The best way to figure out what kind of spice that is... is roll it up into a joint and smoke it.
Tom Haverford

"The Stakeout" is the second episode of season 2 of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation. It originally aired on September 24, 2009 to 4.22 million viewers.

In the episode, Leslie conducts surveillance on a community garden in an attempt to find out who planted marijuana there. The episode was written by Rachel Axler and directed by Seth Gordon. It marked the first in a series of guest appearances by stand-up comedian Louis C.K. as Dave Sanderson, a Pawnee police officer who develops a romantic interest in Leslie. A scene in which Sanderson arrests Tom Haverford in his own van mirrors the real-life controversial 2009 arrest of Henry Louis Gates.

Storyline Edit

Ann Perkins, who is preparing for her first date with Mark Brendanawicz, worriedly asks Leslie Knope if she has any reservations, since Leslie previously had feelings for him. Leslie insists she is fine. Later, Leslie and Tom Haverford visit Leslie's community garden that she established in the pit. The pair discover someone has planted what appears to be marijuana. Hoping to keep their discovery out of the papers, Leslie and Tom don black and watch the pit from a van in order to hopefully catch the culprit. Leslie eventually spots Ann and Mark leaving for their date, and starts snapping photos of them. Later, Leslie and Tom see Ann's ex-boyfriend Andy Dwyer in the pit. They assume he is the kingpin, but he insists he is actually living in the pit and eating the vegetables from the garden.

Back at city hall, Ron Swanson's hernia causes excruciating pain if he moves thus rendering him immobile in his chair all day. Ron remains well into the night even after the janitors turn the lights off on him. The intern, April Ludgate, returns to check on him, and wheels Ron out to the car on his office chair to take him to the hospital.

Back at the pit, Leslie and Andy walk off to get fast food and Tom gets locked out of his van. Ann and Mark return from their date and call the police after they see Tom, assuming him to be a prowler, trying to break into the van. Officer Dave Sanderson arrives and confronts Tom, who mouths off at Dave until he places him under arrest. Leslie, Ann and Mark go to the police station to retrieve Tom. There Leslie reluctantly explains why she and Tom was staking out the pit and insists they were trying to catch the person planting marijuana in the garden. Dave releases Tom, who thanks Leslie for sticking up for him. The next day, Leslie and Dave go to the garden, but they find no marijuana. Dave guesses Leslie orchestrated the whole thing to spy on Ann and Mark. Later, Dave privately admits he is attracted to Leslie.

Related episodeEdit

It is later implied/revealed/hinted, in the episode "Summer Catalog", that a former head of the Parks Department was the culprit who planted the marijuana. In a confrontation with Ron, Michael Tansley admits to Leslie that he planted marijuana in community gardens across Pawnee. However, this fact goes unnoticed amongst the characters.


Main CastEdit

  • Amy Poehler
  • Rashida Jones
  • Paul Schneider
  • Aziz Ansari
  • Nick Offerman
  • Aubrey Plaza
  • Chris Pratt

Guest StarsEdit

Animals seenEdit

  • various pigeons in courtyard


Leslie: Ron! Did you get my text?
Ron: No.
Leslie: Did you get my email?
Ron: Mmm.
Leslie: Did you see that I paged you?
Ron: I did not.
Leslie: Did you get my voicemail?
Ron: I didn't.

Leslie: What kind of spice is this?
Tom: The best way to figure out what kind of spice THAT is ... is roll it up into a joint and smoke it.

Leslie: I want to be president someday, so I have not smoked marijuana. I ate a brownie once. At a party in college. It was kind of indescribable really. I felt like I was floating. It turns out that there wasn't any marijuana in it, it was just an insanely good brownie.

Officer Dave Sanderson: Ma'am, as I told you, this is a police matter.
Leslie: Well, it doesn't seem to MATTER. To the POLICE!
Officer Dave Sanderson: Okay, nice job with that.

Ann: When Andy and I used to go the movies, he would always try to guess the ending of the movie. And he would always guess that the main character had been dead the whole time. Even when we saw Ratatouille.


  • To see the expanded trivia, go here.