Parks & Rec say goodbye to Ann & Chris in a funny, sweet and perfectly handled send off for the two.
Ann and Chris have caught some flack from time to time as of late and the show felt like it was really spinning its wheels this season with the two. Thankfully, the moment of goodbye they were waiting to get to worked wonderfully and I imagine even the couple’s biggest detractors had a hard time not getting a bit emotional.
The episode centered around a giant 30 piece party celebrating every event Leslie and Ann will miss over the next year is a very Knopeian idea and I wish we got to see a bit more of the party; and Ron eating everything at it. Still, the lack of meandering around the party was in sacrifice of a sharp and focused episode centered around the guys and the girls saying goodbye to their respective friends. And everyone gets a goodbye. The funniest beat of the night, actually, is Ron’s goodbye to Ann that brings her to tears. She finally got the connection she was always looking for with him.
The boys are stuck feeling guilty about their goodbye gift to Chris, his gifts to all of them blowing their group gift card for three pans out of the water. This plot line doesn’t really get anywhere, they reciprocate a custom made Swanson buddy box for Chris’ soon to be son, but getting all the guys together has always worked really well for the show and this week was no different. Everyone gets a great moment and the show, smartly, doesn’t try to give anyone anything new or crazy to try and do. Andy is Andy, Jerry is Jerry and I was excited we got one last geek out from Ben over his auditing skills. The best left field moment of the night from the guys was Tom’s “I wish you guys were Donna” line, which works so well because they have so skillfully folded her into a bigger road.
The girls on the other hand, are trying to get Leslie’s secret groundbreaking ceremony off without a hitch, but another city official doesn’t appreciate Leslie going behind her back. The favor for a favor bit worked wonderfully as a nice final tour for Ann with some old, familiar faces, and all three worked great. The randomness of the dunking high school basketball star was my favorite of the stops, but I will never turn down more time with Perd. If anything felt inauthentic in the episode, it was the bit out of left field reveal that April actually really likes Ann, but then again, it was handled well enough that both of the actresses were able to pull it off.
The final goodbyes were all appropriately sweet, sad and funny all around, it was a fitting goodbye for Chris and Ann. Their departure shouldn’t rock Parks & Rec by any means, in fact, it might free it up. That isn’t to say we won’t miss Chris’ literallys or Leslie obsessing over Ann and their friendship, but it felt like it was time for the two to go and they couldn’t have really done it any better.
-"Fun pun alert."
-"This is just a bunch of bras and knives."
-Orin! And he’s waving!
-"Catch up, Larry."
-"I didn't plan what we were all going to say."
-"Alf from Family Guy, right?"
-"Keep your tears in your eyes where they belong."
-"And I still think that."