The Lover (The Office)
|The Office episode|
|Directed 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 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 at their wedding in Niagara. Jim is shocked 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 does not 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, 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 crisis 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 initially disgusted by this, but Michael appeals to them with his human need for companionship, and they agree that Pam is overreacting. In response, Pam becomes hostile towards the rest of the office. Michael complains to Toby (Paul Lieberstein) about Pam's behavior, but when Toby tries to coax Pam into discussing the issue, she becomes angry with Toby as well. Pam 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 and says goodnight to Pam, without response.
Meanwhile, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) apologizes to Jim for their feuds, and offers him a token of his desire for peace with a wooden mallard, actually a concealed recording device which he means to use to gather damaging information about Jim. Jim quickly finds the device and starts using it to prank Dwight. He 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, while using gestures to make it clear that they are discussing Dwight. He then gives the mallard to Ryan (B. J. Novak) and Kelly (Mindy Kaling) in the annex, meaning Dwight can hear the couple's bickering, and is forced to pay $10 to get it back. Jim finally summons Dwight to his office and tells him he knew about the recording device all along. Dwight admits to being jealous of Jim's promotion. Jim tells Dwight to wash his car as punishment. Jim then brings Pam into the conference room and cheers her up by saying Dwight is washing their car out of sympathy for what she has been through and recounting stories from their honeymoon.
At the end of the episode, Dwight reveals that that recording device underneath the mallard was a decoy, and his primary recording device was installed on the tip of a pen that he claimed Jim left on his desk earlier, along with the mallard.
This episode was watched by 8.5 million viewers, with a 4.2 rating and an 11 share in the 18–49 demographic.