Parks & Recreation got a perfect ending before season 7 arrived. Created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, Parks & Recreation premiered on NBC in 2009 and came to an end in 2015 after seven seasons. The series followed eternal optimist Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and her friends and co-workers from the Parks Department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. Over the course of seven seasons, viewers got to know some truly unforgettable (and relatable) characters, such as April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza) and Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman).
Parks & Recreation had a rough start, but as time passed and the writers found the right tone for the series, it became a fan favorite and was much better received by critics. Parks & Recreation’s final season arrived in January, 2015 with 13 episodes, and while many consider the final episode as one of the best series finales in recent years, Leslie and company could have had an even better ending had the series ended earlier.
The final episode of the series, appropriately titled “One Last Ride,” gave closure to the arcs of all the main characters, so in that sense, it was a satisfying ending – but Parks & Recreation had an actual perfect ending right before season 7.
Parks & Recreation’s Season 6 Finale Was The Perfect Ending
Season 6’s finale “Moving Up” was a two-part, one-hour episode that could have been a perfect ending to the series. In it, Leslie had to make a decision about taking the Midwest bureau job in Chicago or staying in Pawnee, while the rest of the group were hard at work with the Unity Concert. At the same time, Tom was preparing for the opening of his restaurant, Tom’s Bistro. The episode covered a lot of ground, but managed to give closure to every situation, as well as to every character and their goals. The Unity Concert was a success and the goal was achieved, while also being the scenario for a Mouse Rat reunion with a surprise performance from Ron’s alter ego Duke Silver.
Leslie was offered a bigger job that better suited her goals of preserving parks and landmarks, and in a very Leslie move, she managed to move the National Parks office from Chicago to Pawnee (specifically to the newly renewed third floor at City Hall) – that way she took the new job and stayed in her beloved town with her friends. By bringing the National Parks office to Pawnee, she also helped the town grow. Meanwhile, Tom finally achieved one of his many goals and Tom’s Bistro was a success, and Ben got a copyright protection brief for his board game “The Cones of Dunshire,” which was becoming very popular. The episode included a minor flash forward of three years, showing that the National Parks office was working quite well, and Leslie and Ben were now parents to triplets.
Had Parks & Recreation ended with “Moving Up”, it would have been a perfect ending as it covered everything it needed, without having to add multiple flash forwards like the actual series finale did. “Moving Up” was fun and emotional, provided closure while also leaving a few things open (though not as much as for fans to be dissatisfied), and even had a cameo by Michelle Obama – really, it can’t get any better than that.