The Office Says Farewell to Michael Scott With a Tear and a Smile

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say the almost-60-minute Office sendoff was a solid 7. And Michael’s prediction last week that leaving Dunder Mifflin was “gonna hurt like a mother[bleep]er” was dead on. Which, in a way, was a shock.

Dunno about you, but many’s the time that I’ve thought to myself, “Jeez, I love this show. Now if only they’d get rid of that D-bag.” But, especially since Amy Ryan returned this season as “that D-bag’s” soul mate, Holly, he’s seemed more lovable man-child than loathsome adult brat. So, even without her appearing in this actual episode, yeah, seeing him worried and upset and sad — “All the [TV] channels [in Boulder] are gonna be different!” he fretted – hurt like a mother[bleep]er.

Ratings: Office Send-Off Draws Good Crowd

Mind you, we got off to an inauspicious start: an opening bit involving a plate of bull testacles and Dwight at his least appealing. But after that, Michael made his way through the office, saying goodbye one by one to his colleagues (well, except for Creed, Meredith and Gabe, who got a package deal) in much the same way that Dorothy bid adieu to the friends she’d made in Oz. He also bestowed upon them all parting gifts, whether words of wisdom (“Never be a caricature,” he told Kevin in a classic moment of self-unawareness) or actual presents (Oscar’s, or Michael’s reaction to Oscar’s reaction to his present, was the best).

As you’d expect, Jim and Pam got especially touching so longs, with him finding a Michael-at-his-best way to spare his boss the pain of saying goodbye, and Pam racing to the airport to give him a farewell hug that I wouldn’t have been able to hear over my thudding heartbeat even if the scene had dialogue. But Erin also had a fantastic last scene with Michael that nicely underscored his fatherly affection for her. And he even found a way to resolve, as best he and Dwight ever could, their love/hate relationship.

Watch the final airport sequence here:

So what did you think? Thumbs up to Carell’s Scranton swan song? Thumbs down? Or did you thumb your nose at the whole affair and watch something else? Oh, and by the by, I know the episode was theoretically all about Michael, but how easy is it to root for Andy these days! He’s become damn near as likable as Jim!

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71 Comments
  1. BRETT says:

    Loved it. Gonna miss him.

  2. Sam says:

    Totally agree. There are times I actually stopped watching the show because Michael was driving me to the edge of insanity. But Holly really brought out the part of him I like.

  3. MrSideEye says:

    Can we talk about how Jim Carey >>>>>> Will Ferrell.

  4. Shea says:

    i’m not ashamed of the fact that i cried. steve carell made the office what it is, and it’s not going to be the same.

    • Stacie says:

      I almost teared up when he said “That’s What She Said” for the last time. I knew it was going to happen, but him saying it, without the microphone on was perfect. I am so curious to see what this show will be like without Michael Scott. The ensemble is really going to have to pick it up.

    • rebecca says:

      you’re not alone.. i also cried. i was doing fine until the airport when he took off the microphone and mouthed “that’s what she said” and when Pam finally arrived to say her goodbye. I am going to miss Pam & Michael’s friendship, they way she always looked out for him.

      Michael Gary Scott, you have made me cringe & laugh for the last 7 years. thank you.

    • Jen88 says:

      Started crying when Dwight was reading the letter and then the tears kept flowing.

      • Rachel says:

        I too began crying when Dwight read the letter and the sobbing only increased during the final Micheal/Jim scene. It seemed perfect that Jim would figure it out! The episode was wonderfully written and Krasinski’s and Carrell’s acting were emmy worthy!

    • Kristen says:

      I cried too. When you could see tears in Jim’s eyes, that was it for me, I cried for almost the entire rest of the episode. It won’t be the same, but it could still be good in a different way. I’m also curious to see how they pull together and make it work.

  5. StephP says:

    Wonderful episode. Used 5 Kleenex. Thank you writers, Steve and all the cast.

  6. Allie says:

    Really good ep. I’ll really miss Micheal.

  7. AndyLuvr says:

    Thumbs up. Loved it. I’m not one to get teary-eyed, but the scenes between Steve Carell, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer really got to me. It was the perfect way to send off Michael Gary Scott to Hollis Flax in Boulder, CO. Just great stuff.

