Parks and Recreation: Two Funerals
February 17, 2015 6:16 PM - Season 7, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Leslie announces that she accepted a job in Washington D.C. and is officially leaving Pawnee with Ben, April and Andy. Donna announces that she and her husband Joe are moving to Seattle, WA. It was announced that Mayor Walter Gunderson dies and Ben hosts a memorial service. Ben and April hold meetings for a temporary Mayor. Donna and Andy help Ron grieve when Ron's barber Salvatore also dies.
posted by everybody had matching towels (23 comments total)
 
When they mentioned the rule of three and then the two deaths, I was SO SURE that someone else was going to die. I was actually worried it was going to be Gary, I was nervous throughout the entire episode and didn't relax until the credits.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:41 PM on February 17, 2015


everybody had matching towels: "When they mentioned the rule of three and then the two deaths, I was SO SURE that someone else was going to die. I was actually worried it was going to be Gary, I was nervous throughout the entire episode and didn't relax until the credits."

Jesus yes. I was positive he was going to somehow tumble out of that hot air balloon or something. It didn't help that they've already established him as someone with heart problems, so constantly surprising him, even with good news, seemed fraught with peril.

I should also out myself as someone who hates Lucy and Tom. It was great (well, at least perfectly fine) in its first iteration, but this season's version of it has been awful from front to back, and them getting married right now is one of the most pointless and silly things they could have done. I was holding out some hope that he would ask and she would say, "Uh, no, we've been dating for less than a month and you're still my boss which makes this whole things pretty uncomfortable no matter what," but I guess that ship has sailed. Of all of the hopes I had for the final season, I would put the idea that every single major character would be happily married pretty low, but I guess that was important to the people actually running things.

I will also admit that this season has made me feel grumpier than it objectively deserves just because it feels a little cheaply earned and there's a sense of grim inevitability about the endless happy endings for everyone, and my cold, cold heart can take anything but that.
posted by Copronymus at 8:02 PM on February 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


On the other hand, this show ain't Breaking Bad. There's no dark secrets to thrust into the spotlight, no ticking time bombs waiting to go off, no tragic personality flaws that inevitably lead to anyone's downfall. Just a bunch of basically pleasant-natured folks whose quirks complement each other, so happy endings (or at least leaving everyone in a good place) are almost mandatory.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:44 PM on February 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Thumbs up to the guest casting of Mayor Gunderson not being spoiled. I know he was their number one person to play the mayor if they could ever get him...I'm so glad that they could!
posted by inturnaround at 9:22 PM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was worried about Gary too, but once Nick Offerman tweeted "#RIPGergich #YouHadAGoodRun" the day of, I knew he'd be okay. I thought the show wouldn't go that dark - you don't want to horrify your audience with only one episode to go. I don't love the constant meanness to Gary, so the wins he's been getting in the last little while (Donna reinstating his real name, notary business, that really nice talk and reminiscing he and Donna had before she helped him get his stuff back) and this is just the capper. Schlemiel or schlemazel or whatever, he's temporarily won Pawnee, and Gail can call him the B-word (boss, of course).

I enjoyed the tally of how much Leslie had spent on banners. Also that alterna-Ron is back, and that Ron bonded with Typhoon over their shared hatred of Eurotrash.

I think Donna may be the only character to have a NON-impromptu or sudden wedding/proposal.

I'm just...I'm just going to miss these guys so much, you know?
posted by ilana at 10:13 PM on February 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


I will also admit that this season has made me feel grumpier than it objectively deserves just because it feels a little cheaply earned and there's a sense of grim inevitability about the endless happy endings for everyone

With Garry's inauguration it does seem like things have crossed over into being too good. The episodes have been very funny, but at this point I'm worried this is all going to be Chris Traeger's dream.
posted by Gary at 12:40 AM on February 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


That would literally be the worst possible ending for the show.
posted by Etrigan at 6:02 AM on February 18, 2015 [10 favorites]


I liked this episode but it felt weird (unless I missed it) that they didn't mention Ben's run for Congress.
posted by drezdn at 6:16 AM on February 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Ron + Typhoon = 4EVER.

I liked this episode but it felt weird (unless I missed it) that they didn't mention Ben's run for Congress.


