On ''The Office,'' Jan confronts Michael after a sexy photo of her on their tropical vacation goes viral; plus, Pam breaks down and cries

By Abby West
Updated January 05, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

”The Office”: A sexy vacation photo goes viral

Wow. Welcome back, guys. Last night’s episode was both cringe- and gasp-worthy. But after watching the fallout from Michael’s trip to Jamaica with Jan — who called it? — my main question is whether I am going to jail for being complicit in the slowest suicide attempt ever. Because that’s clearly what Jan’s doing (we can thank her psychiatrist, Dr. Perry, for the self-destruction diagnosis), and assisted suicide is illegal in Pennsylvania.

When she threw Michael up against the door and tongued him down, I thought for a minute that it might be a little out of character for the normally reserved Jan. But not really. Didn’t she initiate the first kiss between them? And this surrender to her maelstrom of bad choices was the perfect culmination of her bizarre relationship with Michael, a man who is bad for her ”in every way,” a man who allowed a racy picture from their vacation to be e-mailed around the company. (Try not to think about what the stack of printouts in the warehouse bathroom were for. Ewww!)

The way that Michael’s desire to boast and his healthy fear of offending Jan played out on Steve Carell’s face was fantastic. From his braggadocio on the phone with Todd Packer (Packer!) to his death march up the stairs to face Jan, it was a thing of beauty.

But none of that compared to that shot of Pam crying. I truly did gasp. I thought she’d been just wonderful coaching Jim through his aversion to having Karen move two blocks away from him. Pam had been a friend. It was just like helping Phyllis get tape out of her hair, right? She and Jim are just cool like that. Then, bam! She was sitting in the hall, crying alone, until Dwight came to comfort her through what he was sure was really bad PMS. I got so nervous when he took off his jacket. If he had really hit on Pam I would have freaked.

I think I’d like to amend my prediction of what will happen between Jim and Pam and make it an amalgamation of what I said in the last post and what one of you guys wrote on the boards. By the time Jim is ready to give Pam another try, she will have decided not to ruin her burgeoning friendship with Karen and will have gone back to Roy. The burly, bearded one is playing it just right, striking a nice, friendly tone while connecting on memories from their past, like their quibble on where to honeymoon.

As for the rest of the gang, that initial meeting, where almost everyone followed Jim’s lead and piled on Dwight, making up things about him, was the most we’d get out of our side players this week, but I’m not complaining. Of course it was appropriately squashed by Andy’s beheading fantasy.

Best line of the night: ”I wish that were true,” said Toby in response to Michael’s assertion that his relationship with Jan wasn’t Toby’s business.

Creed-Creep-O-Meter: 3 (For that extra-intense stare at the picture and the fact that Karen sat next to him to avoid Jim.)

And hallelujah! Antagonistic, sourpuss Hannah is gone! Now bring back Oscar.

Lingering questions: How open about their relationship will Michael and Jan become? How do you all feel about Andy, the last Stamford holdout besides Karen, these days? Is he still striking the right tone, or do his over-the-top antics pale in comparison to Dwight’s devilish idiocy? And what’s Karen going to do when she finds out about Jim and Pam’s history?