  8. Tess says:

    I thought it was a really lovely send off. The episode was kinda light on the funny, but there were moments, and really that’s not what this week was about. Dwight reading Michael’s recommendation that he wrote for him was a particularly teary bit for me. And the silent goodbye between he and Pam was perfect, I thought. Understated and sweet. Also, Michael taking off his microphone was unexpectedly heartbreaking. “Let me know if this ever airs.” Ouch.

  9. Jayne says:

    Well, I obviously missed the first scene somehow–so I can only rate on the beginning from Michael saying his first goodbyes to the end. And I’ll take off the last scene too (and lump that on with next week), the episode was perfect. Still Michael, but within still showing the great connection he has with Jim and Pam, and even a fantastic goodbye with Toby, Kelly, and a really cute moment “with” Holly. The ending with Pam was simply the most perfect ending and so for me, it was a 10, because the writing captured the characters, made it achingly meaningful and still very much the Office. I’m not always a Michael Scott fan, and often FF through his scenes, but the Office truly does their big episodes really well.

  10. doug says:

    it brought a tear to my eye i will admit that but on may 13 i will cry a river when smallville’s final moments

  11. Pauly says:

    Watched it since the 1st episode. At times I loved Michael Scott, and at times i thought he was a “d-bag”. Saying goodbye to Erin, i thought was sweet. I liked how he became a father figure for her. Got sorta choked up when Jim and him planned to have lunch for his last day. At the airport, when Michael handed in his microphone, and started walking away, I thought that was it. Then Pam runs in and hugs him. I lost it, started crying like a baby. Take it easy Michael Scott.

  12. Amy says:

    I thought it was wonderful! It wasn’t flashy or over the top, but simply goodbye. I love that it felt like 1/2 Michael and 1/2 Steve Carrell. It hurt to look at his red eyes. I lost it when Jim started to cry. I love that in the end Michael meant a lot to each of the office members. Also, I love Andy, but I hated that subplot. Are they trying to make us loath Will Ferrell’s character or what? Oh, and Oscar’s gift and Michael’s reaction was hilarious! We will miss you Michael/Steve!!

  13. Will says:

    A solid 7??!?! You had no criticisms for the episode! This deserved a 10

  14. Mike says:

    The “let me know if this ever airs” was hysterical since they’ve been doing a 7 years documentary lol but his final words to the camera were the perfect way for Michael to say goodbye to the office. “can’t tell you how good it feels to get this off my chest. That’s what she said. Bye.” classic!! Great final episode for his character. Loved it!

  15. corey says:

    i love the office but this season has been terrible. i was really looking forward to this episode, but somehow it left me disappointed. it was less touching than “Seasons of Michael” from ‘michael’s last dundies’, for one thing. i mean, where did all that affection from office members such as stanley and kelly go? in this episode, they seemed to just want him to go away. i dont know. i feel like they could have done more with this. oh well.

    • Mike says:

      I’m pretty sure it was all intentional. That’s how they usually treated Michael and they knew that “TOMORROW” would actually be his last day. So, “TODAY” was business as usual. The emotion came from the reactions of Michael knowing he was experiencing these people in their usual day to day mannerisms for the last time. It was a perfect episode to say goodbye.

      • corey says:

        i agree that ya that day was just another day for the rest of the office, but i don’t know. i guess coming into it with all the hype from nbc about “michael’s last day” and all the commericials and the beginning-of-the-end feeling we got from the dundies last week, and the sick-episode experiences we’ve had with big events in this show such as goodbyes (weddings, goodbye toby, etc.), i just expected a bit more. i feel like a lot of them never really got closure with michael and it feels like there’s something missing.

        • Chris says:

          “… a lot of them never really got closure…”, and that’s the way life is. That is one of the elements that made his final episode perfect and spot-on. You could feel what Michael felt as he looked out at his family, watching them do their thing one last time. He hates goodbyes (like most of us), and this last mental picture of them doing their work and completely ignoring him is exactly what his character needs to take with him. Do you get it?

