Early Leslie Knope was not always pleasant. She was sometimes selfish, a little narrow-minded, and always allowed her passion to cloud her judgment. Her semi-temper tantrum after Ann revealed her plans to relocate in “Doppelgangers” definitely hearkened back to that. This is not to say I don’t love Leslie because believe me, I DO LOVE LESLIE. But girl needs to think before reacts sometimes. Ann, smartly, tried to absorb the shock with waffles and a shirtless photo of Joe Biden before she confessed, but Leslie saw right through it and stalked off on a loyalty tangent. She’s actually kind of intolerable for much of the episode, trying to force everybody to sign legally-binding friendship contracts after other Pawnee employees hinted at leaving because “No one around here understands loyalty.” After (another) enlightening conversation with Ron, though, she realizes her mistake and tells Ann she’s ready to talk.
Leslie Knope would sooner give up waffles at JJ’s before making peace with Eagleton, Pawnee’s wealthy, Michael Buble-listening archrival, but in “The Pawnee-Eagleton Tip Off Classic,” that’s exactly what happened. Let’s go by character to see how we got there.
Leslie, Ben, and Chris
Leslie is one of the most lovable characters on television. She’s kind and tactical and loving; when it comes to her nemeses in Eagleton, though, she tends to throw all of that out the window. The episode opened with a press conference led by Leslie and Ingrid de Forest (Kristen Bell), her Eagleton counterpart. Deep in the trenches of the recall election, Leslie tries to win over her fellow Pawneeans in the only way she can: by cracking jokes at Eagleton’s expense.
Meanwhile, the dream team is back. Ben and Chris’ superiors over in Indianapolis enlisted the pair to help solve a budget crisis in Eagleton. AUDITING BROS! Leslie, who can’t pass up an opportunity to see Eagleton’s demise, tags along. The town is going bankrupt and Leslie likely hasn’t felt this much joy since meeting Joe Biden. She makes a great, predictable Good Will Hunting joke, and Ben seems to already be regretting his decision to let her join.
After what felt like forever, season six of television’s happiest show (okay, maybe I’m biased) finally premiered tonight. We’ve known for awhile that the Pawnee gang was heading across the pond – the “Parks and Recreation” cast did a substantial amount of filming in London – but the exact reason for the trip wasn’t clear. We found out in the aptly titled “London,” but not before the Swanson-Lewis-warrior princess baby was addressed.
The episode picked up right where season five ended: the pregnancy test mystery was solved. Ron took it a step further and proposed to Diane right there in his office, and since they’re already in the municipal building, they might as well just head up to the fourth floor and get it done today. Leslie was so excited, she could barely speak. I feel like her inner monologue was very similar to mine: “OMGRONSWANSONISGONNABEADADDY. OMGRONSWANSONISGETTINGMARRIED.” Ron and the the future Mrs. Swanson just want to sign the papers and get out. Leslie can’t help herself and assembles a bouquet made of highlighters while throwing paper disguised as rice in the air in typical, glorious Leslie fashion.