Parks and Recreation: “Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington” Season 7 Episode 8 Review

Photo Credit:http://www.nbc.com/parks-and-recreation/photos/sneak-peek-ms-ludgate-dwyer-goes-to-washington-and-pie-mary/2213906

As we transition to the end of this final season of Parks and Rec., it’s become clear which characters will and won’t play into the show’s endgame. This episode put the focus on just one to figure out her future.

A small, almost forgettable detail about “Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington” is that Leslie gets a promotion. It’s forgettable not because it’s unimportant, but because this episode almost entirely dealt with April, whose been struggling all season to figure out what she wants to do. The side-characters of Parks and Rec. have received pretty solid treatment in the final season thus far. Donna got married. Tom is back together with Lucy. Ron is supporting his friends again. Ben is running for Congress. Garry is finally being called his actual name. April is one of the few remaining characters that has a story to tell, which is why this episode worked. It wasn’t the funniest entry of the season, but it was effective and putting all the characters in the same mindset, find April the job of her dreams, and focusing on that alone.

Leslie and April’s trip to Washington was a lot of fun, including some great cameos from politicians and such. It was great to see Leslie not just admiring them, but working among them. April, meanwhile, has to tell her mentor that she wants to quit. Of course, when she finally does, Leslie characteristically freaks out. But it’s not long before she gets the sense knocked into her and she goes to help April find what she wants to do. They go to a job-placement bureau to evaluate April strengths, but she comes out knowing exactly what she wants to do: work at said bureau. It makes sense, April has sort of been doing that already with Andy for years, and she seems to love it. This is an exciting path for the character, not to mention an important one as we head into the show’s endgame.

Back in Pawnee, Ben, Andy, and Ron try to get April a job as a consultant for the accounting firm run by Barney Varmn, the man obsessed with getting Ben to work for him. The biggest laugh of the episode was Andy’s creepy April mask and subsequent firework show. But I also loved that just when Barney agrees to see April, Ben get a call from her saying she found what she wants to do, forcing him to reject Barney one last time. Hilarious.

Having every character working together, though geologically separately, on finding April’s dream job was a really smart storytelling decision. In the end, what April chose makes sense for the character and makes for a satisfying solution to this arc. With just four episodes left, things are falling into place for Parks and Rec. to say goodbye. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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