Dwight: “You need to contact every woman you’ve ever been with and notify them of your infestation of herpes. It’s the right thing to do.” That about sums up “Sex Ed.” Simple and silly.
The opening tag – featuring Dwight luring immigrant workers by courting, “Necessito un bueno worker!” falls flat. Dwight’s creepiness is usually funny, but in this instance, his partnership with Moz to fool illegal aliens and not pay them is just… uh, creepy? And not funny…
Back at the office, Michael saunters in with upper lip hair that would put Harry Houdini to shame. It’s soon revealed, however, he’s covering a giant pimple, or as Kevin concludes, “a cold sore is herpes.”
Per Dwight’s advice, Michael seeks to contact all of his recent lovers to inform them of his problem. First up: the lovely Holly, via speakerphone. Before he can get to the herpes talk they have a typically nerdy but charming flirtation. But Holly also is disconcertingly blunt: “You romanticize things,” she tells him. “You made us out to be more than we were.” Ouch. That observation haunts Michael through this entire episode.
Next up: Jan. Boy, has she brought on the crazy. She’s still a successful businesswoman, but she also refers to herself as a “supermom” and proudly proclaims she’s put out an album of Doris Day covers on her own label. Mmmmkay. She also proceeds to talk through a “post mortem” of her relationship with Michael. It isn’t until she sings to Astrid (and that Astrid is sure cute) that Michael blurts out his herpes news. Beautiful, Mr. Scott.
Back at the office, Andy bribes everyone with pizza to have a respectful conversation about sex and transmitted diseases. The exchange begins with making a list of the drawbacks of sex, but everything ends up falling in the “pro” column, including unplanned pregnancy after Jim & Pam balk at the idea that Cece was an accident. “She was a surprise,” Pam says. Unfortunately, the talk turns ugly when Andy can’t control his anger regarding Erin and Gabe’s relationship (this, after proposing putting a condom on a pencil). Hence the wall covered in pepperoni and cheese.
Helene (Pam’s mom, if you’ll recall) is next on the list of shame. No, she’s not the 85-year-old basking in the sun on a park bench, as Michael suspects. She looks the same, and is still clearly pissed about being dumped, calling him “self-deluded.” This is starting to sound like a reality show. But the thought of a Michael Scott reality show just scares me… the burning of feet on George Foreman grills… the writing of screenplays about government officials with no limbs…
Finally, Carol (always gamely played by Steve Carell’s real-life wife, Nancy Walls). It’s clear Michael’s tracked her down by calling her office and referring to himself as her “ex-lover.” She does put things in perspective, though: looking at his blemish, she tells him he does make a bigger deal of things than he needs to.
The last scene is best: Michael calls Holly and tells her she’s wrong. “I don’t know why you down-graded what we had but I did not make us up,” he tells her. It’s the most honest – and possibly least funny – moment of the entire episode. And it’s also the best. He follows that up with “Oh, and you should talk to a doctor because you might have herpes. Bye.” Priceless.
Best quotes of the evening:
-Phyllis: “I got stung up my dress.” Dwight: “Poor hornet.”
-Meredith re: herpes: “’Cause it’s on my genitals, genius.” Kevin: “You have a penis?”
-Angela re: Meredith: “This is what you get when you treat your body like an outhouse.”
-Michael: “Am I the princess?” Jan: “No, I’m the princess and the queen.”
-Darrell, re: Andy's trick question regarding abstinence: “What’s the safest way to go skiing? Don’t ski!”
-Darrell (to Andy): “My advice is to stop crying.”
What did you think? For all the guest stars, I thought it could have been better. Let’s hope the writers utilize Steve Carell’s final episodes well. Something tells me we’ll be seeing Amy Ryan as Holly in the near future…