Parks and Recreation
Season 6, Episode 20: 1 in 8,000
Posted by Sage
Triplets! Everybody stay calm.
Not one baby. Not two. It’s lucky number three for Ben and Leslie, which is just the kind of TGIF line-up choice I can really get behind. Also, Chris the MRI tech called it way back in season 2.
It’s like Leslie’s cuterus uterus knows. It knows that a Leslie Knope pregnancy should be at least three-times as metal as the average one. Leslie herself is unusually chill about it. And we mustn’t underestimate the competitiveness that courses through her veins; she’s also pretty cocky when she gets the news. For other women of her age, multi-births might be the result of a biological “going out of business sale.” For Leslie, they’re the great prophecy of her being mother to a significant portion of the Supreme Court fulfilled. (And, on Julie Andrews Movie Night, a decent Von Trapp cover band.)
Ben, on the other hand, is having a moment. His numbers-obsessed brain can’t help but calculate what three kids do a couple’s finances and the outcome is, well, grim. He’s assigned himself to be Leslie’s stress ShamWow, soaking up all the worries so she can remain calm, cool, and collected, as advised by Dr. Saperstein. But he’s more like an anxiety factory, manufacturing panic where none existed before. Which is a shame, because he hasn’t allowed himself to be properly happy about his rapidly growing family.
If tea parties and diaper changes can mellow out Ron Swanson, then Ben is going to be just fine. There’s a really touching Ron/Ben man-to-man talk in the near future – I can feel it – but for now, we have to settle for complementary storylines. We see Ron’s softening through Donna’s eyes when he asks for her help making costumes for the elementary school’s Pawnee history review and ends up playing Cupid to her and Joe, music teacher and kid-whisperer. (Think Sandy the Manny but with more sex appeal.) Donna’s resisted his charms because he’s too good to her. He makes her feel safe and cared for and appreciated and that means she has no need for the games she plays so well. And here’s our Swanson truth nugget for the week. It’s a good one.
Donna loves to razz Ron about being a big ol’ softy, but now he’s too far gone to even protest. “Your family has made you a more patient and pathetic person,” she says, and he looks the tiniest bit pleased. “It suits you.” It suits him so well that Donna herself may event take a stab at settling down. We’ve got to establish all these handy defense mechanisms just to make it through life, but we’ve also got to recognize when someone (or someones) comes around who’s worth dropping them for. Leslie, who usually thrives on stress, doesn’t need to hold onto it anymore.
Remember that Leslie lost her father when she was 10. She has a mother who was present, but not exactly warm. Before her friends even step up with babysitting offers and homemade cribs and hand-me-down clothes, she knows her kids will have a bigger, more loving extended family than she could have possibly imagined. They’ll have Uncle Chris and Aunt Ann and their cousin Oliver. And they’ll have Ben. She’s lucky. They’ll be lucky. Leslie questions herself often, but her faith in her husband is unwavering. What does she have to worry about?
In this future heart-to-heart that I’m 100% sure is going to happen, Ron is going to tell Ben that there’s nothing he can do to be completely prepared to be a parent. He’s going to tell him that being a father – that being a man – means letting yourself be changed by your children. He’s going to tell him that if he and Leslie lean on each other that they can do anything. And he’ll also tell him that no amount of money or macarons can possibly compare to being crowned King Sparkle of Cupcake Forest.
- From long cons on Keith Sweat to catfishing Anthony Keidis, the women of Pawnee have the men of ’90s radio on the ropes.
- “I am Donna’s work proximity associate.”
- “Happy Birthday Various Dexharts.”
- “I don’t have the gavel so I’m powerless. I respect the hierarchy of the auction!!” Stay forever, Craig Middlebrooks.
- I hope the sheik and the lady with the diamond-encrusted eyepatch and the guy with the monkey on his shoulder show up the Unity Concert, preferably together.
- “You have very weak hands.” “Why would you say that?”
- Leslie calls a nurse Ann, and it sounds like this wasn’t the first time.
- “We’re all dying, unless you choose the right grail. It’s the dusty one.”
- So maybe some games are still worth playing:
- “Benjamin Wyatt, man of my dreams, the one I love..”
- Andy’s failed camouflage attempt.
- “OH GREAT, FIRST MY COUSIN WINONA GETS INTO A CAR ACCIDENT THE NIGHT MY ONE-MAN SHOW OPENS AND NOW THIS . WHY ARE MY ACCOMPLISHMENTS ALWAYS OVERSHADOWED?”
The Parks crew has been teasing some crazy twists in the season finale. But what could be crazier than popping out three babies? If you’ve got an ideas, hit us up in the comments.