Office Finale Scoop: Who's The Boss?

On the West Coast, or yet to watch tonight’s season finale of The Office? You know what to do – skip this story to avoid spoilers galore. The rest of you? Let’s go!

Besides banishing Gabe to Florida and getting Angela engaged to her gay Senator boyfriend, the NBC hitcom left us with a fabtastic cliffhanger: Who will replace Michael’s replacement, Deangelo (Will Ferrell)? Besides the all-star candidates, ranging from Jim Carrey and Will Arnett to Ricky Gervais (cameoing as Michael’s UK counterpart, David Brent), Andy, Darryl and trigger-happy long shot Dwight all threw their hats in the ring.

Of the Special Guest Contenders, James Spader stood out as a creepy genius with a memorable theory (“Everything is sex”). But my money’s on British funny lady Catherine Tate. She brought to the table a level of self-serving crazy on par with Steve Carell’s, yet in an entirely original flavor. (She’d actually tide me over nicely until we get those new AbFab episodes… )Plus, Jo (Kathy Bates) is a friend; never hurts to be in good with the (potential) boss.

So what did you think of the episode? Are you pulling for Spader to get the gig? Tate? Or someone in house? And thoughts on the outcome of the Phyllis/Erin mother/daughter mystery? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Rob says:

    Spader very much reminded me of Season 1 Michael Scott. More Serious than funny.

  2. Michelle says:

    I liked Spader the best tonight, surprisingly. That said, I think the character he played would get old very quickly. It was a good one episode deal. I think they left Tate vague on purpose so that if they end up going with her, which I hope they do, they’ll be able to more freely develop the character. All we know about her now really is that she’s crazy. I agree with you guys that Jim and Daryl are the most qualified, but come on. Do you watch this know? The boss has to be unstable or it’s boring.

  3. Lexi says:

    The reason the writers and those involved probably held off in choosing an office manager is probably because they wanted the publics opinion. Personally I did not like any of them, and that whole Daryl and his daughter bit was totally out of character. Although the woman resembled Michael Scott the most I don’t she is the best pick, for one I can not understand her accent. It is bothering me a little how they are erasing the character of Michael Scott and referring him as “my other boss” “the other manager”. The writers will probably go on here and see what everyone else’s opinion is which is fine but I hope it works out in the long run for everyone.

    The shows heart left with Michael Scott. I am rooting for the cast and crew though.

  4. Lexi says:

    Oh and I agree with the people that believe Jim will end up with the job. I feel the writers were always heading in that direction once Michael retired, the feeling was reinforced season 4 the episode Jim is manager for the day while Michael is out doing some Survivor thing. The interaction at the end of the episode led me to believe it would inevitably go to Jim…

    We take this stuff way too seriously.

  5. Doris says:

    Didn’t it occur to anyone to invite Gary Cole to be one of the candidates? Didn’t anyone see him in Office Space? The man is a comic genius (when he’s not creeping us out in American Gothic, that is!).

  6. Tami says:

    I absolutely loved Spader last on The Office. I hope he’s the one to get the job. I don’t want Andy or Tate in there. I didn’t laugh once when Tate was interviewing…And also I’m very disappointed that the writers aren’t trying to go back to the Dwangela story line. Also, no Gervais please.

  7. Cfmcpherson says:

    Catherine Tate all the way! For those of us who get dry British humor, it’s a no brainer! And for those who don’t, it will be an equally enjoyable ride since everyone in the office will be guessing too. I really think she came the closest in bringing back Steve’s brilliance.

  8. Cheryl says:

    I can’t believe nobody remembers James Spader from Sex, Lies and Videotape…that sex business was straight from that movie. Very funny.

    • Amber says:

      I think they missed out on a chance for great jokes from his movie Secretary where he played the masochistic (quite literally), yet hilarious boss. I wanted to see him show up with Maggie Gyllenhaal and feed her a sugar cube in the middle of the interview.

  9. kowalski says:

    Can’t say I’ve ever “gotten” Catherine Tate, not even watching her run free and wild on her sketch show, but she doesn’t seem like a serious option for the manager role. None of the guests clicked, or seemed to be intended as legitimate contenders. It looked like the cameos were just that, guest pop-ins, with no true relevance to the next season.

