Michael Scott’s (and Steve Carell‘s) last day at “The Office” promises to be an emotional one. This isn’t going to be a play-by-play live blog, exactly, but we’re hoping to capture our initial impressions of Carell’s goodbye more or less as they happen. Come along for what we’re expecting to be a tear-jerking ride.
Cold open: Fresh Rocky Mountain oysters, huh Dwight? It seems on-point that Dwight would be more concerned about his own future than Michael leaving. Also: The roof of Dunder Mifflin is probably not quite enough to get used to the altitude in Colorado.
Act 1 (more or less; we’ll use commercial breaks to signify the segments of the episode, even if that doesn’t match the act breaks in Greg Daniels’ script): Wait — Michael doesn’t want any drama on his last day? And he’s thinking about others before himself? That “World’s Best Boss” Dundie has really had an effect on our guy, hasn’t it? Nice job by director Paul Feig of framing that shot where he adjusts his trophy to mimic the one in the opening credits.
Also: Wow, Gabe really isn’t taking his breakup with Erin well. And, yeah Jim, when did the camera crew start following people into the bathroom regularly?
Act 2: Phyllis has been on fire lately: “I thought he knew about the baby I gave away.” But we’re really getting the feeling that Michael’s not going to be able to be Mr. Altruism for this whole episode, especially not with the spectacularly bad decision on Michael’s part to give Andy the branch’s best clients. Hey — the guy can’t change completely.
Our favorite gift is the scarecrow for Oscar — mostly because of Michael’s talking-head explanation afterward: “It looks like it was made by a 2-year-old monkey! … He has the lowest opinion of me!”
Aaand, there’s the break: “I am not going to start improv at Level 1. I don’t think my credits will transfer.” But Holly and her goofy voices save the day — but wait, tonight? Wow. WOW. I guess our guy hates long goodbyes. Which feels exactly right for this man who is leaving the only family he’s really ever had.
Act 3: Oh lord, Toby. Yeah — Michael is not gonna look your brother in Boulder up, man.
We repeat: Phyllis, on fire (“As a person who buys a lot of erotic cakes …”).
Callbacks! Way back when, we learned that Creed likes to use the ladies’ room. That hasn’t changed, apparently. And then, in rapid succession: “Somehow I Manage,” the baler and trying to show off his hoops skills to the warehouse crew. It’s a little dizzying. Although the attempts to hit the over-the-shoulder shot might not be the most efficient use of goodbye time.
We do not have high hopes for the Deangelo-Andy sales mission.
Act 4: Fatherly advice from Michael to Erin: “You are beautiful, and you are fun, and you are smart” — OK, 2 out of 3 — “and when the right guy comes along, you’ll know it.” Michael has always done right by Erin, and that’s a very sweet coda to their relationship.
Not sure which is nicer: Michael’s letter of recommendation for Dwight or playing paintball behind the building with him.
Deangelo and Andy: As feared. Back to Michael, if you please.
Act 5: Suspense! Will Pam get back in time to say goodbye? Will Michael wait and take a later flight?
Group goodbyes — because “there’s not enough time in the day to have a special moment with everybody.”
Conference room: “Is that it?” Nope — Ping is back. Again — grown-up Michael will always be Michael.
“Later, guys,” a final, un-amplified “That’s what she said” and Pam apparently buying a ticket so she can say goodbye. You know what? I’ll take that. That was absolutely lovely.
Carell has always been said to be a generous team player even though he could have pulled star stuff for much of “The Office’s” run. His finale reflected that. We’ll have more on the episode and Michael’s tenure later, but first reaction? That was just the right tone for Michael’s exit.
What did you think?