‘Parks And Recreation’ Finale: Where Do Leslie Knope And The Rest End Up?
Parks and Recreation‘s series finale aired on Tuesday with an hourlong special that showed where Leslie Knope and the rest of the Parks Department gang end up in 2017 and beyond.
Parks & Rec Finale
After Ben (Adam Scott) decides not to run for governor, Leslie ends up winning the gubernatorial election and getting elected to a second term. She and Ben are still close pals with April (Aubrey Plaza) and Andy (Chris Pratt). In other good news, Leslie’s best friend Ann (Rashida Jones) comes back to Indiana with her husband Chris (Rob Lowe) and their kids.
Pawnee National Park is now overseen by nature enthusiast Ron (Nick Offerman). Tom (Aziz Ansari) pens a bestseller about people prone to failure after once again failing to hold on to a fortune he’d amassed. Donna (Rhetta) goes into nonprofit work and Garry (Jim O’Heir) ends up serving 10 terms as Pawnee’s mayor.
All of the flash-forwards in the episode began with Leslie touching the character. According to showrunner Mike Schur, the device was Poehler’s idea. “[It was] Amy’s idea that we jump into the flash-forwards in a tangible way where Leslie is actually making physical contact with the people that we’re about to see their lives unfold,” Schur told The Hollywood Reporter.
At the end of the series finale, Leslie and Ben are attending Garry’s funeral when what looks to be a secret service agent tells the couple “it’s time to go.” Is Leslie now President Leslie Knope? Though Schur has an answer in his imagination, he wanted to leave at least that loose end untied for the audience, who can now decide on their own where the future takes the show’s central character.
“We were being so explicit in showing a lot of different actual things that happen to the actual people that there was room to a little ambiguity. So we manufactured that scene in such a way so that you don’t know — and we’re never going to say,” Schur told THR. I have my own theory about what it means but I would like to leave it up to people who are invested in those characters to make up their own minds.”
For additional character flash-forwards not included in the finale that aired Tuesday, be on the look out for a producer’s cut of the Parks and Recreation finale.