Parks and Recreation – “William Henry Harrison” / “Leslie and Ron”

Season Seven, Episode Three & Four


Grade: A

We all knew that Leslie and Ron would settle their differences, because this is Parks and Recreation and the show is significantly better when they’re working on the same side. It has always been a great odd couple of sorts with Leslie pushing all the time to build up Pawnee with Ron frowning alongside her at the thriving government. But there were holes that we just couldn’t understand because of the three-year time gap. Why were Leslie and Ron so mad at each other? And what the hell is this Morningstar project they keep referring to?

I don’t know if these two episodes were specifically paired up, but it certainly seems like it because it was set up and executed perfectly. The first half hour of “William Henry Harrison” increased the tension between Ron and Leslie. While Leslie desperately searched for any historical significance to build a national park, Ron and his team searched for the face of their campaign, which went to the ridiculous Annabel Porter. I thoroughly enjoyed the beef milk that sells for $60 a gallon, mainly because of Ron’s reaction.

I also loved how Ben and Terry were bouncing back and forth between Ron and Leslie, trying to sort out the paperwork needed. But all of this was leading up to the point when everyone who used to work for Ron and Leslie realized they needed to have them figure out and settle their differences. So they locked them inside of the old offices and told them they would return at 8 a.m., which was 12 hours later. At first, Leslie and Ron were furious, but slowly they started to reason with one another.

That wasn’t accomplished without some hilarious moments. As Ron swore to never talk to Leslie, she bombarded with him ways of annoying him until he agreed to talk. This included my favorite scene of Leslie singing “We Didn’t Start the Fire” with terrible, incorrect lyrics. Finally, Ron cracked down and we got our first reveal of what Morningstar was. But more importantly, Ron and Leslie were able to get to the bottom of why they were enemies.

The reason why Ron left the department was because he decided to ask Leslie for a job with the federal government, but was stood up when she had to fly out to Washington D.C. last minute. He then joined the company that was responsible for building the Morningstar apartments right over where Ann Perkins’ house was. Seeing Poehler and Offerman almost entirely alone during the second episode was a thing of beauty. They made us laugh and they made us cry when they finally forgave each other and became friends again. What a fantastic episode this was.

Moving forward, I’m glad that Ron and Leslie settled their differences because maybe now they can jump on the same side and try to get this national park built. They have quite an uphill battle to fight, but if they have the whole crew, then it’ll be a great way to end the show.


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