Leslie Knope

“You only get one chance to make a second impression.”

Leslie Knope is the biggest fish in America's smallest pond: Pawnee, Indiana. She’s a pushy, ambitious, know-it-all with a heart-of-gold, single-handedly pushing every single one of her friends to be their best selves – all day, every day. Like a tiny, blonde Oprah. And she wouldn’t want it any other way. Why go to D.C. when you can make a difference in your hometown, America’s fourth most obese city? Like an idealistic teenager, Leslie believes passionately in the ability of government to improve people’s lives. Only, unlike most idealistic teenagers, Leslie has spent most of her adult life working as a civil servant mired in bureaucracy. At least, until an activist group pushed her into pursuing her dream of running for office and after a long, hard-fought election against Paul Rudd, Leslie finally reached the apex of her political career: a victory speech spoken at a frequency only your tear ducts can hear and a seat on Pawnee’s city council.

Leslie Knope's Episode Guide

A

Well…I guess you could say “Flu Season 2” ended on one hell of a pregnant pause! No? How about: It seemed pretty apparent to Ben that Leslie had something important to say. Or, Pawnee was alive with the Ulta-Sound of Music. Okay, I feel like I need to physically apologize for that one, but I womb’t. Won’t. Sorry.

A-

Guys, Parks and Rec is in it to WIN IT. "It" being my heart and soul of course. It's so easy to fizzle out and recycle old storylines by the time a show's sixth season rolls around, but Parks ain't having NONE of that. Instead, we're getting some interesting and, as always, relatable shifts in character dynamics.

A

On this "smooth and silky" episode Leslie gets jazzed about democratically polling Pawnee's new town slogan, despite interference from Ira and the Douche. Tom gets jazzed about finding his new restaurant space, much to the chagrin of April and Donna. And Ron gets jazzed about, well, jazz. DUKE SILVER'S BACK, Y'ALL. Let's all dive into "a warm bath of [Duke Silver's] jazz" and begin this recap:

A+

After the Great Battle at the Dump, Lady Leslie, of the Knope/Wyatt clan, raises her sword to unite the two feuding nations of Eagleton and Pawnee under one banner, lest their dissention destroy them both. While she is distracted, her loving but competitive husband, Lord Wyatt, works in secret with the gremlin Gingerich to finally dethrone her as Queen of Gift-Giving after years of successive and pathetic defeat.

In the Game of Anniversaries, you either gift…or you die.

A

This week, Leslie tries to turnip the heat when she thinks Ben doesn’t carrot all the Chard vendor’s blue(berry) marketing strategy. When their work life pears with their home life, their relationship gets chili and Leslie starts raisin hell. A Ben vs. Leslie episode? Okra-p. Collard me excited.

C

The theme of the episode is clearly R-E-S-P-E-G-C. Ben desperately wants it from his employees, and Leslie refuses to give it to her’s. Don’t take that line out of context. Or do, I guess.

A

Happy 100th episode, Parks & Rec! We missed you. Also glad to see that NBC's scheme to get better ratings for Sean Saves the World by temporarily replacing you with holiday programming and The Voice worked like gangbusters. Oh, wait, it didn't? WAS IT WORTH IT, NBC?

A

Ain't no party like a Leslie Knope party cause a Leslie Knope party has costumes and roller skates and filibusters. Yeah, so Leslie is throwing Ben an early-90s-themed birthday roller skating birthday party, because it's his favorite era and he has a thing for women in skates. Everyone has a thing, okay?

B+

Last night's episode of Parks is my favorite kind — the kind where nothing really contributes to moving the over-arching plot forward but everything is delightful anyway. I suppose Donna accidentally tweeting a fireman about tongue baths from the Parks Dept Twitter account could bite Leslie in the ass more severely later on, but for now it's just kind of a device to get into Donna's private Twitter, where she has a few choice words for her boss.

B+

Pawnee and Eagleton have officially merged, and Leslie has to figure out the best way to bring together the various governmental departments (except for the Department of Infinity Pool Design and the Department of Horse Dancing, because they have no counterpart). This of course includes the Parks Department, which means bringing in buddies for everyone, a la The Office. It also means Leslie will have to decide who's getting the ax, as there's just not room in the budget (or building) for three extra people.

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