Parks and Recreation: Ms. Knope Goes to Washington (Season Premiere) Review

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Parks and Recreation began its fifth season with a great episode that showed us where everyone is at after last season’s radical finale.

Win, Lose, or Draw was my favorite episode of this show. It was ambitious and left the characters in a trillion different places. Ms. Knope Goes to Washington did a great job showing us how everyone is settling in at their new post. I would have liked to get some indication of where this season is heading, but since it had to cover so much, that flaw can be forgiven.

Obviously the main plot dealt with Leslie going to visit Ben in Washington. Andy tagged along to visit April, who is working with Ben. Seeing Leslie in her dream location (besides Pawnee of course) was great. The cameos of John McCain and other politicians were pitch perfect.

But the best scene of Leslie’s story tonight came once she returned to her home town. I loved how Andy was able to pick her up while she was down. It was even better to see her working as city councilor and trying to clean the river. Leslie is still her chipper, dedicated old self and I am happy to see her getting to tackle issues on a grander scale.

Meanwhile, Ron Swanson now faces most of the responsibility of the parks department. His character went a bit over the top tonight. It was hard to believe him freaking out on that crowd and even hosting that picnic at all. It was great to see Chris bring him right back down though. If this is a new dynamic the writers plan to explore then I am excited.

The smallest plot tonight tied up the loose end of Ann and Tom’s relationship. Easily the worst part of season four, I was happy to see this thing on its last leg. Then it was even better that Donna was okay with them not being together. Finally this can be put to bed.

Parks and Recreation has a lot to live up to from last season. Hopefully the season will get some direction soon and the show can continue its legendary run. Overall, I was quite pleased with this episode, even if it wasn’t their best. Grade: B


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