Parks and Recreation's season finale will feature a mystery so large only one man can take on the case: Special Agent Burt Macklin!
Andy's (Chris Pratt) alter ego will return during Thursday's Season 5 finale (airing 9:30/8:30c on NBC) after evidence is uncovered that someone in the Parks Department may be... pregnant! Before you assume it's Ann (Rashida Jones) and Chris (Rob Lowe), who have been trying to have a baby, don't forget that there are several other female candidates that could come in as wild cards.
Elsewhere in Pawnee, (a possibly pregnant) Leslie (Amy Poehler) will reflect on her first year in city council as the town celebrates Founders Week, (a possibly pregnant) April (Aubrey Plaza) will get some life-changing news and (a definitely not pregnant) Tom (Aziz Ansari) may get the long-awaited recognition he's always hoped for. To get more scoop on the finale, TVGuide.com turned to executive producer Mike Schur:
What can you tell us about the season finale?
Mike Schur: It's very much a year-end wrap-up. In a real way and in a meta way which is to say that it's been a year since Leslie was elected to be a city council member. She's doing a lot of reflecting, thinking about her first year in office. The episode takes place during the city's Founders Week, and there's a really fun parade and there's all these fun events and outdoor festivities and stuff, but she's using Founders Week as a way to basically ask the town the question that Ronald Reagan asked in 1984, which is "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" but she says "Are you better off now than you were a year ago?" The episode is basically a referendum on her first year in office from people both pro and con Leslie who weigh in at this big public forum about how their lives are different since she's been office.
Who will be a part of that public forum?
Schur: We got to invite some of our old friends back. Jason Schwartzman reprises his role as the video store owner, and there's a lot of fun cameos by the people who Leslie really affected over the course of the year, including Marcia and Marshall Langman (Darlene Hunt and Todd Sherry), the slightly holier-than-thou moral watchdogs, Ken Hotate (Jonathan Joss), the Wamapoke chief, and the sanitation guys who were forced to hire women. I won't confirm, but I will suggest that there's a strong possibility, as per tradition, that Jean-Ralphio (Ben Schwartz) will appear.
Everyone expected that Ben (Adam Scott) and Leslie would get married in the finale, but you surprised viewers by doing that earlier this season. Is there a chance we may see pregnancy news for them?
Schur: I will say this, one of the stories in the finale involves a little bit of a mystery in the sense that one of the characters finds some evidence that there could be a pregnancy, but the person who may be pregnant is unknown. As it turns out on the show, there are many characters in the cast you might suspect could be pregnant, so that's part of the fun.
It's going to be Donna (Retta).
Schur: She is a suspect. She is investigated.
Ann and Chris have been working at getting pregnant, so I guess Ann would be the No. 1 suspect.
Schur: I would say that's true, yes. Heading into the finale, they're very hopeful that it's going to be there soon. But also remember their relationship was a little bit of a disaster. So there's just a lot of confusing and swirling feelings that pop up on both sides. It makes perfect sense for them to do this because Chris has gone on this journey over the season where he started in therapy and he's gotten a lot healthier and he's in a better place, and she's really in a good place in terms of self-possessed feelings and self-confidence.
The logline says April gets some life-changing news in the finale. Could that have to do with the baby situation?
Schur: That's certainly a possibility if that is the case. There are some big things that happen to April in the finale that will certainly affect her and Andy for the future.
What will we see for Andy in the finale?
Schur: Bert Macklin does make a special appearance in the finale which is very exciting for all of us. It takes a lot to get Bert Macklin back out of retirement since he was very happily retired. He'd left the FBI for good and he was happy with his decision, but sometimes duty calls and you have to put on the jacket and the sunglasses one more time. There is one final ride for Bert Macklin in the finale and when I say one final ride, I mean it's the final ride until we decide to have him play Bert Macklin again, hopefully next season.
Will Rent-a-Swag finally take off for Tom?
Schur: He gets some big news in the finale. His business has gone well enough and has made a big enough impression that he's attracting the notice of some bigger fish in the business community. So he gets approached in the finale. It would be like if you invented an app or something and Bill Gates knocked on your door and said that he had taken an interest in what you were doing. It's a very nice moment for him because he's only trying to knock down these doors and swim in the bigger pond and he's presented with an opportunity.
What will we see for Ron (Nick Offerman) in the finale?
Schur: Ron has a fun role that he plays in a lot of our finales, which is that a lot of people have crises in their lives, and Ron is this rock-like monolithic Buddha, who sits in his office and hopes that people leave him alone, but people just knock on his door and demand that he help them. He often dispenses his incredibly sage advice and that happens with a couple different people in the finale. That's the role that he plays for multiple people; certainly for Tom and for Andy and for Leslie. Those are the main people who seek out his wisdom.
So no major shake-up for Ron in the finale?
Schur: No. Ron has this nice Ron-ish moment where he says, "Leslie's running around asking everybody if they're better off now, but I just want to be the same. I'm the same as I was a year ago, but that's how I'm happy."
Though you haven't been renewed yet, do you guys have a plan in place for next season?
Schur: It's so early. We end the season in a way that will shake things up and that's our move. We set a lot of things in motion that would obviously have to be dealt with and have to be addressed. This is all, of course, assuming that NBC decides to pick up another season of the show. Until someone calls me on the phone and tells me I can come back to work, I don't take any of it for granted.
Do you hope Parks gets renewed for another season? Who do you think is pregnant? Hit the comments!
Parks and Recreation airs Thursdays at 9:30/8:30c on NBC.
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