"Will you guys let me know if this ever airs?" It seems like Michael Scott (Steve Carell) is going to be getting a call from that documentary crew fairly soon. When The Office creator and executive producer Greg Daniels announced the upcoming ninth season of the hit NBC mockumentary series would be its last back in August, he promised that the film crew behind the cameras would finally be revealed, as well as the identity of the Scranton Strangler (our money is on Gabe, sorry buddy). But what else should happen before Dunder Mifflin closes up shop for good? Now that the final season premiere is upon us (Thursday at 9/8c), we've compiled a list of return guests, episode redos and other ideas we want the writers to squeeze in — that's what she said — before they change the locks:
Stop trying to make Andy the new Michael: When Andy (Ed Helms) first transferred from Stamford to Scranton, he did his best to mimic Michael's every mannerism and expression — Yoda talk included — to get on the boss' good side. However, Andy's act soon self-destructed when he punched a hole in the wall and was shipped away to anger-management counseling. Six years later, there's no longer a Michael Scott to kiss up to, yet Andy is still concocting awkward, misunderstood pranks (sound familiar?) and playing the most out-of-touch employee. Although Michael and Andy have a lot of things in common -- inflated ego, lack of self-awareness — they were able to co-exist because of their differences. Just because he's in the big office doesn't mean he has to fill Michael's void 100 percent.
A hearty bowl of Jan: If the show can find a way to bring back former head honcho-turned-disgraced-ex-CEO David Wallace (Andy Buckley), then why not engineer a way to check in on Jan's life? It would be
weird super awkward to see her back on the show in a regular role, such as if she were to return to Dunder Mifflin after leaving the company to make candles in her condo, but Jan (Melora Hardin) played an important enough role in Michael's story line and early on in the series that attention should be paid. Besides, we're dying to know how a child raised solely by Jan turned out.
Less out-of-the-office excursions: Halfway through last season, the company's trip to Tallahassee, featuring the return of now series regular Catherine Tate, felt like a breath of fresh air. Too bad the visit felt like it went way past its return date. Some of The Office's best episodes have been brief trips to the outside world, i.e. the classic booze cruise episode or Jan and Michael's dinner party from hell. But this ensemble succeeds just as easily when sitting around the office with either only ridiculous busy work to do (performance review) or nothing at all (see: office Olympics, the carpet episode). Simply put, less is more. That being said, is there any chance the Dunder Mifflin crew can book an encore voyage aboard the local booze cruise, if for no other reason than more drunk Pam? We can promise there won't be any of this the second time around.
Give Jim and Pam something to do: These will-or-won't-they lovebirds were the Sam and Diane of their day — and with good reason. However, like many real-life couples, once they settled down with marriage, kids and a mortgage payment, things quieted down real fast. From the looks of this nostalgic preview — our eyes are watering because of allergies! — it appears the writers will be throwing Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) a few curve balls this season. As long as it's not a plot to throw a wrench in the couple's happily ever after, like Lindsey's ill-fated seduction attempt or the return of that one guy Pam used to date (Danny), we're on board.
As many holiday parties as possible: Our fingers are crossed that the party planning committee's budget doubles (maybe even triples?) under David Wallace's leadership so that there's plenty of money to go around for celebrations in honor of Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day, not to mention Take Your Daughter to Work Day and monthly birthday celebrations. And although it seems like a given at this point, one final Dundies ceremony — preferably at a slightly less stuffy venue (might we suggest Applebee's or Houlihan's) so that the staff can really let loose.
A return appearance by Amy Adams: Simply put, if you can say you had an Oscar-winning, soon-to-be blockbuster movie star on your show before she was famous, you a) brag about it and b) ask her to come back — if only for a brief cameo to show Jim what he missed out on.
A peek at the Dunder Mifflin-centered documentary: Daniels told reporters last month that more would be revealed about the documentary filmmakers who've logged nine years and counting behind the camera, but does that we mean we'll also get a glimpse at the actual documentary itself, or maybe even a trailer of the documentary? After all, Threat Level Midnight did miraculously make the jump from page to screen for a hilarious movie-within-the-show episode. Speaking of Michael's original film...
Threat Level Midnight: Part Deux: Before news broke that this would be the last season, Carell told The Los Angeles Times he doesn't think Michael should return. While we're going to try to be super optimistic and pretty much ignore this quote for the moment, on the off chance that Carell keeps his word, the next best thing to Michael Scott's return is obviously the return of Agent Michael Scarn, perhaps via a long-lost script found in one of Andy's drawers? Is Catherine Zeta-Jones available?
What do you want to see in the final season? Which character(s) do you think should return? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Season 9 of The Office premieres on Thursday at 9/8c on NBC.
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