The penultimate hour of Parks and Recreation wasn't quite filled with tears and goodbyes, as I'm sure next week's episode will be, but it did have its fair share of emotional sucker-punches. From Tom's proposal to Lucy, to Gerry's well deserved induction as (temporary) Mayor of Pawnee (complete with a throne and a hot-air balloon), this hour certainly had a lot going for it.
April and Andy both came to the joint realization that their time in Pawnee will soon be behind them – and leave it to Andy to know, as always, exactly what to say to his wife.
Andy may think "phenomenon" means to "search a cave," but as far as emotional intelligence is concerned, he may actually be a few steps (or belts) ahead of most other men on the show.
You're what keeps me going. You're my "VerizonChipotleExon."Andy
Speaking of "VerizonChipotleExxon," (apparently one of eight major corporations in America in 2017), the structure of the first episode, complete with faux-commercials (the "Paunch Burger" one actually had me thinking it was real ad for a minute there), was surprisingly handled very well.
Multiple episodes of the nature should definitely be discouraged, but since this is so close towards the end of the show's run, it's a risk that ended up paying off. Andy is obviously entertaining enough to have an entire episode centered around him, but making completely about "Johnny Karate" is a whole different ball game.
It could've been dull, and a drag, but the various "cameos" from the cast, and an actual cameo from John Cena himself, made it endlessly entertaining and gave us a whole slew of Andy-quotes.
I once found a rock that look like Santa Claus -- hat and everything.Andy
I wish I had a "boring buzzer" in real life, to be honest.
The "two funerals" that followed the "Johnny Karate" send-off weren't nearly as morbid as the title of the episode made them sound. The loss of the town's mayor, (finally revealed to be Bill Murray all along!!), and the death of Ron's barber, both led to interesting storylines.
Ben was able to realize that he was already over his past, and didn't need to validate himself anymore. Gerry, somewhat, got the thanks he's always deserved (but would never ask for). And Tom is finally tied down.
Although the last development evolved the quickest, Lucy and Tom definitely make a good couple, so the match up isn't too odd. It can definitely come off as forced, but it's also about time Tom found a partner.
And his last minute switch from a "James Bond" heist of a proposal, to something much more low-key, and intimate, shows that Tom may have actually learned something from his years at Parks & Rec.
Lucy, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to marry me.Tom
The various cameos, from guest stars such as Bill Murray or John Cena, to past reoccurring favorites (from "The Douche," to Paul Rudd as "Bobby Newport,"), these two episodes definitely created a strong lead in for next week's final hour of Parks and Recreation.
Watch Parks and Recreation online to catch any of the cameos you may have missed, and head over to Parks and Recreations quotes to check out more highlights (and trust me, there are a lot!).
With Ron picking up the saxophone (and trying out a new barber), Andy and Gerry getting their respective "tributes," Tom getting engaged, the numerous callbacks to past seasons, and so forth, it's hard to imagine what the writers will pull out of their sleeves for next week's finale.
Regardless, here's to hoping our favorite gang goes out with a bang!