Not since the death of Lil' Sebastian have we cried so much about "Parks and Recreation."
"A Parks and Recreation Special" was not sad by any means, and was in fact a very positive half hour despite being set in these current, anxiety-inducing times. But after we watched Bobby Newport (Paul Rudd) read a message from Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and that theme song started, tears were falling. Then Adam Scott was on screen, pulling out a copy of "Cones of Dunshire" and the lead character from his claymation masterpiece with Dunshire-themed plans for a new story, and it immediately didn't matter one bit that everybody's just on video chat in the actors' homes. Or sheds.
The episode started out by letting us in on one of Knope's nightly phone trees, as she's desperately trying to keep up communication with all of her friends. After checking in with Ben Wyatt (who was at home, while Knope was at her office), she called Ron Swanson, who was not thrilled to be talking to everyone every night.
Swanson was supposed to call Garry Gergich, but instead he called April Ludgate, who revealed that she and Andy Dwyer had put all their stuff in garbage bags and every day she wears the first five things she pulls out.
Dwyer then joined the call from the shed, where he had been stuck for two days after getting locked in, and no, Ludgate is not going to let him out.
"Oh Ron, Burt Macklin, FBI, does not need anyone to help him escape a measly shed."
Ludgate and Dwyer also refused to call Gergich, and called Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger instead. They explained that Perkins is helping out as a nurse, so Traeger and the kids are staying in one part of the house while she's isolating herself in another. Meanwhile, Traeger is giving blood four times a week because the CDC has asked him to, due to how healthy he is.
Tom Haverford chimed in from "Bali" because that's where he was supposed to be during his book tour, and he called Donna Meagle, who then changed her background to fake Bali too while gushing about her schoolteacher husband and his online classes.
Meagle finally called Gergich and tricked Knope into joining the call, and poor Mayor Gergich had to deal with the backlash over cancelling the annual "Pawnee Popsicle Lick n' Pass." Then of course he accidentally turned on the face filters.
To help Gergich out with the stubborn citizens of Pawnee, Knope and Wyatt advocated for mental health on a little media tour on "Pawnee Today With Joan Calamezzo" (who is not doing well) and "Ya Heard With Perd" with Perd Hapley, featuring commercials for Dennis Feinstein's "Miracule Cure" virus-killing fragrance, Jeremy Jamm's home dental delivery, and Jean-Ralphio's phone number, because now he has a ton of money after getting hit by a car and can buy ad space.
Johnny Karate also made an appearance on "Ya Heard With Perd," where he revealed he had never washed his hands before.
Knope then connected with Swanson again, who revealed that he and Diane Elizabeth Lewis had found Tammy 2 lurking outside their house, so now she's tied up in Swanson's garage. But also, Knope's feeling sad that she can't hang out with all of her friends.
And so Swanson organized a group call with the whole gang, featuring a performance of "Bye Bye Lil' Sebastian" led by Dwyer.
Wyatt still doesn't get it, but boy, it got us. It was perfect.
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