03rd Dec2020

The Perfect Season Finale: An Ode to the US Office’s Casino Night

by James Smith

The US version of The Office debuted on American television on the 24th of March 2004 to low ratings. Many would have been forgiven for presuming that the show would join the long list of remakes doomed to never come close to meeting the heights of their predecessors. However, as we all know, this was not to be the case. The US Office went on to become one of the most popular comedy TV series of all time, lasting a total of nine seasons. The show struck a perfect balance between the surreal and the relatable. While the setting of the show was a standard American workplace, the workers who occupied the building were far from that, and their daily lives kept us on the edge of our seats for a staggering 201 episodes.

While Michael Scott, played by the brilliant Steve Carrell, may have been the protagonist, it was the constant will they, won’t they question shadowing the relationship between Jim and Pam that resulted in so many viewers being unable to look away. From the moment we got to see the pair interact with one another, we were willing them to get together and their story takes a big turn in the season finale of season two…

Casino Night

The finale of season two, entitled Casino Night, sees Michael Scott organise a charity casino night in the office’s warehouse, which is perhaps one of the only events he organises in his time as manager that his staff actually enjoy. The choice of a casino night as well as its success should come as no surprise, with the popularity of online slots and casino games growing at a record rate around the world, as it continues to establish itself as one of the most popular pastimes of the 21st century.

It truly is a night to remember as we witness Toby beating his boss in a game of poker, Phyllis enjoying a massive amount of beginner’s luck, Dwight and Angela winning big for everyone at Craps, and even Kevin getting booked to perform at Pam & Roy’s upcoming wedding with his band Scrantonicity.

As the night winds down, the focus moves away from the casino floor and once again lands on Jim & Pam. After two seasons of wondering whether or not Jim would make his move, he finally reveals how he feels about a Pam in the parking lot after her fiancé Roy leaves early.

With her wedding just around the corner, Pam is unable to react before asking Jim what he expects her to say. In response, Jim heartbreakingly explains that he needed her to know, even if it was just “once”. Despite the rejection and Pam being sorry if “he misinterpreted things”, Jim is unable to go down without a fight and believing she feels the same about him, finds her in the office where they share their first kiss.

After waiting so long, the writers appear to have finally given the audience what they wanted, but just as they do, the screen fades to black and we are met with the perfect season finale cliff hanger. As the end credits role, the question of will they or won’t they intensify ten-fold in what surely must go down as one of the greatest season finales in television history.

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