I haven't watched The Office for the last couple years, but I had to tune in for the series finale last night. Even though it's been a while since I was truly invested in the Dunder Mifflin Paper Co., I was curious as to how they'd wrap things up after nine seasons. As NBC described it, "Months after the airing of the documentary, the workers of Dunder Mifflin, past and present, gather for a wedding and a final round of interviews. Mysteries are solved, hatchets are buried, pranks are prunked [sic]."
Like most Office episodes that happened after the superior (in my opinion) Jim and Pam Will-They-or-Won't-They Years, this one had moments that fell a little flat, or dragged on a little too long. Storylines were resolved right and left, but mostly it was a nostalgic reunion within a reunion ... and standing out among the occasional feeling of "meh" there were plenty of wonderful, pitch-perfect scenes.
A few of my favorites:
1) Toby's sad confession during the cast reunion Q&A, when a member of the audience asked, "Do you find your life pointless now, now that nobody is filming you?" Toby, instantly: "Yes."
2) The moment when everyone watched Andy Bernard's Cornell speech, when he redeemed himself for becoming a tragic viral sensation for his failed audition tape for America's Next A Cappella Sensation
3) Erin being reunited with her birth parents, played by Joan Cusack and Ed Begley Jr. (Should've been SO CHEESY, somehow wasn't.)
4) Andy's heartbreaking line: "I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you've actually left them."
5) Ditto to this from Jim: "Even if I didn't love every minute of it, everything I have I owe to this job. This stupid, wonderful, boring, amazing job."
6) The final thoughts voiced to the camera by Pam: "There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn't that the point?"
And, of course, 7) the best moment of the entire episode -- when Steve Carell returned as Michael Scott. I was legitimately surprised and delighted, and the writers took an already fantastic moment and elevated it to platinum status with the following exchange:
I can't believe you came! -- Dwight
That's what she said. -- Michael
All in all, I feel like they did a really nice job with the finale. If it was imperfect and occasionally sprawled into dumb territory (Kellie and Ryan? So many ughs for that storyline), well, I think the good moments outweighed the bad. Michael summed it up with one of his trademark heartfelt/creepy lines, delivered while choking back tears:
I feel like all my kids grew up and then they married each other. It's every parent's dream.
What did you think of The Office finale?
Image via NBC