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"One Last Ride" are the twelfth and thirteenth episodes of Season 7 of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation, and the 124th and 125th episodes overall. It premiered on February 24, 2015 and was the series finale.
The two-part episode includes many flash-forwards, showing how the future unfolds for various characters.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Everyone is gathered at the Parks and Recreation office to say goodbye to one another. Throughout the episode, there are flash forwards to show the future of each character.
As everyone says goodbye, a resident comes in to complain about a broken swing and asks if it can be fixed. Leslie decides that they can do one last thing all together to help Pawnee, and goes about doing that. They first obtain a form from Donna, and goes to Level 4 with Andy and April to get it approved. After that, Leslie and Tom go to another department, meeting Jean-Ralphio along the way, only to realize that it closes on Friday. They ask Garry, who is now the mayor, for help. After getting all permissions, they head to the park fix the swing together.
Donna - 2023
Donna is shown to be happily married to Joe, as well as successful at her real estate work. However, Joe's school decides to stop teaching Mathematics. Rather than go on another adventure together, Donna decides to use her wealth to set up a non-profit for Joe called Teach Yo Self, enlisting the help of April in the process. April is visibly pregnant during this scene hinting at the events of her and Andy's flash-forward.
Craig - 2019+
After singing one night at Tom's bistro, Tom tells Craig that a stranger has sent him a drink, and Craig grunts that he has to join him. The stranger turns out to be Typhoon, Ron's hairdresser. It is then shown that Craig and Typhoon get married, with Ron being Typhoon's best man. Finally, the two are shown many years later on an underwater cruise. Craig asks if Typhoon has any regrets, who replies that he has none. When Typhoon asks Craig the same question, Craig replies he has lots and begins ranting, to which Typhoon smiles.
April and Andy - 2022/3
Burt Macklin and Janet Snakehole are shown to be arguing before it is revealed that it's Halloween. After sending some kids off, Andy tells April that he wants children, but April does not want to bring a child into the world, even though she doesn't mind the things her body would have to go through. The two then visit Ben and Leslie, but Andy is visibly disappointed when he discovers the triplets aren't home. Ben then talks to Andy separately, telling him that April will come around soon. Alone, April tells Leslie that she doesn't want kids because her life is perfect, but Leslie points out that people have kids not because their life is perfect, but because she and Andy are a team and they could have new team members.
A year later, April is seen going into delivery in the hospital with her Halloween make-up on. The two give birth to a son and decide to name him Jack. Leslie and Ben become godparents.
Jean-Ralphio - 2022
Jean-Ralphio is shown to have died, and people are gathered around his gravestone, listening to his favorite song as per his will. However, it is then shown that Jean-Ralphio is still alive, and faked his death to claim insurance money with Mona Lisa. He is then discovered, due to his dancing and singing, and runs away as his mourners chase him. An Easter Egg in Craig's flash-forward reveals that Jean-Ralphio eventually becomes a successful champagne manufacturer and has produced the champagne Craig and Typhoon are drinking.
Tom - 2019
On the same night Craig meets Typhoon, Tom discusses with Ben, Ron and Donna a new proposal to expand his bistro business all over the country. After deciding to do it, he is shown to have gone bankrupt after a few years, as America ran out of beef. After some encouragement from Lucy, who is still happily married to him, Tom becomes a motivational speaker and publishes a book, which is a huge success. We are later told that he has published another book as a sequel to the first book. (the special implies his book came out in 2020 as the tour was cut short due to COVID-19.)
Garry - 2017-2048
After a massive write-in, Garry is officially declared the mayor of Pawnee. He holds the position for ten terms before he passes away on his 100th birthday. Leslie and Ben are seen attending his funeral, with secret service members surrounding them, suggesting that at least one of them has become the President of United States. Garry's tombstone is misspelled as "Garry Girgich"; Ben points this out and Leslie states it's "close enough".
