'The Office' Series Finale Recap: A Perfect Goodbye to Dunder Mifflin
Thursday, May 16, 2013
After nine seasons and more than 200 episodes, the U.S. version of The Office came to an end Thursday night with a 75-minute series finale.
The Office series finale offered everything you could hope for. There were updates on what happened to all of the main characters, even returning favorites like Kelly and Ryan and Michael Scott! Throw in a wedding, a slew of guest stars, a big move and lots of reflections on how great everything was and you have a perfect tribute to a brilliant series.
One Year Later...
The finale starts one year after the documentary aired. It's the day before Dwight and Angela's wedding (where Jim is the Best Man). The documentary crew is back to film bonus footage for the DVD and to cover a fan panel where the stars of the documentary will answer questions.
We get a quick overview of the status of people who are no longer at Dunder Mifflin.
-Kevin and Toby were fired by Dwight. Kevin bought a bar and Toby moved to New York to write a novel.
-Stanley retired to Florida.
-Creed faked his own death to avoid the police who are tracking him down after the documentary aired.
-Oscar is running for State Senate.
-Andy's meltdown at the a cappella audition went viral and made him a national laughingstock. But that turned into a job at the admissions department at Cornell.
-Darrell is wildly successful with the company Jim left behind, now called Athleap.
-Nellie moved to Poland and is desperately trying to avoid Toby.
The Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties
At Angela's bachelorette party, the stripper is Meredith's son, who Meredith hilariously encourages to do his thing with her in the room. He does, but Angela needs to get some air, at which point Mose kidnaps her.
As Best Man, Jim decides to put his pranking skills to good use by arranging things for the bachelor party Dwight would enjoy, like shooting a bazooka. He also set up the kidnapping, a Schrute tradition that leads them to the bar Kevin owns, all in an elaborate ruse to force Dwight and Kevin to mend their fences.
A large auditorium of fans turns up because they love the documentary and the people. Creed is in the audience (with a beard) and so are Erin's biological parents, played by Joan Cusack and Ed Begley, Jr. It's a touching scene, especially because I'd kind of forgotten about the adoption and I'm pleased the show didn't.
But most of the questions are directed to Pam, and as viewers have been thinking all season, they're kind of upset that Pam and Jim hit some rocky times and think Pam is a fool for not always loving Jim and for not doing anything to reciprocate his massive gesture of leaving behind his company for her. Ouch.
Jim defends her and she fights back that it wasn't a fairy tale like it seemed on TV, it was a real life with real struggles, but things are better than ever between them now. Good for the show, defending that controversial season 9 storyline.
The Dwangela Wedding
Kelly and Ryan are in attendance! Kelly is still with her hot Indian doctor boyfriend (played by Sendhil Ramamurthy) and Ryan now has a baby named Drake who he's raising alone because the mother walked out on him. Because the finale offers some perfect closure for everyone, Kelly and Ryan share some romantic glances.
Before the ceremony, Jim tells Dwight that he can't be his Best Man. This is a part of his best prank as he introduces Dwight to his real Best Man...Michael Scott!
Yes, even spoilers about Steve Carell's return didn't ruin this fantastic moment.
"I can't believe you came," Dwight says.
"That's what she said," is Michael's response. Now that's a perfect cameo. With that settled, Dwight and Angela get married.
The Wedding Reception
In a voiceover we learn from Pam that Michael Scott has kids(!) and that he bought two phones and pays two bills because he has so many pictures of them, and he's just really happy to have a family plan. So cute.
Less cute, but very funny, is that Ryan feeds his son a strawberry (which he's allergic to) in order to force Kelly's boyfriend to examine him while Ryan professes his love for Kelly, makes out with her, and runs off into the sunset with her. Without the baby. Those two terribly shallow kids definitely deserve each other. It's somehow the perfect ending for them.
When Kelly's boyfriend finds this out he just leaves the baby and tells Kevin to call child services. But Nellie, who has always wanted to adopt, sees this as her chance and agrees to take the baby back to Europe with her. Somehow The Office has made kidnapping a child and transporting him across international lines a sweet moment.
Even Phyllis gets a tiny moment to shine, dancing with Stanley and bonding over the fact that they might be better friends than any two other people on this show.
When Jim and Pam go home to change after the reception they bump into buyers, because Pam has secretly been trying to sell the house for the past two months so they can move to Austin and Jim can be a part of Athleap with Darrell. The buyers make an offer and, just like that, the Halperts are moving to Texas!
Everyone goes back to the office for one long goodbye to reflect on their times. Jim and Pam try to tell Dwight they're leaving, but he fires them first. Why? So he can give them a severance package, one month's pay for every year they've worked there. Wow, that is one sweet deal.
The final minutes of The Office series finale are beautifully reflective as all the characters talk about what they've learned through the process and how much they've grown. And Creed gets arrested.
The Office ends on the perfect note, with Pam explaining that Dunder Mifflin was a good choice for a nine-year documentary.
"There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things," Pam says. "Isn't that kind of the point?"
Yes Pam, that was the point of The Office. It's a show that perfectly captured the tiny, ordinary moments of everyday life that make us laugh and cry. And the finale did a perfect job of looking back fondly on those moments while giving us a nice sense of closure for all the major characters we've come to know and love for nine seasons.
Goodbye, Dunder Mifflin. Goodbye, The Office. As Phyllis said, at least she'll have these videos to look back on and remember all the good times.
(Image courtesy of NBC)