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Parks and Recreation – Lil’ Sebastian

While Part 1 of the finale saw massive albeit temporary changes to the Parks Department, “Lil' Sebastian” saw some major changes to the show itself, and it looked like these could have a lasting impact on the series. There were so many funny moments it's hard to list them all and the writers seemed to squeeze in callbacks to just about every fond memory fans have of the series into a single episode. As we said goodbye to Parks and Recreation for a few months, Pawnee was saying goodbye to their beloved mini horse, and as would be expected, a horse's funeral turned out to be extremely comical.

They knocked it out of the park again for the cold open, in which Tom is giving Jean-Ralphio some investment advice for his newfound fortune. The only thing funnier than Tom's ideas was Jean-Ralphio explaining that he earned his wealth the old fashioned way, meaning he was hit by a Lexus (“Do you wanna get run over? Because I know a guy.”). Jean-Ralphio may be the world's most likeable douche bag (next to Tom of course), so it was nice to see him get heavily featured in this episode. He and Tom are always great together so when they settled on creating a high-end, multimedia production company, there was no doubt that plenty of comedic moments would ensue.

The news of Lil' Sebastian's passing hitting Ron the hardest was one of the best moments of the episode. It's hard not to agree that half-mast is just too high for the flag to be flying to properly honor a dead horse. The office's moment of silence being interrupted by the janitor and his radio playing Shania Twain, was the biggest laugh the show has garnered since “The Fight,” but even it would be topped before long. As all of Pawnee mourns their tragic loss, Leslie and Ben are still trying to keep their relationship under wraps and are doing an even worse job of it than they did in the last episode. Their early screw-ups included Leslie giving Jerry a memo meant for Ben and Ben accidentally “butt-dialing” Ron leading to him overhearing Leslie demonstrating the kissing techniques of a few famous female political leaders. As funny as that was, the best piece of comedy comes from the pair role-playing as Ben Franklin and Margaret Thatcher. They're so ridiculously funny together that it's almost too much to stand and Ron's deadpan reaction to their sex games only made it worse. Though things took a serious turn when Leslie is approached by a group interested in her running for office. Leslie accepting their offer but lying to them about having any secrets could mean another shakeup in her relationship with Ben, not to mention major changes in the series. Hopefully it won't mean we are deprived of seeing more hilarious scenes like the ones they shared in this episode.

Another plus was Ann having more screen time in this episode, especially after barely being present at all in Part 1. She consoles Chris after he receives the devastating news that he has tendonitis devastating to Chris anyway. Chris got a few laughs mainly for his reactions during the memorial, and while Ann only really served as his comic foil, their storyline still added to the enjoyment of the episode. Potentially setting up a fix for two problems this season has had, their final moment together was both sweet and well-written. Ann reconnecting with Chris might not only give her character some development, but also by convincing Chris he shouldn't worry so much about his health, it might allow him to expand past what has thus far been a very one-note character. His unceasing exuberance and obsession with health are still funny, but it's dangerously close to becoming played out. So hopefully his conversation with Ann will lead to Chris becoming a little more even keeled, and capable of scoring laughs for more than just his bizarre personality. Whether the two rekindle their romantic relationship or not, just having another friend in City Hall should give Ann a little more to do, and thus return some focus to her that she hasn't had in awhile.

The public memorial and reception were the funniest moments of the episode with jokes seemingly coming from every direction. Tom's video tribute and specifically the snobbish accent he used, were sidesplitting in their humor. And Jean-Ralphio killed it once again with his line to Donna before the video started: “Hope you brought a change of clothes, 'cause your eyes are about to piss tears.” That was followed by Andy and Mouse Rat performing their ballad to Lil' Sebastian, “5000 Candles In the Wind,” which might have been the band's best contribution to the season. Ron took the cake though, as he so often does, when a fireball consumes his face after Jerry uses lighter fluid instead of Propane for the eternal flame. The initial reveal of what was left of Ron's facial hair was so funny it was hard to concentrate on anything being said (thank God for DVR, huh?). Ron's ex, Tammy (played by his real-life wife, Megan Mullally), showing up had to be the third or fourth layer of icing on what had already been a tremendous episode. The cherry on top of all that icing was a little cliffhanger that left Ron's first ex-wife appropriately named Tammy 1 waiting inside his office as Tammy 2 flees in fright. Finding out what kind of woman can make Tammy quake in her boots should be a real treat next season, as will Ron having back that glorious 'stache.

The bookend scene gave us a peak into the offices of “Entertainment 7twenty.” Though their company seems destined to fail, mainly because Tom and Jean-Ralphio have no idea what they're doing, it's already created some hilarious moments (including the callback to the second season episode “Telethon” with the reveal that they had Detlef Schrempf on retainer) and its inevitable crash and burn will surely lead to more in the fourth season. The episode had many hilarious moments and a few touching ones as well, so it definitely left Parks and Recreation's fans feeling very sorry to see it go, but at the same time overjoyed that it went out on such a high note.



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