Parks and Recreation: "End of the World"


    Parks and Recreation's "End of the World". Photo courtesy of NBC.

    Parks and Recreation got a bit more serious this week with its Ben/Leslie storyline, but managed to keep its audience laughing with the crazy antics of the rest of the cast and local Pawnee-ans. Plus, Jean-Ralphio—who really needs to be on this show more often—finally made his long-awaited return.

    Zorp, the leader of The Reasonableists (a cult in Pawnee), tells Leslie that the world is going to end the next day. The cult members, referred to by Leslie as the “Zorpies,” hold a vigil in the park for their last day on earth. Leslie and Ben go down to the park to watch over the Zorpies and make sure that the rapture happens smoothly. While at the park, they run into Shauna, Pawnee’s well-known (and annoying) journalist, who is covering the event. Shauna then proceeds to bother Leslie (and all of the Ben/Leslie shippers watching) by asking her if Ben is single. Leslie reactsbadly to this and watches as Shauna hits on Ben. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if Ben wasn’t interested, but he actually talks with Shauna and seems somewhat interested in her.

    At the now bankrupt Entertainment 720, Jean-Ralphio is back, and he and Tom decide to throw the best party before officially shutting down their company. They go all out, and manage to get a live tiger, drumlineperformance and elite security guards at their party. Tom also gets a blast from the past when Lucy (his ex-girlfriend) shows up. Incidentally, Jean-Ralphio turns out to be the one who invited her, because he was planning on “getting some” as he forgot that she and Tom used to date. Slightly awkward, but at least Tom was touched, as he was under the impression that Jean-Ralphio invited Lucy for him.

    Meanwhile, April and Andy decide to do as many of the things on Andy’s bucket list as they possibly can. It’s funny though, because they were completely unaware of the Zorpies’ prediction that the world was going to end tomorrow, but they kind of participate in the belief by doing the whole “doing-things-I-always-meant-to-do-before-I-die” routine that day. I have to admit, Andy has a really great bucket list, as it includes withdrawing $1,000 in singles so he can feel what it’s like to hold all that much money, making the best grilled cheese sandwich in the world, having Andy becomeanactionstar, and driving all the way to the Grand Canyon (which Andy confuses with MountRushmore).

    During all of this, Leslie tries to fight her jealousy and ends up dragging Ben away from Shauna and taking him to a scary-looking gas station with the excuse that she wants to show him something interesting (she tells him that the gas station used to be owned by Mick Jagger, which it wasn’t). Ben knows something is weird though, and finally tells Leslie that they can’t be alone together, having split up for her and her career. It’s heart-breaking all around, but hard as it is to admit, he’s right. On a personal note, I’m still holding out for a Ben/Leslie happy ending, but who knows what’ll happen.

    This episode was interesting in that it focused on romantic relationships, while last week’s episode, “Meet ‘n’ Greet,” focused on the friendships in Parks and Recreation. As sad as it was to see Ben and Leslie acknowledging the fact that they were completely broken up, it was equally great watching Andy and April be crazy (and slightlystupid) together. Plus, it’s always exciting when Tom gets to have a romantic interest. Hopefully he and Lucy will be able to work things out properly this time around.


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