The Office Series Finale Review: Beauty in Ordinary Things

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At its peak, The Office was arguably the best television comedy of all time.  That is something that deserves to be celebrated in grand fashion, and that is exactly what the writers did in the series "Finale."

While also being funny and wrapping up every single character arc, the over 92 minutes of run time of retrospective and final ep did a tremendous job of honoring this fantastic series, and hitting nearly every emotional beat the audience could have asked for.

We will never get to see Jim prank Dwight again.  We will never again witness Kevin say something so completely idiotic that you have to scratch your head.  We will never feel the uncomfortable joy of Michael interacting with other human beings.  But at this moment, after watching how much these professionals, and the characters they played, poured into The Office over the last nine years, we'd be selfish to ask for any more.

Preparing For The End

Yes, the series ran into some rough patches after Steve Carell left, and even though this final season was a step up from last year's effort, it too had miscues.  The ending though, which includes the final three hour long (plus) efforts could not have been better.

The Office was hilarious, and like I mentioned, the finale had its humorous moments, but this was about the people.  Using the documentary as a way to mimic the actors' feelings through the characters was genius.

Every single time Dwight, or Jim, or Pam, or any single last one of these paper people got misty eyed, you knew the actors were feeling the same way about their time on The Office.  Households across the nation were undoubtedly getting emotional, and needless to say, I had something stuck in my eye the entire episode.

I couldn't count how many times they were able to grasp at my heart strings in just these 50 minutes alone, but let's take a look at my top three most emotional moments from the finale, shall we?

3. Ri-Dit-Dit-Duh-Doo
I have hated the character of Andy as much as anyone over the past few years.  His place in the spotlight has been troublesome for the show and the cause for many of the series' missteps, but I still have a heart.  Andy may have been less than funny at times, but he's always been easy to love at his most tender.  Seeing him accept the fact that everyone in the world hated him because of his crying jag, only to have him walk in on an entire swarm of fans chant his famous Ri-Dit-Dit-Duh-Doo riff, was nothing short of glorious.  There was tear number one.

2. Erin?
It wasn't as much about her, as it was about the severity of the moment, and the entire office's reaction to it.  It was slightly humorous in that way The Office gets when one of its dumb characters doesn't realize what's going on, but Erin Hannon meeting her birth parents turned into much more than that.  It wasn't just that this good-hearted girl was finally meeting the parents she never had - and that they happened to be Joan Cusack and Ed Begley Jr. - it was the whole group's part in it.  When she still didn't get it, and the entire row of friends turned in their chairs to give her the look - as if to say, this is really it - I lost it.  They were so happy for her, and I was so happy to watch that.

1. Best Prank Ever
I could have made a list of everything Jim did for Dwight during this episode, but the kicker had to be what he called the "best prank ever."  Michael Scott WAS The Office for so many years, so to see him come back for the people he loved once last time was nothing short of amazing.  Let's just say this, when Steve Carell face - and greyed hair - showed up on screen, I'm glad I was watching alone, because the amount of emotion I let out was not flattering.  It was an array of feelings.  I felt excited that Michael was there. I felt happy that Dwight had his favorite person in the world at his wedding.  I felt proud of Jim for organizing the whole thing for his good friend Dwight.  And I of course felt sad that a moment this good may never happen on television again.

You have to give it up to Steve Carell. It was announced that the man didn't want to come back and have a big showing, because he already had his goodbye, and this was the rest of the cast's moment.  That's classy, and it worked out perfectly.  His final episode in season seven was so perfect, that it would have been dumb to make a big deal out of his return.  Instead, his appearance was so perfectly short and sweet...oh and funny.  Michael was there for his friend, he was happy for all of his former employees, and he got in one last "that's what she said."

The rest of the gang was able to say their goodbyes to the audience in their own ways.  Some by running off together and leaving a baby stranded, some by heading to prison, and others by simply moving on from their time at Dunder-Mifflin.  Stanley retired, Kevin was fired but opened up a bar, Oscar's on a political path, and Jim and Pam are finally leaving town.

It was a great ending for everyone involved, and we should all just be thankful that The Office existed.  It was a great series over the course of its nine year run, and it has led to the presence of many other funny, heartwarming, and courageous comedies.

In the end, Pam had the last words, and they were beautiful...

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?

What did you all think of the finale?  Were you as moved by it as I was?  Or did you not care for the final installment of The Office?  What did you think were the most emotional moments?  What were the funniest moments?  And what will you miss most about The Office?


