Parks and Recreation Recap: “Leslie and Ben”–Just Looking For You

Cry #3: The vows.

Ok, first of all, please look at Ben’s face when he sees Leslie.

ben wyatt wedding

This isn’t the first time he’s seen her in her wedding dress. For all of their falconing and tutle doving and convoluted attempts to avoid laying eyes on each other before the big moment, he’s already seen her walk down the aisle once tonight, and it doesn’t matter. He’s not any less delighted or any less in love. They had a master plan for their wedding, they threw it out the window to get married tonight, and then they threw it out the window again to get married here. And it’s all good.

Also, if three-legged dogs and black and white montages don’t make you weepy, you might be Councilman Jamm.

Ben:

“In my time working for the State Government, my job sent me to 46 cities in 11 years. I lived in villages with eight people, rural farming communities, college towns, I was sent to every corner of Indiana. And then I came here and I realized that this whole time I was just wandering around, everywhere, just lookin’ for you.”

Whether he realized it or not, Ben was looking for a person like Leslie to share his life with. But he was also looking for the part of her that he was missing: her enthusiasm. Her ability to build things. Her sense of place. Her home.

pawnee is special

Leslie (who unfortunately doesn’t have her 70-page first draft):

“The things that you have done for me to help me, support me, surprise me, to make me happy, go above and beyond what any person deserves. You’re all I need. I love you and I like you.”

Ben and Leslie support each other, but it’s Ben who’s really gone above and beyond. He brought her JOE BIDEN, you guys. He puts her ambitions first and never thinks twice about it, and the show doesn’t either. They love each other and they like each other.

Be still my heart.

Be still my heart.

Cry #4: Chris encourages Andy.

Even when Andy was unemployed and living in a pit behind his ex-girlfriend’s house, he pretty much thought everything was awesome. But now he’s let himself dream. He really wanted to be a cop, he worked really hard for it, and it didn’t work out. Enter the man who knows more about this situation than anyone. Chris is a lot like Andy—he was happy when we met him, but he was furthest thing from stable. His sense of self was pretty much derived entirely from his physical fitness (which, don’t get me wrong, I salsa) and his relationship status. But he couldn’t protect himself from the flu or tendonitis or a string of bad breakups, so he’s learned to define himself based on how well he responds to tragedy, instead of how well he prevents it. Excuse me while I paint “You are not going to let this deflate you” on the ceiling of my bedroom.

Cry #5: Bye Bye Li’l Sebastian.

bye bye lil sebastian

Andy’s right when he points out that none of them would be there without Leslie. As much as she loves the whole town/ country/ every sitting member of Congress, it’s fitting that the wedding is just for her intimate work family. Donna sings, Andy and April get the marriage license, Ann Tim Gunns the heck out of that dress, Jerry helps Tom speak from the heart, and Ron forges the rings out of a literal waffle iron. Ben and April even get to share a little moment as DC siblings.

But it’s “Bye Bye Li’l Sebastian” that really gets me. Nothing else could possibly be Leslie’s wedding song. She loves that little horse, and a song for him is a song for her. You do something good for anyone in Pawnee (Li’l Seb included), and you’re doing something good for Leslie Knope. It all matters. This show sees the remarkable in the ordinary. A letter from the State House is a gift, regular documents come together to make one sweet wedding dress, and a miniature horse is a local hero.

When you’re in love, everything seems like a sign.

Wedding Snaps:

I want April and Andy to go around Pawnee putting white chocolate top hats on birds and dogs and gay penguins everywhere. Especially the penguins; they’re already wearing tuxes.

“There’s some beautiful jewelry in here, but be careful—there’s also nails.”

This is very important.

This is very important.

When owning up to my terrifyingly long-running TV addictions, I often slide my way into it Ann Perkins style: “I’ve been watching a lot of Project Runway recently. And the past eight years.”

Grandma Beavers has got GAME.

“How much do you think Ann would miss this sconce?”

sconce ron swanson

I’m glad that the end of Burt Macklin didn’t spell the end of April and Andy, role-players extraordinaire.

Ben is so, so grateful that he doesn’t have to drink that Lagavulin.

“Close only counts in horse grenades. It’s a saying. ‘Cause if you’re playing horseshoes and then you throw a grenade at a horse, it doesn’t have to be that close and you can still blow the horse’s legs off. It’s from the movie Seabiscuit.”

“People who buy things are suckers.”

So who else is still having feelings about this wedding? What was your favorite moment? Would you wear the Ann Perkins of dresses? Let’s never stop talking about it!!

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