One small silver lining in the global coronavirus pandemic? It prompted a Parks and Recreation reunion special that shows us where Leslie and co. have ended up five years after the series' ending. Put on to benefit Feeding America, the episode brought back together Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Adam Scott, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Rob Lowe, Retta, and Jim O'Heir as their characters sheltered at home and connected with each other via a "Phone Tree" conferencing app. Here's what we learned.
As expected, Leslie has been setting up daily check-in calls with all her friends to make sure they're staying safe. She's still working at the Department of the Interior, and informs Ron that she just shut down every national park in her jurisdiction. Unsurprisingly, she also volunteered for several committees to help others during the outbreak — most of which she created herself.
"I'm only getting two hours of sleep instead of the usual four," she tells Ron. "This morning I put oatmeal on my fingers because I thought it was nail polish."
Ron is sheltering at his cabin, and when Leslie asks him about how he's taking care of himself, he holds up a bottle of Lagavulin whiskey and says, "This is the only mental health I need." He's also been hunting and claims he now has a 12-year supply of venison jerky. As for staying safe, Ron flatly told Leslie that he's "been practicing social distancing since I was 4 years old."
Ben is still working as a congressman, but at the moment is mostly cleaning the house and homeschooling he and Leslie's kids. He's also dug up his Ben claymation doll and The Cones of Dunshire, his two hilarious coping mechanisms that made their Parks and Rec debut when he was in between jobs and spiraling out. "Oh no," Leslie says. "Honey, did you put all the caps back on the cleaning supplies?"
April, who's screen name is "Satan's Niece," is at home and literally living among garbage. "Andy and I put all our stuff in garbage bags, and every day I put on the first five things I pull out," she explains. It's chaotically on brand, but on the other hand, being stuck at home is probably the perfect time to try on random outfits?
Andy, of course, has locked himself in the shed. "Burt Macklin, FBI, does need anyone to help him escape a measly shed," he tells Ron, admitting that he's been there for two days.
Later, Andy manages to get out and is featured on a Ya Heard? With Perd segment as Johnny Karate, during which he advises kids to "stay strong and be nice to your parents," before attempting a split and tearing a muscle in his butthole.
Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger
Ann and Chris are still together, but they're isolating in separate parts of their house because Ann has gone back to work as a nurse in outpatient care. Chris, meanwhile, is taking care of their kids and donating blood four times a week because he's a "super healer," boasting the only other ones in the world are Megan Rapinoe and a panther at the Miami Zoo.
Tom isn't doing so great after his book tour to Bali got canceled. Now stuck at home, he's come up with an endless stream of terrible product ideas, including double breasted PJs and masks with teeth printed on them. "Feeling a little stir crazy," he admits to Ann.
Tom perks up when Donna calls, and the duo pretend they're in Bali together. Donna is still with Joe, who's teaching from home but struggling to keep the kids focused during their digital classes. "Every teacher deserves a Mercedes after this," she says.
No Parks and Rec episode would be complete without everyone avoiding having to talk to Garry. Eventually, Leslie is tricked into a call with him after Tom sends her a link that claims to be a live Brené Brown TED talk (which feels like a running gag from Poehler's Wine Country). The Mayor of Pawnee is doing OK, but got some hate for canceling the annual Pawnee popsicle lick-and-pass. He also accidentally turns on an embarrassing filter mid-meeting, and can never figure out how to turn it off.
The special also included the return of several guest characters, such as Paul Rudd's rich but clueless Bobby Newport, who is vacationing in Switzerland and has no idea there's even a pandemic happening. Joan Callamezzo is sitting alone in a house with dolls, and Dennis Feinstein is selling a "Miracle Cure" cologne that he claims will kill the virus. Jeremy Jamm is also doing pretty poorly, sporting a quarantine mohawk and offering to digitally walk people through their root canals. John Ralphio makes a commercial advertising his phone number, saying he's lonely. And Tammy 2 (Megan Mullally) breaks into Ron's cabin at one point.
Fittingly, the episode ends with the main cast all on creen and singing the Li'l Sebastian tribute song, much to Leslie's delight. As Ron tells her, "I just called all your friends and told them I thought you needed a little help," similar to what the Parks and Rec cast did for fans.