, that is so stupid. What if he gives it to you?”
Jim: “Then I win.”

“Today is Thursday. But Dwight thinks that it’s Friday. And that’s what I’ll be working on this afternoon.” - Jim

Stanley: “Sometimes women say more in their pauses than they say in their words.”
Michael: “Really?”
Stanley: “Oh, yes. Let’s listen to it again. And this time, really listen to the pauses.”
Michael: “Stanley, that’s freakin’ brilliant. How do you know that? Did you learn that on the streets? Sorry.”
Stanley: “Oh, it’s okay. I did learn it on the streets. On the ghetto, in fact.”

Michael: “You can all get in your constructive compliments ASAP.”
Ryan: “Don’t you mean constructive criticism?”
Michael: “What did I say?”
Kelly: “You said constructive compliments. That doesn’t make any sense.”
Michael: “Well, Kelly, that was neither constructive nor a compliment.”


Back to Office episode guides

Back to Fun and Games