Posted by: ckckred | May 18, 2013

The Office Watch: Finale

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Spoiler’s Alert for the Final Episode of The Office.  Also, I will talk about movies next week as I realized I spent the past few days writing only about the series.

“Finale” was the last episode of The Office that felt the combination of a typical series finale on TV (clips of past episodes, return of old jokes) as well as a reunion (the return of past characters such as Ryan).  Those two parts clashed together in the episode, but while flawed, “Finale” reminded me of what I loved about The Office.  Written by Greg Daniels, who developed the series for television, “Finale” was a strong send-off for a great show.

I’m one of The Office’s biggest fans and have stuck through the show for years.  I don’t need to explain my love for the series (you can check out my Great TV Show essay on it or when I name the ten best episodes), but I’ve always admired how the series managed to blend comedy with drama.  Taking elements from Ricky Gervais’ original series, Daniels took a masterpiece and made it even better.  The Office made me cringe, laugh hard, and cry, sometimes all in one scene.

“Finale” takes place one year after the documentary aired on PBS.  Dwight is now the regional manager, the spot he always wanted, while Kevin and Toby are fired while Andy attempts to reassemble his life.  Jim and Pam are still married and living in Scranton.  Creed is on the run from the police, Stanley moved to Florida while Nellie moved to Poland.  The episode primarily focused on Dwight and Angela’s wedding, an event that was years in the making.

And of course there was Steve Carell’s return as Michael Scott.  Perhaps Michael returning was unnecessary, but I was happy to see him back, from the moment where he cried, “that’s what she said” to him declaring, “I feel like all my kids grew up and then they married each other. It’s every parent’s dream!”

The episode had no shortage of laughs, something which the past few seasons have been lacking.  But the episode most importantly of all “Finale” concluded the story of Jim and Pam.  The season’s main drama has revolved on whether Jim would follow through with Athelead (now Atheleap), and Pam finally allows Jim to dedicate himself to the company, meaning that the Halpert family will move to Austin, Texas.  The series was at its core the story of Jim and Pam as was the original.  The final episode of the British Office didn’t end with its characters walking off in the sunset, but it was fitting for the American series to do so.

And despite that The Office ended the way most series do, with a song and series of speeches, it was nostalgic, heartwarming, and sad.  From Creed playing the guitar to Michael hanging up the painting of the building, “Finale” reminded audiences The Office was a show about ordinary people trying to find and accomplish their dreams in one way or another.  Unlike the unsatisfying final episode of 30 Rock, which threw its characters out the window, The Office concluded with its characters learning about their feelings and settling themselves down.  While The Office ran on too long, it’s sad to see a great series go.  Thanks for the great memories.

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Responses

  1. It was an excellent finale, I thought. The clip show beforehand did a good job of celebrating the series for the fans, too. I definitely thought they needed to bring back Michael Scott, though, and I’m glad to see they did. Wouldnt have been the same without him, he was such a huge part of the show. 😀

    • It was a very strong episode indeed and I was happy to see Michael back. I don’t think the finale would have worked as well without him, plus he delivered the biggest laugh of the episode. Thanks for commenting.

  2. I thought it was a decent enough episode, nice send-off at least, though I would have preferred a few more laughs. Michael’s moment was awesome, however, and kept respectably brief enough that it didn’t devalue his good-bye episode, so I thought that was handled well.

    • I liked how Michael was handled as well. I probably would have liked more laughs as well, but I thought the episode was strong overall. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Still catching up on the 9th season before I watch this but I’ve heard so many good things that I’m actually looking forward to it. I absolutely love The Office and am really glad to see it receive a proper send off. I’ll be back to let myself read your full write-up once I’ve seen it 🙂

    • I made sure to see the rest of the 9th season before the finale. It starts to progress better at the end. This is a strong send-off for the show. Thanks for commenting.

  4. It was typical, but yeah it was fine. Honestly though, the penultimate episode felt like it may have been the better finale.

    • I agree with that. The episode really didn’t resolve much other than the Jim and Pam side plot but I still really enjoyed the episode. Thanks for commenting.

  5. One of the best finales for one of the best series of all time; the first 3 seasons of the show is on-par with any comedy series from any era. 🙂

    • The first few seasons were pretty great and I’m glad you enjoyed the finale as well.


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