FinaleThe Office (US) : Season 9 Episode 23 ((LINK))
"Finale" is the last episode of the American comedy television series The Office. It serves as the 24th and 25th episodes of the ninth season, and the 200th and 201st episodes of the series overall. The episode was written by series developer and executive producer Greg Daniels and directed by Ken Kwapis, who directed the series' pilot episode. It originally aired on NBC on May 16, 2013, preceded by an hour-long series retrospective.
FinaleThe Office (US) : Season 9 Episode 23
The episode was viewed by an estimated 5.69 million viewers and received 3.0 rating among adults between the ages of 18 and 49, making it the highest-rated episode of the series since the eighth season installment, "Pool Party". "Finale" received critical acclaim, with many critics complimenting the writers for wrapping up the storylines for most of the characters. Critics also praised Carell's cameo, with many arguing that it was perfectly executed. This episode received three Primetime Emmy Award nominations for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, and won for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series.
"Finale" was written by series developer and showrunner Greg Daniels, making it his second writing credit for the year, after the season debut "New Guys", and his 12th writing credit overall. It was directed by Ken Kwapis, who had originally directed the series' pilot episode. Daniels joked that Kwapis was "the country vet who birthed this puppy" and had come "back to put it down". Prior to directing "Finale", he also directed the fifth season episode "Company Picnic". The initial idea for the finale was thought of by Daniels during production of the third season, described as "a reunion show", in the fashion of the post-competition cast rehashes familiar from reality shows like Survivor".Daniels, at one point, approached Jeff Probst, the host of Survivor, to appear in the finale as a moderator for the fictional reunion, although he declined. The initial table read for the episode took place on March 4, 2013. Filming commenced on March 6. According to Jenna Fischer, the episode took nine days to film, with the cast devoting 12 hours a day to the episode. The finale was described as "ambitious", featuring multiple location shoots, including one in an AT&T Office Building, which stood in for the Scranton Cultural Center. Filming for the episode and series as a whole came to an end on March 16, 2013. Wilson later tweeted a picture of the empty set after all filming had been finished.
The series finale guest stars Rachael Harris, Dakota Johnson, Joan Cusack, Ed Begley Jr., and Malcolm Barrett. The episode features the return of several of the series' actors and actresses, including former series writers and stars B. J. Novak and Mindy Kaling, as well as Andy Buckley, Robert R. Shafer, Michael Schur, and Matt Jones. Other minor recurring characters also make appearances, such as Nancy Carell as Carol Stills (who played the recurring role as Michael's real-estate agent and short-time girlfriend), Sendhil Ramamurthy as Ravi (who first appeared in the eighth-season episode "Angry Andy"), Eric Wareheim as Gabor (who first appeared in the earlier ninth-season episode "Junior Salesman"), James Urbaniak as Rolf (who first appeared in the fifth-season episode "Company Picnic"), Jackie Debatin as Elizabeth (who first appeared in the third-season episode "Ben Franklin"), Devon Abner as Devon (who was a former Dunder Mifflin employee fired in second-season episode "Halloween"), and Spencer Daniels as Jake Palmer (who first played Meredith's son in the second-season episode "Take Your Daughter to Work Day"). The episode also features Bill Hader and Seth Meyers playing themselves.
Jennie Tan, the founder of the largest The Office fansite OfficeTally appears in the episode as a fictional version of herself asking the members of the office questions. She initially emailed Daniels, asking if she could appear in the background in one of the scenes. He, however, hired her as a day actor and wrote her seven lines. During the filming, Daniels re-wrote part of Tan's line to make it more "pointed". Tan called the experience "surreal", because she was "playing [herself] but talking to Jim and Pam", rather than Krasinski and Fischer.
