30 Day Parks and Recreation Challenge, Day 14: Favorite Episode

There is so much I love about Season Six’s finale, “Moving Up,” that it’s actually harder to list them all than it was to pick it as my favorite episode. I’m actually sitting here on my bed and can (channeling my inner Chris Traeger) literally come up with no words to explain why it’s my favorite. From the Michelle Obama cameo to all of the Unity Concert bands – hi, there, Wilco! – I just … it’s so amazing that it almost has me forget that Ann and Chris aren’t there*.

I halfway just want to tell you to go watch it yourselves, but that would mean I would be done with today’s challenge. And I obviously can’t do that, so … here goes.

I’m not going to do a recap because, well, this is a two-part episode, and if you really wanna know what happens, just click on over to Wikipedia.

This really could have served as the finale of the series in my opinion, but then we wouldn’t have gotten to see Ron shoot down a Gryzzl drone or Garry become mayor of Pawnee/reach the age of 100. It has the same hopeful feel of the series finale, but without the finality to it, I suppose. But anyway, about what I loved.

The story surrounding Tom’s Bistro is probably my favorite part of the episode. Craig is, naturally, awesome – that should just go without saying, but I want to have it noted at every possible point – and Ron’s chair-making (and chair-breaking) was pure classic** Ron.

April was somehow simultaneously invested and disinterested in the bistro, but that’s something Audrey Plaza does so well, and Donna forcing Ginuwine to come to the opening by threatening to bring the Quackson Five to light was glorious. But the crowning glory goes to Tom. He came such a long way since the first episode of Parks and Rec: he’s a successful businessman with an endless supply of future projects and the connections to make them come to life. He’s still incredibly glamour-obsessed and always will be, but he has a resilience and resourcefulness that rivals Leslie’s. I was just so happy to see him doing something that matters to him.

Oh, and the whole Cones of Dunshire*** thing? I loved they brought that back, and in such an unexpected way. Being a board game lover****, I really appreciate the level of dedication the show runners had to making the game impossibly convoluted, and I loved seeing those Gryzzl jerks have their asses handed to them by my main man, Ben. God, how I hate Gryzzl. Like, that was the point, obviously, and their presence did manage to bring an entire season’s worth of stories. And sure, they did end up revitalizing Raccoon Shanty Town, but ugh.

Leslie’s story is the main one of the show, and I could definitely feel how conflicted she was. On the one hand, she really needs to branch out, to dream bigger as Jennifer Barkley said, but letting go of her town when it’s in need is just enough to hold her back. In true Leslie form, though, she figures out how she can have both things: just move the office of national parks to Pawnee! To be faaaiiirrrr, this seems pretty much impossible to do, but hey, we’re watching fiction here.

But my absolute favorite part of “Moving Up” has to be the final performance at the Unity Concert, where everyone in the town unites to sing, “Bye, Bye, L’il Sebastian.” It’s just so damn pure. I cry every single time, especially when Ron brings out Duke Silver on the stage to play a solo. And Andy reunites with Mouse Rat (thanks, April!), which just brings me such joy.

I think that brings today’s challenge to a close, you guys. I worked a midnight shift, and according to my clock, I’ve been awake for almost twenty-four hours. So I bid you adieu as I pass out!

Art Credit: Reppiced, Pinterest

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