After seven seasons and countless screwups, Michael Scott probably deserved to get something exactly right. Which he did. Despite the sprinklers.
After all the speculation about how Michael (and Steve Carell) will leave “The Office,” it looks like he’s going to get a fairly happy ending. Or so it seems — Carell still has three episodes left, which means Michael has ample time to make a mess of things. But after “Garage Sale,” an incredibly sweet and extremely romantic episode, I hope he can make it through.
It was no secret that Michael was planning to propose to Holly in this episode. And he had a series of very Scott-esque ideas as to how he should do it: writing a message in fire, dropping a corpse off the roof — you know, the usual stuff. “I want it to be an event that everyone talks about, always and forever,” he says.
After a Pam-led intervention, though, something amazing happens: Michael apparently takes the advice of Jim, Pam, Oscar and Ryan to heart, and he comes up with a proposal that’s not just memorable but also very fitting. The Dunder Mifflin office and his co-workers are pretty much his whole life, and it’s through the office that he met and fell in love with Holly, so why shouldn’t he propose to her on the spot where he first did goofy voices with her while helping her put her chair back together?
As for the sprinklers, well, you put hundreds of candles in one place, you’re asking for a fire alarm. But it proved Jim’s point that when you’ve got the girl and you’ve got the ring, you really don’t need much else to make it perfect. (And speaking of that giant, giant ring: Pam’s “Holy s**t, is that real!?!” might have been one of the funniest two or three lines of the episode.)
And then, the bombshell: Michael is leaving so he can move to Colorado with Holly, who’s worried about her parents and wants to be with them. The shocked looks on everyone’s faces felt about right too, because for all the grief Michael has put everyone through over the years, he’s still their guy, you know?
This has been an up-and-down season of “The Office,” to be sure. At times it felt like the show was marking time a little bit to get to the story of Michael leaving that we’ve all known was coming. But this episode, well, it was great.
Other thoughts from “Garage Sale”:
- The show wisely didn’t spend too much time on the other two stories, but they both provided some good comedy away from the main thread. Jim taking advantage of Dwight’s compulsion to trade with his “miracle legumes” was a low-key entrant in their ongoing game of one-upsmanship, but it was a nice one. Particularly because he played it to its logical end in the closing-credits tag by replacing Dwight’s just-planted pots with fully grown plants.
- Ditto for Andy, Darryl and Kevin’s no-holds-barred play on the “Dallas” board game. Andy’s all-purpose Southern accent (which sounds like no Texan I’ve ever heard) is pretty much always funny, but the fact that Darryl joined in made it even better. As for Kevin? Well, the guy wouldn’t be a good poker player if he didn’t know how to bluff.
- Loved the gauntlet of candle-holding co-workers as Michael led Holly through the significant spots in the office, and equally loved Michael’s running commentary. With Oscar: “That marriage would be a sham.” Angela: “That would be kind of hot. I’d pay to see that.” Ryan: “The only one I was a little worried about.”
- For the record, Dwight started with a thumbtack, then went through Meredith, Kelly, Phyllis, Oscar, Stanley, Ryan and his mom’s pesto, Creed and Erin and her squid before winding up with a telescope that he traded Jim for the miracle legumes.
What did you think of Michael’s proposal and the rest of “The Office” tonight? Are you happy with the (apparent) way Michael is leaving?