Parks and Recreation: One Last Ride
February 24, 2015 7:59 PM - Season 7, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Before bidding Pawnee farewell, the gang must complete one last task together.
posted by everybody had matching towels (68 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Guys, Anne's here" *cries*
posted by dry white toast at 8:09 PM on February 24, 2015 [10 favorites]


I loved how at Garry's funeral they kept it deliberately ambiguous as to which one of them was President. Good ending.
posted by dry white toast at 8:13 PM on February 24, 2015 [16 favorites]


Ha, yeah! I was just thinking that I want to watch it again just in case the other character futures had little hints in the background.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 8:19 PM on February 24, 2015


That was one of my favorite series finales.
posted by drezdn at 8:22 PM on February 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


My local NBC affiliate interrupted the episode with absurdly large crawl to announce the verdict in the Chris Kyle murder trial and for a second I thought it was part of the show.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:35 PM on February 24, 2015


All those ads for new NBC shows were parodies, right?
posted by drezdn at 8:40 PM on February 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was holding out for a Mark Brendanawicz cameo.
posted by Diskeater at 8:44 PM on February 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was holding out for a Mark Brendanawicz cameo.

It happened, but it was so boring that you already forgot about it.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:02 PM on February 24, 2015 [19 favorites]


Only sad because no Mrs. Ron and son, John.

*eats farewell waffle with extra whipped cream*
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:03 PM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just realized that this is the last program (aside from the occasional SNL) that I'll be watching on NBC for the forseeable future, since the network has decided to pursue the daring blue-ocean strategy of MOAR REALITY SHOWS instead of fostering successor programs for Parks and the other departed/cancelled shows. At one point, my Hulu Plus queue was almost entirely NBC comedies. As always, the American public's tastes are unfathomable.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:06 PM on February 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


Guys, Ann's here. :( *ladybros*
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:32 PM on February 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


SIX FEET UNDER ENDING STRUCTURE

CRYING
posted by The Whelk at 9:47 PM on February 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


I loved how at Garry's funeral they kept it deliberately ambiguous as to which one of them was President.

I don't think they specified that it was necessarily a President, either, although that was definitely the implication. There's part of me that would be happier if Leslie (or Ben) was Secretary General of the far-future UN instead.
posted by Copronymus at 9:50 PM on February 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


Is it bad of me that when the conflict of "Oh! one of them will run for Governor!" came up, I said it has to be Leslie cause moving from a federal office like Interior to Governor is a step up but Congressman to Governor is less so?
posted by The Whelk at 9:54 PM on February 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


At the rate Congress is going, by the time period the show is set in, Town Dogcatcher will be a step up from Congressman.

I'll take this moment to brief you all on the Town Dogcatcher as elected office situation, since it was inexplicably left out of Parks and Rec. As far as anybody seems to know, the town of Duxbury, Vermont is the only community in America that elects a dogcatcher. News from the most recent election, which sadly will never be used word-for-word in a Parks and Recreation script:
The town also elected Kym Andrews as treasurer and filled 12 other vacancies. Among them was dog catcher Zeb Towne, who was nominated almost unanimously for re-election, despite a “no” vote from his wife that cause laughter to erupt in the room.

“She’s mad about the late nights I have to go out on those calls,” Towne said.

“It’s because you’re out there rounding up them bitches,” Morse joked, causing a loud wave of laughter across the room.
posted by zachlipton at 10:27 PM on February 24, 2015 [23 favorites]


I'm so happy they included Jean-Ralphio's future. Would have like to know more about what Andy ended up doing in D.C. in addition to becoming what I imagine is one of the best fathers of all time.
posted by dogwalker at 11:06 PM on February 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


Kind of ironic that NBC ended up treating the show like the guy who wanted the swing fixed, what with burning it off two at a time then changing the timeslot of the finale for no reason. "Yeah, great."
posted by Small Dollar at 12:19 AM on February 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


Three pics found on reddit:
- The drunk stuck in the slide in the series premiere is the citizen who requests a swing repair in the series finale (Jon Daly).
- One of the Trick-or-Treaters was dressed as Star-Lord.
- The reunion show on Seth Meyers ended unexpectedly.
posted by Gary at 12:45 AM on February 25, 2015 [18 favorites]


"Find your team and get to work." -Governor Leslie Knope

For whatever reason, I think if Biden becomes president (and they never really said either way in the episode), then we have a President Knope. If he never does, then she's Vice President Knope. It's also possible that both Ben and Leslie get to be President.