Early during production for the season, Kinsey and Wilson noted in an interview that the cast and crew were hoping for the return of former lead actor Carell. In mid-December, Krasinski later revealed that he was optimistic about a return; in an interview with E! Online Krasinski said that the producers were supposedly "still trying to figure out [Carell's] schedule" and that the finale "just wouldn't be the same without him". However, NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt later admitted during an interview that while he was "hopeful", he did not think Carell would return; he noted that Carell was satisfied with his character's exit and did not want to tarnish it. On January 16, Daniels revealed that Carell would not appear in the finale in any capacity, a decision that Carell later reiterated. Several months later, however, TVLine reported that the producers for The Office mounted "an 11th hour effort" to get Carell to make a cameo in the show's final episode. According to the article, "while no one is confirming that the final diplomatic push proved successful, no one is denying it either." Carell's personal representative confirmed that Carell was on the set for the final episode, but that he did not film any scenes. However, an anonymous source close to the show cryptically said "don't rule anything out". TVLine later reported on May 6, that Carell would appear in a cameo, although NBC declined to comment and Carell's representatives continued to deny the reports. A month after the episode aired, Carell explained in an interview with TVLine that he "lied for months to the press, to almost everyone, really". He noted that he "felt terribly for the cast and for [executive producer] Greg Daniels, because they all lied, too." Krasinski, on the other hand, explained that "It was so thrilling. We all just flat-out lied... It was just one of those things that we all vowed and had to protect". Even at the initial table read for the script, Carell's appearance was not revealed. In fact, his first line was not included in the read at all, and his second was scripted to be delivered by Creed Bratton.
The episode also features several callback references to previous episodes. Oscar saying "Whazzup!" serves as a reference to a scene from "Pilot" between Michael, Dwight, and Jim. Jim's description in his final talking head of his job is a direct quote from his first talking head in "Pilot". Dwight hires Devon back after Creed quits, a reference to "Halloween", when Creed convinced Michael to fire Devon. Pam sits at reception one final time and answers the phone, saying "Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam." This is a reference to Pam's former role as office receptionist and a common phrase that she said during the early seasons. Pam's painting of the office building, introduced in "Business School", plays a prominent role in the final scene.
"Finale" originally aired on May 16, 2013, on NBC in a 75-minute timeslot, preceded by a one-hour retrospective. The retrospective was viewed by 4.37 million viewers and received a 2.1/7% rating among adults between the ages of 18 and 49. The finale itself was viewed by 5.69 million viewers and received a 3.0 rating/8% share among adults between the ages of 18 and 49. This means that it was seen by 3.0 percent of all 18- to 49-year-olds, and 8 percent of all 18- to 49-year-olds watching television at the time of the broadcast. This marked a significant increase, of over one million viewers, in the ratings from the previous episode, "A.A.R.M.". It also ranks as the highest-rated episode of the season, as well as the highest-rated episode for the series since the eighth season entry, "Pool Party", which was viewed by 6.02 million viewers and received a 3.0/7% share. The episode ranked second in its timeslot, being beaten by the ABC medical drama series, Grey's Anatomy. NBC increased their usual ad price by 200 percent for "Finale", asking for $400,000 per commercial. This was largely due to the anticipated increase in viewership that the finale would bring. Via DVR viewing, the episode was watched by an additional 2.38 million viewers with an added 18- to 49-year rating of 1.4, bringing the total to 8.07 million viewers and an 18- to 49-year rating of 4.4.
"Finale" was met with acclaim from television critics. Alan Sepinwall of HitFix gave the episode a highly positive review and called it "a tremendously satisfying conclusion to a show that could make us gasp with laughter, but that could also make us cry or smile". Sepinwall noted that, despite the inconsistency in the last few seasons, "the world was rich enough to fuel a lovely 75-minute trip through the past, present and future of The Office. Ultimately, he noted that the "biggest emotional moments" belonged to Jim and Pam, and their final talking heads. Roth Cornet of IGN awarded the episode a 9 out of 10, denoting an "amazing" episode. She was highly pleased with the final fifteen minutes, noting that "in those final moments, this series hit every note we could have wanted, without overplaying any of them." She concluded that it "was a strong hour of television [and] the finale shone and delivered on all of its promise." Hillary Busis of Entertainment Weekly praised the entry, writing that "for anyone who's stuck with The Office through thick and thin ... last night's 75-minute-long finale was pretty much perfect." She wrote that "the finale had no shortage of sob-inducing moments", and applauded all of the characters' various happy endings. 041b061a72