Apr 29 2011

Fare Thee Well, Michael Scott

Published by at 1:00 pm under Television

As I’ve followed The Office for seven years now, I thought it only fitting to at least recognize the departure of its idiot-in-chief, Steve Carell’s Michael Scott.

The man has become a television icon, a balance between a child, a moron and a pretty good guy, and for all my issues with the later seasons of The Office, namely him occasionally going full retard and acting more like Homer Simpson than an actual human being, it’s sad to see him go.

I was down on The Office for a long time, a few seasons actually, but recently the show seems to have found its magic again. It’s focused less on absurd plotlines (Dwight setting the office on fire, Michael driving into a pond) and focused more on its individual characters, including Michael Scott.

He’s grown up, and that was demonstrated by his rather touching farewell last night. I think the most telling moment was during the party planning committee meeting where he finally decided that the celebration shouldn’t be all about him for a change. Watching him say goodbye to everyone in a unique way was a good way to structure the episode. The best farewells were all almost tear inducing, between Dwight’s recommendation letter and long awaited paintball game, Jim’s admission of admiration and Pam’s airport Lost in Translation silent goodbye moment. Really expertly done.

I have a feeling that we haven’t seen the last of Michael Scott, and here’s to hoping we see him show up at the end of next season, with Michael Scott Jr. in tow.





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8 responses so far

  • fred

    we need to see his wedding episode! No way the writers can overlook that

  • hank

    I had to start watching again once I learned Will Ferrell was going to be on the show. I hadn’t watched for the entirety of this season. It was really well done, and the shot of him walking off was iconic as hell, but when Pam showed up and had a tearful goodbye with him, it sort of ruined the moment for me. For so many seasons they made Michael out to be an unaware douchebag. Does Pam remember when Michael banged her mom, and then broke up with her because he thought she was old? Or when he told her conservative grandma she was pregnant out of wedlock? Or when he had to call her mom again when he had the herpes scare? I know “it’s a comedy,” and I should just go with it, but the reason I started loving the show in the first place was when the humor was relatable and the characters felt real. That moment sort of represented what the show had become, a big honking cartoon, a caricature of seasons one through three. Oh well.

  • Tim

    @fred

    I agree with you. Maybe the series finale? Or at least next season, perhaps.

  • chelsea

    @hank – do you also remember when pam stuck by michael when they opened their own paper company? and michael made sure pam became a saleswoman at dundler mifflin instead of receptionist? they had a strong bond and i loved that they got to say goodbye.

    not gonna lie, also shed a tear during the jim / michael goodbye.

    i’ve also bashed the show the past couple seasons, but this was a really great episode.

  • dustin

    disagree with the positive comments (albeit apologetically positive, as all positive comments for this show by necessity are these days) & remain perplexed why a dwindling pool of people continue to go out of their way to give this tired, woefully unfunny show credit. it’s *way* past its expiration date (which i’d mark as jim & pam’s wedding, if not earlier) & pretty much everyone knows that, just like everyone knew deep down that the newer star wars movies sucked, but many refused to admit it for a while. none of the characters on The Office feel like themselves anymore, nor have they for at least 2 seasons. any “magic” you’re feeling is pure clingy nostalgia for the show’s better days on your part, if you ask me. to those of us less attached, the painful stupidity is not only plain to see, but difficult to endure. all of the forced moments of restrained emotion in this episode fell embarrassingly flat. it’s not entirely the fault of the writers or actors — it’s partially a natural consequence of the fact that these characters have long since been irreparably changed into an unfunny parody of themselves. but hey, at least no one sang a song. (*that* bit, from the prior episdoe, was truly the prime, un-toppable example of how very, very far this sitcom has fallen.)

    The Office has long since missed the opportunity to go off the air with dignity, but i wish this once-quality show would have the decency to at least end with carell’s departure. but, nah — they’re going to milk it for yet another tepid, dour season, with the patently unfunny ferrell or carrey, and maybe another after that, until the hangers-on finally let go, and the ratings fall to the numbers necessary for the higher-ups to at last pull the life support. it is cruel to keep this shambling disaster of a once-great sitcom living on at this point, for it has no quality of life and will never return to its former glory.

    and everybody knows it.

  • bryon

    I was really let down with this episode. I expected so much more. Especially since they hyped it so much, saying how it was going to be ‘big’ and Michael was going to get what he deserved or whatever. But I thought it sucked. To go out silently without anyone in the office noticing. The thing that bothered the most was Pam missing Michael leaving cause she went to see The King’s Speech. I thought they should’ve had her looking for a gift for Michael or for him and Holly or whatever and then when she came back and noticed Michael was gone she could have looked at Jim, who was already sad cause he knew Michael left, and then ran to the airport. I think that would have made it more special.

  • Justin

    I think the best part was Michael’s final (for now at least) “that’s what she said” moment. I knew there had to be one in the espisode somewhere, and when he final says it you don’t even get to hear it. It wasn’t some blatant use of his catch phrase, but a nice reminder that made you pay attention to figure out what he says.

  • http://capcaysoft.com capcaysoft

    The Office has long since missed the opportunity to go off the air with dignity, but i wish this once-quality show would have the decency to at least end with carell’s departure. but, nah — they’re going to milk it for yet another tepid, dour season, with the patently unfunny ferrell or carrey, and maybe another after that, until the hangers-on finally let go, and the ratings fall to the numbers necessary for the higher-ups to at last pull the life support. it is cruel to keep this shambling disaster of a once-great sitcom living on at this point, for it has no quality of life and will never return to its former glory.

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