by Za’chary Westbrook
5 out of 5
Well, shine on, you crazy diamond and shove a crowbar up my nose! We’ve known it was all coming for a while. Of course, it’s been old news that Steve Carrell is leaving the show and we’ve kind of just been sitting around waiting to find out how Michael leaves. With Holly’s return, their engagement was pretty much inevitable; after all, you’ve gotta give a character like Michael closure. Saying good-bye to Jim and Pam is easy, really. They’re married to the love of their lives, they have a kid, they still manage to effortlessly outwit Dwight; they’ve got it all! Season finale, Jim gets a phone call, new job, moving truck, teary hugs good-bye. Done. Michael is not that simple.
There has been so much delusion and irrational ambition in Michael over the years and none of it has managed to come through. If we hated the guy, he could just get fired and be left wandering alone and we’d be good with that. Smeg, that would work with Dwight. The farm burns down, the office park gets foreclosed on, Dwight throws a backpack over his shoulder and starts hitchhiking to nowhere. You can’t do that to Michael because, while he is insane and delusional and humiliating, he’s also naive and romantic and kind of innocent. We want naive dreams to come true. We hate that we’re so jaded by our failed dreams or apparent inability to formulate any ambitions in the first place. Seeing some naive fool get everything he wants is cathartic.
So, ultimately, Michael has to get the girl. Although, it would have been hysterical for him to get fired, drive away as a broken man, only to have his car slammed into by a semi a block down the road. Cut shot to his closed casket funeral. Everyone starts to leave and someone says “see you at work, tomorrow”. The End. There’s a series finale no one’s going to forget for a long time! People would universally hate it, but it would still be better than seeing the main cast chilling in a universalist church waiting to “pass on”.
Anyway, tonight was the beginning of a perfect closure for Michael. He’s got the girl, he’s made the absolute perfect proposal. Seriously, when those doors opened and there were candles, I was tempted to roll my eyes, but bloody hell was an awesome proposal. And it was, of course, made perfect by going horribly, yet predictably, wrong without actually being ruined. The build-up was very well done. Michael’s failed proposal ideas weren’t over-played and the sub-plot involving Holly’s parents was affective without being ridiculously tear-jerker. Plus, we got to see Pam and Jim having a couple little moments, which I’m always a sucker for.
The other bits, the game of ‘Dallas’ and Dwight’s exchange quest, were equally brilliant. The characters we like and care about were out in force doing their thing. Note the general lack of Gabe. Please, note that and remember what a great episode this was. I did miss Erin slightly, though.
Gentlemen, Spring is here and the bar for proposals has been set for 2011. Good luck!