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'The Office' Recap: 'Michael's Last Dundies' And 'Goodbye, Michael'

Jonathan Teigland Jonathan Teigland
May 2nd, 2011 8:22am EDT

Steve Carell as Michael Scott

Sorry for my absence last week – vacation down south beckoned me.  Here, then, is a double recap.

In ‘Michael’s Last Dundies,’ we get a warm-up to his goodbye.  It starts with Michael and Deangelo making early morning house calls to present lucky Dundie nominees with their certificates.  Reactions range from a drunken offer of Vienna sausages (Meredith) to outrage (Stanley: “Have you lost your mind?  Get off my property before I call the police!”)

Michael finds it fitting to have Deangelo as his co-host, but Deangelo is pretty nervous about the whole thing.  In fact, the guy is shaping up to be quite the basket case, isn’t he?

Erin, meanwhile, confesses to Pam that she is not in love with Gabe.  She doesn’t even find him attractive.  Pam convinces Erin she’s got to do what’s right for her.  Apparently, the “right” thing is breaking up with Gabe upon accepting her “Cutest Office Redhead” Dundie Award.

Other winners: Jim (best dad), Meredith (best mom), Stanley (diabetes), Deangelo (best host) and Andy (doobie-doobie-do Stoner of the Year Award).  At the end, Michael is presented with the “world’s best boss” award, as well as a serenade by the whole office gang.  Awww.

Best impersonation of a fellow office worker: Michael’s dead-on impression of Phyllis (“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”)

Best quotes:

-Deangelo (re: Meredith’s house): “This reminds me of Katrina.”

-Michael: “When Larry King died, they didn’t just cancel his show.  They got Piers Morgan to come in and do his show, and that way, Larry lives on.”

-Michael: “Anything can happen at the Dundies.  They’re like the Golden Globes, but less mean.”

-Pam: “Why don’t you like having lunch with your boyfriend?”  Erin: “I really don’t like spending time with him.”

-Deangelo (mid-hosting duties): “Fall asleep… during sex… huh, guys?”

-Meredith (after winning best mom award): “I can tell you one thing… I’m not gonna be a good mom tonight!”

-Phyllis: “I have diabetes too.  You don’t see me making a big deal out of it.”

-Erin (to Gabe): “I’m not attracted to you.  I just… I cringe when you talk.”

-Michael: “I was hoping it would be like ‘Godfather 3’ that wrapped up the whole franchise in an extremely satisfying way.  But instead it is like ‘Godfather 1’… that is, very confusing, had maybe three big laughs… oh well.”

-Michael (re: his imminent departure): “Yeah, ok.  Well… this is gonna hurt like a mother&^#%$.”

 

'The Office'

In ‘Goodbye, Michael,’ he is counting down the hours to the end of the day.  Unbeknownst to everyone else, he is leaving today, not tomorrow.  So when he leaves at 4 o’clock, that’s it.  And he has to get through his long list of goodbyes first.  His day can only improve, after Dwight feeds him bull testicles.

Michael’s goodbye gifts include chattering teeth for Phyllis (to remind her to speak her mind), his entire top client list to a shocked Andy and a scary-looking scarecrow doll for Oscar.  For Kevin: a drawing of a pig-faced Kevin drooling over pizza, which Michael promptly tears up.  And for Ryan: his St. Pauli Girl neon sign, which certainly lights up Ryan’s closet office.

During the day, though, Michael freaks out a bit.  He retrieves his “world’s best boss” mug from the garbage, ready to change his mind.  But a quick phone call to Holly calms his nerves.  He knows leaving is the right thing to do.

Just when it appears Dwight will never, ever forgive Michael for not securing him the manager position, Michael gives him a sweet letter of recommendation that nearly brings Dwight to tears, and plans one last paint ball duel.

After Pam leaves to price some shredders, and Michael continually asks about her whereabouts as the clock ticks down, Jim gets a feel for what’s really going on – Michael is leaving today.  Their last scene is a tender one, with Michael honestly asking, “Why am I so sad?” and culminating with Jim telling Michael he’s the best boss he’s ever had.  Awww.

Michael says a low-key goodbye to everyone, but on his face you can read the finality of the moment for him.  He heads to the airport, sad to miss Pam, but she surprises him (and apparently gets past security).  By then, he’s finally removed his documentary microphone, so we don’t hear their dialogue.  But we don’t need to.  It’s just a sweet, simple goodbye.  Pam watches his plane take off as Michael checks out of ‘The Office’ for good.

Tidbits:

-This is probably Steve Carell’s last chance to win an Emmy for the show, and I think he has a real shot for this episode.  He manages to turn in a funny performance, but we also believe Michael’s genuine sadness, and it’s not played for laughs or clichés.

-The last scene between Pam and Michael reminds me of the final episode of the show’s British counterpart, when Tim and Dawn have a personal conversation with the mics off.  It shows how powerful acting can be when you don’t hear the words.  The scene also makes me realize that Pam and Michael’s relationship is one of the show’s most poignant – why else save her for the last goodbye? – and it calls to mind perhaps their other most tender moment, when he showed up at her art show when no one else did.  As ridiculous as Pam thinks Michael is sometimes, it is clear she will miss him a lot.

Quotes:

-Dwight (to Michael): “You in tight pants are a salami to a black bear.”

-Jim (to documentary crew): “You guys are filming people when they go to the bathroom now?”

-Phyllis (re: Michael’s revelation of her secret): “I thought he knew about the baby I gave away.”

-Kevin: “I’m pretty okay with who I am.” Michael: “Don’t be.  You should never settle for who you are.”

-Michael (to Angela): “Is it just me, or did you think we were gonna have sex at some point?”

-Gabe (enraged, to Andy): “Walk away, bitch.”

-Michael (attempting to look cool while making a basket in the warehouse): “Catch you guys on the flippity flop!”

-Michael (to Creed, Gabe and Meredith): “Whether you’re scared of dying, or dying alone, or dying drunk in a ditch, don’t be.  It’s going to be okay.”

-Michael (taking off his mic, to documentary crew): “Hey, will you let me know if this ever airs?”

-Michael (mic off): “That’s what she said."

 

 

Photo Credits: NBC Universal Inc.