As I mentioned on Twitter, last night’s Parks and Recreation felt more like a series finale than a season finale. I actually freaked out for a moment – was the show ending? Thankfully, no freakout necessary. No, it’s not ending. Phew! But it’s certainly moving in a new direction after that ending, huh? Consider this your official spoiler warning, guys, because I’m about to break down everything that was excellent about the season six finale, complete with that surprise twist at the end.
1. There were lots of cameos in this season finale, the most notably being First Lady Michelle Obama, who mainly popped in to promote her Let’s Move! initiative. She was pleasant and lovely (because duh) and Amy Poehler pulled off the shock and excitement that Leslie Knope must’ve been feeling perfectly, complete with unavoidable loud talking and a failed high five. Classic Knope.
2. Another fantastic cameo came in the form of Donna’s often talked about cousin Ginuwine, who dedicated his hit “Pony” to none other than Lil Sebastian himself at the Unity Concert. I mean…that was magical, was it not?
And that wasn’t even the best Lil Sebastian moment! The miniature horse made another appearance at the end of the Unity Concert – in hologram form. I think Donna and Ben’s expressions sum it all up nicely, don’t you?
3. As funny as that was, I think I enjoyed Ben Wyatt totally fan-boying out over Letters To Cleo even more. Most of the musical performances of the Unity Concert were from 90s hitmakers, which just made the whole thing feel even more hilarious. Honestly, look at him. He is SO EXCITED about Letters To Cleo. Because of course he is.
4. The cameos didn’t stop there, though – another fantastic bit was the appearance of Workaholics Blake Anderson, who played a guy running a Portland start-up that offered cities free wifi. Ben’s total befuddlement with their success, and even with what they do (it’s the cloud for your cloud!) was great, but this was even greater: “Six months ago, I was working for a taco truck. Now I own one-third of the Portland Trailblazers!” Oh, poor Ben.
5. Finally, the cameo that really came out of nowhere was Jon Hamm, who made an appearance during the unexpected fast-forward three years into the future. A more hard-hitting, no nonsense Leslie Knope fires the seemingly hopeless Ed, who is apparently an even worse employee than Larry/Gary/Terry.
6. Speaking of Larry, getting the menu images for Tom’s Bistro confused with photos of his dog’s rectum? Classic Larry.
7. The return of Jean Ralphio and Mona Lisa, Tammy 2, plus a Mouse Rat reunion? I don’t know how many guest appearances make a perfect season finale, but it’s probably however many this one had.
8. Especially when it includes random reunions like this one:
Poor boring accounting firm guy. Ben will never, ever work for you at the accounting firm. Will someone please give this guy his own show?
9. Tom’s Bistro had a rough start, but his friends all helped him pull through in the end like we knew they would. So nice to finally see Tom succeed and also stick it to Dr. Saperstein – but it was even more satisfying to see Ron, Donna, Craig and April help him knock the soft opening out of the park. Well, the second soft opening, anyway. The first one, not so much.
10. It must be mentioned that some of the best moments were those genuine Parks and Rec hits to the gut. Ben helping Leslie say yes to the job, Leslie making it work in Pawnee because she cannot bear to leave, Ron coming out as “Duke Silver” to make his daughters happy, April and Andy deciding to get divorced just so they can be married again…it all reminded me why I love this show and why I love these people. It somehow made me nostalgic for it, even before it was over. Oh, and let’s not forget those three little munchkins we saw at the very end, am I right? EEEEE!!
Some stray favorite quotes:
“This is the hardest I’ve worked on anything since…I’ve never worked hard on anything! What a cool life!” – Tom
“This is truly an amazing town…I ordered a small cheeseburger and both the buns were pizzas.” – Colin Meloy, at the Unity Concert
“From now on, everyone call me Kristen, because I am Wiig-ing out right now!” – Craig
“Do you mind if I snap a youie? It’s what I call selfies of other people.” – Tom
“Damn Donna, why you gotta bring the Quackson 5 into this?” – Ginuwine
“Also, can you bring back the Power Rangers? I don’t know who you are, or what it is you do, but you seem powerful enough to do that.” – Andy
What do you think – did you like the jump three years into the future? What are the triplets’ names? What’s the story behind Andy’s broken arm and Ben’s tuxedo? How can we possibly wait until next fall for more?