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‘Parks and Recreation’ Season 7 Recap: “Gryzzlbox” & “Save JJ’s”

parks and recreation

The dream team is back, and they’re saving the future of Pawnee’s waffles.

If everything feels like it’s moving incredibly fast, it’s only because it is. We are now just about halfway through Parks and Recreation‘s final season. Say it isn’t so, NBC!

So accordingly, at the close of episode six, the future of Leslie’s (Amy Poehler) national park becomes a reality. She’s got Pawnee Commons under her belt and a wealth of other parks projects that we haven’t been privy to, but for Leslie, everything is a big deal. She’s come so far, from dreaming about filling in a pit to attempting to take control over thousands of square feet of Pawnee land, and although we didn’t see it all, it’s clear from this time jump, that she and the people around her — Ben (Adam Scott) and Ron (Nick Offerman) and the rest of the Pawnee Government — have changed this town for the better.

And now, they’re doing it again.

In trying to find JJ’s Diner a new home, April (Aubrey Plaza) and Andy (Chris Pratt) send them to the abandoned warehouse district that they’ve just bought their haunted house in, and it’s there that Ron and Leslie have the idea that will save her national park thanks to Sweetums having already sold Gryzzl the land.

The foundations for a new Gryzzl campus are already there in the abandoned district (along with the graffiti on the walls, so there’s no need to hire Banksy), and because of a recent security issue (the company were collecting data through citizens’ emails and texts), Gryzzl need to build up some good publicity. Something that they can do through donating The National Parks Service the land that’s needed for Leslie’s National Park.

ron and leslie

Leslie tells Ron at the start of the episode that they make a good team together, and “Save JJ’s” proves her right. Parks and Recreation is that rare thing: a show that’s positive about politics. Yes, Leslie gets fed up by the citizens of Pawnee (who, miraculously, side with Leslie and Ben on the issue of data collecting), but she only fights with them so much because she wants the best for them and this town.

Something that, we can see from 2017 Pawnee, she’s achieved. The bureaucracy in this show is mined for humour and only ever used on the side. It’s usually a hurdle, but not one that can’t be jumped Leslie manages to stay positive in the face of everything, even when she’s trying to pay zero dollars for land that’s worth 100 million, and in the end, that’s what works for her. As Andy says, sometimes believing that you can do something is the biggest way to achieve it.

Well, that and having your friends around to help you. Parks and Recreation is focused on Leslie, and Leslie, in turn, is focused on her team around her and the future ahead of her. It’s a refreshing change of pace for a modern comedy, and something that has, over the years, lent this show its constant and consistent energy.

It’s hard to be tired of watching somebody that loves what they do as much as Leslie Knope does.


  • April is still floundering with her career options, and while at first she brattily convinces a Parks intern to give up the job after Craig (Billy Eichner) tells her to motivate his new interns, she then brings back twenty more college kids that want the Parks and Rec job. “I started here when I was twenty. And now I’m old and gross and directionless. Those kids are me!”
  • Gryzzl sends all of Pawnee gifts based on information that they’ve gathered by searching through all of their internet activity, and although Ron can’t stand it (he shoots the robot that tries to deliver one to his four year old son!), some of the gifts are pretty great. One citizen collects toy pigs dressed up as movie stars! Like Hamuel L. Jackson! From pork fiction!
  • It turns out that Gryzzl were acting legally though, thanks for a sneaky appendix on Ben’s original Pawnee-Gryzzl wifi contract; something that they managed to sneak through because of Ben’s distraction on the day that they did it. The new Star Wars film was released. Ron hasn’t got a clue about it though: “…Was Star Wars the one with the little wizard boy?”
  • Perd Hapley (Jay Jackson) is now Judge Judy. Disclaimer: Judge Perd is not an actual Judge.
  • Really, he’s not: “I’ve also misplaced my judge hammer”
  • AND I CAN’T BELIEVE IT TOOK ME THIS LONG TO GET TO IT, BUT TREAT YO SELF 2017! Tom (Aziz Ansari) and Donna (Retta) hit Beverly Hills where they see Usher’s Star on the Walk of Fame, and watch Josh Groban eating his own cooked-up fish. Keegan-Michael Key is also back as Donna’s fiancé, and since she’s in the treating mood, she offers up Tom some dating advice that he then uses to ask Lucy (Natalie Morales) out. Tom’s Bistro seems like a real romantic hotspot if you ask me.
  • “It’s 4:13, so… You’ve got seven minutes.” The Gryzzl exes have a meeting. At 4:20.
  • In 2017 Joe Biden has a book of poetry. Somebody, please, publish and write Biden the Rails.