My guess is that Andy found a way to keep doing Johnny Karate.

Touching tribute at the end for the late Harris Wittels.
posted by inturnaround at 3:23 AM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is it safe to assume that Garry's wife is whatever Kenneth from 30 Rock is?
posted by drezdn at 4:54 AM on February 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


Ben Wyatt Fan Fiction
posted by drezdn at 5:06 AM on February 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Would have like to know more about what Andy ended up doing in D.C. in addition to becoming what I imagine is one of the best fathers of all time.

I think it says something about the show that even if we only know that he's a father now, it's still a pretty damn good outcome for Andy, and no one questions it. Ron is clearly proudest of Andy (who he obviously sees as the most Ron-esque of the men on the show) when he meets Jack, and no mention is made of a job or any other traditionally male trappings of success.
posted by Etrigan at 5:29 AM on February 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm so happy they included Jean-Ralphio's future.

This episode was a fine coda, but (for obvious and good reasons) it wasn't hugely funny (at least to me). The exception is Jean-Ralphio's future. That was AMAZING. I want to listen to him say Tajikistan all day.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:45 AM on February 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


On second watch (and with a little help from an AV Club commenter) there's a little hint at what happens to Jean Ralphio later in life in one of the other flash forwards.
posted by drezdn at 6:29 AM on February 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Good send off. Traded heart felt emotion for comedy. I was completely fine with that.
posted by Atreides at 7:15 AM on February 25, 2015


Posted by me last night:
I just realized that this is the last program (aside from the occasional SNL) that I'll be watching on NBC for the forseeable future

Never mind, I forgot about Hannibal, whenever it is that they'll get around to running it during the summer. So that's one besides SNL, at least. Other than that, nuthin'.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:34 AM on February 25, 2015


This episode was good but I felt like it, along with the rest of the season, was ultimately unnecessary. I think the show was at its best when it did small victories over small battles instead of “everyone is rich and/or famous beyond their wildest dreams and also Leslie / Ben is president probably”.

I think the last season finale fit the show better as a series finale. We caught a glimpse at the future and could infer that the characters that we knew and loved were going to be just fine but we didn’t exactly know what that meant. And that’s ok! It was bittersweet but the show itself was bittersweet so it fit.

I don’t know. I’m torn. I didn’t hate the finale but I’m not feeling the love that the rest of the Internet is feeling towards it either. I liked the few things left to our imagination (the weird security detail for Leslie / Ben, not really knowing what Andy is doing in DC, etc) more than the overshare of what exactly happened (Ann is moving back to Pawnee for Reasons and also one of her kids is named Leslie!). Ron’s future story was probably my favorite as it fit him so well. I also loved that he was “Paddling His Own Canoe”.
posted by Diskeater at 8:38 AM on February 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


I only saw the last ten minutes of it while airing due to work. I was then awake at 3 a.m. waiting for Hulu to post it. Ridiculous.

Anyway, it was awesome. Love the "hey, maybe one of them is president, or VP, or something." Maybe one of them is prez and the other is veep? Oooh.

Yeah, the only thing missing to me was wondering if Andy ever did kids' television again. Looks like the people making the show liked keeping it all ambiguous though.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:50 AM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


No TV show has ever made me cry so many tears of sheer joy. The last season kicked so much ass.

I'm not ready for this show to be over.
posted by futureisunwritten at 9:16 AM on February 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think they hint that Andy might still perform for kids as he was playing for everyone's children when Ben announced Leslie's candidacy for governor.
posted by drezdn at 9:18 AM on February 25, 2015


Jean-Ralphio was great but I wish we had seen Orin.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:27 AM on February 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Who do you think is in the casket for Jean Ralphio's fake funeral?
posted by The Whelk at 11:28 AM on February 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


Mayor Gunderson.
posted by Atreides at 11:41 AM on February 25, 2015


Where was Perd Hapley?

