Parks and Recreation S7 E4, “Leslie and Ron”

Okay, raise your hands if “Leslie and Ron” made you cry.

If you haven’t watched it yet, make sure to have your tissues at the ready.

Episode 4 of Parks and Rec‘s final season gave us more glimpses at the past few years, and it definitely answered most of the questions I had up to this point. Spoiler alert: we find out what Morningstar is. There was also a Billy Joel sing-along. All in all, this episode was perfectly tailored to me.

Parks and Recreation“Leslie and Ron” picks up where “William Henry Harrison” left off: Leslie and Ron are locked in the Parks offices until 8 in the morning when Craig shows up for work. Neither is pleased with the situation, but Ben and the rest of the former Parks crew has made sure that they can’t get out. They have no keys, phones, internet, or way out. A baby monitor is the only form of communication left with the outside world.

Ron attempts escape, but their friends were very thorough. There really is no way out other than the baby monitor. So Leslie suggests that they wait a few moments and then call Ben and explain that Ron accepted the blame. Naturally, Ron objects to that. And then Leslie decides to throw the baby monitor on the ground to cease that fight. It doesn’t make much sense, but that’s how Leslie works in the heat of the moment.

The two spend the rParks and Recreationest of the evening sitting around the office. Leslie paces and talks while Ron is whittling away at something. Typical, no? She tries her hardest to break Ron and get him to talk to her, but doesn’t succeed until she breaks out the Parks Department mixtape from the 2007 summer barbecue. Jerry’s choice, “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” is the track that Leslie selects – but she doesn’t know any of the words, so she just makes them up.

As someone who has devoted a large chunk of time to memorizing the words to “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” as well as other Billy Joel songs, I have to say that Amy Poehler’s performance of the incorrect lyrics was even more impressive than if she had gotten them right. I seriously need the Leslie Knope version of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” right away.

Leslie’s nonsensical lyrics finally break Ron, so he grants her three minutes of conversation, in which we get a glimpse of Leslie’s version of the past three years.

Leslie’s version:

Three years ago, she took the job at the National Parks Service. Soon after, she brings both April and Terry up to the third floor with her. Then Ron visits her, and one week later she discovers that he quit his job without telling her and has started his own business. Then Morningstar happens.

Yes, we’re finally learning what Morningstar is.

Parks and RecreationMorningstar is an apartment complex next to the highly successful Pawnee Commons park that Leslie made from the pit across the street from Ann’s house. In order to build the apartment complex, however, Ron’s company had to demolish all the homes on the block – including Ann’s. The house where Leslie’s best friend used to live, where she put on her wedding dress the night she got married, where April and Andy first met, was going to be destroyed, and she never got advance warning from Ron.

Back to the present, Leslie explains that Ron spent the years since Morningstar basically spitting on what she accomplished with him while they both worked at the Parks Department.

“That’s not the whole story,” Ron reveals, but their three minutes are up.

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