And this, my friends, brings us to the end of the fourth season of Parks. But fear not, it got a full season renewal, so we’ll be graced with 22 new episodes come fall. Consequently, that will tip Parks into syndication territory, so hopefully we’ll soon be able to giggle at it every day. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, yes? Now that I’ve recovered from the Harry Potter Beer Olympics (you’ve gotta love college, right?) let’s have a little chat about the episode.
There are three possible outcomes to this election: win, lose, or draw. In the event of an exact tie, the seat is awarded to the male candidate and the female candidate is put in jail. The polls teeter back and forth all episode with Bobby, Leslie, and Brandi Maxxx all taking turns in the lead. Jerry pulled a Jerry and forgot to vote, so he spends all episode praying that Leslie doesn’t lose by a one vote margin. Despite the fact that the Newport campaign wasn’t allowed to implement their fancy little electronic voting machines (if a vote was cast for Bobby, a free candy bar certificate was produced. If a vote was cast for Leslie, you had to confirm that choice and then were forced to listen to a baby cry. For shame, Sweetums, for shame), the race remains close throughout the episode.
During the day, Leslie and Bobby appear together in a PSA, saying, “Everyone should get out and vote no matter who you’re voting for.” And even if it’s not, I”m choosing to believe that this is a West Wing shout out to “No matter who you vote for, make sure you vote” when Will Bailey was continuing a campaign for a deceased candidate. Bobby Newport’s brain dead, so it’s kind of the same, right? Anyway, Bobby once again affirms that he’s voting for Leslie. She seems like a great candidate and he’s pretty sure you’re not allowed to vote for yourself. Leslie smartly does not correct him of that notion. Atta girl, Leslie!
While Leslie & Bobby are filming their PSA, Ben is getting offered a six-month job to manage a congressional campaign out of DC, working with Bobby Newport’s campaign manager Jennifer Barkley. I live in DC, sooo can I have that job? The catch is, if he says yes, he has to be in DC in two days. When Ben told Leslie about this offer, she reacted to Ben’s news exactly how I would have. Happy or angry? Hard to tell. At first she does the selfish thing and says that their lives are finally calming down and that she wants to have a normal relationship without the stress of campaigning. But that’s not fair and she realizes that. She changes her mind and urges him to go to DC and take this amazing job offer. They’ll visit each other on weekends and make out all over DC. She even gives him an adorable little Washington Monument figurine. (She has like, 50 in her office.)
And yet, after all the Knope campaign’s hard work, “Bobby Newport, scion of the Sweetums candy empire and amateur go-kart champion has won the race.” By 21 measly votes he is declared the victor. Leslie reacts inappropriately by laughing because her dream is dead. Oh, fuck indeed.
But don’t worry, y’all. Twenty-one votes is well within recount margin so that’s what they do. Jenn Barkley isn’t a happy camper because she just wants to get away from Pawnee. She could care less about the outcome and it’s obvious. But all’s well that ends well and Ann announces that the margin’s still at 21 votes. Only this time, post-recount, Leslie has won.
Tom had a precognitive dream that leads him to believe that he and Ann will be getting back together. Instead of watching their little train wreck, I’d much rather just see the dream that Tom had.
At the Parks Department, April has accidentally deleted all the files on every computer. But don’t worry, she did the right thing and hid under the table while waiting for backup (Andy). It seems that Andy fixes computers and Xboxes the same way that I do, by blowing into the cartridge slot (so 1997, I know). April is understandably worried about getting fired, but also fearful of getting lectured by Leslie about responsibility again. Poor April. But it’s fine because ten years ago Donna installed a secret back-up drive because Jerry deletes things all of the time. Problem solved but not before Andy & April brainstorm places they would move to and jobs that they would get to avoid Leslie’s wrath.
Notable & Quotable
- Andy needs to get longer ties.
- Ben’s faces/voices at all times in this episode. Especially when trying the liquor that Ron made him drink. Priceless.
- Ann trying to cheer Leslie up and vent her frustrations by having her box. Consequently, Leslie trying to answer her phone with boxing mitts on.
- “I’m going to go vote. Just fulfill a lifelong dream of mine and acheive one of my all-time happiest moments, real quick.” – Leslie
- “Well I’ve never been one for meeting new people, or doing new things or eating new types of food or travelling outside of Southern Indiana. I’ve had the same haircut since 1978 and I’ve driven the same car since 1991. I’ve used the same wooden comb for three decades. I have one bowl. I still get my milk delivered by horse.” – Ron effing Swanson
- “I know it’s a one night stand and that she’s leaving town, but our ferocious sexual decathalon did radically improve my mood.” – Chris
- “You need to write a speech about if I tie. Something about the poetic nature of democracy and how I’m going to fight this thing from my prison cell.” – Leslie
- “It’s not bobby newport who’s going to beat me, it’s Brandi Maxxx the porn star. What is this, Italy?” – Leslie
- “I know I’ve said this to you before and I know it makes you uncomfortable, but you are thoughtful, and you are brilliant, and your ambiguous ethnic blend perfectly represents the dream of the American melting pot.” – Leslie
- “Guess who’s got two thumbs and just was cleared from insurance fraud? This guy. Got off on a technicality.” – Jean Ralphio
That’s it for this season. They’ve set us up pretty well for next year what with Ben in DC, Leslie on City Council, Ron holding down the fort in the Parks Department, Jerry is still everyone’s whipping boy, Tom & Ann potentially moving in together and the possibility of Andy joining the Pawnee PD.