'The Office': This Heartbreaking Jim and Pam Scene Was John Krasinski's Idea

The last season of The Office introduced something unexpected — a look at the documentary crew who had been filming the employees of Dunder Mifflin all those years. It also brought an element of drama in Jim and Pam’s relationship — and the idea came from Jim himself, John Krasinski.

John Krasinski thought it was time to end ‘The Office’

Greg Daniels returned to The Office as the showrunner for season 9, in part because John Krasinski “motivated” him. Krasinski also thought it was time for the show to end.

During the Sept. 1 episode of An Oral History of The Office podcast, Daniels recalled, “I think John actually motivated that [return as showrunner] partly. Krasinski came to me and said, ‘Look, I think we need to do our last season and not continue to keep going. I want you to do it.”

“He was the leader,” Daniels added.

“I had a very honest conversation with Greg,” Krasinski explained. “He called me about season 9 and said, ‘What do you think?’ and I said, ‘You have to end the show.’”

“I don’t want to negotiate — because none of us had contracts — this isn’t about a negotiation,” Krasinski continued. “You have to end the show before they end it for us. I remember that feeling of like, ‘we don’t want to be taken out back.’”

Jim and Pam got in a big fight and fans finally saw the documentary crew

During season 9, there was more tension between Jim and Pam, as Jim pursued a dream job part-time in Philadelphia and Pam was left feeling like she was taking care of the kids all by herself. Things reached a head when the couple got into a fight over the phone after Pam failed to record their daughter’s dance recital.

She broke down in tears after the call and then spoke to the boom operator from the documentary crew, who comforted her and told the camera crew to stop filming.

It was the first time viewers saw the film crew and the idea of breaking the fourth wall in that way came from an idea that Krasinski pitched.

Daniels explained that “to get a good ending” for Jim and Pam’s story, “you needed to inject a bit of upset in the tranquility… and try and get the intensity back.”

In order to achieve that intensity, podcast host Brian Baumgartner explained, “they put Jim and Pam’s relationship to the test.”

John Krasinski pitched the idea

An accident inspired the idea to show the film crew after Jim and Pam’s fight. Krasinski explained, “I had this idea that I pitched Greg” — something that he discovered when one of the camera people on The Office “put down the camera and left it running” and the actor found the footage captured interesting. “I said to Greg, ‘Dude you should do that, you should have the camera crew put their camera down, not knowing that they’re catching a moment.”

“It ended up in the episode with the boom guy,” he added.

“In this moment, we realized that Brian the boom guy, played by Chris Diamantopoulos, had been there all along, watching everything unfold, and it was instantly clear that in those 10 years, he had developed a crush on Pam,” Baumgartner explained.

“I don’t know if Brian the boom guy was particularly liked by fans. My guess is that was maybe a misfire,” Daniels explained. “But you can’t have a happy ending without an act two break and I feel like that kind of worry was good in terms of the fans’ engagement. Like, I needed to worry them, that maybe I was going to give them a bad ending, so that they were happy when they got a good ending.”

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