As Michael Scott repeatedly reminded anyone who’d listen, it had been four months since he and Holly broke up. For me, it felt equally as long since the last new <a href="http://www.ew.com/ew/article/Office“>episode, and I was as excited as Kelly was when she opened her first Valentine. That’s not to say that last night’s episode ultimately felt like a trip to the dentist. On the contrary, it was unusually sweet, but….
See how I did that? You’re totally distracted from what might have been mild criticism. Moving on.
Didn’t you just love how Jim simply knew that Michael was incapable of sidestepping his Fonzie greeting? He had not eaten in three days, but Michael would’ve given the same reaction on a full stomach. Even if he had ruined Jim and Pam’s rouse, the new hi-tech phone system was DOA. You think Michael wants calls coming directly to his desk? Kudos for Pam, though, for marking her technology-threatened territory (says the magazine writer).
To be honest, I was initially skeptical that Valentines Day carried such a burden for the single men at Dunder Mifflin. (St. Patty’s Day, yes. But St. Valentine’s Day?) Only Dwight seemed to be unfazed by recent heartbreak. But then Michael reminded us of his ”great capacity of emotion,” and I realized that Cupid’s sparrows might yet drop something special on his shoulder. For he — and Kevin, whose heartache is less only because his ex isn’t as hot as Holly — Valentine’s Day was about new beginnings.
Michael aside, I’m still not over Amy Ryan, but Blood-Bank Girl was a promising replacement. She giggled at Michael’s jokes — ”Type O-cean Spray” — and responded with equally nonsensical banter. Even before their blood bags accidentally touched, Michael was smitten. When he regained consciousness, the only trace of her was a single pink glove. Either she’s his Cinderella, or a really, really unskilled jewel thief.
Meanwhile, Jim and Pam, whose office PDA launched a Dunder Mifflin singles’ crusade, accepted an invitation for a couples’ lunch with Phyllis and Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration. ”Anything to get out of the office,” Pam said, and that’s kind of how I felt about this whole plot detour, even before they sat down to eat. Bob wasn’t exactly a polished conversationalist, so the quartet swapped bowling stories that at least allowed Pam to poke fun of Jim’s girlish hands. I kept waiting for the gag, much as Jim and Pam were later left waiting, but when they located Phyllis and Bob enjoying their appetizer in the handicap bathroom, I didn’t lose my appetite, as Jim did. I was still hungry. This chapter felt slightly undercooked, and no amount of blank camera stares….
On the other hand, Michael’s singles-only Lonely Hearts confession — ”Deal with it, Pam!” — was a classic example of Michael’s misguided intentions. He reminded Kelly that Ryan was probably having random sex in Thailand and totally misdiagnosed Oscar’s heartbreak. When the soul baring finally bottomed out, Prince Charming selfishly suggested a mixer in the hope that his Cinderella — or Pink Panther thief — would appear to claim her missing glove. The rest of the sad — sacks rallied around his chance romantic encounter to redeem their own depressing holiday. Only Dwight objected. He seemed to have a moral objection against lonely-people mixers, citing Darwinist concerns. ”You’re not letting natural selection do its work,” he warned Michael. ”You’re like the guy who invented the seatbelt.”
NEXT: The prince picks up the slipper