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Parks and Recreation: The first double feature during hiatus


There is more than one reason to worry about the future of Parks and Recreation. The hiatus is bothersome enough, but in last week’s first double feature — the second was tonight, and I’m sorry that these two recaps are going to be so tightly posted together — a number of things were concerning. At the forefront, the landslide vote to recall Leslie from office.

This is a huge development in the series. Leslie, who selflessly fights for Eagletonians’ rights to vote, is double-crossed as the Eagletonians vote to recall her because they want their own leadership in office. It’s so predictable, but so unexpected. Of course Eagleton wants to take over and probably run this Pawnee to the ground with Councilman Jamm in tow.

But you would’ve thought one good deed would turn in Leslie’s favor. Chris said it was literally the most exciting thing he’s ever seen. Ben had never been more turned on. The Leslie-on-skates filibuster was the real deal, only now she’s out of a job in a shockingly quick and decisive vote. However, it all leads to an important realization for Leslie. She has 30 days left and she’s going to try to do all of the things on her wishlist, eerily similar to the no-request-too-small campaign, and she’s prepared to do anything to get there.

Unfortunately, it’s another loss for Leslie this season. First, Ann. Now, office. We don’t yet know the fate of Parks after this season, but Leslie could lose that, too. We hope not, but it’s possible; at least, from what we’ve read. The loss hits her hard. She comes in the next Monday with an “I hate Mondays” T-Shirt and a burger in hand. Not even Ben and Ann’s task force can keep Leslie from staying down on herself. Ann gets her out of it, though, like she’s done before. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but twice this season has a letter re-inspired Leslie. Granted, Ann’s was meant to be read by Leslie with the intention of making Leslie hear herself. April’s letter was quite possibly the sweetest thing ever.

Ann saves the day in a lot of ways in these two episodes. She saves Leslie and Ben from being the next sad story on Dateline, when they go to a pawn shop to get a tattoo because they think they’ve peaked. Ben thinks he peaked at 18, which could be more or less true. Leslie thinks her brief run as councilwoman was as good as it’s going to get. But think about the things Leslie has accomplished, while in office. It’s impressive.

The world seems to be changing for the others, too. Tom has a girlfriend who is out of his league and out of the country, but he sells Rent-A-Swag to Tommy’s Closet and doesn’t appear to have much else ahead of him. Who knows how long his new girlfriend is gone for?

Andy’s brief return triggers a minor unraveling for April. We knew she missed him, but she’s good at hiding it. Andy’s description of his job, signing this and that document coming from every which way, doesn’t sound appealing — at least, not as appealing a remote control helicopters — but we don’t realize until he jumps into a dumpster that he feels the same way. He doesn’t love his job and he misses April. Skype sucks, but it’s all they have.

However, April remains on her pedestal of being the most reassuring and positive wife in the history of the world. She’s the perfect example of somebody who hated her job initially, like Andy hates his. As she explains it, everybody hates their jobs, but he should keep at it because it’s a great opportunity. There was a time when April thought about leaving, but we’re all thanking God that she stuck around.


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