Apr 28, 2011

TV Review: The Office -- Michael Scott's Farewell

When will I see you again?
Tonight was the last episode for Steve Carell as Michael Scott, Manager at Dunder Mifflin, and before we watched it we were absolutely sure what would happen: tearful goodbyes, meaningful moments, and Michael Scott's car exploding as he drove away from the office he's called home for so long (okay, not really - they still have to bring him back in a year or two for Sweeps). Instead, the affair was rather small, with Michael pretending that he had another day at the office in order to keep people from being overly emotional and to quell his own feelings about the situation. It was a very non-Michael Scott moment, and it really capped off his emotional maturity arc of this season. On his last day in the place he loves the most, Michael spends a little time with each of his co-workers who are basically family
members. Each goodbye was perfect in its own way, though we wish there had been more time spent with Ryan, who Michael has crowned "Sexiest in the Office" multiple years (before Timothy Olyphant charmed his way into Michael's heart). Jim and Dwight had two of the most meaningful goodbyes. Dwight got the validation that he'd yearned for for so many years and a pretty awesome paintball fight. Jim, instead of getting a farewell gift, gave one to Michael in the form of a metaphorical pat on the back. It's probably not true, but it's sweet when Jim tells Michael that he's the best boss he's ever had. Erin also got a lovely goodbye, with Michael giving his patented terrible-but-also-not-terrible brand of advice that only he can give.

And then there was Pam, having her Lost in Translation moment with Michael. Of all the sweet relationships on this show, the Pam and Michael relationship has been one of the sweetest. Pam has been a mother hen to Michael, coaching, prodding, and encouraging him to be the best he can be. His maturing over the past seven years has been mostly due to her (Holly swept in at the end to give the final push). Where others scoffed, she always cared. She has been with him from driving him home after his too-quick proposal to Carol to keeping him from proposing to Holly with fire. Their ending was a perfect end to a wonderful, odd friendship.

The episode wasn't particularly sad, with a lot of humor sneaking in through the cracks (there was even a substantial B story involving Will Ferrell's DeAngelo Vickers that pretty much showed us how his eventual end will come). Levity was achieved thanks to the always amazing Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor, the hijinks of the Party Planning Committee, and basically everything Creed did.  The show has always succeeded in the quiet moments, and this episode was full of them, both sad and funny. It was perfect way for The Office to say goodbye to Michael Scott, and it was a perfect way for the audience to say goodbye as well. So, goodbye Michael Scott. Until we meet again (on TBS tomorrow morning before work).

Episode Grade: A-
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