The Office has been on for so many years now (six), shown so many episodes (122), and gone through so many plotlines that it’s easy to forget massive upheavals in the characters’ lives. Remember when Creed was almost fired? When Kelly had a brief crush on Andy? When Michael dated the soccer mom (played by his real-life wife)? Yeah, we had to look them up too. Two seasons ago, the story of Andy and Angela’s impending nuptials — and the obviousness of their mismatch — was a primary story line; remember, she was having an affair with Dwight almost up to the very day of the wedding, which was actually going to be held at Schrute Farms. The show has tended to forget Andy and Angela’s relationship, though, mostly because it ended so abruptly, and so cruelly: After all, Angela’s character was quite horrible to Andy, and to keep her as sympathetic, you had to store that “cheated on Andy with the man who was hosting her wedding” business somewhere out back. Well, last night, the show remembered, as Andy and Erin’s burgeoning relationship hit a snag when Michael informed Erin that Andy and Angela were once together. She didn’t handle it well.
Erin, as played by the irrepressible Ellie Kemper, is on the one hand a naïve sweetheart and on the other, well, let’s just call her slow. (Michael is less kind and simply refers to her as a “rube.” He should talk.) So when she learns about Angela and Andy, she can’t process it; the thought of the two of them having sex seems, to her, impossibly monstrous. (Thinking about it, we know the feeling.) But rather than deal with it in a mature manner, she hides. Or, more specifically, puts her hair over her face. “In the foster home, my hair was my room,” she says to Michael in a crowded restaurant.
Ultimately, this leads to the moment when Erin, right before Andy is supposed to sing “Secretary of Love” to her for her Secretary’s Day celebration, throws a piece of cake in his face. While it does seem silly that Andy never told her about Angela, he can be forgiven for almost forgetting about it. We sure did. Now that we remember, though, we kind of hope Andy goes to Erin and says, “Hey, you can’t get mad at me for a horrible, humiliating relationship where my fiancée was cheating on me with someone in the office.” If she doesn’t accept that, we’ll slide away from the “naïve” end of the scale and toward the “slow” end.
By the way, Kevin is like Cookie Monster on Sesame Street. Or, as Dwight puts it, “that show where the puppets live in the barrio.”
Alan Sepinwall is trying to block Meredith using Pam’s breast pump from his memory.
Nathan Rabin at the AV Club thought this was Erin’s finest hour.
Margaret Lyons at EW.com thought this was “a great little episode.”