Parks and Recreation, Moving Up, (6.21)- TV Recap

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Parks and Recreation, Season 6, Episode 21, “Moving Up”

April 24th, 2014, 8:30 PM, NBC

In the first half of the episode, Tom pushes up the opening of his restaurant to coincide with the unity concert, creating a comedy of errors and forcing him to manipulate his suppliers into helping him; he teams Donna and Craig up as wine tasters, ends up with menus artistically detailed with photos with the end result of Larry’s dog’s colonoscopy, wrangles a surly April and clumsy Larry as a waitress and bartender, and is forced to deal with Ron’s artistic temperament as he meticulously constructs chair after chair. Meanwhile, Ben, Andy and Leslie (not Chris, thank you promotional material) meet up at the National Parks conference in San Francisco; Ben tries to pitch Pawnee as a likely candidate for wifi service to a couple of hipster providers who are more interested in serving larger cities and fascinated by a bootlegged copy of his Cones of Dunshire; and Leslie finds herself courted by Grant for the Chicago offer, competing against high-paced parks department heads from other regions and finds herself hobnobbing with her idols. In the second half of the episode, Tom’s Bistros’ initial failure forces Tom to call Mona Lisa and Jean Ralphio Saperstein into service. But the man they bring to save the day just might be Tom’s biggest foe. Elsewhere, The Unity Concert (Featuring Johnny Karate, Duke Silver, Mousetrap, The Decemberists (as Land Ho), Letters to Cleo, Night Ranger and Ginuine) finally takes place; Ben gains control of his stake in the Cones of Dunshire game; Leslie tells her co-workers her decision – and she tries to convince several of them to accompany her on a new venture; April and Andy come to a momentous decision; and recently-minted family man Ron is tempted by the appearance of Tammy Two.

The biggest problem with “Moving Up” is that it poses more questions than it answers – a bold move for a show with uneven ratings heading into its seventh season.

What a funny, wild ride. We start in San Francisco, end up back in Pawnee, and have a handful of conflicting emotions showered upon us in the process. There’s a bit of heartrending drama, a lot of slapstick, and some good old fashioned advice dished out by the incomparable Ron Swanson. It’s almost too much to take in at first; one doesn’t expect to end up pushed and pulled by a fluffy show such as Parks.

First of all, this episode is clearly intended to be halved into two separate episodes, and the flash-forward that takes place between episodes serves to further discombobulate one. But in general, this episode is just plain adorable. We’ve been rooting for Leslie to reach for her dreams for so long that it’s great to see her find a form of success; Ron, Tom, and Andy, too. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Larry could catch a break, tho?

The musical acts are a treat for any twenty-to-thirty something who rocked out in their room to these songs – if you owned the Melrose Place OST, then you will love what you hear when you watch this episode . The entire production is a smooth, funny affair – but revealing too much about how it all turns out will spoil the experience of watching it.

The biggest problem with “Moving Up” is that it poses more questions than it answers – a bold move for a show with uneven ratings heading into its seventh season. But the ride is more than worth taking. Just brace yourself for those last ten minutes, trust in the power of Leslie Knope, and bask in that awesome final shot.

 
The Roundup

  • ”what happens at a national parks is compiled in a PDF and mailed to you in the morning!” – Leslie Knope, everybody
  • ”Somebody call me Kristen, ‘cause I’m wigging out right now!” Oh Craig.
  • Revealing at least one of the show’s guest stars would be spoiling things, but I’m sure we all agree that one of them is first in our hearts.
  • Most of this episode was filmed on location in San Francisco.
  • Ben’s The Cones of Dunshire was introduced earlier this season in the same-named episode.
  • Larry’s dog is named Lord Sheldon.
  • Ron started remodeling the third floor of the Parks’ Department Building in “Recall Vote”.
  • Ginuine is apparently Donna’s cousin. That’s one fun family.
  • Ben FINALLY gets to meet Letters to Cleo!
  • Ron tells Leslie she’d make an excellent coal miner. How sweet.
  • Ron’s infamous ex, Tammy Two, has reoccurred on the show since season three. She’s portrayed by Nick Offerman’s real-life wife, Megan Mullaly.
  • See you next season!
[notification type=star]GRADE: 90/100~AMAZING. Parks continues to be as bold and funny as its sparkling heroine. One can see how this might have been a series finale – It’s smooth without being perfect – and one more time: brace yourself for the last ten minutes – but no matter what the show tries to do, loose ends dangle tauntingly. See you this fall – if the show ends up on the schedule and not shunted to midseason.[/notification]
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About Author

Staff Television Critic: Lisa Fernandes, formerly of Firefox.org, has been watching television for all of her thirty-plus years, and critiquing it for the past seven. When she's not writing, she can be found in the wilds of the Northeastern United States.