Thursday, May 16, 2013

Satisfying Finale For 'The Office'

The Office has now shut its doors with a satisfying series finale that picked up one year after the penultimate episode, "A.A.R.M". The Finale was directed by Ken Kwapis, who directed the pilot episode and last directed the Season 5 episode "Company Picnic".

It all started out with a one hour retrospective featuring a look back at the history of the Emmy Award winning show since development in 2004 (premiering in 2005) as well as interviews with the cast & crew, and a look at the series finale party that was held in Scranton, PA. NBC also did this with another hit show, Friends, in 2004 before that series finale.

Then came the emotional series finale. With the help of fansite OfficeTally (major props to the great Jennie Tan!), the episode was thankfully extended an extra 15 minutes in order to incorporate as much as possible into such a well done episode. Angela (Angela Kinsey) & Dwight (Rainn Wilson) have their anticipated wedding that stands up along with Jim & Pam's (John Krasinski & Jenna Fischer) and Phyllis' (Phillis Smith) wedding episodes. Dwight & Angela, or Dwangela, first started their back & forth relationship way back in Season 2's "E-mail Surveillance" when Pam suspects they have a secret relationship. We've come a long way since then, and it was great to see them finally have their big moment together. The highlights include:

- Michael Scott (Steve Carell) returned and gave the best, most joyous, "That's What She Said!" yet. Dwight: "Michael! I can't believe you came!" Michael: "That's what she said!"
Jim was Dwight's best man, but concocted a typical Jim scheme to surprise Dwight and make Michael his best man at the last minute.

- Kelly (Mindy Kaling) & Ryan (BJ Novak) returned and finally hooked up at the reception, in typical Kelly & Ryan fashion. Ryan left his baby with Kelly's boyfriend and the two ran off together. Nellie (Catherine Tate) got the baby, so it all worked out.

-There were a few other fun cameos that recalled the early seasons. It's revealed Dwight re-hired Devon, who was fired in the Season 2 episode "Halloween". Elizabeth the stripper (Jackie Debatin) from Season 3's "Ben Franklin" was the stripper hired for Dwight's bachelor party. And the stripper hired for Angela's? In one of the funniest moments from the episode, it was Meredith's (Kate Flannery) now adult son Jake (Spencer Daniels)! Carol (Nancy Carell) was also back to sell Jim & Pam's house.

- Everyone brings a cat for wedding gifts. Sprinkles may be gone, but Angela will always have some new cats for her collection. And throughout the years we've seen Angela berate and get frustrated with Phyllis, but as the show has done so well, the two showed they still have a bond. As Angela's feet hurt, Phyllis carried her down the aisle piggyback style to the tune of Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine".

- We find out that Pam has secretly been showing the house to people to sell it so Jim can move to Austin, TX to join Athlead (now Athleap). She figured he bought it without telling her, so she could sell it without telling him. She wanted Jim to live his dream now as they finish this chapter of their life. Dwight fires them before they could quit, but he does that so they can get their severance pay.

- The characters give their final talking head interviews, and this is the moment that made the tears start flowing big time for me, especially when Dwight talks about what each one of them means to him, calling Pam his best friend.

- After a post-wedding celebration in the warehouse, and after Pam unveils her mural that features the entire cast (which they take a picture in front of with the actual real life crew from The Office), our favorites return to the Dunder Mifflin Scranton office one last time together. Pam answers the reception phone for the first time in years, with her famous "Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam" before telling whoever it is that Jim no longer works there. They all celebrate and then head outside, with Pam taking the picture of the building she drew with her.

- Erin (Ellie Kemper) finally met her birth parents at the PBS documentary fan Q&A earlier in the episode, played by Joan Cusack and Ed Begley Jr. This is another moment that brought the tears, and it was fun watching the rest of the cast realize who they were with Erin finally doing so in the end.

-Favorite line of the night, besides "That's what she said" goes to Andy (Ed Helms) for: "I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them."

There are just so many more that writing about them can't do it justice. If you for some reason missed this series finale, which was one of the best of all time, go and watch it OnDemand, iTunes, Amazon, NBC's website. However you can do it, just watch it.

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