The Lover (The Office)
|The Office episode|
|Episode no.||Season 6
|Directed by||Lee Eisenberg|
|Written by||Lee Eisenberg
|Original air date||October 22, 2009|
"The Lover" is the 7th episode of the sixth season of the U.S. comedy series The Office and the show's 107th episode overall. It was written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky and directed by Lee Eisenberg. It originally aired on October 22, 2009 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 this episode, Jim and Pam return from their honeymoon and discover that Michael is dating Pam's mother, which infuriates her. Meanwhile, Dwight tries to install a recording device in Jim's office, by giving him a wooden mallard as an apology for their long rivalry.
Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) return from their honeymoon in Puerto Rico and Michael (Steve Carell) tells Jim that he has been dating Pam's mother, Helene (Linda Purl), after spending the night with her in "Niagara". Jim is in shock and tells Michael not to mention anything to Pam (which he reluctantly agrees to do) and to break it off with Helene immediately (which he doesn't agree to). However, when Jim and Pam give Michael a gift from Puerto Rico, Michael asks if Pam thinks he should date who he wants. He then lets it slip he is dating Helene, and Pam storms out of the office and into the parking lot in shock and anger, screaming all the way down. She calls her mother and angrily asks her why she started dating him after she continuously complained to her about Michael's behavior over the past several years.
During a conference room meeting about an overseas crises involving a D-M plant, Pam maintains a hostile attitude toward Michael and openly defies him in response to the news. Michael then gets a call from Helene, who wants him to tell Pam to calm down. Pam then announces that he has been dating Helene to the rest of the office. Everyone is disgusted by this (except for Kevin, who is impressed), but when Michael says he doesn't understand why he doesn't deserve happiness, they then say that Pam is overreacting, and Michael becomes hostile towards Pam. Michael asks Toby (Paul Lieberstein) to resolve the situation in a very kind manner and for a brief moment, they seemingly are friendly and working together. But, when Toby fails to strike an agreement with Pam, Michael goes back to resenting Toby, and the situation continues to worsen. Pam then brings Michael into the kitchen and orders him to stop dating Helene, and Michael responds by saying he will date her "even harder". At the end of the day, Michael feels bad about being so belligerent and says goodnight to Pam, without response. He briefly stops before getting into the elevator to leave and looks back at the office with a pained expression, before he turns around and heads home.
Meanwhile, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) apologizes to Jim for years of torment, and offers him a token of his desire for peace with a wooden mallard. However, he has secretly put a recording device taped underneath the mallard so that he can monitor Jim's financial endeavors and sales. Jim quickly finds the device and starts using it to mess with Dwight. He first brings Andy (Ed Helms) into his office and plays "M'Appari" from the opera Martha loudly while he talks to Andy so Dwight will not hear their conversation (his excuse to Andy is wanting to give Dwight the aria for his birthday). He then gives the mallard to Ryan (B. J. Novak) and Kelly (Mindy Kaling) in the annex, causing Dwight to hear the couple's bickering, and Dwight is forced to pay $10 for it back. When Jim finds the mallard back in his office, he addresses Dwight directly through the recording device, and Dwight knows that Jim discovered it. Dwight admits his guilt and says he did it because of Jim's promotion, which he felt that he was more deserving of. Jim punishes Dwight by making him wash his car. Jim then brings Pam into the conference room and successfully cheers her up by saying Dwight is washing their car as an apology for what she's been through and recounting stories from their honeymoon. Pam admits she may have overreacted, but still doesn't believe she actually did given the situation. At the end of the episode, Dwight reveals that that recording device underneath the mallard was not his "primary" recording device, as his actual primary recording device was installed on the tip of a pen that he claimed Jim left on his desk earlier, along with the mallard. Dwight then plays back the audio on the pen, of which he says he has over 8 hours worth of "information" on Jim.
This episode was watched by 8.5 million viewers, with a 4.2 rating and an 11 share in the 18-49 demographic.
The phrase "frank and beans" that Jim and Pam repeat throughout the episode is an allusion to the 1998 film There's Something About Mary.
When Michael reveals his relationship with Helene to Pam, the scene alludes to a similar scene in the 1967 film "The Graduate".