The Office: Finale: Episode 24/25 Season 9 – TV Review

That’s it, and that’s all for The Office. After nine seasons, it’s time to say goodbye to all our friends at Dunder-Mifflin Scranton branch. The 200th and final episode of the venerable NBC series wraps it up with a lot of comedy, plenty of guest stars and, most importantly, one last round of memories from a great TV show.

Check below for the full (and final) review…

The Players:

  • Director: Ken Kwapis
  • Writers: Greg Daniels
  • Cast: Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Creed Bratton, Ellie Kemper, Angela Kinsey, Paul Lieberstein, Oscar Nuñez, Craig Robinson, Phyllis Smith, Clark Duke, Jake Lacy, B.J. Novak, Andy Buckley, Chris Diamantopoulos, Mindy Kaling

Episode Title: “Finale”

Months after the documentary airs, office staffers from the past and present gather for a wedding and a final round of interviews.

The Good:

  • Michael Gary Scott:: In the end, Steve Carrell made the appearance everyone was hoping for, and Michael Scott showed up for Dwight and Angela’s wedding. Carrell had two lines and appeared in five short scenes (not including the ending at the office), so he did return, but clearly there was no intention by Carrell, the producers, or both to make Michael Scott a major part of the finale. But isn’t it odd that he didn’t go with everyone to the office? The end still worked nicely, but the return of Michael Scott to Scranton felt a little atypical.
  • Jim & Pam: So I guess look for Jim and Pam at SXSW next year. Like most of us figured, Happy Jim gets to be even happier now that Pam’s guilt has pushed her to sell the house, pack the kids into the SUV, and bolt town for Austin, Texas – where Jim’s company, now AthLeap, is doing business.
  • Bachelor Party: The stripper/Chef’s Special scene was funny, especially with Dwight trying to order food for the table. That was the same stripper from earlier seasons, yes?
  • Meredith: The moment when she sees that it’s her son, Jake, as the stripper for Angela’s bachelorette party was funny.
  • Kevin: Went out on a high note with some funny moments. Liked seeing him as a bar owner.
  • Jim: His closing scene speaking to the camera was a great mix of dialogue and special moments from past episodes.
  • Dwight: His closing scene when he spoke about his friends/subordinates was great, and nicely acted by Rainn Wilson. His character goes out on top, and that feels good.
  • Nancy Walls: Hell yes it was good to see the return of Carrell’s wife, reprising her role of Carol Stills.
  • First Hour: The hour-long retrospective was quite enjoyable, at times more enjoyable than the actual finale.
  • Best Moment: The final 10 minutes. If the whole episode was just more of everyone hanging out in the office, listening to Creed play guitar, and reminiscing, it would have been perfectly fine.
  • Best Moment II: Even if you just knew Michael Scott was going to show up, the moment when the camera panned over to see Steve Carrell standing in the doorway, smiling at Dwight, was genuinely touching.

The Bad:

  • Erin: We’re all thrilled that Erin found her mom and dad, but that scene during the panel was just awkward.
  • Ryan & Kelly: Super excited to see such fun characters return, but their brief plot felt shoe-horned into the episode, and really wasn’t that funny. And poor Drake!
  • Clark: Not enough Clark whatsoever.
  • California Dreamin’: I always liked Robert California. Not saying it was imperative he had to appear in the finale, but it would have been nice to see him.
  • Andy: Still don’t care! They could have cut a few minutes from his story and used the time elsewhere, for other characters.

Overall:

I was wrong. I felt an American adaptation of the spectacular British comedy “The Office” would not work. But it did – and shined brightly more often than not over nine seasons and 200 episodes. And while the final two seasons dipped in quality (and focus), the top-notch ensemble cast could always be depended on to carry the load when the material was lacking. Seasons eight and nine have been frustrating at times, but nothing can diminish what the show has achieved overall. When “The Office” was good, by golly it was damn good. The show provided a wealth of enduring TV memories, and really, what more could you want from a TV show?

As for “Finale”, while it might not be everyone’s perfect final episode, the 200th edition featured enough genuinely sweet and funny moments to make even the grumpiest of “Office” viewers happy with the way the show ended its run. Last week’s terrific episode, “A.A.R.M.”, felt like a de facto finale, a well-played last chapter that all but wrapped everything up. But tonight’s super-sized edition permits the series one last hurrah, in many ways a much-deserved curtain call for the superb cast. Plus, the show gets to throw in a bunch of ‘special guests’ to make the night even more memorable. None more special than Steve Carrell returning as Michael Scott, a short and sweet guest appearance if there ever was one.

I’ve never given a 10 rating. But seeing as this is the final episode of “The Office,” as well as my final review, now feels like as good a time as any. Even if “Finale” doesn’t merit a perfect score – and, for the record, it does not! -, I think of my ’10′ as a special tribute to all the fantastic episodes the show has produced over nine seasons, a smart blend of humor, charm, quirkiness and laugh-out-loud comedy that made watching “The Office” all those Thursday night’s on NBC a lot of fun.

 

Rating: 10/10

The Office aired on NBC at 9pm (ET/PT) on Thursday nights.

What did you think of tonight’s episode?