Pawnee, I love you and I like you


Nabila Pranto

Parks and Recreation season finale aired Tuesday, February 24. The biggest Parks and Rec fan, junior Melissa Hines looks at a cast photo and cries.

Anabel Prince, Features editor, Reporter

The time has come to say goodbye to our favorite Pawnee characters. Six years ago, TV introduced us to the world of Parks and Recreation, mesmerizing audiences everywhere. Whether a viewer since the 2009 premiere or recently began binging on Netflix, this farewell proved difficult for all fans. Going into the episode, I was undoubtedly aware of the crushing thought of my favorite TV show’s inevitable end. So I put on my bravest Leslie Knope face: “I’m ready.”

Most series finales often disappoint, either ending with or without a bang. Personally, I enjoy series finales that combine present and future, with an optional epilogue favored for closure. Major plot development must occur, but too many catastrophic events in one episode can overwhelm viewers. Considering this, I found Parks and Recreation’s season finale impeccable.

The episode explores each character’s near and distant future, jumping from 2017 to 2025 to the 2030’s, covering monumental events ranging from marriage, birth, and even a possible presidency. The nonlinear narrative works without confusing the audience, a rare occurrence for a sitcom. The episode rightfully ran at twice its normal length.

Allusions to earlier jokes and characters in the series served as my favorite part of the hour. Fan favorites like Chris Traeger, Ann Perkins, Perd Hapley, Jean-Ralphio, Mona-Lisa, and special guest star Joe Biden reappeared, causing nostalgic giddiness.

As for the characters’ conclusive fates, the episode does a nice job narrating all but one. The 46 minute run gave the most screen time to Leslie and Ben, rightfully so, but the least to Tom Haverford. We learned of his plans and how he ultimately ended up, but the story’s cloudiness ruins it entirely. Ultimately, he deserved a better ending and more screen time.

“We need to celebrate everything we’ve done as a group,” Leslie says in the episode. In the end, the finale does just that. Celebrating the past seven seasons added necessary closure after this year’s rapid season. I saw this hour as a gift, from the creators to the fans. I needed, and ultimately received, a final goodbye.

The Chant’s grade: A