The Office Series Finale Review: Finale (Season 9, Episodes 24-25)

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So this is it, the end. The Office is finally over, and while it still stings, I’m left satisfied and happy with no lingering questions or doubts. The show knew that it was its time to go, and that’s what made the finale so perfect. It so deftly brought each character arc to a close while still being the show that we love, and it exceeded all of my expectations.

One of the things that show did right was that it didn’t cramp everything into the final episode. Instead, it was spread out over the last 3 weeks. The show could’ve ended last week and I would’ve been happy. But they took that extra step to make sure we were completely and utterly satisfied. Last week’s A.A.R.M. was the lid that closed the box that is The Office. And this was the bow that tied it all up neatly.

Before the finale actually aired, NBC aired a retrospective that had many of the cast talking about the show and how it became what it is. I especially enjoyed the audition clips that they showed, it was nice to see how the chemistry was first formed between Jim, Dwight and Pam. The retrospective perfectly set up the finale, leaving us ready to say goodbye.

The finale takes place a year after the events of the last episode where Dwight and Angela were engaged. The documentary has already aired, and the crew is back to get some bonus footage for the DVD. The entire episode centers on Dwight and Angela’s wedding, as well as a panel for everyone involved in the documentary. They’re both on the same day, thanks to some planning by Jim and Pam in an effort to make sure everyone would be there for the wedding.

The office isn’t the same anymore though as Dwight is making some actual changes as the Manager, for the betterment of Dunder-Mifflin. This includes firing Kevin and Toby. Stanley finally retires to Florida, where he carves birds on his porch. It’s something he’s waited for since he was 18 years old. Creed is nowhere to be found as he faked his own death and is now wanted by the police. There are a few new faces in the office taking their places, including Devon who used to work there in the first couple of seasons. Oscar is seeing some big changes in his future too as he’s running for State Senate, he was always destined for something bigger and I think it’s safe to assume that he becomes Senator.

Dwight is excited for his wedding, and I don’t think we’ve ever seen him happier. Jim is his best man and that means he gets to plan Dwight’s bachelor party, which includes only good surprises. Everyone who’s no longer there returns to Dunder-Mifflin for the panel, and by extension the wedding, since it happens to be on the same day.

Darryl is clearly successful with Athlead (now called Athleap) as he looks sharp and gets to drive in limos. Andy claims that he is doing good, despite the fact that his audition on America’s Next A-Cappella Sensation went viral and he’s now known as “Baby Wawa.” It even gets auto-tuned. Looks like he’s become famous after all, just like he wanted. Nellie now lives in Poland, but still seems somewhat unhappy as the adoption plan didn’t seem to have worked out. Toby is now in New York, finally writing his novel and looking just as sad and depressed.

Now that everyone is back, it’s time for the bachelor party. Jim gets Dwight to shoot a bazooka, and it’s literally the happiest I’ve seen Dwight. We see how far his relationship with Jim has come as their sibling rivalry has turned into sibling love. The bazooka is Jim’s second good surprise for Dwight (the first being getting everyone to come for the wedding).

They then get a private room and we get the return of the stripper named Elizabeth, although no one seems to particularly remember her. Dwight doesn’t understand what’s going on and thinks she is an actual waitress, ruining the moment for everybody. It’s a funny little scene that works quite well.

The girls meanwhile have their own bachelorette party, which sees an appearance by Angela’s sister. The stripper they hired turns out to be Meredith’s son who she encourages, and it’s downright the most uncomfortable scene in the show’s history (and that’s saying something).

Angela is kidnapped by Mose (great to see him back!), because apparently it’s a Schrute tradition, but it’s all organized by Jim as part of his good surprise as it leads Dwight to a bar. And turns out, the bar is owned by Kevin. Jim organizes this to get Kevin and Dwight to put everything behind them and make peace, so that Dwight is completely happy at his wedding (he secretly misses Kevin). Once he makes it clear to Kevin that the only reason he was fired was because he sucked at his job, Kevin is ready to make peace and everything is wonderful once again. Good surprise #3.

Oh, and Angela is found in the trunk of a car, leaving her legs numb and painful, which leads to Phyllis carrying her down the aisle for her wedding. They’ve sure come a long way since the party planning committee days. But first, there’s the panel.

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