This article contains spoilers for the Parks and Recreation show. Continue at your own risk.
Storyline[edit | edit source]
Picking up from where Season 6 left off, it is 2017, and Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt are heading to an assembly in the Council Chambers of City Hall. There, Trevor Nelsson announces on behalf of Jessica Wicks that the Newport Family Trust intends to sell a 25-square mile parcel of untouched land that the family has owned for 100 years. Due to Pawnee's recent economic boom, real estate prices are at an all-time high, and Jessica sees it as a perfect opportunity to sell it for a large sum. Leslie is keen to acquire the land for the government to build a new national park, a park that could become her crowning achievement. However, among the bidders is Gryzzl, a tech company with a lot of money looking to build a new campus in Pawnee. At the forefront of Gryzzl's bidding party is Ron Swanson, now a private business owner running his own building and development company, having left the Parks Department two years ago. Upon meeting each other at the gathering, it is clear that Leslie and Ron are not on good terms and haven't been for some time. The two bicker with each other over their past run-ins and Leslie declares her intentions to do everything in her power to out-bid Ron. It quickly becomes apparent to Leslie however that there is no way she can produce a competitive bid, as Trevor believes the land could sell for $90 million—Leslie has access to a mere $2 million via a discretionary fund.
Elsewhere, Tom Haverford is a successful business owner himself, having done extremely well with Tom's Bistro. He is scheduled to introduce Ben at the Pawnee Bicentennial Gala, an event hosted to honor Ben for his work in organizing festivities for the celebration of Pawnee's 200th year. In typical Tom Haverford fashion however, he uses the limelight of being on stage in front of Pawnee's rich and famous to gloat and to promote himself, leaving Ben no time to do a speech of his own. As the gala's proceedings continue, Leslie approaches Ron and berates him for "stealing" Tom and Donna Meagle away from her—the pair has teamed up with Ron and Gryzzl, with Tom looking to build a new restaurant at Gryzzl's new site, while Donna's real estate venture was hired by Ron to broker the deal. A past sour event between the two soon remerges at the gala, and as a result, Leslie and Ron end up tussling and fall into Ben's cake, effectively ruining the evening.
The next day, both Gryzzl and the National Parks Service place their final bids for the Newport land. After deducing that there would be no point in entering her significantly lower bid compared to Gryzzl's (with the Parks Service amassing only $3.2 million), Leslie decides to approach her bid from a different angle. She tries to convince Jessica that the land should be donated to the government in celebration of Pawnee's 200th year. With the Newport family having been a staple in Pawnee's history since day one, Leslie proposes that the Newport name permanently stand for something good, and by donating the land, Leslie wants Jessica to consider what a "Newport National Park" would mean for her family and the city. She leaves having bid zero dollars, hoping for Jessica to have a change of heart. Leslie is later pleased to find out that the Newport Family Trust has narrowed down their choices to two final candidates: Gryzzl and the National Parks Service.
Back at City Hall, Tom stops by Ben's office to apologize for his inappropriate introduction at the gala. Tom admits to Ben that he actually really wanted to introduce him, having in fact volunteered to do it. He makes it up to Ben by reading out his actual speech; both Tom and Ben embrace over what was a truly emotional tribute.
Meanwhile, April Ludgate and Andy Dwyer are living a stable, normal life together. Upon coming to the realization that their lives are becoming too "boring" and organized, April laments how they used to be spontaneous and weird and suddenly can't bare to continue living like they are. Andy assures her that they are still fun and promises her to be both spontaneous and weird at the gala. After failing to come up with anything clever or crazy to do at the gala, the couple return to reality the next day and go about their scheduled daily duties. On their way to dropping off renter's insurance forms, they stop by an old rickety house for sale in Pawnee's warehouse district. Both April and Andy are amused by the creepy house and decide to have a look around. They immediately take a liking to the place, despite the owner claiming the house is haunted. Both agree to commit to buying the house, fulfilling their goal to be spontaneous.
Guest stars[edit | edit source]
- Werner Herzog as Keg Jeggings, the man who sells his house to April and Andy
- John Hamm as Ed from Midwest Parks Service
Quotes[edit | edit source]
[Ron and Leslie meet each for the first time in two years; they glare at each other with clear animosity]
Ron: Hello, Miss Knope.
Leslie: Hello, former strange person I used to friend.
Leslie: You're looking very... Ron-like.
Ron: You have your same hair.
Leslie: [raising her voice] No, I don't! I have bangs, now!
Ron: [raising his voice] I've never known what bangs are and I don't intend to learn!
Leslie: Well, maybe you should!
Andy: I'll streak across the stage.
April: Yes. I love it.
Andy: [undressing] I'm gonna get naked. I'm gonna get up there. Everyone is gonna see my wiener. I mean, you've seen it. You know how dumb it looks.
April: [excited] Uh-huh.
Andy: Perfect plan.