S07E04: This really is the end, isn’t it? Michael Scott is really leaving us and we’re going to have to say goodbye very soon and I don’t know how well I am going to handle this and no I’m not crying my eyes are just sweating, gosh.
Our episode this week took us back in time on a journey; a journey through the dating and sex life of Michael Scott. The impetus behind such an adventure flared up like all great adventures do: a herpes scare. Michael wanted to do the chivalrous thing and alert everyone he has slept with for the past six years that he might have herpes but also figure out if it was them that gave it to him. In doing so, we get updates on every single failed relationship we have seen Michael stumble through and we also get to see what he is heading towards in his final homestretch.
Michael calls Holly first (well second after Donna, but nothing really happens with that convo so we’ll gloss over it), but I want to talk about her later...but she drops something important on Michael so I’ll mention it now. Holly calls Michael delusional and tells him that he romanticizes everything which causes him to question every relationship he has been in. He takes this criticism to heart and while he’s supposed to be talking about herpes with all his exes he ends up talking about himself.
First we get a visit to Jan who seems to be back on the right track. Or at least is heading there. She’s back in a high powered job at a hospital and is raising her daughter on her own. But she also released an album of Doris Day covers on her own label. She hasn’t quite gotten all the crazy swept under the rug, but perhaps she has found the balance she needed. Unfortunately that involves singing about everything and yeah, that shouldn’t happen around non-deaf people. She goes on to tell Michael that their relationship was based on danger like a princess hiding her trysts with the stable boy from the queen and she was the princess and the queen in the relationship. That plus the over zealous singing finally shows Michael the light that Jan is in fact insane. The realization that he used to think she was “the one” really bothers Michael and it underlines his remaining reunions with his exes.
Next is Pam’s mother, Helene, who he meets in the park. After mistaking her for a very elderly lady he has what was perhaps his best conversation with all his exes. Of course, it ends with him slightly pissed off and calling her a jerk, but still, it was his best. Then he meets with Carol and it goes about as well as Helene’s but since he interrupted her from showing a house I’m going to judge that one as less successful as Helene’s. Both reiterate what Holly mentioned about Michael’s faults and it seems Michael starts to realize that there might just be something wrong with the way he views the world. It still doesn’t stop Michael from questioning Oscar about their kiss all the way at the beginning of season 3, but we couldn’t have Michael completely transform in one episode.
The failed journey through past relationships causes him to call Holly back and confront her about what she said. He has to leave her a message but he still spills his guts to her. And he’s basically right. He argues that while he might have been delusional about all his other girlfriends he definitely felt something real between the two of them. And his evidence is legit. Despite the fact it has been over a year and a half since they dated (she and AJ have dated that long) she was happy to hear from them and when he joked, she played right along. It was like what Jim said when Michael and Holly first started going at it; she’s just as weird as he is. She just seems to see the world through less rose colored glasses.
So will he end up with Holly? Of course he will. Or at least he’ll go after her. He knows she fits exceptionally well with him and we can all tell there are at least some feelings left over for her, too. But will it be a happy ending? I think so. The show goes to some very dark places in life but it generally gives happy endings to those who deserve it. And who deserves a loving relationship more than Michael Scott? That’s all he’s ever wanted. That’s all he cares about. Plus we know Amy Ryan comes back to set, so that’s some pretty good evidence too. Also, the original Office ended with a happy ending for David Brent (who was a far less likable character than Michael Scott), so the precedent is there.
The other storyline was a sex-ed seminar that Andy felt he should give because people were making fun of Meredith too much. I had a few problems with this storyline, although I found it generally hilarious. My first problem was the intention behind it. In the beginning it looked like Andy was doing this because he wanted to stick up for Meredith and impress Erin. But then it turns out he was fishing to see if Gabe and Erin had upped their relationship to a sexual one. There was never any indication that was the purpose of everything and when it came to that it just felt off. Second, there wasn’t any real resolution to the story. Sure we found out that Andy had given Gabe permission to date Erin (in a funny accent, of course) but when the episode ended I couldn’t help but think “that’s it?” I thought there would have been another beat to it at least.
All in all, a good episode for The Office. I think there are some soon-to-be-classic episodes coming up with Michael’s departure getting closer and closer each week. While I’ll hate to see him leave, and I can’t wait to see how it all ends.