    Spader was amazing as always. Jim Carrey could have used more time – is he even working lately? Comics have such a short half-life in this country he might be done as a movie star. And is it just me or do other viewers also feel the life being sucked out of every scene in which Kathy Bates appears? I don’t know if it’s her or what they write for her but she makes me wonder if anyone told her it’s a comedy.

    So who will fill Michael’s Payless business casual shoes next season? Creed is too looney. Jim doesn’t seem to work in that role, but he looks like a leader. And he is more of a logical choice than anyone, especially Dwight. Dwight has been cast as a lightly malevolent character who holds his naively narcissistic urges in check. He’s the antithesis of Michael, who was inwardly sweet but who constantly hurt feelings and bungled simple decisions through innocent stupidity. Michael’s basic goodness allows us to believe the total absence of resignations in a clearly dysfunctional workplace. The recent episode where Dwight temporarily ran the office showed us the unpleasant Bizarro world he would turn the office into. It also showed us a workplace no sane person would stay at once having gotten a whiff of Dwight’s intentions.

    It seems to me the well of ideas ran pretty dry this year. Probably a good time to wrap it up.

  10. Bob Saget says:

    I’m an avid Office fan but this show was a huge disappointment yet again. I thought Spader and Arnett were funny. They only gave Jim Carrey like 10 seconds. Also Ray Romano was decent. I couldn’t understand a word Gervies or Tate said during the show. But I have a feeling it will be Jim, Dwight, Andy, or Darryl. Only Spader might work out of the new characters. They better have a good first couple of episodes next year or it will get cancelled.

  11. David123 says:

    I just love how some people are so negative. In my opinion it was a fantastic episode. Spader and Tate were the 2 that apparently read stuck out from the rest. If you remember correctly, when michael scott was the boss there were many people who didn’t like his character yet the show has good rating. Thanks for the site! Its amazing

  12. Abby says:

    Catherine Tate?!?! I am so back in if she gets on the show. I’m a big Doctor Who fan and she was fantastic!

    • Bob says:

      Two words: Fat Chance. American TV audiences don’t take well to British actors on American shows. It’s OK when they’re British shows, but not American.

      • tnsmoke says:

        I agree. Sorry, but it’s true that if you don’t watch a lot of British shows (and MOST Americans don’t) then it’s very hard to understand their accents and dry humor. No to Catherine Tate, stay on the BBC.

  13. Eric says:

    It’s gotta be James Spader. He was the ONLY standout in that crowd. And Catherine Tate was plain annoying. I think the Spader character, mostly because he’s an awesome actor, has a lot of room to grow, expand, and dig into. I got the feeling he was somewhat posing.

  14. LTF says:

    Spader was awesome. Tate with her accent and how fast she talked I could not understand half of what she said. Romano was interesting. They have to bring a new character in to keep the buzz. Promoting from witin will not do that.

  15. Jeff says:

    James Spader was the standout for me. He’s just such a great actor and he excels at playing slightly off, eccentric characters. I thought he had an offbeat chemistry with the cast too in the limited moments he had with them (particularly Dwight; that scene made me laugh out loud).

    Catherine Tate (who apparently is the frontrunner for the job) was ok, but I felt like she was too weird, and too much like Michael Scott. I think if you’re going to bring someone in to replace him, you don’t want someone who’ll remind you of him.

  16. CorneliusMurdock says:

    I hope Tate won’t be it mainly because I don’t think she’ll fit in with the show. She can be funny but her rhythm is too quick for most of the cast. Can you imagine her trying to talk with Kevin? If she zips along and everyone else is at normal speed the show will end up feeling uneven.
    I really don’t like how they sandbagged Darrel this episode. He always seems pretty professional and then the one day it matters they make him a doofus. Darrel is smarter than that. If they didn’t want him to be the boss, they should have come up with a plausible excuse. It would have been funnier if he hadn’t wanted the job and they begged him to accept it.

  17. Bob says:

    OK, here’s what’s going to happen. They’re going to take a page out of the Dubya playbook. Dubya brought in Cheney to do the search for a VP. And guess who got the job? Well, Jo had Jim run the search, and all the candidates have their faults, so I think she’s just going to hire Jim.

