Everyone is back in Pawnee after last episode’s D.C. trip and it is great as pie. Well actually, it’s not all that great. Ben is continuing on his campaign for congress, however, it’s going to be a tough road ahead. Jen Barkley warns Ben and Leslie that Leslie’s intellect, experience, and goal driven personality makes her a great congressional candidate but a not so great candidate for a politician’s wife.
It’s the perfect story for Leslie and her incredibly feministic girl power outlook on life. Of course, Leslie thinks this notion is ridiculous and chooses to stand by Ben’s side instead of attending the annual Pie-Mary, which is a pie-baking contest for the wives of politicians.
The last contest winner was June Hartwell’s buttermilk meringue. The last contest loser was all women.”
By choosing to not attend the contest many reporters attack her saying that she does not take her duties as a mother or wife seriously. It’s certainly a hot topic right now in current 2015, but who better to take on this dilemma than Leslie Knope.
Unfortunately for Leslie she is in somewhat of a pickle. When she decides to go ahead and cook the pie she discovers that the Indiana Organization of Women will protest Ben’s campaign for not empowering and supporting Leslie’s decision to sit out. On the flip side, the town news and reporters are only focusing on her decisions to bake or not to bake instead of Ben’s plan to redevelop the rough parts of Pawnee, starting with Gryzzl’s new headquarters.
Some of my favorite Ben Wyatt moments of the past are when he was totally invested in something hilarious on his times off of work such as Cones of Dunshire, Claymation, and my favorite: Ben’s Lo-Cal-Calzone-Zone. Well, Ben realizes that a pie is basically just a calzone (a crust with some sort of filling) and decides that they will break the tradition and send a message by having Ben enter the Pie Mary instead.
Since nothing is easy for this duo during this campaign, the Male Men Group show up at the pie contest to protest the fact that Leslie is feminizing Ben and forcing him to join the competition. This all culminates to one final speech, given by both Ben and Leslie as a means to put an end to all of the protesting and move the conversations back to Ben’s campaign. They are such a solid team and so supportive of each other. They get about a 50-50 response of boos and cheers, which isn’t all that bad considering. They’ll take it and hopefully the public will be less worried about Leslie’s hair and mothering abilities and more focused on the amazing things Ben has in store.
Okay, so let’s check into what our other Pawnee residents are up to! For the second week in a row Tom is missing. It seems a little strange to me to not incorporate him in some way as the final episode of the series looms. Since April and Andy will be moving to D.C. Ron wants his house key back that he gave to April back when she was his assistant.
April goes to where she hid it only to discover a note and some human teeth. She had hid the key when she was high on pain killers after her wisdom teeth surgery and made some sort of scavenger hunt in order for her future self to find it. At first, she is nervous to tell Ron that she lost his house key in a government building, but as well all know, Ron loves riddles and he is more than ecstatic to follow the clues.
They run all over the parks department led by a giggling Ron who may even be happier solving the clues than he is eating a steak (maybe). Along the way they discover the early stages of April’s crush on Andy. Andy loves making fun of her for it but she simply reminds him that they are married now.
They end up not being able to find the key and over whiskey Ron tells April how he changes the key every 16 days. He lets her know how much he admired April as his assistant and as a good friend. I have always enjoyed the relationship between these two and it was sweet to watch Ron be so tender, supportive, and proud towards her.
April then remembers where she hid the key by the clue word “bark”. She had buried it under a tree in the park that reminded her of Ron. It was tall, independent, and strong. Last week we got to see April thank Leslie for all that she had done and the values she had instilled, but Leslie wasn’t the only one. It was nice to watch April also give similar kudos to Ron. She has come such a long way since season 1 and I have loved watching her grow under the influences of those two completely different but lovable mentors.
In the final story line, Donna and Garry spend the afternoon and evening reminiscing over past memories as Garry had dropped his wedding ring, his backup wedding ring, and his keys in a gutter. Classic. I have always felt that Jim O’Heir was fantastic and it’s been great watching him really grow and shine the past couple of seasons. He has almost had more to do this season than Aziz Ansari as Tom. At the end of the episode, Donna shows up at Garry’s home with all of the things that he had lost and deemed them friends.
What I liked about this episode was that is really flashed back to Parks’ greatest moments of the past seasons. That’s one of the best ways I feel to go out- by reflecting back on where you’ve been and reminding viewers why they watched and loved this show in the first place.
Well folks, only a few more episodes left of Parks and I am really excited to see where it goes. Obviously, we will follow Ben’s campaign and the upcoming moves to Washington, but we will also be finding closure with our other loved characters and closing their books as well.