I know episodes were shot out of order and, due to a winter storm, parts of episodes needed to be shot after their holiday break. I swear Jamie's hair was a bit longer at the start of the episode and I can't imagine Matt had time for a haircut!
I think the writers were trying to create a spark, but I'm not sure if it was there. I like to think Alesha is still seeing James, just not in the office. ;)