TV

Review: Parks and Recreation "Second Chunce"

Emma Doherty ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Finally, Parks and Rec has returned to the air, celebrating it’s 100th episode. A lot is happening to the beloved characters from Pawnee. After fighting against the city’s wishes to kick her out of office, its Leslie’s (Amy Poehler) last day as City Councilwoman and being the passionate and slightly crazy person Leslie is, she is not taking it very well. We learn just how well she’s handling the change when she says she’s gone through the five stages of grief: “Denial, Anger, Internet Commenting, Cat Adoption, African Dance, Cat returning to the adoption place, Watching all the episodes of Murphy Brown, and not giving a flying fart.”

Despite being kicked out of office and disliked by a vast majority of the city, Leslie decides that she wants to run again for City Council. This time she plans to take Councilman Dexhart’s seat. The sex crazed, manipulative politician has admitted to yet another scandal, and Leslie believes that fighting him is the way to get her seat back. Of course, no one watching the show was happy about this idea, and neither were any of Leslie’s friends and co-workers. We have watched Leslie work at this thankless job for far too long, and we all know she is destined for greater things.

It takes an unusual person to break this to Leslie. Ben (Adam Scott) was looking for the perfect present to give Leslie for her last day and found it when he hired Jen Barkley (Kathryn Hahn), who was Bobby Newport’s political consultant and Ben’s co-worker in season 5, to talk to her about her future. In an unexpectedly touching moment, it is Jen
who tells Leslie that she should dream bigger than wanting a job working in Pawnee. She assured Leslie that she should trust her when she told her “I don’t care enough about you to lie.”

This episode really showcased how much the characters have grown and how the show has developed. We get to see a few scenes with Ann (Rashida Jones) and Chris (Rob Lowe) where we discover the sex of the baby. Once again, they weren’t in any scenes with other main characters. There is only four episodes with these two left, and we need to see some Ann and Leslie bonding time before its too late.

Photo Courtesy of NBC
Photo Courtesy of NBC

The episode ended on a very sweet note, with Leslie learning how to move on from the past and look ahead towards the unknown. She comes to this realization when Ben surprises her and takes her on a trip to Paris and she says: “In times of stress or moments of transition, sometimes it can feel like the whole world is closing in on you. When that happens, you should close your eyes, take a deep breath, listen to the people who love you when they give you advice, and remember what really matters.”

I couldn’t help but think that these were Amy Poehler’s ideas being said by Leslie. Amy is always giving great advice on her web series called Ask Amy. It is intended to help young girls but can be helpful for people of all ages. If you haven’t already seen it make sure to check it out! This video in particular is very similar to Leslie’s monologue at
the end of this episode:

Also, make sure to check out the producer’s cut of the episode available on NBC.com and Hulu.com to see extra footage that was cut from air!

Parks and Rec will be back next Thursday at 8:30/7:30c on NBC.

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