Parks And Recreation: Are You Better Off?: Episode 22 Season 5  – TV Review

Tonight’s season finale of Parks and Recreation might very well be a series finale if NBC decides not to renew the excellent TV comedy. But surely that’s crazy talk, yes? And so we close the curtain on season five with the episode “Are You Better Off?”.

Check below for the full 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, Nick Kroll, Alison Becker, Mo Collins

Episode Title: “Are You Better Off?”

Leslie celebrates her first year as a city councilor. Meanwhile, Andy calls on retired Special Agent Burt Macklin for a special investigation.

The Good:

  • Donna: Of course she has a fab condo in Seattle! She likes the rain and the fish market!
  • Cold Open: This was a funny opener, highlighted by April’s ‘Walrus Mafia’ line, and Ron just being Ron.
  • Jerry: The man was on screen for maybe one minute, but his scene was one of the better moments in the episode.
  • Tom: His ‘do I sell, do I pass’ plot was the best of the three. Very funny were his scenes with the no-frills lawyer, Trevor Nelson (Marc Evan Jackson). That guy was great.
  • FBI: Andy’s return to the land of Bert Macklin scored some funny points. Also, his scenes with Ann were good.
  • Brandi Maxxxx: Was in Oscar winner “Argo”. That was funny. Also funny when she introduced herself at the meeting and all the guys said ‘hi.’
  • Jason Schwartzman: Nice cameo. Very cool of the actor to pop in for about 30 seconds of screen time.
  • Best Line: The Lawyer, Trevor Nelson: “No, you deeply misunderstand.”

The Bad:

  • Recall: The Leslie Recall Vote plot didn’t provide many sparks, just set the stage for future story-lines should the show get renewed for a sixth season. Her press conference containing dance movie titles was funny, for the record.


Season five is now in the books. Judging by news and notes on various entertainment websites, the chances of “Parks and Recreation” returning for a sixth season are firmly in the ‘good’ column. But this is NBC we’re talking about. Who knows, maybe they have a new comedy in development about a group of monkeys who play cards once-a-week and discuss their crazy lives, and it so happens they need to bump “Parks…”.

“Parks” is not a ratings behemoth, but it’s a hit with critics and TV viewers who like awesomeness. “Are You Better Off?” served up a good (not great by any means) finale, and proved – as always – that the show still has plenty in the tank for another season or two of top-shelf TV comedy. If the question is: ‘Are you better off with another season of “Parks and Recreation”?’ The answer is a resounding yes!


Rating: 8/10

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

What did you think of tonight’s episode?