Parks and Recreation

Season 5 Episode 1

Ms. Knope Goes to Washington

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Sep 20, 2012 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
99 votes

By Users Episode Review

  • Parks and Recreation's Season 5 Premiere: Knope vs. Reality

    Leslie may have won the city council election in the Season 4 finale, but now she must face her biggest challenge yet: dealing with bureaucratic red tape.

  • Episode Summary

    Leslie and Andy travel to Washington, D.C. to visit Ben and April as they work on a congressional campaign. Leslie is intimidated by the national politicos she meets, and feels like her work is unimportant after she is denied a meeting with a senator, however, she gets to meet some of her heroes. Back in Pawnee, Ron throws the annual employee appreciation picnic in Leslie's absence, and it's not quite what people are used to. Ann and Tom fight with each other as they try to hide their breakup from their friends.


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    • Season 5 Premiere

      This was my first time watching Parks since the pilot. I decided to give the show another chance, and while they do seem to have solid direction for all of these characters, I just can't get behind them. Amy Poehler is just not fit for a lead role, she's just not funny enough, and Retta may be the most annoying person on NBC.

      It was not that bad, but I think it's a matter of whether you love this show or you hate it, and I'm starting to fall into the hate it group. These actors just don't mesh well like an ensemble should. Did like the John McCain cameo.moreless
    • Good start, fun guest star interactions

      Lots of great Leslie moments, especially breaking down in front of senators she adores and accidentally telling off John McCain.

      Could have done without the Tom and Ann storyline given how short it was... here's hoping they find something more for Ann this season.

      April and Andy could also do with something fresh.
    Amy Poehler

    Amy Poehler

    Leslie Knope

    Rashida Jones

    Rashida Jones

    Ann Perkins

    Aziz Ansari

    Aziz Ansari

    Tom Haverford

    Nick Offerman

    Nick Offerman

    Ron Swanson

    Aubrey Plaza

    Aubrey Plaza

    April Ludgate

    Chris Pratt

    Chris Pratt

    Andy Dwyer (Season 2+, recurring previously)

    Featured Episode Clip

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (3)

      • While barbecuing Ron is wearing an apron from Charles Mulligan's Steak House which is revealed to be his favorite restaurant in the episode "Indianapolis." Excited to eat there when they travel to Indianapolis, he discovers it has been shut down for health code violations.

      • The states with towns named Pawnee mentioned in this episode are: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.
        Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas do all have towns named Pawnee.  Nebraska and Iowa have towns named Pawnee City and Missouri has a Pawnee township.
        Pawnee Kansas is a ghost town which is now home to The Pawnee Indian Museum State Historic Site.
        Pawnee, Indiana is the only fictional town on the list.

      • The relationship name Tom comes up with for himself and Ann is "Haverkins" (a combination of their last names, respectively Harverford and Perkins).

    • QUOTES (8)

      • Leslie: I am a city councilwoman from Pawnee, Indiana. but you've probably never heard of us, we're small and unimportant.
        Senator Olypia Snow: I'm sure that's not true.
        Leslie: But it is. We've got tons of problems. We're overrun with raccoons and obese toddlers.

      • Ann: After the first day, we realized we'd made a huge mistake.
        Tom: HUGE!
        Ann: However, everyone was being so smug about it saying there was no way we would last, so we're pretending to still be together. That way no one gets the satisfaction of being right. Even though they are, but still.

      • Tom: Ann, I'm hungry, my legs are tired. Ugh! It feels like I just exercised.
        Jerry: Just sit on the ground
        Tom: No Jerry! It's dirty and I'm wearing my summer linens.

      • Ranger Patrick: Hey Ron, you're not going to slaughter that pig here, are you?
        Ron: Not to worry, I have a permit. (hands ranger a folded piece of paper)
        Ranger Patrick: This just says "I can do what I want."
        Ron: I am the director of the parks department and this is a park.
        Ranger Patrick: It's not a parks thing. It's against like 3 laws and a dozen health codes.
        Ron: Fine. (snatches back "permit")

      • Ron: Which one of you youngsters wants to help me drain the blood from this animal? You do a good job and I'll give you the bladder, you can blow it up for a fun play ball.

      • Ron: Everyone, meet your meat
        Everyone: No! Unuh, Ron!
        Tom: Why are you doin' this to us?
        Ron: Well, in my opinion, not enough people have looked their dinner in the eyes and considered the circle of life. This is your dinner, his name is Tom.

      • Leslie: Romantic reunions, government meetings, self guided museum tours! I mean, am I living the dream? I don't know. Did I also just walk past a food truck and buy myself a waffle sunday? YES!

      • Leslie: Let's hit the national mall.
        Andy: There's a mall? That's awesome, I need to get some flip-flops.

    • NOTES (1)

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • The name of this episode, Ms. Knope Goes to Washington, is a reference to Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), a political drama about one man's ability to effect politics.  This mirrors Leslie's desire to change Pawnee, America and the World for the better.