Alright everyone, here we are at our last episode before the 2 part SERIES finale next week. I can’t even believe how quickly we got here and how the past season flew by like a blur. It’s felt rushed but hopefully everything will slow down and find closure in the finale. I can’t wait but I can at the same time. I’m not ready to say goodbye to Pawnee yet! Are you?
We open the episode with the whole gang at Tom’s Bistro. Big things are happening for everyone. Leslie just enrolled in her class for the new job, her and Ben are moving, and Donna and Joe just closed on a house in Seattle. Garry has also decided to officially retire, although no one cares because the moment was about people moving. Leslie is loving all of the good news.
Just then on the TV Perd Hapley appears. “I come to you with good news…is not something I will be saying right now.” Pawnee Mayor Gunderson has died. Dammit Garry, jinxing the good news with your retirement talk.
Ben is presiding over Mayor Gunderson’s service who has requested that his body lie in the city council chambers for one day. He also recorded a video to be played the day after his death.
Turns out that Mayor Gunderson is Bill Murray! This aweome guest star reveal will begin the multitude of Parks and Recreation’s guest stars of the past. So many old favorites and a few one and done characters returned for one final hurrah!
According to Leslie, people are moving, people are dying, and everything is ending. Leslie wants, no needs, something to begin. Her initial idea of an underground dance competition seems to fall flat since she knows nothing of starting one of those.
Luckily, Tom Haverford is back from his forever business trip and he may have the perfect solution to Leslie’s dilemma. After hearing Ethel claim that she and Mayor Gunderson had a 46-year affair where Ethel was unable to tell him how she really felt, Leslie tells Tom that he can’t wait around until it’s too late to tell Lucy how he really feels.
After hearing this, Tom is finally ready to start a new life with Lucy and get engaged! Perfect! Leslie is ready to help Tom plan the perfect action movie proposal where the hero (Tom) gets the girl. This is the perfect beginning that Leslie was hoping for with. Her first order of business is ordering a banner from the moody banner shop owner who doesn’t take into account that Leslie has spent $100,000 on banners for every personal or professional event in her life. He eventually relents.
Meanwhile, Ben is in charge of finding an interim mayor for Pawnee. He needs someone who is over 30 and will be a good face for the town. He asks April to help and Garry will notarize whomever they choose. April suggests that Ben just appoint himself Mayor since he has practically been running the city by himself anyway, but he is hesitant since his last stint at Mayor went so poorly. When I say Ice you say Town…Ice Town. Ice Town.
Ron discovers at Mayor Gunderson’s memorial that his barber, Salvatore, died the day before. He is sent into utter shock over the loss of his barber and is clearly devastated. The strangest things tend to pull out Ron’s emotional side, and that includes how giddy riddles make him.
While at Barber Salvatore’s funeral we learn that Ron has been going to Salvatore for 4 decades for an $8 haircut in complete silence. He puts $10 in Salvatore’s casket, but since he doesn’t believe in tipping, Ron will be collecting change from Salvatore’s wife.
Ron also gave us some insight into the three most important people in a man’s life…his barber, his butcher, and his lover. Good to know, Ron…so many things make sense now.
Over at the ring shop, Leslie and Tom are filming their action movie proposal. They are joined by none other than Jean Ralphio! He plays the bad guy trying to steal Tom’s ring, but gets beat up by Tom’s stunt double. After getting the shot and practically destroying the ring shop, Tom and Leslie are on to film their next scene.
Ben, April and Garry are still searching for interim mayoral candidates now that Bobby Newport is out. First up, Joan Callamezzo, our favorite gotcha journalist. She is claiming that she is only 27 years old and therefore cannot be considered for the role.
Next up is Doctor Saperstein played by Henry Winkler (aka The Fonz). He has too much going on including dealing with his horrible children. Mona Lisa comes into the room and demands money from Ben and proceeds to shrill at him until he finally relents and gives her money. Saperstein is out.
The Douche (Nick Kroll aka Amy Poehler’s boyfriend) is next and he seems like the perfect candidate. He went to Northwestern, has worked on two political campaigns, and communicates with the public on a daily basis. They all seem impressed until he starts talking inappropriately about the potential interns.
After the Douche leaves, April tries convincing Ben to reconsider being the interim Mayor. He could use it as an opportunity to put Ice Town behind him and start a new legacy. He considers what she is saying. The Douche comes back in and tells them that he will rename the Mayoral Office to the Oral Office and pretty much sealed the deal that he will not be getting the job.
Ron is at the bar with Donna and Andy when the other Ron from the Eagleton (Sam Elliott) merge appears and starts talking about hippie things and how to handle his grief. Not much really happens here but I wanted to mention the guest star of other Ron.
In the end, Donna takes Ron to her salon and tells the stylist to just give him the $8 haircut. Well, the flamboyant stylist has a way with words and Ron actually has a pleasant conversation with him about Europe and bikes. Looks like Salvatore is old news.
While waiting for Lucy at the airport, Tom takes a moment to tell Leslie how cool and helpful she has always been. It was Tom’s sweet little goodbye. When he sees Lucy things just don’t feel right. He decides to cancel the proposal and move to plan B. He tells Leslie to get Jean Ralphio and three things and meet him at the Snake Lounge.
Once they are at the Snake Lounge, Tom tells Lucy about how on their first date he gave her a single daisy, they went out for late night pancakes, and he performed and failed a magic trick. Well, he tries to recreate the magic trick again and has written Will You Marry Me on the card that she chooses. Lucy says yes! Tom Haverford is getting married!!
Ben is about to sign the form that would make him Mayor when he realizes that he doesn’t want to be Mayor. He doesn’t want to rewrite the past since that is what led him to Leslie and where he is now. They are irreplaceable memories. So when it comes down as to who to pick, who better than Garry Gergich! Genius. Just in time for everyone to move away.
When Leslie catches wind of Garry’s selection as Mayor she sees the perfect opportunity to commemorate it. All she needs is for the banner company to throw away the engagement banner and make a new one…in an hour.
Garry shows up at his inauguration party filled with a church choir, costumed soldiers that carry him in on a throne, and a hot air balloon. It is such a Leslie Knope party because a) she put it together in just a couple of hours and b)she truly made someone feel special. Good for Garry. I think that he will make for an interesting Mayor, but everyone is still relieved to be leaving Pawnee.
Well, that’s it. Only one more night of Parks and Recreation! How have you felt about the final season? How do you think the series will end? Are there jokes or memories that you would still like for them to bring up? I could use one more dose of Little Sebastian, but that’s just me. Also, I hope Anne and Chris come back.
I will see you next week to dissect the final episode of Parks and Recreation!