(No promo, but have Amy speaking about the show at the 100th episode party.)
Parks and Recreation: Second Chunce (6×10)
Summary: In Parks and Rec’s hundredth episode, Leslie faces her last day in office as Pawnee City Councilor and quickly comes up with a scheme to get re-elected after another Dexhart scandal. Tom also faces an uncertain future as he tries to come up with his next big business venture after the death of Rent-A-Swag. Chris and Ann learn the sex of their baby, and Andy is back from London with an extreme case of jet-lag.
As I’m writing this recap, Amy Poehler has won her first Golden Globe for her role of Leslie Knope, and this episode proves why it is well deserved and way overdue! It also proves why this show is one of the most positive shows on TV.
First off about this episode, yes, Andy is back from London! However, he spends most of the episode asleep or completely fogged and nonsensical from his lack of sleep due to his jet lag. I wonder how much of that was written as such and how much of it was Chris Pratt suffering jet lag from his return to the show after spending the summer as Star Lord. Still, it lead to some of my favorite moments of the episode, like the hose fight in the beginning and his look at Tom with the talking tissue box. Seriously, I’ve watched the episode three times already and the only moment I’ve hit the rewind on to watch again is Andy saying, “Do that again.” I’m so happy that big teddy bear is back.
It’s Leslie’s last day in office as City Councillor, and it’s a tough day for her. I mean, how else are you going to feel when you lose your dream job and perfect Kristen Bell is taking your job? Yeah, exactly. Ben tries to figure out something to give her to make her feel better, but he’s at a loss about that besides Donna’s advice that wine is crying juice.
In a moment of strange serendipity, Councilman Dexhart comes forward with yet another sex scandal that would make Anthony Weiner blush (and probably would considering Dexhart used his name as an alias). This is when Leslie gets the idea to run for Dexhart’s seat. Ben tries his best to convince her that this idea is terrible because Dexhart runs dirty and lives in a district that is described as a “racoon shantytown.” Still, Leslie goes at it, calling for a press conference later that day and giving Shauna Malwae-Tweep her emails from Dexhart. Which might not do any good because Shauna thinks he’s cute. Oh Shauna, no. Never for a guy who unironically calls you “Sweet Jugs.” Ever.
As Leslie cobbles together a banner for her re-election campaign from other discarded banners (which is where the title of the episode comes from because there were no As for the word ‘chance’), Ben brings in the rest of the department so Leslie can get their opinion. They all agree with Ben that it’s a terrible idea (Andy being the one with the most eloquent opinion before tagging it with the announcement that he hasn’t pooped in three days), but Leslie snaps at them for not supporting her. Which is of course when Jerry asks what he can do to help. Way to go, Jerry.
Before the press conference, Ben brings Leslie her gift: an hour long consultation with Jen Barkley, the campaign manager who worked with Bobby Newport and hired Ben for his DC job. Leslie tells her everything and Jen reiterates that it’s a bad idea. Not for the fact Leslie thinks though. Jen tells Leslie that it’s time to dream bigger and that she does have a future beyond Pawnee. Maybe one that includes congress. As she holds Leslie’s face and tells her, “Trust me. I don’t care enough about you to lie,” I have to wonder why Kathryn Hahn isn’t more recognized for her comedic work. Because she managed to pull off the blunt businesswoman and heartfelt friend in one hilarious scene that kind of stole the episode.
Leslie goes to the press conference and announces that… well… her future for now involves going to lunch with Ben and then going home to make out with him. She thanks everyone for the memories and that it was an honor serving them.
Of course, being the best husband ever, Ben’s gift isn’t done. He ends up taking Leslie to Paris too. By this point each time I watch the episode, I’m crying because they’re perfect together and oh, my heart. By the way, they totally did leave their lock on the Pont des Arts.
In the first subplot of the episode, Tom gets his payout from the Rent-A-Swag buyout, but wonders what to do next. He decides to just fund someone else’s idea, but all the ideas that exist in Pawnee are terrible. Seriously? Phone-Bacus? Jerry seems to have a somewhat decent idea that involves clean, renewable energy, but of course no one listens to him and he accidentally breaks his machine. Geez, Jerry. No one everyone started calling you Larry.
At a loss for ideas, Tom starts talking to April, who starts bragging about how much she has her life together over Tom. However, Tom gets an idea from the fact April essentially created her own position in the parks department. He tells Ron that he’s going to become a business liaison in the wake of the Eagleton merger in order to help business in Pawnee expand. Which is kind of perfect for Tom and way more sensible than Talking Tissues (but maybe not as funny). I hope this is way more successful for Tom as he learns from his previous mistakes.
In the second subplot, Chris and Ann see Dr. Saperstein (played by Henry Winkler) for their latest appointment. He asks if they want to know the sex of the baby, but the two are unsure. Saperstein decides to write it down and put it in an envelope for them to find out later, which they decide to do over lunch as Ann goes crazy with hunger. However, Saperstein has a serious case of doctor’s handwriting and they can’t make out what it says. The next morning, the two go to Saperstein’s house to ask, where the both of them are immediately hit on by Jean-Ralphio in the least surprising twist to his character ever. Not sure of his own handwriting, Dr. Saperstein takes Chris and Ann to his office to double check the results. It’s a boy! The couple celebrates this moment, which Dr. Saperstein kind of ruins by asking if they want to adopt his terrible children. His kids are the worst though. THE WOOOOORST.
Well, that was the hundredth episode. I don’t think it’s my favorite episode ever, but it’s a beautiful and emotional one that will definitely rank in my top 30 episodes of the show. It sets a new slate for these characters for the future beyond this episode, and brings in a lot of fan favorite side characters without feeling too gimmicky. I’m not sure of the show’s future, but if season six is the last one, at least we’ll know the characters have a great and beautiful future ahead of them.