(NEW YORK) -- The NBC comedy The Office ended its nine-season run Thursday night with a 75-minute episode that was heavy on surprises, including the return of Steve Carell.
The finale was set one year after the premiere of the TV documentary in which the employees of the Scranton, Pa., branch of the Dunder Mifflin paper company starred. We learned that many of the workers had moved on, some by choice -- Stanley retired, Andy had become a viral sensation thanks to his miserable reality show audition -- while others -- Kevin and Toby -- were fired.
The entire crew came together for the wedding of Dwight and Angela. Their old boss, Carell's Michael Scott, showed up at the last second to be Dwight's best man.
Dwight remarked, "I can't believe you came." Michael responded as only he can, with his signature catchphrase: "That's what she said."
Carell didn't have much screen time in the episode. In one of his rare lines of the night, he told the documentary film crew, "It feels like all my kids grew up and married each other. It's every parent's dream."
In the other major development of the episode, Jim and Pam decided to sell their home and move to Austin, Texas, so he could recommit himself to the growing sports marketing company he helped launch in Philadelphia. His involvement with that company had strained the couple's marriage for most of the season.
As for some of the other major characters:
- Original cast members Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak reprised their roles of Kelly and Ryan, respectively. Kelly ditched her man at the wedding to run away with her on-again, off-again boyfriend Ryan, who's now a single dad. Actually, he was a single dad, until he decided to abandon the kid at the ceremony. The baby ended up in the hands of Nellie, who had been looking to adopt.
- At a documentary reunion panel, the adopted Erin was united with her biological mother and father, played by guest stars Joan Cusack and Ed Begley, Jr.
- After his firing, Kevin became a bar owner, but he is still his goofy self.
- Oscar is a candidate for state Senate -- a nod to the fact that he once had an affair with Angela's ex-husband, a state senator.
In the final moments of the episode, Creed -- played by Creed Bratton, former member of the 1960s rock band The Grass Roots -- performed music in the office as various employees reflected on their Dunder Mifflin experience with the cameras.
Jenna Fischer, as Pam, closed the show by saying, "All in all, I think that an ordinary paper company like Dunder Mifflin was a great subject for a documentary. There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn't that kind of the point?"
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