  16. Kelly says:

    I actually got the most choked up when Dwight and Michael were playing paintball… Michael and Dwight’s relationship has been almost non-existent since season 4 (compared to seasons 1-3), so seeing them jumping around and being intensely goofy like they were when they “saved” the Scranton branch and had the hotel room party in season 3, and then realizing that this was totally the last time we would ever see that, REALLY got to me.

  17. Toyia says:

    I shed a few tears when he took off his microphone. That’s when it hit home that he was really leaving

  18. Stephanie says:

    Does anybody else think that Erin is Phyllis’ daughter??!?!??! I do! Revealing that she gave up her child in high school and then Erin wishing she knew her birth mother… Go there Office, go there!

  19. KT says:

    Thumbs up!It was more like a solid 10.
    Though I cried my eyes out at the Jim-Michael part. Saddest thing ever. Totally lost it when Jim was about to cry.
    I will definitely miss Michael, even when he was so annoying, he brought a smile to my face.

    • Mike says:

      Totally agree. with the Jim/Michael scene. You could totally tell the tears were real too and not acting. Krasinski’s eyes were watery and red when the scene started. That was their last scene together so I’m sure it took a lot of takes. Even Jim’s last knowing look at the camera of Michael’s weird antics (T-shirt idea, goodbyes suck) was great as he added a smile to it because he was going to miss doing that too. Ahhh..can’t help thinking how perfect the episode was.

  20. Jane says:

    Loved it. Definitely higher than a 7, IMO. All the goodbyes were well done. RORY FLENDERSON, HAHA. Paintball with Dwight!! Phyllis’s oven mitt!! Jim tearing up! I don’t really get Erin’s character but it’s sweet how Michael’s a father figure to her. One last That’s What She Said after taking off the microphone D: Pam rushing to the airport and hugging Michael while still holding her shoes!! Totally broke me and I thought I wouldn’t cry. We’ll miss you Michael!

  21. LOL says:

    Worst episode ever. Not funny at all. Although I did like the end when he gave his microphone away. I really thought this episode would have had provided some good laughs from Michael, and it turned out to be a total dud.

    • Chris says:

      Okay. How did you feel about the final MASH? … the final Cheers? … the final Frasier? Admittedly this was not the final Office episode, but this episode was special, resembling a series finale more than almost any other non-series finale episode I have seen.

  22. John says:

    I am a fan of this show no matter what they do, but to be completely honest at first I didn’t really think this episode was all that special…after letting the episode digest for almost two and a half hours now my opinion has completely changed. The show has always been about Michael stealing all the attention and glory from everyone else, but this episode was far from that. It shows how Michael has grown as a character and now really is Worlds Best Boss. Congrats on a great way to end it everyone and thank you Steve for a fantastic job from start to finish

  23. BT says:

    Honestly, and I know this isn’t the popular opinion, I thought the episode was just okay. I think that The Office has seen it’s glory days years ago, and ever since has been limping along with the occasional good/great/amazing episode every now and again that kept me watching, however, much of this season, I feel they have been overselling what The Office is and that is a funny comedy that probably could have become more a few years ago, but due to a lack of creativity, has only become a comedy with static quirky characters. They strive to be something more at this point still, and can never pull it off. There are some shows that are able to cross the line between comedy and actual emotion, such as the original Office, but at this point The Office has flattened so many of the characters with only a few dynamic characters remaining. This episode was only okay, but thought it should have been more than it was. The Lost in Translation bit at the end in addition to the various “emotional” scenes such as the proposal itself have tried to make The Office more than it can be at this point, but very well could have been years ago. I’m not quite sure when this became a rant, but alas, time to come back to the point that the episode felt forced at many points, but it was still a nice send-off to Michael in the end.

  24. karl says:

    It really just felt like another episode, I’m going to miss Scott around the office. Hopefully, maybe next season they have a wedding episode, were all the staff go to his wedding.

  25. Brian says:

    I’m extremely dissatisified with this ending. I wanted a tear jerker. Anybody whose been a fan of the show, who purchases each season when it’s made available on DVD, you wanted closure.

