Well, it’s all been building up to this. With word that Steve Carell’s tenure on “The Office” was up, fans have been sadly counting down the days until his departure. This week brought us the last Michael Scott episode ever, and seeing as he’s always been the show’s central character, it goes without saying that it was a big night. But did the episode live up to our expectations? Read the review to find out…
- Director: Paul Feig
- Writer: Greg Daniels
- Cast: Steve Carell, Will Ferrell, John Krasinski, Ed Helms, Jenna Fischer
Episode Title: “Goodbye, Michael”
The seventh season of “The Office” comes to its climax this week as Michael Scott finally leaves for good. However, he opts not to reveal the full truth to his employees, telling them he still has one more day left when he is indeed heading out forever at 4 PM. In the meantime, Gabe does his best to earn back Erin’s affections, and Andy is exposed to Deangelo’s “unconventional” sales techniques.
- Will Ferrell: As per usual, Will Ferrell brings the comedy to anything he touches. While he tones down his traditionally zany qualities, he still stands out as the most absurd character in the crowd–which is saying a lot, when you consider the kinds of characters that have been on this show. Who else could yell at a cake? Will Ferrell pulls it off.
- Toby’s cousin: Toby mentions that he has a cousin, Rory, in Boulder. Fortunately, we get to catch a glimpse of said cousin, and he is exactly the kind of person Toby would be related to. “Does Michael like jam? Because my apartment is overflowing with preserves.”
- Addressing the camera: It is easy to forget that “The Office” is meant to be a faux-documentary, since each episode breaks all of the rules that would make that possible. Still, given the fact that Michael was leaving this week, it was a little bittersweet to be reminded of the beginings of the series, when the documentary format was alluded to more directly. When Michael finally takes off that microphone, it definitely becomes real.
- Gabe: As the by-the-books new guy, Gabe is rarely given the opportunity to be as outlandish as the other characters. However, this week, we get to see a side of him we’re not used to, a side unleashed by his recent heartbreak. Thankfully, it works. When he warns Andy that he owns more than two hundred horror films, it definitely scores a laugh.
- Emotional Effects: As the final appearance of the iconic Michael Scott, we expected this episode to be a little more effective on an emotional level. While it doesn’t exactly leave us cold, it doesn’t succeed in eliciting the kind of reaction that it was clearly aiming for. Overall, we were underwhelmed.
- Low on Laughs: Once again, given the importance of this week’s episode, we expected everyone involved to bring their A-game, but the writing was fairly stale and the laughs weren’t as strong as we would have liked. Granted, it’s tough to balance genuine emotion with humor, but that’s something that “The Office” has usually been pretty good at. There were some jokes that worked, but none that were particularly memorable.
- Checklist: Michael makes it a point to say goodbye to everyone one last time, and while that allows him to spend time with each character, it didn’t give him an opportunity to have too many strong emotional (or humorous, for that matter) moments with anyone. Aside from an impromptu paintball game with Dwight and a nice talk with Jim, his interactions with everyone else felt rushed.
We’re sad to say it, but we were fairly disappointed with this episode. What was meant to be an instant classic ended up being fairly boring and uninteresting. Sure, it wasn’t terrible, but for an event like this, we should have the strongest episode of the season. Instead, we got something nearly forgettable.
“The Office” airs every Thursday night on NBC!
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments!