“I just wish there was a way to know you’re in the ‘good old days’ before you leave them behind.”
– Andy Bernard, The Office episode “Finale”
Even though I’m a teenager, I didn’t start watching the show The Office back when it first came out. I first saw it back in 2010 when a few of my friends recommended it, and I got hooked shortly thereafter. I thought Season 1 was decent, Season 2 was good, and Seasons 3-5 had me hooked to the point where I was cleaning out the library of their episode disks. Season 6 was mediocre, 7 took a dip after Steve Carell left, and 8 was pretty awful in my opinion. But, this season stabilized, and I was hopeful for how the series was going to conclude.
[Note: spoiler alert!]
If I had to rate the very last episode, which aired about half an hour ago, I’d give it a 7 out of 10. It most certainly wasn’t the best episode of the show, and it didn’t have me in tears, but I was satisfied.
I didn’t like the first half very much. Yes, the bachelor/bachelorette parties were funny, especially the bit about Angela getting kidnapped, but it wasn’t anything we hadn’t seen before on the show. I saw what they were trying to do with the whole “this is one year later” aspect, but it didn’t do much for me. All I really wanted was for everyone’s stories to close. And we got quite a bit of that, but it felt somewhat drawn out.
But then again, how can I hate this episode when the master of the phrase “That’s what she said” made a legendary return? Indeed, Steve Carell came back for one last time in the finale, albeit in a noticeably brief role (he only had two or three lines in the entire thing, but the first of those was his trademark phrase; probably the best “That’s what she said” joke of the series).
I wish they would’ve gone into depth with his character a little more, but I can appreciate why they didn’t. That loop was closed a while ago, and re-opening it would only keep us satisfied for a short streak.
I’m glad they didn’t draw out the Jim/Pam storyline any more than they have. Those two are my favorite characters of the show (except for Michael Scott, of course) and I was just glad to see their journey end on a happy note.
Things I disliked about this episode: it was slow-going at first. The whole bit with the question panel and Erin randomly finding her birth parents felt both rushed and pointless. I’m glad Ryan and Kelly returned, but their appearances were little more than cameos. I feel like if the episode hadn’t tried to cram so much plot in and had just focused more on where the characters are going from here, it would have been better. But, as I said, I was satisfied with the overall finale. I’m glad the producers decided to end the show now, and while I won’t miss it (I haven’t really watched it since Michael’s departure), I still feel a slight pang of sadness since this is one of those childhood things that’s coming to an end. First the final Harry Potter movie, then this. Part of me really hates growing up.
But, I’ll end this post with a paraphrased quote from Jim in tonight’s episode:
“Imagine if you had the chance to rewind a tape and look back at your life. You could watch yourself grow up…make mistakes, fall in love, become a man…and in the end, that would be a pretty amazing gift. And you guys gave that to me. So, thank you.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.