A new year doesn’t always bring glad tidings. While 2021 is already shaping up to be better than 2020, with both a new president and a vaccine en route, there was one piece of bad news, albeit one that was announced ages ago: The American version of The Office was leaving Netflix. Its new home was Peacock, NBC’s newish streaming service. And while many who’d turned the show into one of the most binged in history were bummed out, Peacock tried to soften the blow by releasing a never-before-seen cold open.
It’s pretty epic, too. It finds Rainn Wilson’s Dwight being the brunt of one of the more convoluted Jim-Pam scams, with the latter two trying to convince him that the Matrix — which is to say the alternate reality introduced in the 1999 blockbuster — was real. Jim and Pam even trained a feline to recreate the movie’s version of Schrödinger’s cat, whose appearance in the first film tips Keanu’s Neo that there’s been a glitch in the fake world’s programming.
Eventually Dwight meets with Hank the security guard, played by the late Hugh Dane, who died in 2018. Decked out in full Morpheus regalia, he informs Dwight that he’s the brother of the leader played by Laurence Fishburne, and offers him the choice of a blue or red pill. Dwight’s choice is surprising, even moving. And you can watch it above before you finally sign up for Peacock.