[SPOILER ALERT: Do not read this story until you’ve watched tonight’s episode of Parks and Recreation, “Flu Season 2.”]
Leslie Knope has done it all — get Pawnee’s parks in ship shape, get a job on the City Council, get recalled, get two hours of waffles, and get married. Perhaps the only thing she hasn’t done is get pregnant. But that all changed Thursday night with “Flu Season 2,” a rather delightful episode of Parks and Recreation that revealed early on that Leslie was vomiting not from a virus, but because she is with child — and ended with her breaking the big news to Ben. This twist comes at an unexpected if inconvenient time, as she is weighing whether to accept a job in Chicago with the National Parks Service. And if that weren’t enough, she is also trying to pull off the Unity Concert, which was having some booking problems: Chipp McCapp (Bo Burnham!), you are a bad man and a bad son; Scott Tanner (Jeff Tweedy!!), won’t you save the day and reunite Land Ho? Watch as Leslie tells Ben her big news below:
Leslie’s pregnancy revelation, which hit notes both funny (Andy didn’t quite grasp the situation, thinking that she and Ben were adding a canine to their brood) and sweet (after a poignant conversation with Ron, Ben realized that he wanted to start a family and informed Leslie of this, only to have her inform him that he would be getting his wish) was prototypical Parks, packing a heap of heart into its humor. Sure, the timing of Ben’s realization and Leslie’s revelation was TV-tidy, yet it worked because the show knows how to uncork big moments of emotion without being cloyingly sentimental. And this wrinkle adds dimension and complication to the already-tough decision that she will face down: Career or Pawnee? (Though Pawnee just edged out in front at least temporarily, given that I-want-my-child-to-have-the-same-experience-I-did-of-being-raised-in-a-small-town sentiment.)
The episode, which was directed by Nick Offerman, yielded other prime moments, including Andy being pleased/not pleased with the harmonies provided by Tanner (Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy), and April and Craig showing off their wine knowledge (or, in April’s case, lack thereof) in the shadow of rising sommelier Xander, who would’ve cleaned up in old Eagleton. Also of note: The return of Ron “You know this hobo?” Dunn and a pregnancy test named Womb There It Is!
Raise a glass of blueberry wine (you know, if you drink alcohol from that portion of the color spectrum) and vote in our pregnancy poll. And tell us below how you feel about the upcoming addition to the Knope-Wyatt family.
To read what executive producer Michael Schur had to say about the pregnancy twist, click here. And to see a 27-minute, extended version of the episode, which includes slam poetry by Perd Hapley, click here.