Ron - 2022
After discovering that Very Good Building Company's financial status is very good, Ron decides to quit his job. He finds that he is once more at a personal crossroad. On Ben's advice, he invests some of his gold in the Lagavulin Distillery in Scotland, (Which he visited during the London trip) earning him a respectable share in the company and its profits. Deciding not to make the same mistake with his future again, he visits Leslie in D.C for advice (on the same bench April told Leslie she was quitting national parks). They meet again at the Pawnee National Park Leslie succeeded in building, where Leslie tells him that she has pulled some strings and is offering Ron the job of superintendent. Although Ron has his reservations, Leslie convinces him to take the job, which starts immediately. Ron then greets the other rangers under him, before paddling away happily on a canoe.
Leslie and Ben - 2025 - 2035
At a dinner with Joe Biden and his wife, both Leslie and Ben are approached to run for governor of Indiana separately. The two are unsure of what to do and decide to discuss it when they return to Pawnee for a visit. Ben surprises Leslie in Pawnee: not only has he gathered everyone at the office, he has also invited Ann and Chris. While everyone catches up mouse rat songs can be heard playing; April reveals she is pregnant with a second child, Tom is working on a new book and is still speaking at conferences, Ann and Leslie are excited that their children might end up dating, and Chris gets a fear of cancer. Then it is revealed that Ann and Chris have two children and intend to return to Indiana, where Chris has accepted a job as Head of Admissions at Indiana University. However, Ben and Leslie both do not get a chance to discuss their situation with anyone. They both decide to flip a coin before everyone to decide, but as Leslie is about to announce their situation, Ben declares that Leslie is running for governor, deciding not to compete with Leslie. The scene then shows Leslie speaking at a commencement ceremony at Indiana University with her friends in attendance. She had been governor of Indiana for two terms, and concludes her speech by telling everyone to "go find your team, and then get to work". Indiana University then announces that they will be naming their library the Leslie Knope library, to her displeasure given the rivalry between the parks department and the library in Pawnee.
After everyone finishes fixing the swing, they pose for one last picture together. As they're taking the picture, Ben asks Leslie, "You ready, babe?" To which she replies, "Yes, I'm ready."
Two additional flash forward scenes are available in the producer's cut on the season 7 DVD, they include Shauna Malwae Tweep and Jeremy Jamm.
Just like in the original episode, Shauna interviews the team's last job together; however, in this version, Leslie goes on to to assure Shauna that she'll have a man in her life sooner or later. In her flashforward, Shauna is revealed to have been engaged, only to get left at the alter, because her fiancé’s game went into overtime. She breaks down on a park bench and is found by Bobby Newport, who comforts her. Five hours later, the two get married and are happy together.
Jeremy - 2020
Jamm gives Leslie a going away present; an oil painting of him and her as Yoko Ono and John Lennon. In Jamm's flashforward, he is revealed to have a new, successful career as a chef at a hibachi restaurant in Florida.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
Tom: What do we definitely not want to be?
Audience: A GARRY!
Tom: That's right. Do not be a Garry.
Garry: [chuckles] He's talking about me!
[Andy and April are having a baby on Halloween]
Andy: Babe, you look more beautiful than I've ever seen you.
[The camera pans over to April, dressed like a ghoulish Regan MacNeil]
Doctor: Wow. Just your luck that you're going into labor on Halloween. Can I get a warm towel to get that makeup off?
April: NO! I want it on! That's the whole point - I put the makeup on after I went into labor!
[At Garry's 100th birthday, Garry is seated in front of a cake shaped in the number 100 and is surrounded by his extended family]
Gayle: Happy Birthday my sweet, sweet husband. We all love you so much.
Garry: I have had the perfect life. I have had the perfect marriage. The perfect children. And the perfect grandchildren and great-grandchildren. [chuckles heartily] And I just want you to know how much I love ya.
[Leslie and Ben are at Garry's funeral in 2048; standing behind them are the Secret Service]
Leslie: [solemnly] Rest in Peace, friend.
Ben: [notices something] They spelled his name wrong on the tombstone.
[Garry's last name is misspelled as "Girgich"]
Leslie: Ehh, close enough.
Ron: Get on with it. I can't hold this smile forever - I look ridiculous.
[The final dialogue of the series]
Ben: [to Leslie] You ready, babe?
Leslie: [smiling] Yes. I'm ready.