This Office character was almost killed off and you didn’t even know it

The Office continues to be celebrated for its cringe comedy, unforgettable characters, and lighthearted perspective on mundane office life. But many fans don’t know that one of the show’s characters almost faced a dark fate: An untimely death. On episode 56 of their Office Ladies podcast, actors Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey (who played Pam Beesly and Angela Martin, respectively) discussed the comedy’s Season 4 premiere, “Fun Run Part 1.” Fischer and Kinsey welcomed their former co-star Kate Flannery, who played the show’s mishap magnet Meredith Palmer, and the trio revealed that Meredith had a narrow brush with death.

In “Fun Run Part 1,” an episode that kicked off season 4 of the US version of The Office, Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) pulls into the Dunder-Mifflin parking lot and accidentally hits Meredith with his car, sending her to the hospital with a fractured pelvis. On Office Ladies, Fischer revealed that show creator Greg Daniels—who also wrote and directed the episode—and writer Justin Spitzer “spent one evening pitching on this idea that maybe Meredith died.”

As it turns out, “Fun Run” could have been the finish line for Meredith — here’s everything you need to know about the alternate version, which got pretty dark.

Michael Scott almost hid Meredith's body

The alternate plotline in “Fun Run Part 1” was uncharacteristically dark and elaborate for The Office. The writers pitched the idea that “Michael would accidentally hit Meredith with this car and then thinking that no one could see him, he didn’t want to leave any witnesses, and so in one pitch, he backed over her to make sure she was dead,” Fischer revealed on Office Ladies. “And then, Justin told me that there was a pitch that Michael would go into his trunk and get one of those anti-theft devices called the club and then club her to death and then hide her body.”

“I literally said, ‘Does Meredith live?’,” Flannery said, recalling when she first read the script for the episode. “I’ve been reading later that… they wanted to pitch that Meredith didn’t live and then they thought that was too dark. Greg thought it was too dark for Michael to have killed one of the employees of Dunder Mifflin.” She added, “The first time we shot it, literally, they played it almost like Meredith was a speed bump that he just, like, went over. I was underneath the wheel, literally.”

In “Fun Run Part 2,” Meredith ultimately recovers and forgives Michael. The final storyline may have been less dramatic, but it allowed fans to see five more seasons of Meredith’s misadventures.

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