'The Office' Almost Ended With A Parody of 'The Matrix'
Get ready to scream "Yes God! Yes God, Please Yes," Office fans. Nearly eight years following the show's 2013 finale, it seems one final prank between Jim and Dwight once lost to the annals of network-mandated sitcom time-constraints has finally been unearthed -- a Matrix-themed gag intended to be the final episode's cold open.
Michael Scott's Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race For The Cure participants -- a.k.a Dunderheads -- a.k.a. fans of the NBC sitcom (and highly-specific nicknames) -- first caught wind of the alternate cold open last September, when the show's editor, Dave Rogers, appeared on the podcast An Oral History of The Office. "We can talk about the prank that hasn't made it to the big screen, that I think we're saving for the 10-year reunion, The Matrix," Rogers told Brian Baumgartner, the podcast's host who played Kevin Malone on the beloved sitcom. "That's the finale script, they prank Dwight to make him think he's in the Matrix, and remember Hank is down as Dorpheus, he's Morpheus's brother." However, the references to the 1999 SciFi classic don't stop there. "There's a cat that walks by and a cat walks by again in Michael's office, and Jenna [Fischer, the actress who plays Pam] goes, 'It took six months to train the cat.' And then we have the security guard walk by, it was the big guy, and he had a twin brother and we used him also, as a glitch. And then he's gonna take the Red Pill or the Blue Pill."
Although based on the interview, it seemed as if fans would have to wait until 2023 to see the scene in question, NBC followed Dwight's philosophy and did something an idiot would not do -- releasing the secret cold open a few years in advance. Last month, as Peacock, NBC's new streaming service, attempted to garner hype about The Office joining its roster, a move so controversial it led several fans to simply buy the series DVD set instead of subscribing to the platform, they released a five-minute clip in all of its Matrix-y, The Office-y glory. As Roger promised, it was a cold open so incredible, it could bring a tear to certified good-guy, Keanu Reeves eye, complete with twin cats, twin security guards, and even a hilarious -- and surprisingly heartwarming -- recreation of Morpheus and Neo's famous scene, by far worth the eight-odd year wait.
So folks, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to follow Kevin's lead and watch TV for 14 hours -- after all, reruns of The Office can always handle my undivided attention.