WHERE WAS PERD HAPLEY???????

posted by St. Hubbins at 1:07 PM on February 25, 2015


I assume Leslie nominated him Chief Justice of the Perdples Court.
posted by Gary at 1:25 PM on February 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


posted by Gary 1 minute ago [+]

Eponysterical.
posted by St. Hubbins at 1:27 PM on February 25, 2015


no mention is made of a job or any other traditionally male trappings of success.

He implies that he is going to do a new Johnny Karate style show, including his new character Sgt. Thunderfist, MD. At least that's what I took.
posted by jeather at 2:21 PM on February 25, 2015


Perd was reporting on the scene at (iirc) Garry's successful write-in campaign.
posted by drezdn at 2:32 PM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I had been lukewarm on the last few episodes so wasn't expecting much out of the finale. I was wrong. SO MUCH EMOTION.

Was so so so happy to see Gary have an amazing and happy life.
posted by liquorice at 3:29 PM on February 25, 2015


I loved it, but I honestly would also have accepted just an hour of Ann and Leslie hugging, because that just made me happier than anything. I missed Ann and Chris so much, I was LITERALLY bouncing up and down to see them back. Also, we got the amazing:

"Aren't you worried about getting cancer?" "Well, now I am!"

I love Garry's charmed life (well, randomly charmed about only the most important things). It makes a certain amount of sense that the town would go from Gunderson to him forever. He's a Leap Day baby, though, so I guess he really only lived to 25 (or did he live to 400? Yes, I know what year it said it was).

Ron as Typhoon's best man, and ending up a government employee once more, but in the perfect job, and him actually coming to Leslie for guidance...I assume we can add this to the list of Things It's Okay To Cry At. He told the rangers he didn't want any new friends; I assume he meant work proximity associates.

Could have had more waffles, on the balance, but at least we had charades with Joe Biden.

Leslie cursing at having a library named after her was the perfect note of salt on the dessert.

I love this show and its giant heart so much. I'm not really ready to say goodbye; I'll miss it in the saddest fashion. It had a really, really good run, though. Knope out!
posted by ilana at 3:49 PM on February 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


On second watch (and with a little help from an AV Club commenter) there's a little hint at what happens to Jean Ralphio later in life in one of the other flash forwards.

What was the hint?
posted by warble at 4:38 PM on February 25, 2015


This is the hint.
posted by Gary at 4:40 PM on February 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


Something I've seen nobody mention is that according to the ticker in the background when Garry is being sworn in for the 10th time, Bill Belichek is denying that some of the Patriots players are aliens.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:30 PM on February 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


I loved this show. I love it.

I love the characters. I love spending time with them. I love how they are earnest and good, and I love that they are all true friends. I love that this is a show where it is a good thing to care.

I love just how natural it was for Ben and Leslie to discuss who should run for governor with no jealousy or malice, no threat to the deep bind between them. I love how we all knew that Leslie would get it, and we all knew that Ben would be the first to cheer her on, and that it still felt earned when he announced she was running. I love...

I love it all, and I'm goddamn going to miss it.
posted by meese at 7:32 PM on February 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


This is one of my favorite shows and I straight up cried! (Possibly cried multiple times.) There hasn't been another show that was sincere and touching plus being absolutely laugh-out-loud hilarious. I just love all the characters and you can tell that they all worked so well together. Just genuine funny writing.

And my favorite is Jean-Ralphio just as a non-main character. He had the best one-liners. Plus Ben Schwartz is just a joy in anything I've seen him in. For example he was my favorite guest on Never Not Funny's 2014 Pardcast-a-thon.
posted by Crystalinne at 7:32 PM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


This was my second-favorite show, right behind The Venture Brothers, and I'm going to miss it very badly. When Ann showed up and Leslie literally pushed Ben out of the way to get to her I teared up a bit.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:36 PM on February 25, 2015


Oh shit, the feds tweeted about it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:47 PM on February 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


Ok, I'll say it, anyone can see that the country is going to run out of beef. Prices are record high at auction, the polar (Poehler) vortex decimated a year of calves and the persistent drought in California is leading to the liquidation of entire herds. The national beef herd isn't expected to recover for twenty years.

