Most of Parks and Recreation's sixth season focused on the major changes in Leslie's life, like being recalled from the office she'd worked so hard to reach, receiving a great offer for a new job in Chicago, and discovering that she was pregnant with triplets. And in that regard, "Moving Up" felt more like a series finale than a season finale as it wrapped up several ongoing storylines, including Leslie's career decision, the Unity Concert, and Tom's new restaurant venture. It also featured cameos from almost everyone who's ever appeared on the series, and it was full of wonderful surprises—from a Li'l Sebastian hologram to a Mouse Rat reunion to a surprise appearance by Duke Silver to a cameo by Jon Hamm. But perhaps the biggest shocker came when the series jumped three years into the future in the final moments of the episode, and LESLIE HAD BANGS.
Oh yeah, there was also the bit about how she took the job with the U.S. National Park Service, but convinced her new boss to let her live and work in Pawnee instead of Chicago (it's a good thing Ron spent so much time fixing up the third floor of City Hall instead of, say, doing his actual job). Ben and Leslie's children are now toddlers, Ben has a fancy new job (might it have something to do with the Cones of Dunshire game, which is apparently sweeping the nation?), and Jerry-Larry is now named Terry. There were so many new things thrown our way in that time jump that I barely had time to appreciate Jon Hamm, whose character felt a bit like a poor man's Chris Traeger with his good looks, positive attitude, and use of the word literally. However, I don't know that Hamm's cameo—which I'm glad the show kept a secret after announcing literally every other guest-star—beats out Michelle Obama's cameo. Leslie's reaction to meeting the FLOTUS was actually more entertaining than anything Lady Obama actually said or did, but it was definitely a highlight of "Moving Up."
If Parks and Recreation hadn't already been renewed for Season 7, "Moving Up" would've been a perfect series finale. It had the series' trademark heart and humor, in addition to a fake concert that looked like so much fun that I was actually upset it wasn't a real event I could attend. By the time Mouse Rat reunited and sang "5,000 Candles in the Wind," I was depressed that I'd missed such a fabulous show. That was fake. And on television. Which is why I think we should all relive it right now:
Now that Parks and Rec has jumped forward in time—a difficult thing to pull off, especially for a sitcom—it has a fresh new canvas on which to paint what will almost certainly be its final season. This is probably for the best, because the show definitely started to stall a bit in Season 6. Chris and Ann had a child and moved to Ann Arbor, Tom grew up (a bit) and become a (sometimes) savvy business man, and Ron and Diane had a baby. I've loved spending time with the truly wonderful and wacky people of Pawnee, but their stories are obviously winding down a bit. By skipping ahead three years, Parks and Rec has created the perfect opportunity to regroup and craft a true ending to this journey. I don't know that the real series finale will be able to top "Moving Up" in terms of how it made me feel as a longtime fan, but I'm willing to stick around to see what the writers can come up with. Parks and Rec truly feels like the comedic version of Friday Night Lights in the way it tells stories about a community and makes me tear up with embarrassing bouts of happiness, so I'm really glad I don't have to say goodbye to it just yet.
– “From now on, everyone call me Kristen, 'cause I am wigging out."
– "Obviously, we're no Akron. I mean, we're more like Dayton. But with your help, we can become Toledo." (As a native Ohioan, I give this joke an A+.)
– "Moving Up" was brought to you by pizza: "You're so good at reminding me where pizza is." Also: “We lead the country in online pizza ordering." And: "I ordered a small cheeseburger and both the buns were pizzas."
– "Can you bring back Power Rangers? I don't know what you do, but you seem important enough to get that done."
– Joan's signature drink is a tumbler full of gin with aspirin sprinkled around the rim.
– The Quackson Five!
– I will probably never get tired of Jean-Ralphio. Sorry, I'm not sorry.
What did you think of Parks and Rec's finale?
AIRED ON 2/24/2015
Season 7 : Episode 12