Leaving Dunder Mifflin
After nine years it’s finally over and they wrapped it up in a perfect, complete way. If you haven’t seen The Office’s finale episode by now, watch it IMMEDIATELY because there are spoilers below!
It was weird to come back to all our beloved characters a year later in this finale episode – just like it was weird when they started introducing the documentary we’ve watched all this time to the characters themselves. To them it’s a PBS documentary but to us it’s a comedy show, but the fact that they’re confronted with their old selves grounds the show in good heart, because they end up loving each other as much as we love them. It’s also a good excuse for this neat little wrap-up episode, so that after nine years of devoted watching we’re given a little closure.
Jim and Dwight’s newfound best friendship is the show’s solid foundation – the relationship we’ve seen most visibly since its beginning. The imbalance in Pam and Jim’s relationship makes it feel like we’re missing something, which would make sense since we can’t be in on all the romance, although maybe it is just that Pam’s too selfish and has to be asked point-blank for her to realize how much Jim has given up for her. I also think it’s really telling that the amount of time Jim needed for the Athlead tour was the same length that Pam took to go to art school in New York – three months.
The Q&A format gave us a behind-the-scenes look at these characters we’ve watched grow up for so long. Pam compares her relationship with Jim to a long book, it turns out Meredith was earning a PhD in child psychology and Erin meets both her parents after years of wondering. The Office recognized how important ordinary people can be, and it gives itself credit for this by making the documentary real for the characters too.
When someone asks what it was like to be filmed for so long, Dwight responds,
“With today’s modern surveillance technology, we’re in a constant state of being watched whether it’s our government or the government of other countries, AKA Google, you guys are being filmed way more than we ever were.”
After serving as manager twice already, he’s made the mistakes of firing a gun and painting his office black. He’s grown up into the best version of himself, keeping all the intense no-nonsense parts but adding the confidence to go after what he wants. Seeing the dramatic way he and Angela finally come out about their feelings for each other is the happiest series-ender we could wish for. And when Michael shows up with a “that’s what she said” to be the Bestist Mench just in the nick of time, everything is right in the world. He only has one other line in the whole episode but he’s happier than he’s ever been. When he watches Pam and Jim laughing across from Dwight and Angela, Michael leans back to the camera and says,
“I feel like all my kids grew up, and then they married each other. It’s every parent’s dream.”
Also Kelly running off with Ryan who leaves his baby to Nelly is just nuts. And I think we all kind of assumed Creed had a stash of the government’s LSD somewhere. The finale episode pays homage to the series as a whole, sticking to every crazy Shrute tradition and bringing back Carol and even the stripper from the Ben Franklin episode. After nine years in the same place, things are changing but they can only imply it’s for the better because we won’t get to watch.
And for old time’s sake: