[Spoiler alert: The following story reveals major plot points from The Office series finale. If you have yet to tune in, maybe watch a documentary instead, like PBS' The Office: An American Workplace?]
"There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn't that the point?"
Those were Pam Beesly-Halpert's parting words to the documentary crew on the series finale of The Office . While she was just talking about filming a run-of-the-mill paper company for nine years, the same could definitely be said for the series finale.
The 75-minute final episode didn't show Dunder Mifflin shutting down or everyone quitting in one fell swoop. It didn't bring back every crazy character a la Seinfeld (although we would have loved to see Todd Packer start a conga line at Dwight and Angela's wedding). But the mockumentary series' last hurrah was lovely and moving despite, or probably because of, its simplicity.
After the penultimate episode ended with the PBS documentary finally debuting, the series finale picked up a year later on the weekend of both Dwight and Angela's wedding and a reunion panel for the documentary to see where everyone ended up.
There were lots of great Easter eggs within the episode for the show's extremely loyal fan base. The stripper hired for Dwight was the same stripper who danced for Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration back in Season 3. As regional manager, Dwight hired Devon back, the employee who Michael fired in the Season 2 Halloween episode — for which he got that huge Christmas bonus used to buy Ryan's video iPod. And at the very end of the episode, Michael's real estate agent and ex-lover, Carol (Steve Carell's wife Nancy), popped in to make a very important sale.
Most importantly was a return visit from the World's Best Boss, Michael Gary Scott. It was nice that the producers at least tried to tell the public that he wasn't going to come back for the finale, because when he showed up, the tears began. He arrived right before Dwight's wedding, when Jim informed him that he just learned it's traditional for the best man to be older than the groom. In Jim's sweetest prank ever, he calls in a substitute: Michael. "I'm so glad you came," Dwight tells Michael. "That's what she said," he responds. We later learn at the reception that Michael has so many photos of his kids that he needs to have two phones and two plans for all his photos. But he hasn't forgotten his first "kids." "I feel like all my kids grew up and then they married each other," he says, in typical gross/sweet fashion. Crash goes the sound of my heart breaking into tiny little pieces all over the floor.
But what happened to the rest of the Dunder Mifflin crew? Read on (in no particular order) to find out:
Andy: Andy became a viral video hit! But not in a good way. When the footage of him crying at his audition for America's Next A Capella Sensation hit the web, he became "Baby Waa Waa." However, he does become famous enough to give a (not the) commencement speech at that Ivy League school he went to — Cornell, is it? — and now has a full-time job there. (In a nice aside, Bill Hader plays himself impersonating Andy on SNL.)
Creed: Faked his own death in the Baylor the day after the documentary aired, at which point the cops came looking for him and informed everyone that he used to sell drugs and stole LSD from the military. Turns out Creed, now rocking a full beard, hangs out in the office at night and plays the gang a song at the very end.
Oscar: Oscar still works at Dunder Mifflin, but is now running for State Senate — the seat we presume once belonged to Angela's ex-husband.
Stanley: He retired and now lives in Florida City, Fla., carving wooden birds on his porch. He also got divorced. (Surprise!)
Phyllis: Phyllis is the same, she just misses Stanley and the two share a nice dance at the wedding.
Meredith: Meredith is the same old, head-banging broad she always was. However, in a very creepy move, her son, Jake (the same troublesome kid who loved calling Dwight "Mr. Poop" in the "Take Your Daughters to Work Day" episode in Season 2), is now working as a stripper, specifically at Angela's bachelorette party. Meredith was beaming with pride, natch.
Kevin: Dwight fires Kevin for fudging the numbers and he winds up buying a bar.
Toby: Toby also gets fired, but instead of going to Costa Rica, he goes to New York to write the Great American Novel. "I have six roommates, which are better than friends because they have to give one month's notice before they leave," he says. Sad!
Kelly and Ryan: Kelly is still with Robbie, the doctor, and Ryan is now the single father to a young baby. They run off into the sunset together and leave Robbie with the baby.
Nellie: Now living in Europe, Nellie gladly takes Ryan's baby.
Darryl: Darryl stayed with Jim's company and is now a big shot who gets picked up in a limo. The company merged and is now the Austin-based Athleap.
Erin: The best thing to come out of the documentary? Two people watched it and happened to think, "Oh, that Erin girl looks like the daughter we gave up for adoption." At the panel, Erin (finally) meets her mom (Joan Cusack) and dad (Ed Begley, Jr.). The world makes sense!
Dwight and Angela: They have a wonderful wedding — albeit after Mose (Mike Schur) kidnaps the bride the night before the wedding. We learn that Angela's sister is Rachael Harris, which makes sense because they have both played tight-asses intent on ruining Ed Helms' life.
Jim and Pam: One of the best parts of the whole episode is when Pam tells the docu crew that she could only watch a bit of the documentary because she kept wanting to scream at herself to get together with Jim. Um, welcome to four years of our lives, gurl. "Jim was 5 feet from my desk and it took me four years to get to him," she says. To make it up to Jim, Pam secretly puts their house on the market — this is where Carol comes in — so that Jim can go back to Athleap and they can move to Austin. This is my "big Jim gesture to show you all at once how much I love you," she says. Instead of letting them quit, Dwight rightfully fires them so he can give them both one month's severance for every year they worked at Dunder Mifflin. Cha-ching!!
So what did you think of The Office series finale? Are you glad Michael came back? Did you cry? Whose ending did you like the best?