A ratings darling it’s not, but Parks and Recreation is undoubtedly one of the best comedies on TV. That NBC hasn’t yet announced a season five is ridiculous. With “Win, Lose, or Draw” the show wraps up a genuinely awesome season 4 with the election results for city council. The finale doesn’t disappoint – with a conclusion that works nicely considering this could (gasp!) be the last episode ever. Should Parks and Recreation not get picked-up , there should be an immediate Senate committee investigation.

Check out our full review below…

The Players:

  • Director: Michael Schur
  • 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 Title: “Win, Lose, or Draw”

It’s election day in Pawnee, and Leslie and Bobby Newport are separated by a razor-thin margin. While everyone waits for the race to be called, they ponder their futures and new opportunities.

The Good:

  • Chris: The man is apparently a one-night bang machine, yet his sadness remains. His one, final “Ann Perkins” of the season was delivered with an extra jolt of energy.
  • Bobby: Just watching Paul Rudd goof around with the boom mike was a highlight. Still, can someone be this goofy?
  • Ben/Leslie: Annoying at times the both of them, the duo shared some genuinely terrific scenes together in the finale.
  • Jean-Ralphio: The scene-stealer returns! It was only a few seconds at the end, but easily one of the best parts of the show.
  • Ron: “Clear alcohol is for rich women on diets”. Just more Ron Swanson goodness throughout the episode. His chats with both Leslie and Ben were nicely played.
  • Ron’s List: Ron reciting stuff about his by-the-numbers life is a favorite scene – maybe the best scene.
  • Donna: Her, “Bring it in, boy” line to Andy has been replayed numerous times already. So great.
  • Leslie Wins: We actually get to see her lose first, so it was even more special as she delivered her victory speech.
  • Speech: To follow up on that… it was cool to see the point where Ben’s words end on Leslie’s victory speech, then Leslie wraps it all up from the heart.
  • Jerry: Ron telling everyone that Jerry forgot to vote is about as good a way to close out season four as there is.

The Bad (but not that bad):

  • Tom/Ann: I despise this coupling so much it hurts. It’s quirky and totally unexpected, but that’s not working to keep it from being a joke. Drunk Ann getting all drunk-cute with Tom at the end was awful to watch. And moving in together?! What!
  • Andy/April: The lost data story line was the weakest of the bunch. But Donna saves the day in the end. There’s way too much comedy still to come from April and Andy to not see the characters next season.

Overall:

It would be an absolute joke if Parks… is not handed a season five pick-up from NBC on a silver platter. The network has so many shows that suck, they should be hugging themselves and feeling lucky they have on their schedule a show as well-written and acted as Parks and Recreation. I know… the ratings blow.

And yet I did not find “Win, Lose or Draw” to be one of the best episodes of season 4. And that’s even with the appearance of Jean-Ralphio! But it’s still good! Another really good episode in an amazing, season-long run of really really good episodes. The level of awesomeness this show has achieved for the entirety of season four should be applauded.

The finale leaves us with some interesting story possibilities for a season five, but if the show is not picked-up, Michael Schur has written and directed a season finale that contains the broader sensibilities of a series finale.

So if this is the last episode, then it’s a damn good way to say goodbye.

Look, if the show never comes back, at least there is some resolution. We know Leslie is headed to City Council. Ben is off to Washington D.C., while Ron is more than happy to just being Ron. Andy is probably going to try and become a police officer, and everyone else will be fine and continue making fun of Jerry.

So it’s not as if fans would be left totally out to dry if a season five is nixed.

Still…. the show is too damn good not to return. At least for one more season. Don’t let us down, NBC.

 

Rating: 8/10

Parks and Recreation airs on NBC at 9:30 pm (ET/PT) on Thursday nights.

What did you think of last night’s episode?