“This stupid, wonderful, boring, amazing job, ” is the line that best captured our feelings about “The Office,” and in a way, the last season has felt like a textbook break-up. You get to the point where you can’t stand the sight of the thing that you used to love — we’ve been there for several seasons now — and there’s a huge relief when you finally decide to end it. But it’s then, once you’ve made up your mind, that the things that you used to love so much decide to reappear. You know you have to do it — end it all — because you know that, invariably, that sense of dread will return if you stick it out, but ending it in the face of what you used to love hurts, and the best you can hope for is an amicable break-up and a sense of closure.
Last night’s finale of “The Office” was the perfect break-up: It built upon the last few episodes, renewing our sense of affection, it reminded us of what we loved about it, and it gave us some closure, knowledge that everything would be OK for us, and for the characters (except for poor Toby). It hurt, but in a good way. It felt right, and it delivered one of the best series finales in years, highlighting all that was “wonderful” and “amazing” about “The Office,” and letting us forget the “stupid” and “boring” parts for an hour and 15 minutes.
To those what will say, “I quit years ago, and I don’t regret it,” I say: Good for you. But for some of us, our attachments run a little bit deeper. For better or worse, we see things through to the end, and last night, we got the payoff we wanted.
Yes, Michael Scott was in the finale, and it was just right: He had a couple of scenes, we caught up on his life (he has children, who he adores), and he didn’t take anything away from the existing cast. His entrance, when he replaced Jim as the Best Man, was absolutely perfect.
In the daffiest subplot, Kelly and Ryan also returned, and reunited, running off together and leaving Ryan’s baby with Kelly’s husband, who left it with Nellie, who is taking him to Europe with her. Everybody wins!
I’d forgotten all about Erin’s search for her biological parents, so Joan Cusack was an adorable surprise.
Poor Toby. He didn’t get his happy ending. Appropriately.
They had a lot of fun with Creed, mixing in his real past as a member of the Grass Roots with a fictional past, in which he was a fugitive. “During that time, the police say he sold drugs and trafficked in endangered species meat and stole weapons-grade LSD from the military.” His ending is in prison, which he seems to be perfectly content with, able to make it his home.
Stanley retired, moved to a beach house, and got the divorce he’d always wanted. He spends his days whittling things from wood, like this figurine of Phyllis.
Dwight fired Kevin, because Kevin is terrible at his job. But Kevin bought a bar, and he and Dwight made up when Mose kidnapped Angela — as part of the bachelor party — and brought him to Kevin’s bar, where Jim pushed Dwight into burying the hatchet.
Andy, oh, Andy. Andy’s meltdown at the a capella competition went viral, made him Internet famous, and turned him into a laughing stock. But he made the best of it, delivering a redemptive speech at the Cornell graduations, and earning himself a position in the admissions office at Cornell, which is where he always wanted to be. Or thought so, anyway.
Dwight could not have had a better ending. He married the woman he loves in a shallow grave.
He gets to be the manager of a company he loves.
And then, there’s Jim and Pam. After another year at Dunder Mifflin, Pam decided to return Jim’s romantic gesture by selling the house (without consulting Jim, appropriately) so that Jim could join Darryl — who is now very wealthy — in Austin with their sports agency.
It was nice to see her answer the phone one last time.
Jim and Pam have come full circle.
So long, “The Office.”
“I thought it was weird when you picked us to make a documentary. But, all in all, I think an ordinary paper company like Dunder Mifflin was a great subject for a documentary. There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?” — Pamela Beesley Halpert.