    I truly enjoy the entire cast and I will continue to watch the show until its run ends. I don’t feel that giving Steve Carell the proper send off would have been a detriment to the show and, what the writers/producers/directors should have accepted is the fact that people who are going to tune out now that he’s gone, are going to tune out now that he’s gone! Trying to underscore that the show will go on, that Steve’s character wasn’t bigger than the show will be applauded by some as clever but, you know what, it wasn’t. It was crappy.

    Michael/Steve were a part of our lives on Thursday nights for seven years! Seven years! Having the character/actor sneak out the back door was hollow, to me. I did want to see Stanley and Michael have a moment. I wanted something more out of Dwight. The only ending that was what I expected was with Toby. His last words to Oscar were about the crappy scare crow? And then we pan to his office where he offer the comment “that’s how little he thought of me”. That was sad, not touching sad, but sad in a “I matter so little/they have so little concern for me” sort of way. Don’t tell me that Oscar wouldn’t have had a moment with him, he obviously cared enough about him over the years to continue to try to help him and keep him in line.

    If I were to set aside my expectations, I’d give that episode a five. My own sentiments included, I give that episode a two.

    • Amy says:

      Steve Carell didn’t want a big over the top send off. He wanted to keep it low key. And as a person who has all the DVDs, I don’t know if I could have handled a bigger tear-jerker of an episode. This one killed me.

    • damian says:

      I also own every season on DVD and I pretty much felt it was a great episode and a perfect tear jerker. Having left a job after 7 years also, I can verify that I too, wanted as little fanfare as possible. IMO, if you were a fan of the show, you’d know that they would have their moments to say an emotional goodbye but Michael couldn’t handle it. That’s why he left early and that’s why everyone carried on, business as usual because they all thought they had one more day. Was it selfish? Yeah, but so was Michael. It was a wuss way out but Michael was a huge wuss. As far as the Oscar thing goes, it was hysterical to me because Michael let everyone know he was in on the joke the whole time, that Oscar thought he was simple and Michael clearly was one upping him by being as simple as you could get.

  26. John says:

    I love that Michael Scott will have a Flenderson knocking on his door within two weeks of moving to Boulder.

  27. MIndy says:

    I loved it. Thought it was brilliant. I actually cried. Wow. The scene of Dwight reading the recommendation letter was perfect. The paintball with Dwight. The scene with Erin was nice. And the scenes with Jim and Pam were brilliant.
    I don’t even know if I will watch without Carell. Hope he finally wins the Emmy this year.

  28. LOL says:

    I was underwhelmed. It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t quite enough.

  29. Julia says:

    It was pretty good. The worst part was Will Ferral, for sure, though I liked how normal Andy was.

    Actually, my favorite part of the hour, by far, was the fact that Creed is a regular in the women’s bathroom.

    • Lime says:

      Yes! Creed coming out of the stall and Erin not even being fazed made me actually laugh out loud.

      I was seriously disturbed by Gabe chasing people into bathrooms though. How’s that going to play out? I want Erin and Andy together!

    • JD says:

      haha Creed in the woman’s bathroom was a call back to season 4 (i think that’s the right season) where Michael brings all the girls out to the mall and asks them for advice about Jan. while the women are gone, the men (it was kevin’s idea) decide they want to see the womens bathroom, and while they’re in there Creed comes out of the stall. apparently he goes in there for Number Two. and i think his quote was “And i have paid dearly for that priveledge!”

    • Chad says:

      And what a nice gag that Creed was drinking out of Michael’s World’s Best Boss cup that he pitched earlier in the episode as Michael was leaving. Love that klepto.

  30. Kaila says:

    To quote Mr. Scott, it hurt like a mother…! But to put it in more eloquent words, i wrote a detailed farewell of my own here: http://exm.nr/mEypRv

    I simply couldn’t fit it all in this comment box. ::tears::

  31. rom says:

    It was a very sad episode but a very good one

  32. Beet Farmer says:

    I held it together when Dwight read his letter of recommendation; I held it together during the scene with Michael and Jim; but the minute Pam ran into the final airport scene, I totally lost it. Great episode! And now that I’ve had a few hours to think about it, I’m glad for the crappy DeAngelo storyline in this episode — it keep the episode from getting too maudlin.

