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