‘Parks and Recreation’ Recap (Season 4, Episode 22): “Win, Lose or Draw”
“Win, Lose or Draw” is the final episode of the fourth season of Parks and Recreation and possibly the final episode of the show forever. As I’m writing this recap I’m eagerly waiting for NBC to announce that they’ve renewed the show for a shortened fifth season, like they’ve done recently with 30 Rock and Community. Regardless, whether the show is renewed or not, “Win, Lose or Draw” is a fantastic episode to go out on.
For the fourth season of Parks and Rec the writers went all out, crafting an overall story arc, which dominated most of the season’s 22 episodes. This is a difficult task for any comedy, most of which rarely have any overall story arcs at all, but with this final episode Parks and Rec has somehow managed to pull it off and more, continuing to be as funny and touching as it always was. While I’m not sure if it’s as great as the third season (mainly because I prefer the shorter seasons and 16 is better than 22), I think it’s definitely on par with the second season, which is when the show started to become great. Good job, writers, and good luck on the season renewal.
So what actually happened in “Win, Lose or Draw”? Well, everyone votes and then waits for the result. Sounds boring, you may think but it’s not: Parks and Recreation somehow has a way of making the most mundane thing funny, something The Office clearly forgot a long time ago. Fortunately, Leslie doesn’t have to wait for the result for too long but when it comes, it destroys her: Bobby Newport has won by only 21 votes. Ben quickly leaps into action and demands a recount because the margin is so small and it turns out that it’s actually Leslie who won by 21 votes! She delivers an inspiring speech, a combination of Ben’s words and her improvisation and love for Pawnee, proving why she deserves to have won.
While all of this is happening, April and Andy are trying to recover the data she accidentally deleted and brainstorm possible places to move to after they’re fired (my favourite is Westeros). It turns out that Jerry always accidentally deletes data and Donna has prepared a back-up, which she uses to recover the data in seconds. I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before but I always knew Donna was the main reason the Parks Department was still functioning.
Last week Chris and Jen had a (or actually many, according to Chris) sexual encounter that has completely changed Chris’s personality: he’s no longer depressed but happy and probably a sex maniac. Before Jen runs back to Washington, she convinces Ben to go and work with her. Ben isn’t sure but Leslie supports him: he sacrificed something for her and now it’s her turn to do the same for him.
We still have Tom trying to win back Ann (which I admit is probably my least favourite part of the season: these two don’t really work together), which he does at the end because she’s really drunk and he wants the two to move in together. I guess we’ll see if this sticks if the show is picked up for a fifth season.
And what about Ron Swanson? Well, we get another great Ron moment where he lists a bunch of things about himself (he still gets his milk delivered by a horse) and even reveals to everyone that Jerry didn’t get to vote for Leslie, resulting in the perfect final scene for Parks and Recreation. If there’s one thing these people can get behind besides Leslie and Pawnee, then it’s their disdain for poor Jerry.
Considering this is the show’s 68th episode, Parks and Recreation is still going strong. I have no idea how its ratings are but it loves fan base and the fact that it’s consistently well-written and acted means it deserves to be renewed. Don’t let me down now, NBC. I will destroy you if I have to.
Image credit: NBC
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