Yeah, I didn't notice them mention it either, and it seemed really odd that it wasn't mentioned in regards to Ben being the temporary mayor and the optics of choosing himself for his campaign.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:49 AM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


How 'Parks and Recreation' got THAT guy to play Mayor Gunderson

The story is great but the part that got me the most was:

“He was just the most delightful person,” reports Schur. “Not only was he incredibly complimentary of the show, he went around to every one of the actors and told them how great they were and cited specific episodes and moments. He hung out on the set for three hours, watching us shoot the show.”
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:26 AM on February 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yeah, the whole vibe of this season has left me feeling underwhelmed. They totally deserve to have their victory lap, but things like the Tom and Lucy proposal just feels so not...well, earned. Ah well.
posted by liquorice at 5:21 PM on February 18, 2015


This episode was pure fanservice in the best way.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:05 PM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


It was a good episode, but Tom's engagement does seem a little unnecessary though. I always thought his main thing was his business dreams, so the success Tom's Bistro is his happy ending. This was like the Wayne's World Mega Happy Ending where every possible thing for him turns out perfect. It would have been fine to just have him be together with Lucy on the path toward engagement. This outcome is like if Andy had been able to just transport the Johnny Karate show to DC.
posted by dogwalker at 11:45 PM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


A'ight, for those who thought it was a bit too happy, here's an interpretation for you.

It was entirely in the head of a dying Gary, succumbing to a heart attack, with his initial talks of retirement indicating his life departing. Mayor Gunderson actually was Bill Murray, the mayor that Gary always wanted, the only loose end to all his friends was Tom's bachelorhood, and so he dreamed of it being resolved. As he mentioned in the episode, notarizing a new interim mayor is a notary's dream, and once that was fulfilled, and as he spiraled on the ER table, flat lining despite all the attempts of Pawnee's best cardiologist (he actually was originally from Eagleton), his dying fantasy turned to the actual interim mayor spot, hence his own memories drawing upon Paul Rudd's scion of the local candy corporation, Tom's nemesis (and daughter), and so on, until Gary's greatest wish came true and he was made mayor after years of government service.

The banner, the band, the Roman legionnaires and the hot air balloon, it was over the top and impossible for Leslie to actually arrange in such a quick time, but it was in Gary's dying consciousness what Leslie would have done, what he always wanted Leslie to do. As he ascended in the hot air balloon at the end, he passed away on the operating table.

And by no means, is that the right interpretation. Gary is totally mayor, happy, healthy, and wise!
posted by Atreides at 6:39 AM on February 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


But seriously. WHAT THE HECK happened to Ron's family? Has anyone asked this yet?!?!
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 10:01 AM on February 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Didn't he show Leslie a picture of his son after they reconciled (which he then tore up to maintain his son's privacy)?
posted by brookedel at 10:55 AM on February 19, 2015


Yes, Leslie did. There was a passing reference made to the family, something like, "I got to go home to my family now" or something similar. I guess we won't see Lucy Lawless this season?
posted by Atreides at 11:00 AM on February 19, 2015


I guess we won't see Lucy Lawless this season?

From what I've heard she wasn't on set this season, working in Australia on another show, so I guess she never had the chance to make the trip and shoot any episodes, which is sad. I always liked her bits as a foil to crazy Ron.
posted by mathowie at 11:13 AM on February 19, 2015


I guess we won't see Lucy Lawless this season?

Didn't you see the season premiere of Agents of SHIELD? She was literally petrified by an alien obelisk. Which is just as well, because SHIELD only had her marry Ron so they could keep a closer eye on him...
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:33 AM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Speaking of funerals, Harris Wittels, a writer and executive producer for P&R, and also Harris the pothead animal control employee, was found dead of a suspected overdose at 30. What a horrible shame.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:03 PM on February 19, 2015


Somebody on SA grabbed a list of the episodes he wrote:

- Ron & Jammy (2015) ... (written by)
- Prom (2014) ... (written by)
- Filibuster (2013) ... (written by)
- Women in Garbage (2013) ... (written by)
- Leslie vs. April (2012) ... (written by)
- Dave Returns (2012) ... (written by)
- The Treaty (2011) ... (written by)
- Road Trip (2011) ... (written by)
- Media Blitz (2011) ... (written by)
- 94 Meetings (2010) ... (written by)
- Tom's Divorce (2009) ... (written by)
- Practice Date (2009) ... (written by)

Some of the greats in there.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:18 PM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I've heard that Harris Wittels was one of the people directly responsible for turning this show into the gem that it is. Like he was the guy who came in after the first shaky season 1, and immediately got things on the right track for season 2. He also played one of the stoner animal control dudes.

It's rough news.
posted by dogwalker at 8:39 PM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


What awful news about Wittels. I would have really liked to see what else he could do after the show ended. "Practice Date" is one of my favorite episodes.
posted by gladly at 6:21 AM on February 20, 2015


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