Parks and Recreation S7 E9, “Pie-Mary”

After a few weeks of being only a fraction as busy as Leslie Knope and having trouble keeping up, I have so much more appreciation for the woman. And so many more tears about the quickly approaching end of Parks and Rec. Who’s going to be there for me in times when I need to destress and laugh? Anyway, I’ll keep you from waiting any longer than I already have, and present you with a recap of a slightly-longer-than-usual episode.  Yes, once again, Hulu has gifted us with six extra minutes of content in the Producer’s Cut episode of “Pie-Mary.”

Ben is officially in candidate mode, which mean press conferences, meetings with Jen, and public scrutiny. He’s not the one that Jen’s worried about, though: it’s Leslie. She knows what’s going on and has experience as a candidate. She’s not willing to sit idly by and be a picture-perfect wife, and that is the problem, according to Jen.

Parks and RecreationDespite Ben’s best attempts to stay on topic and talk about the issues, the reporters at his Gryzzl photo op can only focus on one thing: Leslie’s refusal to participate in the Pie-Mary. The Pie-Mary is a southern Indiana tradition where candidates’ wives compete in a pie baking competition. Leslie chose not to participate due to time constraints and, more importantly, her strong feminist ideology.

The media quickly twists everything that Leslie says and does, as usual. One interviewer states that Leslie’s refusal to enter the Pie-Mary means that she believes that women who love their families are stupid. Leslie decides to cave to the pressure for the sake of Ben’s campaign and enters the Pie-Mary.

Until a woman from the Indiana Organization of Women arrives. She had been impressed that Leslie had tried to stand up to the old sexist tradition of the Pie-Mary, but upon hearing that Leslie was going to participate, she has come to issue a warning: they will protest Leslie if she participates, and the media will do so if Leslie doesn’t.

Parks and RecreationIt seems like she’s stuck between a rock and a hard place, until Ben comes up with the perfect idea to turn the Pie-Mary on its head. He’ll be the one entering the contest. And he’ll be baking a calzone pie. The plan works to get the IOW off Leslie’s back, but still incites protests from the Male Men, Pawnee’s Men’s Rights Activist group. They come marching up to the Pie-Mary stage with signs announcing “He for He,” “We can do it too!” and “Don’t Mess with History!” among others.

This provokes a long series of questions about Leslie Knope, led by Joan Callamezzo, Marcia and Marshall Langman, and a member of Women Against Feminism. They, as usual, attack Leslie, this time saying that her feminism is attacking their values. Luckily, Brandi Maxxxx comes to Leslie’s defense, and once again proves that they are basically the same person. This is a tight spot to put the entire campaign in, and unfortunately the best solution is to just ignore that they’re right and swallow their pride.

Leslie and Ben set out to do just that, but only moments into Ben’s speech, he decides to throw caution to the wind and let Leslie say her part, consequences be damned. The speech that Leslie and Ben deliver is perhaps the number one most inspiring and most feminist moment on the show, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. They pointed out the flaws in the way that everyone thinks, how misogyny has become institutionalized, and they sounded smart and awesome in the process. The IOW even agreed with everything that Leslie and Ben did, and so they decide to award Woman of the Year to… Ben.

Parks and RecreationYep. Once again, Leslie lost out on Woman of the Year to a man that she works closely with and respects deeply.

As the new director of the Parks Department, Craig organized the Pawnee Harvest Festival and Bicentennial fair. The highlight? A scavenger hunt. If you recall Ben and Leslie’s first Valentine’s day as a couple, Leslie created a scavenger hunt for Ben, which Ron gleefully took part in. Though many things have changed, that hasn’t. Ron still squeals in delight at the thought of a scavenger hunt, and Craig is determined to deliver, and creates what he believes is an unbeatable challenge. Ron solves it in a matter of seconds.

Now that April has finally settled on a job she wants to do, she is going to Ron for his approval as well. The two have always had a strong and unique bond, so it’s heartwarming to see that continue. Since she’s getting out of government, there’s no way he can’t approve of it, but the job does mean that April and Andy will have to move to Washington.

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