This article contains spoilers for the Parks and Recreation show. Continue at your own risk.
"Moving Up" is the two-part one-hour season finale of season 6 of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation, and the 111th and 112th episodes overall. It premiered on April 24, 2014 to 2.71 million viewers.
Part 1 Edit
The Unity Concert is only six days away and Leslie Knope is in San Francisco where she is scheduled to speak at the National Parks Conference. At the conference, Leslie bumps into Grant Larson. He invites her to lunch and introduces her to a number of her National Parks idols, and later the two bump into Michelle Obama. In his best attempts to convince Leslie to take the Midwest bureau job in Chicago, he mentions her idols could soon become her peers and that he needs a final decision from her in a day's time. Leslie is convinced: she decides to take the job. Later that day, Leslie presents her speech at the conference. She describes to the audience her plans to have Pawnee and Eagleton and their Parks Departments fully integrated within six to 12 months. Her timeline is ridiculed by those in attendance, with two department heads suggesting 10 years of constant hands-on management would be a more stable and accurate plan.
Elsewhere in San Francisco, Ben Wyatt and Andy Dwyer meet with a tech company called Gryzzl. The company is giving away free Wi-Fi to a few cities across the US, so Ben decides to pitch Pawnee to them. The owners reject Ben's pitch as they are only going after big cities, but Ben does not take "no" for an answer. After seeing the Gryzzl owners playing his board game The Cones of Dunshire, Ben challenges them to a duel, where if he wins, they give him another shot at pitching Pawnee. With it being his game, Ben is able to outshine them and proves that he is the game's architect.
Ben later explains to Leslie that his game has somehow spread, with it being all over the Internet and having a fanbase in a number of big cities across the country. He also mentions he intends to look into copyrighting the game, and because of the game, he was successful in getting Gryzzl to accept Pawnee for their free wireless initiative. Leslie is distracted, however, and flirts with going back on her word to move to Chicago following the negative reaction to her "seamless merger super system". Having only recently come to terms with the idea of actually leaving Pawnee, a 10-year merger timeline makes her reconsider if Pawnee is capable of doing it without her. Ben takes her to Muir Woods National Park and explains why taking the job would create so many opportunities for her. He reminds her that by taking the job, she will be in a position to do what she has always been most passionate about: preserving parks and landmarks. With his words fresh in her mind, Leslie officially declares her intentions to take the job to Grant.
Meanwhile, back in Pawnee, Tom is set to open Tom's Bistro in six weeks. His top investor, Mitch Savner, laments at how great it would have been for the restaurant to be ready for the start of the Unity Concert, as it would have given the restaurant a nice boost with the extra publicity. Eager to not disappoint Mitch, Tom jumps-the-gun and declares that he can get the place ready for a soft opening the following night and be ready for officially opening at the end of the week. Tom recruits April Ludgate, Craig Middlebrooks, Ron Swanson and Donna Meagle to work overtime with him to get the restaurant serviceable. Things do not go well: Ron is unable to make 20 chairs in time, Craig is unable to do his job as sommelier due to allergies, and Jerry Gergich orders the menus with the wrong background image. The night is a disaster and it is clear to Mitch that Tom is ill prepared. He terminates his investment and leaves Tom with no backing. Tom considers quitting, but Ron and April insists he stick with it. April reveals she informed a number of reviewers that the soft opening went well and invited them to the restaurant for the official opening, that way Tom can give his new venture a real shot.
Part 2 Edit
It is Day 1 of the three-day Unity Concert. First up, Tom recruits Jean-Ralphio and Mona-Lisa Saperstein to help him hand out VIP invitations to A-listers at the Unity Concert. At the final Unity Concert planning meeting, Andy and April informs everyone of their roles, with the main goal being to get 2,000 signatures in support of the Pawnee-Eagleton merger. At the end of the meeting, Leslie informs her closest colleagues and friends that she has accepted the job in Chicago. They all congratulate her, and take her outside City Hall where they unveil a Pawnee Founders Day memorial monument with her name inscribed as one of the founders of Pawnee.
The Unity Concert is in full swing, with headline acts such as The Decemberists, Ginuwine, Letters to Cleo, Yo La Tengo (as the fictional Bobby Knight Ranger), and Land Ho (with Jeff Tweedy as lead singer Scott Tanner) bringing in huge crowds. Throughout the day, Tom is busy enticing A-listers to come to Tom's Bistro for it's opening that night, while Leslie is informed by Grant Larson that she has two staff positions to fill and can hire whoever she wants. Leslie is excited by this as it gives her the opportunity to bring two friends with her to Chicago. She tries to woo Ron, April and Andy, but all three are very content with living in Pawnee and have no intentions of moving with her.
