The Office Finale's Perfect, Unexpected Miami Connection
Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilery details about last night's episode of The Office.
Last night's series finale of The Office was full of moments designed to make the show's fans choke up -- flashbacks, resurrected recurring jokes from earlier seasons, touching documentary-style interviews.
But for South Florida viewers, one of the best moments wasn't about Jim and Pam, or Dwight and Angela, or even Michael Scott. It was about forever curmudgeon Stanley Hudson.
The finale episode is set a year after the last one. Many of the characters have moved on to other jobs and other cities, but they're all reuniting in Scranton for Dwight and Angela's wedding and to attend a PBS panel for fans of their documentary.
And Stanley's one who has certainly moved on. His retirement is the first thing that happens in the episode, as Dwight flashes back to giving him a cake on his last day in the office. "I've been looking forward to this day since I was 18 years old," he says.
But we don't find out until later, when Stanley arrives at the panel in a breezy tan suit and gaudy flowered button-down, what life is like for him in retirement. Turns out, he moved right into Miami's backyard.
"I'm living in Florida now, a little town called Florida City, just on the edge of the Everglades," he explains. "The man who delivered my divorce papers came by fanboat, which was kind of fun."
So what does he do way out there, surrounded by gators and mosquitoes and not much else? "I sit on my porch all day carving birds" he says, holding up a red wooden bird sculpture. Aw.
It's a perfect move for the character, who in season eight traveled to Florida for work and transformed from the bored and ornery Office Stanley into "Florida Stanley," a convertible-driving, one-night-stand-having party guy. "Florida City Stanley" seems like a nice, happy medium between the two extremes viewers have seen so far.
Welcome to Miami, Stanley. You'll be happy here, as long as you avoid gator attacks and drug smugglers and Otis Wallace. But maybe let's work on your wardrobe.
Here's a reminder of where the rest of The Office regulars ended up:
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.