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October 10, 2015

The Office: Valentine's Day

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Feb 10th 2006 11:22AM

Love is in bloom at The Office as it is Valentine's Day. We first see Pam (with her new hairdo that makes her look even more attractive than ever) describing what is going on, and then Phyllis gets a huge bouquet of flowers from her boyfriend Bob. We then learn that Michael is set to leave for New York City for a big meeting with other branch managers and Dunder Mifflin's CFO. Plus, he mentions that his boss Jan, with whom he hooked up with a few months before, will be there, and he slyly mentions the fact that it is Valentine's Day.

Jim then discusses his plans for the evening--since he broke up with his girlfriend a few weeks back, he's looking to get a few guys together to play some poker. Meanwhile, Dwight gets a box that contains a bobblehead doll of himself. He is absolutely thrilled, and we see Angela, normally very tightly wound, smile. We then learn that office chatterbox Kelly hooked up with Ryan, and she can't stop talking about it to Jim, who seems uncomfortable with the whole situation.

Michael makes his way to NYC and hilariously describes some of the landmarks. He also spots someone that either is or looks very much like Saturday Night Live's Tina Fey, who blows him off. In the meantime, Conan O'Brien saunters across the screen. Michael is upset he missed him. All the while, Michael is thrilled to be in the Big Apple, likening it to "Scranton on steroids."

Back at the office, Phyllis gets more flowers as well as a huge teddy bear from her boyfriend. It seems sweet, but awfully creepy. Dwight asks to speak privately to Pam to ask what he should do about a Valentine's gift for someone, and Pam says it's not so much about the gift but more the gesture. He ends the conversation abruptly.

While making small talk at the meeting in NYC before the presentations, Michael blurts out that and Jan hooked up, much to everyone's surprise. It definitely looks like it's going to be an interesting meeting, for sure.

As Phyllis continues to receive more flowers and Kim professes her almost-obsessive feelings for Ryan, the presentations reviewing the financial strength of Dunder Mifflin from the branch managers begin. Jan looks extremely nervous with Michael in the room, but things seem to go along OK for the time being.

Then, we get to Michael's presentation. It's not PowerPoint, or even Excel--it's a video he produced on his Mac that profiles the office staff to the strains of U2's "With or Without You." At the end, a title slide appears with the note "A Michael Scott Joint." (Truly one of the funniest gags I've seen this season and a great spoof of Spike Lee.) The CFO is not impressed, and wants performance numbers.

In Scranton, Oscar gets flowers from his "mother" and Meredith ends up passing out on her desk after spiking her drink in the cafeteria. Jim also tells Kelly not to get too hung up on Ryan because he may not be that into her, but she keeps right on going.

In the meeting room, one of the other branch managers is unprepared, and lets out the secret that Michael and Jan slept together. Jan is totally shocked and embarrassed, and she fears that she will be fired.

All the while, Pam sees everyone getting some sort of gift for Valentine's Day, but nothing for her. (Even Angela gets a box with a key in it, and the idea of her and Dwight being together brings chills to the viewer.) Pam's fiancee Roy visits her and after he hears her say that it would have been nice if she got something, he says the day is not over and promises her great sex that evening. You can tell she's not exactly thrilled.

Back in NYC, Michael explains to the CFO that the revelation about him and Jan was nothing but a bad joke and he accepts full responsibility. The CFO lets them off the hook, and as we see Michael heading into the elevator to leave, Jan thanks him and kisses him on the lips, not realizing the documentary cameras have caught the entire scene. She is again shocked.

I know this sounds like a broken record, but The Office continues to deliver outstanding episodes week after week. This one was certainly one of their best, and it leaves you wanting more. With NBC's Olympic coverage set to pre-empt the show for the next couple of weeks, it'll be tough to go without The Office. Plus, the season for this show is set to end in mid-March, so you can bet some of the underlying storylines (Jim and Pam, Michael and Jan, Dwight and Angela) will come to some fruition.

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I find Dwight and Angela as a couple endearing, despite the fact that both are creepy separately.

