April 29th, 2011
10:13 AM ET
Thursday night's episode of "The Office" was an unforgettable, very fitting goodbye to the series' star, Steve Carell. At the same time, it was a reminder of the uphill battle the show faces in order to continue on without him.
But first, let's take a moment to applaud Carell and the character he created. Michael Scott was not a David Brent clone, and he wasn't just a lovable buffoon, because that wouldn't make him unique at all. In the midst of a "remake," Carell gave us an original.
As a result, it was extremely difficult to watch the episode with dry eyes.
Michael was leaving Dunder Mifflin one day early, and the only person who figured it out was Jim. Their scene together, talking about what they would say to each other at a farewell lunch that would never happen, just got to me. Jim called Michael the best boss he ever had. I'm sure it wasn't a stretch for either of the actors to bring on a few tears during the scene.
What I didn't expect, though, was to be moved by Dwight of all people, still holding a grudge after being passed over: "I’ve given up expecting Michael to do the right thing, or the decent thing, or even the comprehensible thing."
He certainly didn't expect an extremely heartfelt letter of recommendation from Michael, followed by one last game of paintball in the parking lot.
One by one, Michael said goodbye to everyone (even Creed, who, that same day, exited the ladies' room admonishing Gabe for his rudeness in going in there). His gift to Ryan was the "St. Pauli Girl" neon sign (from what may very well be the series' best episode, "Dinner Party"), and his gift to Kelly was to leave her alone.
He gave his best clients to Andy. After all, he told him, "You sold us all on Andy, a product nobody wanted."
Andy proceeded to start losing clients immediately, and went to Deangelo - who was having a bit of a crisis with addiction to fatty foods at the time - for help. Andy finally proved he could be a good salesman, in his own way. Unfortunately, this was the weakest part of the episode, and only a couple of Will Ferrell's scenes were all that great.
No, this was all about Michael, who walked out of the office for the very last time as Creed sipped on his "World's Best Boss" mug.
In a nearly heartbreaking coincidence, his car passed Pam's as she returned from sneaking out to "The King's Speech." (Colin Firth, how could you?)
Just when you thought it wouldn't get overly emotional, Michael said this in his final confessional: "Holly's my family now, and the babies I make with her will be my children. The people you work with are, just, when you get down it, your very best friends." And then it became a full-on Linda Richman moment for this viewer.
Then, at the airport, Michael gladly gave the camera crew his microphone, and moments later, Pam ran to him to say her goodbyes. Not unlike the scene of her engagement to Jim, it worked perfectly with no dialogue needed.
And so, we now face a future at Dunder Mifflin without Michael Scott. No more "That's what she said," and no more wildly inappropriate reactions to just about everything. It will be interesting to see where things go next.
What did you think of Michael's exit? Did you get teary-eyed at any point? Does Steve Carell deserve another Emmy? And where do you think things are going with Deangelo, last seen having a meltdown over Michael's goodbye cake? Is Phyllis Erin's mother? Share your iReport, or comment below.
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