Elsewhere at the Unity Concert, Andy performs his show as Johnny Karate, and afterwards bumps into Burly. The two reminisce over Mouse Rat's break up and it brings back memories for Andy as he misses being apart of a band. April notices this and organizes a reunion for the band as Day 1's closing act. Every performing group comes together on stage to conclude the night, with Mouse Rat leading the way with their signature single "5000 Candles in the Wind" (followed by a 3D hologram of the late great Li'l Sebastian). As a surprise cameo, Ron joins the cast on stage as Duke Silver and finishes the piece alongside Andy.
Later that night, Tom's A-list recruiting is a success, as the opening night of Tom's Bistro proves prosperous. Dr. Saperstein, Tom's number one rival, initially stops by to gloat, but as the night goes on, comes to see just how successful the venture could be and offers to become an investor. Attending the opening night is Barney Varmn, who presents Ben with a copyright protection brief for The Cones of Dunshire. Barney explains that he and his firm saw potential in the game, so they registered it in Ben's name. Ben later announces to everyone that they achieved their goal of 2,000 signatures, as they got nearly 4,000 on the first night.
After leaving Tom's Bistro, Leslie returns to City Hall and finds Ron sitting alone in his newly refurbished third floor office space. The two discuss Leslie's move, and Ron insists it's her time to move up in the world. Leslie, truly not wanting to leave Pawnee, puts together a plan: if she can't move Pawnee to Chicago, she'll have to move Chicago to Pawnee. Failing in her attempts to get anyone to come with her to Chicago, she is inspired by the available third floor and its potential. Sometime later, Grant meets Leslie on the third floor and she presents him with her proposal to have the new National Parks office be opened in Pawnee instead of Chicago.
A month goes by and Leslie ends her tenure as Deputy Director of Pawnee's Parks and Recreation Department. She packs up her things and moves upstairs to the third floor, where her new life begins as the National Parks Service's Midwest Regional Director. Three years later, the third floor is a bustling National Parks Regional Office for the Midwest Division. Leslie is a big-time government employee and a mom to triplets. The episode and season ends with Leslie and Ben heading downstairs to an important meeting...
- Michelle Obama as herself
- Ginuwine as himself
- Richard Portnow as Mitch Savner
- Brady Smith as Grant Larson
- Ben Schwartz as Jean-Ralphio Saperstein
- Jenny Slate as Mona-Lisa Saperstein
- Henry Winkler as Dr. Saperstein
- Megan Mullally as Tammy II
- Lucy Lawless as Diane Lewis
- Jon Hamm as Ed
- The Decemberists as themself
- Wilco as Land Ho!
- Kay Hanley as herself
- Letters to Cleo as themself
- Gigolo Aunts as themself
Andy: [riding a bike while holding a bike] I'm on top of the world!
Leslie: [to Ron] How would you feel about leaving Pawnee and moving to Chicago? [Ron chuckles] Hold on, I'm not done. You'd be working for the federal government- [Ron bursts into laughter; Leslie is upset] You know what? Excuse me for wanting my dear friend and ethical mentor to accompany me on the adventure of a lifetime.
Ron: It's very sweet, Leslie. And the National Park Service is probably the only branch of government worth a damn, but Diane and I are quite happy raising our family here. Now if you'll excuse me, there's a booth over there serving something called 'fried sausage quilts', so I'm going to buy the booth.
[Ron is with Diane and the girls when he smells something in the air - his face fills with dread and panic]
Diane: [noticing] Oh, I know that look. Where is she? [she looks around]
Ron: She's near. Hide the children. [he turns around and sees one of his worst nightmares]
Tammy II: Hello, Ron. Hello, Ron's friend.
Ron: Tammy. What could possibly bring you to a children's performance? Performing a ritual sacrifice of a newborn??
Andy: Bye Bye Li'l Sebastian, Miss you in the saddest fashion! [a 3D hologram of Li'l Sebastian appears and everyone cheers... except Ben, who looks at the camera as if to say "Really?"]
Andy: Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Duke Silver! [Ron appears onstage and performs as Duke Silver on his saxophone; Leslie is confused and looks at Ben, who's just as confused]