I'm disappointed that Kelly is just getting stranger and stranger. I much preferred the cooler Kelly who was mocking the creepy baby poster during the yankee swap.

I guess Jan just can't help herself. Her judgement is in question anyway - why the heck would Michael still be where he is when she has seen time and again that he doesn't have what it takes to be the boss. He's a good sales guy - but heck, he nearly led the entire downstairs gang into a union.

Roy is such a boor.

February 21 2006 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No one has mentioned how Michael points out all the "great dining" in New York, then goes on to list Red Lobster. Dwight's sense of wonder when he realizes he's the bobblehead was great, and I loved Angela's "I wouldn't know anything about that, but I'm glad you liked it". Their office romance is so contrary to their perception of proper office behavior. The only thing that gets me is when Jan kisses Michael-- on the lips, no less! She knows he's an idiot, has just escaped almost losing her job, and then she goes in for a lip kiss? It would have been in keeping with character if she'd tried for the friendly on-the-cheek, and then Michael had turned it into more (but then maybe that's what happened (my TV's kind of small!). If so, someone set me straight!)

February 18 2006 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh my gosh... I found myself trying to breathe during this episode. It was just so funny.

Michael's whole NYC tour, the awkwardness of him blurting out his relationship with Jan, Oscar and his "mom," when Ryan blurts out how he hooked up with Kelly on Feb. 13, the bobblehead and Dwight's suggesting a return gesture of a "ham." It just gets funnier every week.

February 10 2006 at 3:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Michael is king... another great show.

February 10 2006 at 3:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Keller

Pam -- sigh. This episode's new hairdo and lack of frumpy sweater made her look even cuter. I wonder if this will be a build up of something else in Pam.

There weren't many big laughs or awkward moments this episode, but it was very intriguing. This is one of those episodes where you can see the 'real' Michael and not the one who tries so hard to be a manager everyone likes and fears at the same time. It also turns out that Michael isn't as much of a tool as some of the other managers in the company.

It was also good to see an episode not focusing on Jim and Pam. I think that would have been too much of a cliche for a Valentine's Day themed show.

BTW, the cameo of Conan O'Brien walking right past Michael was classic.

February 10 2006 at 2:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Immediately after viewing last night's episode, I was *extremely* upset over the lack of Jim/Pam interaction, especially since the promos leading up to the episode seemed to imply otherwise. But now that I have had a chance to calm down, I can appreciate the brilliance of the writers to reflect what happens in real life: utterly shattered expectations on Valentine's Day. It happens to the best of us!

By the way, come by http://www.officetally.com to add your rating to the episode! :)

February 10 2006 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Blogger Michael--
"...Kim professes her almost-obsessive feelings for Ryan..."

I believe you mean Kelly.

Anyway, I agree with most of the people here in that I think it's great when they interact withthe camerapeople. Like when they see something and "point it out" to the cameramen. Or just giving the "I can't believe this is happening" face. It's brilliant.

February 10 2006 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The only show on television that always has me wanting more at the end of the episode.

February 10 2006 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with the above: The characters talk far too openly in front of what would be a very intrusive film crew. That's the biggest suspension of disbelief required with the show.

Jim is the main offender when it comes to mugging to the camera, but I rather like it.

February 10 2006 at 1:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim Goral

One of the best shows so far. Michael's guided tour of NY (going for a "New York slice" at Sbarro's) was hilarious.
Back in the office, the Valentines Day story line was brilliant for revealing characters. Jenna Fischer was outstanding as Pam--nothing she said, but her melancholy expression spoke volumes about her relationship. Excellent episode.
I'm still bugged by the multiple camera angles--it's a distraction. For example, the very serious personal conversation between Jan and Michael would never have taken place with three cameras present. It looked like standard sitcom rather than 'documentary.' But the "voyeuristic" camera at the final elevator scene was perfectly played (and typical of the Brit version).
I know, I'm making more of this than it deserves.
Still, it's a great show.

February 10 2006 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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