The Cover-Up

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"The Cover-Up"
The Office episode
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 24
Directed by Rainn Wilson
Written by Lee Eisenberg
Gene Stupnitsky
Production code 624
Original air date May 6, 2010
Guest actors

Amy Pietz as Donna
Zach Woods as Gabe Lewis

Episode chronology
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"Body Language"
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"The Chump"
List of The Office (U.S. TV series) episodes

"The Cover-Up" is the 24th episode of the sixth season of the U.S. comedy series The Office and the show's 124th episode overall. It aired May 6, 2010 on NBC.

The series—presented as if it were a real documentary—depicts the everyday lives of office employees in the Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. In the episode, Michael suspects Donna is cheating on him, and he pays Dwight $50 to investigate. Meanwhile, Andy is frustrated when no one takes his customer's complaint seriously.

The episode was written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, their third writing credit of the season after "The Lover" and "Scott's Tots." It was directed by Rainn Wilson, who also portrays Dwight Schrute on the show, marking his television directorial debut.[1]

Plot[edit]

Michael (Steve Carell) is in good spirits due to his wildly successful relationship with Donna (Amy Pietz). However, during another one of Michael's pointless meetings, other members of the office, particularly Ryan (B. J. Novak) and Kelly (Mindy Kaling), convince him that she might be cheating on him. Worried, Michael hires Dwight (Rainn Wilson) to tail her to see if she spends time with anyone else. Dwight follows Donna to her gym and attempts to seduce her. Donna rebukes him and calls security on him, whereby he openly admits he was sent there by Michael to keep tabs on her. An enraged Donna comes to the office to talk to Michael about the whole situation, and the two forgive each other and reconcile by planning a private vacation together.

Andy (Ed Helms) receives a call from a concerned customer that a Sabre printer caught fire during a routine operation. He becomes frustrated when Gabe (Zach Woods) fails to take his customer's complaint seriously. Capitalizing on his fears, Darryl (Craig Robinson) tries to prank Andy into believing he has uncovered a conspiracy as a retaliation for Andy pinning one of his mistakes on the warehouse a few years prior (which nearly resulted in Darryl's termination). He even enlists Creed (Creed Bratton) to help, and spends the day leading Andy into greater levels of panic. After initially pretending to help Andy to not get fired, Darryl agrees to film Andy testing the printer in a typical fashion to test his burning printer theory. Though Darryl intends to use the video to further embarrass Andy, the printer indeed catches fire and explodes. This confirms Andy's suspicions, and scares Darryl straight.

While Donna and Michael are planning their trip, Pam (Jenna Fischer) snoops around on Facebook, and finds pictures of Donna hugging and kissing another man. At first, she and Jim (John Krasinski) were skeptical of Donna cheating, and even berated Michael for having destructive tendencies with his personal life. But now they realize his fears are correct, and try to warn him as best they can. Pam shows Michael the pictures she found, and he confronts Donna with the evidence. At the end of the episode, Donna reveals that it is Michael who is the "other guy"; the photos are of her and her current husband.

Production[edit]

Rainn Wilson, who also plays Dwight Schrute, made his television directorial debut with this episode.

It was written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, their third writing credit of the season after "The Lover" and "Scott's Tots." It was directed by Rainn Wilson, who also portrays Dwight Schrute on the show, marking his television directorial debut.[1] He is the fourth actor of the series to make a directorial debut this season after B. J. Novak, John Krasinski and Mindy Kaling. Cast members Steve Carell and Paul Lieberstein also directed episodes this season, though they have previously directed for the series. This episode was dedicated to the memory of Larry Einhorn, whose son, Randall Einhorn, has directed 11 previous episodes of the series, served as this episode's consultant and cinematographer, and went on to direct other episodes - including the next episode.

Reception[edit]

In its original American broadcast, "The Cover-Up" was watched by 6.84 million viewers with a 3.5 rating and a 10 share in the 18–49 demographic.[2]

Cindy White of IGN gave the episode an 8.0/10, saying it was "Impressive" and "While 'The Cover-Up' did manage to move along two story threads leading up to the end of the season, it wasn't really a standout episode, especially in contrast to last week's. There weren't as many quotable lines or memorable moments as I usually expect from The Office."[3] Leonard Pierce of The A.V. Club gave the episode an A−, writing "It's an extremely adept episode, skillfully blending its themes with a solid structure and tons of good jokes in a way that this season has rarely achieved", but said the episode wasn't as good as the other NBC Comedy Night Done Right shows, Community and Parks and Recreation.[4] Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly said "The episode was called 'The Cover-Up,' and even if it didn’t quite follow through on the promise of that opening scene, it was a good little ditty."[5] James Poniewozik of Time gave the episode a positive review writing "Credit to the show for setting that up (Michael realizing he is a mistress), though it eluded me and, I suppose, everyone else not versed in the secret signals of heart-shaped jewelry.[6]

References[edit]

External links[edit]