'The Office' Finale: Strippers, Wedding Bells, and One Last 'That's What She Said'
"The Office" has clocked out for good, but the lives of Dunder Mifflin's finest (and not so finest) go on. But, wait ... did we ever get to see the final documentary, "The Office: An American Workplace," that's been at the center of it all? We sure did; in fact, we've been watching it for the last eight years. The finale — which takes place one year after the doc started airing — signed off on all the right notes: with love (Dwight and Angela's wedding!), Jim pulling the ultimate prank on Dwight, a kidnapping (oh, Mose!), and a touching celebration of all the unlikely friendships that formed at the small Scranton paper company.
Best of all, everyone showed up — and, oh yes, we mean everyone! It happened, and (sniff, sniff), it was perfect. Steve Carell came back as Michael Scott for one last hurrah and one last "That's what she said." And the circumstances couldn't have been better.
Check out Carrell's return as Michael Scott to "The Office":
As Alan Sepinwall at HitFix put it, the finale provided "a large helping of sweetness, nostalgia for who these people were and who they became, and occasional bursts of silliness that felt in step with the buoyant nature of the whole episode."
Hope you had a box of tissues nearby for this sweet, quirky, and awkward finale that hit all the right notes in the evolution of "The Office" and its oddball characters. Even those who weren't ready to admit the finale was perfect were still moved by the warmth of the episode. "Good intentions couldn’t entirely erase some of the creative missteps, and using a wedding as the device to close out the series seemed a little bit trite. Nevertheless, it was hard not to feel that old spirit rekindled when Steve Carell showed up in a perfectly orchestrated cameo," said Variety's Brian Lowry.
As Lori Rackl, of the Chicago Sun-Times, said, "Thursday’s 75-minute sendoff wasn’t the funniest episode, but it didn’t have to be. It was meant to provide closure for a deep bench of memorable characters viewers came to know over the last nine seasons. Its purpose was to tie up loose ends, something it did with all the dexterity of the Scranton Strangler."
And sure, the concept wasn't groundbreaking, but the execution was sublime. "It used every device in the emotional-comedy playbook to do it: a wedding, reunions, flashback footage, a romantic gesture, a goodbye song. It was touching, sweet, funny, messy, a little manipulative. And in the end, it worked," wrote James Poniewozik, Time Entertainment.
The gang reminisce about their time at Dunder Mifflin:
Jim's ultimate prank
Jim (John Krasinski), who was Dwight's (Rainn Wilson) bestest mensch (aka best man), told the groom shortly before heading down the aisle that traditionally the bestest mensch actually had to be older than the groom. (Insert Jim's signature knowing glance at the camera.) Dwight looked distraught until — wait for it — Michael Scott popped up in the doorway to fulfill his rightful bestest role. It touched us deeply … that's what she said. Josh Wolk at Vulture nailed it with his take on this scene: "Marriage, shmarriage. If you didn't rewind that moment at least three times, you're dead inside."