This is all true, btw.
posted by stet at 9:06 PM on February 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


A point Mr. Pterodactyl made yesterday that I hadn't considered is that 5000 Candles in the Wind is literally 5000 times better than Candle in the Wind (no offense Sir Elton John but it is a really really good song).
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:44 AM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I failed to mention earlier, but they probably could have cut the episode short with the shot of Ron paddling off into the sunset. It was definitely my favorite "ending" of the endings.

And man. I'm sorry. I lost control of my emotions there.
posted by Atreides at 7:45 AM on February 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


The extended producers cut is now up on Hulu, but I haven't watched it all yet to see if it has the extra character flash forwards. But Jean-Ralphio's future was slightly extended. (It's probably also on the NBC website too.)
posted by dogwalker at 9:20 AM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I failed to mention earlier, but they probably could have cut the episode short with the shot of Ron paddling off into the sunset.

I wondered what could top that off. The finale reminded me once again how fun the expressions of the cast could be - Ron, Andy, Leslie, Tom.
posted by ersatz at 1:17 PM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I loved Leslie's Harry Potter in-joke dig at Garry's (correct) suggestion they get a requisition form near the beginning of the episode: "Five points for Hufflepuff." The writing on that show is just unmatched.
posted by something something at 2:44 PM on February 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


He implies that he is going to do a new Johnny Karate style show, including his new character Sgt. Thunderfist, MD.

I don't think it was implied that he was doing a new show at all, just that he had come up with a new character to sit alongside the others. I have no doubt that IF he did have another show that Sgt. Thunderfist, MD. would get featured on it just like Macklin does but I don't think new character=new show.
posted by VTX at 3:00 PM on February 26, 2015


Watching the producer's cut on Hulu. So far there's a few changes in how scenes transition. The biggest additions I've noticed so far were a bit where Andy attempts to get Jack's birthdate moved up to Halloween and a flash-forward that shows what happens to Shauna Malwae-Tweep.
posted by drezdn at 4:56 PM on February 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Watching the producer's cut now, too.

I felt kind of uncomfortable with how they handled the whole April/pregnancy thing, but I'm probably just projecting. At least they didn't make everyone wind up married with kids.
posted by wintersweet at 8:47 PM on February 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


The April pregnancy thing was uncomfortable. We have Andy really wanting kids and insisting to April they needed kids, but April says no. April talks to Leslie and Leslie kind of ignores April's personal wishes and talks more about the team or the unit and April at the time still seems unconvinced....and then voila, April is in the delivery room. I suppose we're suppose to realize that April totally got on board with it in the manner she had planned out the delivery, such as wearing the make up, but...it really seemed almost as if she entered into the pregnancy with large doubts.
posted by Atreides at 7:00 AM on February 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


the ninth highest-selling multiplayer figurine-based strategy fantasy sequel game in history

Serious question: Can we think of eight other multiplayer figurine-based strategy fantasy sequel boardgames? Warhammer 40K is probably the bestseller, yeah? What others.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:58 AM on February 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


*pushes glasses up nose* I don't think Warhammer 40k counts; it is a wargame, which is different.

