The Office First things first: I know

Jenna Fischer gave us fair warning in this week's

blog, but I simply can't get past Pam's slightly different (yet thoroughly radical) hairdo. It's like when a formerly four-eyed friend gets contact lenses, or when Alex Trebek shaved off his mustache you can't think about anything else for staring at the oh-so-tiny, all-consuming change. Sparkly pink headband I might not sleep for days. Maybe I should take a stress-management cue from Meredith and whip up a big ol' somethin'-and-tonic in the break room.

While the rest of the office deals with Valentine's Day and its requisite emotional roller-coaster (Phyllis and Angela score big! Pam and Kelly bum hard!), Michael heads to the Big Apple which apparently lies across international waters from Scranton, seeing as how Dwight sends him off with passport in hand. Not only does Michael's walking tour of Manhattan include a stop at his favorite NYC pizzeria (Sbarro) and his nontouristy locale of choice (Times Square), but he also manages to miss out on a Conan sighting in front of Rockefeller Center while, naturally, chasing down a woman who is not Tina Fey. When the off-camera-man breaks the news, Steve Carell pulls off simultaneous rage, nausea and almost-tears during a brilliantly short reaction take that I must confess to watching about a dozen times before moving on. I'm starting to wear down the eight-second instant-replay button on my TiVo remote for this show.

Other episode highlights: Dwight's bobble-head version of himself; the giant (but still not as big as Kevin) teddy bear Phyllis got from Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration; Michael's "Faces of Scranton" short film set to U2's "With or Without You," complete with a production-company logo featuring inexplicable pics of Steve Martin and Robin Williams; and last but certainly not least, the kiss we've all been waiting for. No, not Jim and Pam Michael and Jan Levinson-Gould (again). I know! Chana Shwadlenak

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