It was Valentine’s Day on The Office tonight, and given that Michael and Holly finally reunited at the end of last week’s episode, it was only natural that these two would be all over each other on love’s holiday. Michael is absurdly inappropriate on a normal basis, so Michael being happy with the one he loves on Valentine’s Day is like awkward behavior on steroids. Hence the simple title of the episode: PDA. The topic of PDA—stirred by Michael and Holly kissing, canoodling and touching constantly—got everyone talking and even led to a seminar on appropriate behavior by Gabe. More importantly for us, the notion of PDA and office relationships in general actually served as a unifying force for the episode and kept all the storylines running smoothly and weaving in and out. This turned out to be one of the better episodes this season, in my humble opinion!
The cold opening—which had nothing to do with Valentine’s Day—showed us a grieving Daryl. His elderly grandmother had recently passed away, and Pam presented him with a condolence card signed by the staff. Unfortunately, the crew was not good about actually reading the card, and everyone signed it with celebratory birthday wishes. I bring this up not only because I enjoyed this little scene, but also because I know this is exactly something that can happen in an office. A few years ago, the CEO of my former organization underwent a heart procedure and my division got a ‘Get Well Soon’ card to sign for him. That same week, an intern was wrapping up his time with us and a ‘Thank you/Goodbye’ card was circulating for him. A fellow co-worker (I SWEAR it was NOT me) accidentally thought that the CEO’s get well card was the goodbye intern card and signed it “It was nice knowing you…best of luck!” Hahaha…we all got a good laugh. So, Daryl and Pam—this is a truly relatable experience.
Now on to the focus of the episode! Whereas many past Valentine’s Day episodes of The Office have embraced a “lonely hearts” theme, this year many couples had reason to celebrate, especially Michael and Holly. Everyone in the office was actually very happy for the new couple—ultimately, they really do want the best for him—but their tolerance level was pushed to the max by their ridiculous PDA. One of the best examples was poor Oscar, just trying to get Michael to sign some forms, having to stare at Michael and Holly rubbing their hands together. It got to the point that Gabe hosted an emergency seminar on PDA in the workplace, which pretty much went right over Michael and Holly’s heads (or lips). The two made an effort to stop their PDA in what turned out to be even more awkward behavior…picture two kids playing the game “not touching, can’t get mad!” What really stopped Michael in his tracks, though, was when Gabe brought up the tiny detail he and Holly had been ignoring: one day Toby will return from jury duty and Holly will have to leave again. Rather than let this destroy their newly declared love (as in love, love!) they decided to move in together! Things are looking more and more like Michael and Holly will ride off into the sunset when he leaves Dunder Mifflin in a few episodes.
There were plenty of other relationships on fire tonight, which is why this episode was a strong improvement over others recently. Jim resurfaced for more screen time tonight, and he and Pam were more amusing than they have been in a long time! Thank you, Office writers, for NOT having Pam lead the office in a Valentine’s Day project (much like the staff’s over-exposure to PDA, I have had enough of Pam’s elementary school projects). I wonder if it says something that the first time I have liked Jim and Pam this season is tonight when they were drunk from a Valentine’s Day bottomless champagne lunch? They spent the episode giggling and giddy, and seeking private space for…well, more than PDA. They almost reminded me of early-seasons Pam and Jim (ahhhh remember the Dundies with drunk Pam? That was truly classic).
Andy and Erin (and sort of Gabe) rounded out the main relationship storylines tonight. Andy and Erin—you are too cute for each other, I can’t even stand it…Please get together a.s.a.p. Gabe unwittingly pulled Erin and Andy even closer together by setting up a Valentine’s Day treasure hunt (not a scavenger hunt, mind you) for his naïve girlfriend. Erin being Erin, she couldn’t quite grasp some of the clues, so she enlisted Andy’s help for every step of the way. Just as they found the last clue about a kiss, she was about to go for it with Andy when Gabe blew her the prize kiss from his desk. Sigh, I guess it is not yet time for these two. My favorite moment for these two was a toss-up. There was Erin with the very first clue, which were puzzle pieces she was supposed to put together to find the next clue. Erin just did not get the concept of a puzzle clue—or that she was supposed to put the pieces together. Then there was Andy and Erin listening to Gabe’s sound-scape clue in Daryl’s office while trying to not bother him (yet talking about not bothering him the entire time).
Some more memorable lines from tonight’s PDA episode:
- “Everything you want in life, you get…you can’t work for it…it just comes to you” (Michael’s new outlook on life)
- “Holly and I are like Romeo and Juliet, and this office is like the dragon that kept them apart” (Michael, of course)
- “No one is a bigger fan of sexual touching than me” (Gabe) – this line made me shiver down my spine coming from him
- “I’m not saying it won’t be hard, but we can make it work –that’s what she said” (Holly referring to long distance relationships, while also clearly proving she and Michael are soul mates)
- Ryan’s speech in the closing that any guy can do impressive gestures for his love one day a year, but he thinks it is most noteworthy when a guy can do those things no day a year!
Do you think the writers will be kind to us (and Michael) by keeping him with Holly when he leaves…or will it be under heartbroken conditions? And are you feeling hopeful for Andy and Erin…or will Andy end up hitting it off with his date (i.e. the only other white person who was at Daryl’s party)?