  18. Lauren says:

    I really don’t understand why they don’t just make Jim boss…he was co-manager for a while, he knows all the staff, he gets on well with them all…
    My favourite cameo was Jim Carrey. As we were getting toward the end I was like, ‘I thought Jim Carrey was going to be in this’ and then he showed up and was awesome. James Spader creeped me out, Catherine Tate was terrible, Ray Romano was pretty funny, Will Arnett was pretty funny.

  19. CJ says:

    Really did not enjoy most of the guest appearances last night. I love Will Arnett and he would have been a good fit, but with his own show getting picked up I’d assume he’s out. James Spader was way too creepy, Catherine Tate was annoying and not funny, Ray Romano was just pathetic. One of the funniest ones was Warren Buffett wanting two more cents per mile. But the best part by far was the revelation that Jim Carrey’s character was the Finger Lakes guy. I’d love to keep him around.

    Aside from that, the only way I will truly watch and continue to enjoy The Office is if David Brent or Jim became manager. Jim’s character didn’t work as a manager before, but that was because of Michael and Gabe. With them out of the equation, I think he’d be fantastic. It’d be nice to have some new blood to put some life into the show though. We’ll see!

  20. JD says:

    One of the Halperts will be the boss. this episode set up Jim pretty solidly because they couldn’t find another fit, but i think a good storyline would be Pam getting the job. Jim doesn’t want it, because salesmen make more money than the manager, but i bet Pam doesn’t make that much as office manager. also, she’s been essentially running the office for YEARS under Michael and it would be interesting to see all of the characters who have refused to take her seriously over the past 7 years have to answer to her now. additionally, i thought that Steve’s last scene being with Pam was foreshadowing of this idea. side note: i love how Ryan made a “jim face” at the camera while Jim was talking…that could easily be foreshadowing of Ryan’s role should Jim get promoted.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree about Pam JD, she pretty much manages Michael. Also, I think their could be a refreshing change for Jim and Pam’s relationship if she became Manager.

  21. Melanie says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if Catherine Tate got the job, but for some reason James Spader was hired as assistant manager? James Spader’s character would be the evil genius brain behind Catherine’s flightiness. On the plus side, Dwight having to put up with him and Jim both would be hilarious.

  22. cj says:

    uh hello people, i think darryl is probably the most qualified, but if i had to choose an outside hire i’d probably choose ray romano. james spader was, as the search commitee put it, overqualified, and his character would get really annoying REALLY quickly. catherine tate was funny i guess, but its just hard to believe that they’d go for someone as ridiculous as michael. i mean, yes, jo could use her power of veto and hire her friend anyway, and frankly, that seems the most likely, but it still feels like a cop out for the writers. they’re basically bringing in another version of michael scott. though i wouldn’t complain if they added a another lady to the cast. i dont know if jordan is going to stick around, but the lady office workers could use some fresh blood, and actually, wouldn’t it be amazing if the office turned into a girls club???!!! like before it was michael, jim, dwight, ryan, and pam. and andy sort of. wouldnt it be great if catherine tate comes in and is like ok Pam, phyllis, kelly, and maybe andy too anyway, cause lets be honest andy can fit in anywhere. but wouldnt THAT be a shake up?

    also, phyllis said – she’s not erin’s mother, but she hasnt told erin and doesnt seem to plan on it cause she clearly feels motherly toward erin.

  23. Amy says:

    It had its moments, but was otherwise very frustrating. After all the hype they don’t even give us a new manager? Are they wanting to ensure we at least come back next fall long enough to find out who the new manager is? Also, it bugs me they never mention Michael. They only refer to his as “old boss”. Are they not allowed to say Michael Scott now that Steve Carell is not on the show?

  24. Kimb says:

    The Brillant AMAZING TATE –

  25. Jake says:

    The only ones i liked were Catherine Tate, and Ricky Gervais. And Gervais was only cameoing so he wont be it but if the manager ends up being one of those guest stars id go with Tate. But Jim would probably be my other choice. If Any of the other guest stars get the manager position ill keep watching because i also love the other characters and i doubt one character would ruin the show for me like it would for other people.

    As for the episode i found it to be hilarious! more hilarious than the last couple episodes.

  26. Jessica says:

    First, I love James Spader and when I heard he was going to be on The Office, I was very excited. Then, seeing his character…please! Pick James Spader!