  33. David says:

    This episode was really well done and the end transitioned well for life after Michael Scott. Will Ferrell has played his character perfectly. It is difficult to get the audience to hate such a popular guy like Will Ferrell but after that final scene it will be much easier!! While it was nice to see Michael Scott grow and seem to care about people other than himself the only criticism I would have is that I don’t think he has grown that much over this season. He has grown into a better person over the years but I don’t think this last episode portrayed him believably. Sweet and sincere – yes absolutely but there should have been some moments where he was doing some of the off the wall stuff that the staff had to put up with over the years. He exited perfectly though and it was a great moment to see Pam run after him. The show will never be the same but it’s not supposed to be!

  34. rebecca says:

    I was just thinking the only thing that I wish we saw is one last convo with Michael and Jan. or even just see her reaction to him and holly getting married. when she came for the baby shower she asked michael not to date holly.

  35. Kevin says:

    I guess it was the perfect ending for Michael Scott because it left me wanting more. For example, it won’t feel right not being able to watch Michael’s wedding. Would we get to meet his mom at that point? Who would his mom be, etc. It left me wanting more of Michael Scott. Just a really nice ending to a truly iconic TV character.

  36. Baron Carrickfergus says:

    Big events like major characters leaving or series finale episodes are especially tough to get right…sometimes its amazing (last episode of Newhart, Henry Blake leaving MASH) but often times a swing-for-the-fences and a complete miss (last episode of Seinfeld) or taking it the other way by playing it too safe…

    last night was a good combination of playing it safe, being sentimental without being maudlin, tying up some loose ends, and still throwing in plenty of funny (Michael’s reaction to his gift for Oscar was epic)

    but for me it resonated in that it was really like leaving a work-place after a long time: its never quite the big event that you expect it to be; you sometimes don’t get the big poignant “moments” with some people like you’d want…sometimes you just kinda go “see ya later” and walk off…

    so in that regard, it was dead-on…I agree with 7 or maybe even approaching 8 of 10 is a fair assesment…

  37. Guy says:

    With that you can basically say goodbye to The Office. It will never be the same. Steve is just irreplaceable.

  38. Mindy says:

    The gift to Oscar was the best! I loved it! I loved seeing Michael reveal that he was in on the joke. Oh my goodness, I laughed so hard at that.

    • Chris says:

      What do you mean, that he was in on the joke? It was Michael’s joke. How could he not have been in on it?

  39. Jay says:

    Phyllis is Erin’s mom

  40. jan says:

    I really thought it was a great send-off. It fit the characters, and it made me cry. A 7? Really? Easily a 9.

  41. Jess says:

    Cried my face off when Dwight finally got his acceptance, literally and figuratively, from Michael. And then with Jim…rough times.

  42. Collin Cross says:

    Once Jim and Michael started tearing up, that’s what did it for me. The Office just won’t be the same

  43. Wes says:

    An awesome show. I laughed when Michael lost it over his gift to Oscar and I had a tear when Dwight realized what Michael really thought of him. And the interactions with Jim and Pam were truly fitting and very moving.

  44. Terry says:

    So Phyllis was a cutie in high school, and gave away a baby. Plus Michael and Phyllis have known each other since then….Michael has always been very fatherly toward Erin….just maybe Michael and Phyllis had a very secret romance that no one ever knew about. Just a thought.

  45. Borislaw says:

    I guess I am the only one who thought this episode was just alright. Up until the part when Jim started to cry in Michael’s office it had about the same feel as the majority of the show’s episodes over the past 2 or 3 seasons. The thing I didn’t really get is why the office workers were so invested and even sad to see Michael go. I was under the impression that he was generally disliked by almost everyone and that they would be ecstatic to see him leave.

    On a different note, I think the show will be better without Steve Carrell playing Michael Scott. His character was such an imbecile, and moreover, wasn’t even remotely funny. With him gone the show can focus on better characters like Dwight, Andy, Daryl and Kelly. Basically, any of them could easily replace Carrell’s Michael and the show would be greatly improved because of it.

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