After three weeks away, Parks and Recreation finally returns tonight with two back-to-back new episodes, "Filibuster" and "Recall Vote." Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to screen both episodes and to chat with executive producer Michael Schur and cast members Nick Offerman, Amy Poehler, and Adam Scott, and while I can't tell you the outcome of the recall without NBC activating the kill switch in my brain, I can tell you plenty of other things, including which guest-stars are returning and what you can expect tonight. So let's get started, shall we?
1. Andy's back!
Andy's so romantic that he told April he was going to karate punch her face with his tongue. Unfortunately, Andy is only back for the first of tonight's two episodes, but he has to return permanently soon, right? How long does it take to film movies now anyway? (The reason Andy's been so absent this season is that Chris Pratt was shooting Guardians of the Galaxy in London.)
2. It's Ben's birthday, and his party is "early '90s"-themed
And Rob Lowe looks exactly like he did in the '90s.
3. Ben and Leslie get drunk and try to get tattoos
Also, it's Halloween in Pawnee, because NBC is jerk and these episodes were supposed to air a long time ago. But even still, the outcome is almost as good as that time everyone got wasted off Snake Juice. Almost.
4. Ron becomes obsessed with Big Buck Hunter
Schur said Donna is the only person who can get away with telling Ron he sucks at something that many times in a row, but that's kind of her role in the show.
5. Everyone is still calling Jerry Larry—even Larry
According to Scott, in "Doppelgangers," the episode where Jerry was renamed Larry, Jim O'Heir's lines were all scripted for Larry immediately following the scene where April "rechristened" him. Poehler admitted that the rest of the cast is just now getting used to calling him Larry, claiming it's been a weird transition. Weird for them, but hilarious for us.
6. Li'l Sebastian makes a cameo...
...in papier-mâché form. R.I.P.
7. Ron ends up in Bloosh, the Pawnee version of Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop
Erinn Hayes guest-stars as Annabel Porter (Schur said Hayes was always their first choice for the role), and all I can say is that I hope she becomes a recurring character like Perd Hapley and Joan Callamezzo, because she's that good.
8. Ron Swanson giggles AND that's actually just how Nick Offerman laughs
When asked whether the chair made by Ron that's featured in Bloosh (see item #7, above) was actually a Nick Offerman Original, Offerman started giggling uncontrollably because he found the idea absurd (to be fair, he only found it absurd because he knew the chair came from a museum, and not his own garage). His chortling was contagious, but the best part was realizing that Ron's laugh and Offerman's laugh are one and the same. Keep that knowledge close to your heart and treasure it forever.
9. Amy Poehler is surprisingly good at roller skating
And when asked about shooting those scenes, Poehler boasted she could "shoot the duck." Meanwhile, Scott said he had cramps in his legs the entire next day.
10. Kristen Bell returns!
I *literally* saved the best for last. I won't get into the details about what brings her back, but I will say that Schur confirmed she'll return for at least one more episode this season, and then she's welcome to swing by anytime she wants.
AIRED ON 2/17/2015
Season 7 : Episode 11