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (135 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


i love this article, you hit on everything i was thinking after watching the finale, i think its the best series finale ever, i wanted them to tie up everyone's stories so we would see where they were headed after 9 seasons of becoming attached to each and every one of them, and they did that perfectly! it was happy, sad, bittersweet, so touching w/michael showing up to be dwight's best man, kelly and ryan running off together, pam selling the house and telling jim she wants him to pursue his dream job w/them all in austin, etc. etc. it could not have been better, and the hour retrospect before the finale was great too....this show will be so missed, even when michael left 2 yrs ago and it faltered, then found its way again. To me, its my second favorite modern comedy of all time, after Seinfeld. Just like Pam said at the end, it was the beauty found in ordinary people. And the fact that every week, they shared so much and made you feel part of the little paper company...

Drea xoxo

i just cried, well presented. couldn't of asked for a better ending. well done writers, you did the show justice.


"Let's just say this, when Steve Carell's face - and greyed hair - showed up on screen, I'm glad I was watching alone, because the amount of emotion I let out was not flattering. It was an array of feelings. I felt excited that Michael was there. I felt happy that Dwight had his favorite person in the world at his wedding. I felt proud of Jim for organizing the whole thing for his good friend Dwight. And I of course felt sad that a moment this good may never happen on television again." - Totally agree. The selfish part of me wants to point out that it needed more Michael Scott but I also get it... this was for the rest of the cast, especially that core group who we've loved from the Pilot and stayed with us to the very last episode. I'm so sad I won't get to laugh at stupid relatable moments perfectly described through a scene in The Office. I'm going to miss these characters so much.


“I feel like all my kids grew up and then they married each other. It’s every parent’s dream.� So sweet in intention. So wrong. The perfect final Michael moment. Brilliant finale.


I still wish Toby was actually the Scranton Strangler.


It was crying and laughing and even shrieking when Michael showed up. It was so great! I am going to miss the office so much..


It was a beautiful ending. That's the only way to really describe it. And it is the way I'll always remember this show.


I too am happy I watched alone. As soon as Jim started talking about the best man having to be older, I knew Michael would be there. I gasped so loud and cried so hard. It really was such an emotional moment. Everything you mentioned about that scene was spot on. I loved his dancing scene with Dwight too. It was so them! Andy's speech about wishing you knew when you were in the good old days was great as well. Oscar being Philip's God father was so fitting, as was Dwight's speech about liking his co workers. It was so sweet, especially when he said Pam is his best friend. Ryan and Kelly running off together was great. I would have liked to have seen were Erin and Pete stood, but I guess they were never as front and center as the others. This entire finale was perfect from beginning to end. There's so much more I could say, but then this would be endless! It's sad to see such a great show go, but I'll continue to watch it forever!


Michael's reappearing, as his leaving and the aftermath, seemed strained. Why was there ever no talk of him after he left? They talked about people as insignifcant as Ed Truck, but could never mention an email or call from Michael telling about Holly being pregnant or pix of his kids???? They were all so excited to see Darryl and Andy again,but only Dwight hugs Michael, and that in a private space. I always thought the post-Michael Office was like a Bug Bunny Cartoon that just starts a new scene like nothing in the past ever happened. Also, the Schrute baby did not age in a year, and did the writers even remember that Jim and Pam have two kids??? I really did not like this final episode at all and am glad I can watch the glory days on Netflix and DVDs.


I thought it was a fabulous ending to a fabulous show. Even through what people call "the rough patches," my husband and I still loved it, because the core characters were always there. Say what you want about Andy Bernard, but the tattoo episode had us misty-eyed. Plus, who can hate on a brother as awesome as Josh Groban? ;) If you ask me, it was Robert California that made the show dangerously unwatchable, but even then, small story lines prevailed. I found this episode, as I find many, perfect in its imperfections. One reviewer I read called it "sloppy and ill conceived." I think if you truly feel that way, you don't really embrace the simple magic of the show. It's about the people--painfully awkward people, hopelessly in love people, incredibly annoying people, passionately broken people--just people. I feel, in the end, that I knew the characters better on The Office than any other show I have ever watched, and I watched many other shows for longer. That is hard to accomplish, and so, so worthwhile. I know I will be watching episodes in syndication, and crying the same way I did when I saw the episodes the first time. Pam and Jim's first kiss, when he finally asked her out, the proposal, finding out about the baby, the wedding, Michael's proposal to Holly, his goodbye, and countless other amazing scenes have been given to us from this show. Thank you to the actors, writers, and everyone who helped create such a wonderful viewing experience.

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The Office Season 9 Episode 23 Quotes

I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them.


I feel like all my kids grew up, and then they married each other. It's every parent's dream.