  27. Amber says:

    Hold the phone, did you just say they’re making new episodes of AbFab?????? Way to bury the lead!!!!! That is exciting news!!

    Onto Office stuff…I really don’t think it can be Jim or Darryl that gets the job because to have someone who is actually qualified to do it would completely change the flavor of the show in a very bad way. Sure, they’re competent, but the point of the show is that very incompetent (and hilarious) people get to manage people who are more competent than them. Dwight’s episode as the boss was one of the funniest the whole season, but I really think the show needs to bring in a big personality to fill the hole that Steve Carrell left.

    Overall the episode wasn’t as funny as I had hoped it would be. I did expect the guest stars would get more screen time and that a couple of them would have had personalities a little more over the top than they were. I was really disappointed I didn’t get to see Jim Carrey’s interview, it looked like it would have been hilarious. And that (Chicago?) accent was to die for funny on him. Ray Romano was pretty funny, but we know it can’t be him because he’s got that cable show on next season. Will Arnett’s character seemed very Gob-like, and I actually think a character like Gob would work REALLY well on The Office, but we know it can’t be him because his new series got picked up (didn’t it?). I kind of wonder if he was a serious contender until that happened. I would love for it to be Jim Carrey because I really liked that character, but I doubt it will be him. The Office usually goes for characters a little more subtle than he was playing, plus I don’t think he wants to do TV again. I’m under the impression it couldn’t possibly be Catherine Tate because she’s doing that play all summer in London, so when would she have time to film? But I did see a tiny bit of potential in that character. I’ve been saying all along it should be Ricky Gervais that gets the job, but let’s face it, the guy has got way too much going on his life professionally to be doing a regular part on The Office.

    So that leaves James Spader as the most likely replacement if they decide to go with any of the current candidates, which I’m not entirely convinced they will. I think it’s possible the producers are still deciding on what they want to do with that role and haven’t hired anyone permanently to do it. Now I love a sexy James Spader, but I found myself to be really confused by his character. It wasn’t funny like I was hoping he would be, and there was definitely no sexiness to him. What the h#ll happened there? Did he really gain a lot of weight? Was it just a fat suit for the character? And that hair!! Blech. I want my sexy James Spader back. But that all being said, the character had potential. He looked like one of those characters you have to really get to know before you can love him.

    I really don’t want the The Office to do a revolving boss thing like they’ve been doing since Steve left. I hope they come back next season with someone permanent in the role. That’s all I ask for. Don’t let me fall in love with someone just to take them away after 3 episodes! And likewise, give me the chance to fall in love with someone instead of taking them away after 3 episodes!

    For the other Office storylines, I was really surprised at how quickly they went through that Erin/Phyllis mother thing. I kind of expected that to be drawn out over next season. And I was happy they banished Gabe instead of making him be the Scranton strangler, because when one of the writers on this website first pitched that idea, I was horrified it could be true. It seemed way too dark.

  28. Em says:

    Episode wasn’t funny. The office without steve carrell isn’t looking so good. Katherine Tate was definitely my favorite candidate though and I think she could make the show funny.

  29. T. says:

    Catherine Tate, please!

    James Spader’s character will be funny… for about 2 episodes. And then that character will have to find a new gimmick.

  30. Sarabi says:

    James Spader was HILARIOUS! Although I’m not sure his character is appropriate for this role. (And I was worried by his forehead bald spot. :/) I still hope that they plan to introduce Portia de Rossi and surprise us! :)

  31. Anonymous says:

    Come on, there’s one in-house candidate that no-one has considered: Pam.I don’t know about being manager for one or two whole seasons, but maybe 5 or 6 episodes with here would be good, Anyway, she’s always managing Michael and Creed and is the Office Administrator. I think it could be funny if Jim became all weird working underneath his wife, and could get a bit jealous and controlling. I think the Jim and Pam relationship has kind of settled into a pattern an nothing really goes on with them.

  32. Daisy says:

    Ausiello didn’t write this post…

  33. Esta says:

    What’d I miss, where was The Office on the scorecard?

  34. metal2000 says:

    Wow, you take television way too seriously, sir! (And this is coming from someone who writes about TV and watches more TV than anyone else he knows.)