Although the series finale of NBC’s “The Office” is yet to come, the series could have ended with last week’s episode and there would have been no complaints. The fulfilling episode entitled “A.A.R.M.” aired on Thursday, May 9 on NBC.
The episode begins with the employees of Dunder Mifflin Scranton showing up to work and saying a secret code to get inside the office. Dwight’s first project as regional manager was to increase security, so Dwight emails the employees with a secret code every morning that is needed to enter the office. Dwight, however, messes up one word of the code and is sprayed with steam while his coworkers watch from inside. Once Dwight is settled in his office, viewers learn that he plans on proposing to his girlfriend, Esther, with an old ring. Dwight says, “This is my grandmother’s ring. It was made from a bullet I took out of her left buttock. She was a moonshiner shot by Adolf Coors. This is my grandmother’s buttock bullet ring.” How romantic.
Andy goes to an audition for “America’s Next A Capella Sensation”—a singing competition similar to “American Idol.” While waiting in line, Andy meets another contestant named Casey. Andy and Casey become friends and complain about how the TV crew interviews a war veteran and a homeless mother instead of focusing on singing ability. Wanting to have his time on television, Andy dresses up as an old man as part of a “feel-good story.” Right when Andy and Casey get close to the front of the line, auditions close. A determined Andy runs past the guards while Casey holds them back, and Andy runs into the audition room. The judges have zero interest in Andy, so he sits down and cries.
Darryl left Dunder Mifflin permanently to move to Philly to work for Jim’s company, Athlead. Darryl did not tell anyone at the office that he was leaving because he hates goodbyes. Now, however, he comes back to drop off the truck, and he sees Pam in the lobby. Darryl makes Pam feel guilty about Jim giving up Athlead to stay in Scranton with her. Pam begins to question whether or not Jim is happy with his decision.
Meanwhile, Dwight explains that although he and Jim used to be enemies, they have overcome their differences and are working together to run a no-nonsense office. Dwight takes this very seriously, and Jim pretends to take it seriously also, but it is really a joke to him. Jim is back to his usual goofy self, and has another trick up his sleeve. Jim suggests that Dwight hire an assistant to the assistant to the regional manager in order to have someone to help prevent “PFN”—Potential Future Nonsense. In order to make sure that the most qualified person is given the job, Dwight and Jim hold the “A.A.R.M. (Assistant to the Assistant to the Regional Manager) Challenge,” which is a series of tests. Jim designs the tests so that Dwight will excel and ultimately give himself the position. This plan works, and Dwight names himself as the Assistant to the Assistant to the Regional Manager, making Jim both Dwight’s assistant and Dwight’s boss.
During the A.A.R.M. Challenge, the employees see Darryl and make him come upstairs from the warehouse. Everyone in the office asks Darryl if he will be going to Poor Richard’s with them that night to watch the premiere of their documentary of the office, which they have been filming for the past nine years (the show “The Office” is basically the documentary). Everyone has a different way that they want to say goodbye to Darryl, but he tells them they need to agree on one thing everyone can do together, so the employees decide that they want to dance with him. The entire office dances to “Boogie Wonderland” as Darryl moves around the room to dance with each person individually.
Angela has to bring her baby son, Phillip, to work. Kevin gets mad at all the attention Phillip is getting and resents the baby boy. After getting fed up with the attention Phillip gets from Oscar and Angela, Kevin leaves and says, “Tell Phillip that his stupid little baby wish came true.” Later on, Angela and Oscar give Kevin a partially used iTunes gift card from Phillip, so Kevin forgives Phillip and explains, “He’s a little standoff-ish at first, but once he starts buying you things, man, you can tell he likes you.”
Throughout the day, Dwight notices similarities between himself and Phillip, causing him to believe that Phillip is his son. Dwight calls Jim into his office and tells him to perform a test on a baby, but Jim says that he is too busy and will pass the task on to his assistant, which is Dwight. Dwight places a dirty beet and a check for one million dollars in front of Phillip, and when Phillip grabs the beet, Dwight is convinced that he is the father.
Dwight calls Angela into his office and tells her that he thinks Phillip is his son, and if that is true, then he wants to marry Angela so that she and Phillip will move in with him and Dwight can raise Phillip properly. Angela, however, informs Dwight that Phillip is not his son.
Pam tells Jim that she does not think she is good enough for him, and Jim asks the camera crew for help proving to her that she is everything to him. The camera crew puts together a video of Jim and Pam’s moments together in the past nine years in the office, and Jim gives it to Pam, but then Dwight calls Jim into his office. Pam watches the video while Dwight tells Jim that Angela is the only thing stopping him from proposing to Esther, and Jim tells Dwight that he needs to do whatever it takes to get the woman he loves, because she will be worth it. When Pam finishes watching the video, Jim gives her a letter that he wrote back in season two explaining his love for her, but was too afraid to give her back then.
As Angela is driving home, Dwight drives next to her and yells at her to pull over through a megaphone. On the side of the street, Dwight confesses his love for Angela and proposes. Angela happily accepts, and says that Phillip really is Dwight’s son, but she lied because she wanted Dwight to marry her for the right reasons.
The Dunder Mifflin Scranton employees gather in Poor Richard’s that night to watch the documentary, and Andy shows up to watch it with them.
This episode easily could have been the series finale, as Angela and Dwight are finally together after having an on-and-off secret relationship for a while. Darryl got to say goodbye to the office, and his dance really showed the true essence of each character on the show. Jim is back to his goofy self, which is such a relief after having to watch him be a jerk for a little while. More importantly, Jim and Pam’s relationship is finally completely restored to the way it was before Athlead, and they are happily in love once again. Tune in to NBC this Thursday, May 16, at 8 pm for the two hour series finale of “The Office.”