I would like to say I called Michael's last moment, but I was nowhere near as close in terms of the heart that the writers and producers were able to give the scene. It was funny, sweet, and like Michael's final wish, subtle. Perfect.
And just like that, after all the build up and excitement, Michael Scott has left the building. The Office will continue, but it shall never be the same.
‘The people you work with, when you get down to it, are just your very best friends.’ - Michael Scott
It's Michael's next to last day, or so everyone thinks. Displaying the first of the episodes many examples of Michael's new-found maturity, he has decided to duck out a day early. He says he did this to avoid the teary goodbyes he thought most of them would have, but really he was avoiding the goodbyes he would have to say. So he made a list and started checking off everyone one by one. It was a fairly cheap way for us to have one last moment with Michael for everyone but screw it, it worked. It was the perfect Michael moment so I'll let it slide.
So he says his goodbyes. With this new found maturity, he actually gives Phyllis something sweet (but Phyllis' startling confession at the beginning? Holy shit, The Office hasn't made me bust out laughing like that in a long time. Magnificent joke). Stanley gets another game. He doesn’t say anything mean to Toby. He leaves Kelly alone. Dwight gets a heartfelt recommendation. Creed, Meredith and fucking Gabe get a group goodbye because he spent a good chunk of the day trying to end his departure at the warehouse with a no-look behind the back basketball shot. He finally got it though. Daryl still wouldn’t let him play with the bailer though. And Andy? He gave him his ten best clients. They were all little touching moments that built toward a crescendo; one final moment with Michael Scott.
But that also transitioned nicely into what we’ll be dealing with the rest of the season. Andy isn't the best salesman so he turns to the new boss for assistance. Turns out Deangelo uses deception and extremely blunted truth-bombs on his sales calls and eventually, they lose a major client. But even Andy knows better than that and he shows some balls when he goes back to close the deak. Unfortunately, Deangelo is even crazier than they suspected. He’s relapsing on his diet and that emotional turmoil is finally breaking through his calm exterior. At the very end when he is destroying the cake Dwight and Jim have a great look between each other basically saying we’re gonna have to fix this. It was a really clever move on the writers part to keep the show going and set up the last three episodes.
'What a great boss you turned out to be.' - Jim
(Yes, that's an emotional scene, but honestly you should just watch the whole episode to get the full effect. Even taking out the Pam scene wouldn't be nearly as powerful as it would against the whole episode. Do yourself a favor, if you haven't already, watch the entire episode)
But that's boring and in the future! This is Michael's last day and he's leaving early! He calls one last meeting and couldn't get through it. One thing I really liked about the episode was how they tried to reign everything in. Sure it was emotional but they never allow the characters to go flat out bawling. They kept it contained and that made it all the more powerful.
Because the episode needed some dramatic tension to keep us worried, Pam had left to go check out shredders and missed seeing Michael by seconds. But since Jim is always one step ahead with Michael he sees through Michael’s plan. We do get our one teary goodbye with the promoted scene between Jim and Michael, and it was sweet but nothing compared to Pam’s goodbye. Jim might have been able to verbalize his thoughts (and dammit Jim, it was really sweet) but Pam got the artistic goodbye.
It was easy to see that Michael would end on a “that’s what she said” joke, but a silent one after he took off the mic? Holy shit that was perfect. And then Pam running up last second to give him a hug? I thought we might have had a Lost in Translation moment there for a second but the nature of their documentary (which, by the way, was the first mention of them not having aired anything about their filming and was quite funny) allowed Pam to share what he said. And yeah. It was perfect.
Michael has finally matured. His character can’t grow any further. The family he has always wanted he has found in Holly and he’s able to let go of this surrogate family he made at the office. Sure we’re losing a really funny character, but that character has literally grown up before our eyes and he’s off to enjoy his new life. It was absolutely the best send off we could have had for the guy and I’ll miss him dearly. So thank you Michael and The Office. We’ll keep going but for now lets just sit back and remember that we just went on one hell of a crazy ride.
That’s what she said.