After 9 years on the air, The Office bid farewell with an extended, 75-minute long series finale in which Michael Scott (Steve Carell) returned, Dwight and Angela got married, and Jim and Pam exited Dunder Mifflin together, forever, to begin a new life in Austin, Texas. But was the final episode of The Office everything you’d hope it would be? Was it a fitting sendoff?
The finale was essentially split-up into three parts: the catch-up, the wedding and the goodbyes. In the 6 months that had passed since “The Office: An American Workplace” aired on PBS, Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton went through a bit of a shake-up: Dwight fired Kevin and Toby; Stanley retired to Florida; and Creed became a wanted man. The people who had previously departed also saw changes in their lives: Andy became an “Internet sensation” (in the worst sense); Ryan became a single father; and Michael Scott, who made a brief appearance, finally got the cell phone family plan he always wanted, with real children to share it with.
It was the wedding of Dwight and Angela that brought everyone together, though, thanks to Jim and Pam forcing the documentary crew to hold the reunion during the same weekend. But with 75 minutes (including commercials) to burn through in one episode, some storylines stayed longer than they should, while others, like the reunion panel, didn’t receive the time that it deserved. It appeared, though, that the fictional world fell in love with the series in the same way that the real world did.
At Angela and Dwight’s wedding, it was time to reconnect with the characters and relationships that left the series years before, and it was there that the brief return of Michael Scott occurred. His time on screen wasn’t much, but it showed that, wherever he is, whatever he’s doing, he’s happy. Ryan and Kelly, too, are happy (maybe?). Or at least that’s how we last see them, running away together, leaving Kelly’s pediatrician boyfriend, Ravi, to take care of Ryan’s baby, which he quickly turns over to Kevin, who quickly gives it to Nelly. Though things, at times, may have felt a bit forced, everyone got their own version of a happy ending – except Toby.
In The Office series finale’s final act, it was time to celebrate what once was with the actors and their characters: Kevin is happy with the bar that he owns; Oscar is running for the Senate; Daryl is still loving his (not) new job; Pam and Jim are moving onward and upward in their life; and Dwight and Angela are ready to live happily ever after. That is, unless Mose begins sleeping at the foot of Dwight’s bed again.
So after everything’s that happened, after 9 years on the air, we ask you, the viewers:
The Office aired from March 24, 2005 – May 16, 2013 on NBC.