It’s the end of the world on the latest installment of “Parks and Recreation.” A local Pawnee group predicts that the end is near, so what better time for our friends in Pawnee to reflect on their own lives. Leslie loses her cool over the thought of Ben with someone else and Tom and Jean-Ralphio decide to throw the party to end all parties. The cast is in fine form and the writing first class, which means the fourth season of “Parks and Recreation” continues its comedy assault — another week and another great episode.

Check below to read the review…

The Players:

  • Director: Dean Holland
  • Writers: Michael Schur
  • Cast: Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, Aziz Ansari, Jim O’Heir, Retta, Aubrey Plaza, Rob Lowe, and Chris Pratt

Episode: “End of the World”

A local Pawnee group predicts the end of days, causing chaos – and big laughs – in the Parks department. Leslie freaks out when another woman hits on Ben, April and Andy drive to the Grand Canyon, and Tom and Jean-Ralphio throw a super-duper party for the ages.

The Good:

  • Ron: Ron Swanson shows up to the end of the world event at the park and says, “Hail Zorp” to the group of nuts, or better known as the Reasonableists, preparing for the end of days. If Nick Offerman were to do nothing else for the entire episode that would have been fine because that was funny as hell! He did do more, like play flute, which was also awesome.
  • Live Strong: I am Chris Traeger’s #1 fan. Rob Lowe has me laughing every episode. His cadence is pitch perfect. Lowe must be bringing the writers danishes every morning because they are hooking him up with some fine moments. His conversation with Herb, leader of the Reasonableists, was funny.
  • The Party Scientist:  And so we reach the end of the road for Tom and Jean-Ralphio’s Entertainment 720. But not without one last party – the ‘party for the end of the world.’ Entertainment 720 went out with a definite bang because the writers, set designers and super sexy extras turned in one mega-bash to close the book on a debacle of a company. When you have a tiger, four VIP sections, NBA player Roy Hibbert passing out shrimp, a DJ and a marching band – that’s a killer party!
  • Kiss: Tom’s kiss from Lucy at the close of the Entertainment 720 party was well-played, and served as a nice pivot for Tom as he gets ready for the next adventure.
  • Road Trip: Andy’s run through his bucket list with April leading the way was enjoyable. Their impromptu trip to see the Grand Canyon delivered a strong payoff. Great line by Andy asking where all the presidents faces were. NBC has added onto April and Andy’s road trip by producing a 4-part web series called “Parks and Recreation: Road Trip.”

The Bad (but not that bad):

  • Leslie: My God does Leslie lose her marbles when she spots journalist Shauna Malwae-Tweep putting the moves on Ben. It’s clear she still has feelings for Ben, but with her decision to run for office, she has had to set romance aside. But that doesn’t mean she wants Ben to be happy! Oh no! We did get resolution between Ben and Leslie with a sweet moment in front of an old, rundown gas station that might have been owned by Mick Jagger (not really), but Leslie definitely made it hard to root for her, or even like her, as she spent some time losing her mind before coming to grips with reality.
  • Ann: She didn’t have much going on with the world coming to an end. I missed her.

Overall:

If last week’s “Meet ‘N’ Greet” episode represented the show’s first ever-so slight dip, “End of the World” lifts them right back up to where they belong – ‘where the eagles fly, on a mountain high.’

Sorry.

There was plenty of action across the board in the episode and everything worked perfectly. Not a perfect episode, but the blend of sweet and funny the show serves up so well was on full display, with a touch of zany thrown in. The Tom/Jean-Ralphio bash to drop the curtain on Entertainment 720 was pretty damn awesome – executed to perfection. Nothing felt weak in the episode as we switched from Leslie/Ben to April/Andy and over to Entertainment 720.

I do think it’s difficult for the writers to find a happy medium for Leslie and Ben, because of the feeling there, but perhaps tonight’s episode signaled a shift. Then again, they might end up together down the road. I, for one, enjoyed the return of Shauna Malwae-Tweep and hope she sticks around awhile.

Rating: 9/10

“Parks and Recreation” airs on NBC at 8:30 pm (ET/PT) on Thursday nights.

What did you think of last night’s episode?