Thursday May 16th is the day The Office Finale will air, and despite trying to move beyond the absence of Michael Scott (Steve Carrell), it seems like a furor has built over whether he will, or even should, appear in the series Swan Song. Carrell’s singular character genius created an indelible mark on the series, so the idea that anyone could honestly believe the series could sustain the same level of comedy without him is, well, asinine, but still: when it’s over, it’s over, and the fact is, The Office has moved on. Or has it?
Fueling the rumors that Carrell will return is a hodge podge of double talk that seems to be punctuated with clear indications that Carrell will, in fact, not show up on the final episode. The most compelling rumor to the positive comes by way of TV|Line who has confirmation from an unnamed source that Carrell will appear in The Office Finale, but not in a guest appearance. The source describes his appearance as more of a cameo. That could amount to a blink and you’ll miss it moment.
When Mindy Kaling appeared on David Letterman she told the host that she couldn’t remember if Carrell was appearing the finale, going on to state that she had signed a nondisclosure agreement and wasn’t going to lie to Letterman. Curious.
Then last week, creator Greg Daniels seemed to deflate the prospects of a Carrell cameo saying “I think Steve felt, and I agree, that the ‘Goodbye, Michael’ episode was his goodbye and he didn’t want to overshadow the ending that all the other characters deserved.”
Then, Steve Carrell popped up at a special event honoring The Office in Scranton. Although, again, no confirmation on whether or not we will see Michael Scott. Given the tone of the gathering, Carrell may well have appeared simply as a legacy member.
Whether Carrell appears in The Office Finale or not, you have to admit the questions hanging over his appearance are adding up to some pretty good word of mouth for the episode.