Who would've thought that a tiny horse that was introduced in an episode early this season would have such a large impact on the rest of the season finale of the third season of Parks? I know I didn't, but I'm very glad the writers decided to go in this direction. The episode was filled with some great game-changing moments, as well as some smaller, equally hilarious moments.
Yes, the episode focuses on the funeral of L'il Sebastian, and we also get multiple plots dovetailed into this. There's Leslie and Ben's continuous efforts to keep their affair hidden from the office, something that ultimately fails after Ron freakin' Swanson (who hilariously cries at the news of L'il Sebastian's death) gets butt dialed by Ben and hears Leslie and him role playing as Ruth Ginsburg and Ronald Reagan. It's a great moment where we see once again how Ron likes Leslie enough to cover for her and not let her get in trouble. We get Tom and Jean-Ralphio creating some sort of production company with money Jean Ralphio made from getting his foot run over by a car.. they use this company to cater the funeral for the horse. There's also a minor plot involving Chris and his fear of death after the horse dies.. he sees some parallels between them.
There was just so much going on here that it's a wonder the writers didn't lose control of the story. Instead, we got a fantastic look into all of these characters, while we also got a final few minutes that could potentially change many of the characters' lives, unlike the Office finale, which was hugely anti-climatic and extremely disappointing. Here, we see Leslie facing the prospect of not only running for a City Council seat but also having the entire town learn of her affair with Ben, Chris possibly dating Anne again, Tom leaving the department to work with Jean-Ralphio and Ron meeting his first ex-wife Tammy, who we never see on screen.
And as for individual moments, we get them in spades, whether it's Jean-Ralphio's insane quotes to various characters, the horse pooping on stage, Ron's eulogy about the horse, Andy's "5000 Candles in the Wind" song or the return of Detlef Schremph (!). So many funny moments crammed into twenty minutes.. it's hard to see why this show doesn't get more recognition from award ceremonies. I hope this is the year it gets that recognition.