THE OFFICE SAYS GOODBYE IN ITS ONE HOUR SERIES FINALE—GUEST STARRING MINDY KALING, BJ NOVAK, RACHAEL HARRIS, DAKOTA JOHNSON, JOAN CUSACK, ED BEGLEY JR., MALCOLM BARRETT, MATT JONES, ANDY BUCKLEY, MIKE SCHUR, BOBBY RAY SHAFER—Months after the airing of the documentary, the workers of Dunder Mifflin, past and present, gather for a wedding and a final round of interviews. Mysteries are solved, hatchets are buried, pranks are prunked. Also starring Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, Catherine Tate, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Angela Kinsey, Oscar Nuñez, Phyllis Smith, Paul Lieberstein, Creed Bratton, Craig Robinson, Ellie Kemper, Clark Duke, and Jake Lacy.
Love never fails.
It took those three little words to calm The Office's fan base after months of stress, and even anger, over the recent marital troubles of the show's central couple, Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer). After almost a whole season of secrets, fighting, crying and even — eek! — couples counseling, the end of last week's episode flashed back to a beautiful moment from "Jam's" Season 6 nuptials and then flashed back to present day and a passionate kiss.
However, with three hourlong episodes still to go ( airing Thursday at 8:30/7:30c on NBC), Jim and Pam aren't out of the woods just yet.
"I remember Greg saying, very smartly, that we have to give the audience something as far as trying to see a light at the end of the tunnel. But I don't think it necessarily answers all the questions as to how they'll solve it," Krasinki told reporters on a conference call Wednesday. "There's a romantic hope that everything will be OK at the end of that episode. And now there's going to have to be a little bit more brass tacks, if you will, as far as getting to understand how this will work. Because Jim needs to figure out what he wants to do with Philly, and Pam needs to figure out how she feels about him doing this for her."
Krasinki, who is also a producer this season, said he enjoyed exploring Jim's ambitious side, which played a bigger role in the show's early years. He pitched the idea of Jim taking a new job in Philadelphia based on his brother's own experience. "At the beginning of his job, he was travelling a lot all over the country for all his different clients. It was definitely a strain on the family in a very new way," Krasinski said. "For me, it was — can you have this perfect relationship go through a split and keep it the same? Which, of course you can't. I said to [showrunner Greg Daniels] it would be really interesting to see how that split will affect two people that you know so well."
The distance — physical and emotional — between Jim and Pam has been one of the comedy's central focuses throughout its final season, which is why mending fences may take a few episodes. "I think Greg was really smart to say we can't just hold this out until the last episode and have people almost getting terrified to the point where they wouldn't enjoy the finale," Krasinski said.
Added Daniels: "We didn't want there to be such anxiety over Jim and Pam that you could think of nothing else during the last episode."
The last episode of The Office, airing on Thursday, May 16 at 9/8c, is so chock-full at the moment that Daniels is hoping to extend the finale beyond its original hourlong running time. "We're trying to get more time and the network's being creative about scraping more time together for us without having us start the finale in a weird time that will cause half the audience to miss the first 10 minutes or something," Daniels said. "We're still hopeful to get slightly more than an hour."
But no matter how much extra time The Office finale may get, Daniels says the last three hourlong episodes combine to make up the show's true final farewell. "My hope is that people will treat the last several episodes as the finale and not force us to do everything in the last episode," Daniels said.