There are a ton of multiplayer figurine-using strategy fantasy boardgames right now. How many have sequels and how many are actually figurine-based, I don't know, because these games are Not My Jam. I basically just go in to the game store and shy away in horror from them and their price tags, while simultaneously being lured in by their elaborate box art. But I feel like someone on BoardgameGeek must be addressing this question as we speak.
posted by wintersweet at 4:28 PM on February 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


It was sweet and sappy in all the best ways, and I can't think of many other shows that earned a sweet and sappy finale in the way Parks did (and Greg Daniels was a common factor in two of those). It's super hard to pull off a hopeful, optimistic show and have it feel natural, and I'm really going to miss having something like that because it's just so different. It had less cynicism than Chris Traeger had body fat, and the cynicism that was there was almost always an obstacle for the characters to overcome with unrelenting earnestness and love and friendship, which would feel forced and awkward or just incredibly saccharine in 9/10 attempts at that kind of story. I used to be in the camp that thought it was a flaw in the show that nothing bad enough to stick would seemingly ever happen to the characters, like it was just the story of wish fulfillment for the main characters, but nah... they totally earned it.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:11 PM on February 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


I liked the April pregnancy talk. I disagree that Andy was insisting they had to have kids, just making it clear that it was something he really wanted and would be disappointed if it didn't happen which I think is not unreasonable or an uncommon viewpoint.

I'm currently in a similar position to April - no kids yet but thinking it over and friends having kids left right and centre, though thankfully my husband is not a manchild and mostly on the same page as me. I liked the dismissal of the classic "kids change your life but you love them so you won't regret it" reasoning, which to me feels both too abstract and also not necessarily true (I'm thinking here of those surveys that say non-parents are empirically happier overall). I liked that Leslie made it clear that she didn't think April should or shouldn't have kids but gave a different viewpoint on why she might think about it, I liked the thinking about a family as a team and how that tied into the wider theme of the episode about finding your team and working together.

This & The (US) Office are both shows that I came to late in the game (within the last year for both) and both finales had me weeping not just because of the storylines but because I was so sad that the stories were stopping and that the characters were going separate ways. I was oddly reassured to find the table read for the last episode of The Office and see how much the cast clearly felt the same way.
posted by *becca* at 3:03 AM on March 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


A final interview with Alan Sepinwall: The producer's cut includes flash forwards for Jamm and Shauna Malwae-Tweep, and we saw glimpses of Brandi and Perd and a few others in the future. Did you ever talk about where other minor characters ended up, or had you realized by that point that the episode was going to be way too long even without an Orin or Marcia Langman flash-forward? Also, did you give any thought to who bought April and Andy's creepy house? I imagine someone from Gryzzl would love it.

Mike Schur: We had ideas for some others. We had a long Perd flash-forward where he just kept being Perd, in exactly the same way, for like a hundred more years. We had an Ethel Beavers flash-forward, and one for Dexhart...a lot of ideas. But in 43 minutes, you just have to give the time to the main cast. It would've been absurd to learn less about Ben Wyatt's future in order to make room for Ethel Beavers.

There is a whole complicated living situation for Andy/April and Ben/Leslie that we worked out, mostly for internal use. The idea was that Andy and April bought that house for like a dollar, and thus got to keep it when they moved, maybe renting it out to Orin or something. Then the Gryzzl development turned their whole neighborhood into a very desirable location, and the value of their property skyrocketed. So they get to keep the house, even while renting a place in D.C. I also imagine that Keg Jeggings (Werner Herzog) eventually came back from Orlando and moved back in, and that Andy and April were fine with it.
posted by rewil at 10:56 AM on March 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


We were right, Perd is one of the immortals.
posted by The Whelk at 11:24 AM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


We all mourn in our own ways
posted by The Whelk at 7:36 PM on March 4, 2015


Sorry, I'm a little behind here - I just now got caught up and finished the series. I would have to rate this finale as:

99% fantastic
1% no Nygard?
posted by komara at 9:41 AM on April 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


(I mean because really, if there's anything in this show about which I've been really terribly curious ...)
posted by komara at 9:41 AM on April 6, 2015


I finally got around to watching the finale!

jenfullmoon: Looks like the people making the show liked keeping it all ambiguous though.

Fixed link.

Also, here's a link to the FBI farewell tweet to Macklin.
posted by Pronoiac at 8:23 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I'm a little behind here - I just now got caught up and finished the series. I would have to rate this finale as:

99% fantastic
1% no Nygard?


Right up until somebody else referenced him, I favored the idea that Dr. Richard Nygard was Chris Traeger talking to himself in a mirror.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:50 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


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