"The Secret"
Written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg; directed by Dennie Gordon

Michael arrives at the office just as Jim finishes telling Pam a joke, so Jim tells him the joke as well. Michael then tries to tell the joke to Stanley (who’s too busy to listen), Ryan (though he doesn’t get the setup correct), and Kevin (who doesn’t get it). It finally works with Dwight, though Michael doesn’t get the punch line quite right. Later, Michael interviews that despite being January, they’re doing spring cleaning in the office so they don’t have to do it in the spring. Dwight hands out assignments and learns that Oscar is out sick. He and Angela both agree that that’s unacceptable and Kevin almost catches on that there’s something going on between them. Dwight tells Michael that Oscar is out sick on a Friday, and Michael calls to find out if Oscar is really sick. Dwight logs on to WebMD and tells Michael to get Oscar’s symptoms so he can determine if he’s faking. It doesn’t sound like he is, but Dwight is still suspicious and asks Michael’s permission to investigate. Elsewhere, Pam tells Kelly that she bought her veil and Kelly asks if she can be a bridesmaid. They then start trying to decide how to do Pam’s hair as a nearby Jim tries not to pay too much attention. Michael approaches Jim and tells him this must be torture for him.

Jim interviews that on the booze cruise (see “Booze Cruise”), he confided in Michael about his crush on Pam, which was a huge mistake. Jim asks Michael to keep his feelings for Pam quiet, since no one else knows. Michael is thrilled to be in on a secret. Dwight tells Ryan that since he’s now investigating Oscar’s absence, he needs Ryan to take over spring cleaning. In the break room, Michael tries to make small talk with Jim, who gets nervous because Stanley is nearby. After Jim takes off, Michael takes out his frustration on Stanley by making him buy a drink he doesn’t want. Dwight calls Oscar and notes that he wasn’t at home six minutes ago; he thinks that if Oscar is too sick to come to work, he should also be too sick to go to the pharmacy. Dwight interviews that there are a lot of ways to determine if someone is lying, but since he talked to Oscar on the phone, none of those things could help him. Michael buys the same kind of soda as Jim, and Dwight notices that not only did he do that, but he’s also talking to Jim, which is rare. Michael tells Dwight that they talk all the time and even tell each other secrets. Dwight wants to know what secrets he’s talking about. Jim jumps in and says that he wanted to head up the Oscar investigation, but only Dwight is capable of doing it.

Michael offers to take Jim out to lunch, but Jim tells him he’s busy and wants to stick around the office. Michael decides that’s even better; they can order pizza and talk about Pam in the break room. Jim quickly accepts his offer to go out, and they end up at Hooters, where Michael is predictably immature. At the office, Dwight eats all the black jelly beans, then asks Pam how Oscar sounded when he called in sick. When he leaves, Pam pours out the rest of the jelly beans. At Hooters, Michael gets Jim to talk about what he likes about Pam. The waitresses celebrate Jim’s birthday (even though it’s not really his birthday). When they return to the office, Jim tells Pam that they talked about literature and politics at lunch, then shows off his new Hooters T-shirt. “I hate you,” she replies. Dwight tries to give Michael an Oscar update, but Michael thinks the investigation is taking too long and tells Dwight to just go to Oscar’s house. Meanwhile, Ryan cleans his desk and realizes that there isn’t much to clean. He interviews that if he had to, he could clean out his desk in five seconds it would be like he was never there. In fact, he would forget, too.

Michael fixes his hair like Jim’s, then gives Angela his expense report from Hooters. She asks if Toby approved it, but Michael says he doesn’t have to. Toby chastises him for taking someone to Hooters so soon after getting his corporate credit card back. Michael interviews that his card was taken away after he spent $80 at a magic shop, though he claims he was buying things to use to impress potential clients. “I put a cigarette through a freaking quarter,” he argues to Toby. Toby refuses to process the expense, so Michael tells him that he was trying to cheer Jim up because he’s been depressed and it’s affecting his productivity. Toby challenges this and Michael says that Jim is in love with someone he works with who’s engaged. Kelly guesses that it’s Pam, and Michael realizes that he’s just spilled the secret. In the kitchen, Phyllis asks Angela who she would rather date, Jim or Roy. Angela says it’s none of Phyllis’ business, then chooses Roy. As the news spreads farther, Kevin asks Michael if he thinks Jim will break up Pam and Roy’s wedding. Michael replies that Jim is his friend, and the only people the crush affects are Jim and Pam. Well, and Michael. Dwight heads to Oscar’s house, interviewing that as a volunteer sheriff’s deputy, he’s used to surveillance. He tailed an ex-girlfriend for six nights when he thought she was cheating on him, and he turned out to be right.

At the office, Kelly clues Jim in to the news that the secret is out when she asks him why he never told her about his crush. In the kitchen, Jim awkwardly tells Pam that on the booze cruise, he told Michael that he had a crush on her when she first started at Dunder Mifflin. Pam admits that she thought he might have liked her, since they got along so well. They assure each other that they’re okay, and Jim tells Pam that he’s over the crush now. Dwight waits at Oscar’s until Oscar and a guy named Gil arrive. Dwight agrees not to tell Michael that Oscar was faking an illness if Oscar agrees to do him a favor someday. Dwight spends the evening with Oscar and Gil, not realizing that they’re partners. He interviews that he should probably tell Michael the truth, but now he has leverage. At the office, Michael cries to Jim over ruining their friendship, but Jim tells him it’s not a big deal. As the others finish up their spring cleaning, Pam tells Michael that she knew about Jim’s crush but didn’t think much about it because it was so long ago. Michael tells her that “it was on the booze cruise” and she wonders if he means that Jim told him on the booze cruise or if he liked her on the booze cruise. As Jim and Pam awkwardly leave work together, Michael interviews that he should stop keeping secrets because they cause too much trouble.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: “There are several different ways to tell if a perp is lying. The liar will avoid direct eye contact. The liar will cover part of his or her face with his hand. Especially the mouth. The liar will perspire. Unfortunately, I spoke to Oscar on the phone. So none of this is useful.” - Dwight

Pam: “Um, how many different ways are there to sniffle?”
Dwight: “Three.”
Pam: “Okay, it was the second one.”

“Should I have reported Oscar’s malfeasance? Hmm, probably. But now I know something he doesn’t want me to know. So I can use his malfeasance to establish leverage. Otherwise, it’s just malfeasance for malfeasances’ sake.” - Dwight

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