Film and TV

Treat Yo Self to the (Fake) Leaked Parks and Recreation Reunion Special

Pawnee, Indiana's finest will reunite this week (virtually, of course).
Pawnee, Indiana's finest will reunite this week (virtually, of course). Peabody Awards/Wikimedia Commons
Last Thursday, NBC announced it'll be doing a reunion episode of Parks and Recreation this Thursday, April 30, to benefit Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund. 

Thanks to an inside source (who is 100 percent not Chris Pratt's dog baptizer), we were able to get our hands on a leaked script of the special. It is WILD. (Editor's note: This is a parody, so read on.)

If you want to know all the nitty-gritty deets about the special, read on as we break down the scripts with this detailed recap. It is nothing but spoilers (not really), so don't put us on your list because we ruined things for you.

Part One: "The Black Death, but Make It Fashion"

We begin with a cold open. Tom struts into the office, wearing a floor-length chenille parka. Except for Donna, nobody pays it any mind. Enraged that his sweet fit isn’t getting the respect it deserves, Tom vows to turn the streets of Pawnee into his own personal runway.

“People will be lining up around the block to give me high-fives when they see this,” he shouts as he storms out. He comes back an hour later: “It was a hit! I touched so many people both literally and poetically, like Babyface!”

“Two Days Later...”

Perd Hapley announces that there are over 400 cases of COVID-19 in Pawnee. Nobody knows how the disease spread so quickly, but the town is in a panic.

Leslie fully activates her centrist Democrat powers and vows to beat this virus with 100 plans, 1,000 action items, across-the-aisle cooperation, and a little American can-do spirit. She convinces the city council to pass a stay-at-home order and close all nonessential businesses.

Unfortunately, everybody in town is written to be raving morons (like always) and won’t cooperate. Ron Swanson is infuriated at this government overreach and vows to stay out of his house at all times. He walks within two feet of everybody else, shakes every hand within his reach, and makes a point to cough on any vegetables he sees.

Tom, feeling a little unwell but seeing a business opportunity, takes a meeting with Dennis Feinstein and pitches him on partnering up to produce a line of designer hazmat suits. Dennis instead convinces Tom to invest in Feinstein’s Hand Xani: hand sanitizer that is 10 percent aloe vera and the remainder as liquid Xanax. Everybody coughs on Jerry’s desk and touch it constantly because they're monsters.

Ann Perkins, the only useful person on this show, does what she can to fight the pandemic by pulling in extra shifts at the hospital.

Worried about his immune system being compromised, Chris orders a stillsuit that converts his waste into sanitizer. Ben tries to help Leslie sell her plan to the town by appearing on Joan’s talk show, but instead flies into a rage and ends up punching out Joan when she says that R.E.M. sucks. Andy, watching the show with a giggling April, mutters, “It’s not like it can get any worse, babe.”

“One Week Later...”

Chaos reigns in Pawnee. Over 3,000 Pawneans are dead from COVID-19. Ron buries stashes of toilet paper around town. Tom dies after overdosing on Dennis Feinstein’s Hand Xani and posthumously treats himself to being buried in a Gucci body bag. Due to Leslie’s stay-at-home orders, nobody attends his funeral except for Jean-Ralphio and DJ Roomba. Tears in his eyes, Jean-Ralphio empties a bottle of Snake Juice on Tom’s grave while Roomba plays Flo Rida.

April and Andy both get the virus. April seems to become even more dark and evil while Andy gets his brain “super-sized” and starts getting smarter. Chris has a plastic bubble built around him and his Peloton to protect his “microchip” from being compromised.

Ben scrambles to stop Sweetums from releasing a line of edible face masks while Leslie, in full-on crisis mode, produces a 2,000 page color-coded manual on stopping the pandemic. Nobody reads it.

Everyone in the office continues coughing, spitting, licking, and rubbing themselves all over Jerry’s desk. He bears this constant, life-threatening germ warfare with good humor. Ann is too busy fighting the disease and helping people to waste her time with a B plot. Leslie, who is desperate for guidance, prays to Nancy Pelosi late at night. The silence of Nancy, like the silence of a merciful God, is deafening.

“One month later.”

A quarter of Pawnee is on fire. Eagletonians, realizing that their plan to literally throw money at sick people is failing, take refuge in Pawnee.

Diane and the girls are dead. Ron, broken and in the depths of despair, dyes his mustache black. After her beloved Mercedes gets infected, Donna empties a full clip into the engine and falls on top of the hood. She stains the pristine paint job with her tears. Ben receives a used Letters From Cleo CD in the mail and forgets to disinfect it. Leslie visits him every day in the hospital as he succumbs.

A guilt-ridden Ron, upset that his individualist beliefs doomed the town and destroyed all the people he loved, attempts to hang himself. However, the chair he stands, with its shabby craftsmanship, can’t hold his weight.  He weeps and begs God to take him.

Ben is dead. A numb and devastated Leslie leaves the hospital, leaving Ann behind, and walks down the burning streets. She finds Ron asleep outside a furniture store and lies down next to him. She dreams about a shirtless John McCain riding across the sky on a pale horse.

In the midst of all this, Andy has become a super genius. He has built a beer helmet that lets him talk to Bandit. He tries to get Mouserat back together, but the rest of the band are dead

Mark Brendanawicz returns to Pawnee as part of an emergency team sent by the federal government. Orrin, doing an archery recital for April and Andy, fires an arrow out the window and accidentally kills Mark. Nobody notices or cares.

Leslie returns home and is shocked to find Ben waiting for her. He reveals that he’s Ben-Prime, a Ben from an alternate timeline who created a board game so complex, it opened a rift in the space-time continuum. Other Bens appear in the house from other timelines. The sight of them destroys Leslie’s fragile psyche.

The episode ends with a cut back to Chris’s office. Traeger, injecting apple cider vinegar into his toes, notices there’s a small rip inside his bubble. He screams in horror as the bubble collapses around him.

"The microchip," he shouts.


Part Two: Crisis on Infinite Bens

We jump 10 years into the future. The U.S. government, desperate to prevent the “Pawnee death-clap” from spreading across the rest of the world, has dropped a giant dome on top of Pawnee and Eagleton. Chris Traeger, driven insane after catching a common cold, has transformed himself into a Randall Flagg-style satanic despot and rules "Plaguee" with an iron fist.

April, thanks to years of overbearing mentorship from Leslie, has become Chris’s trusted aide-de-camp. She spends her days cheerfully typing up death lists for Chris to approve. April is jubilant every day now. That’s how bad things have gotten under the dome.

Opposing the dark lord Traeger is an underground resistance led by Jerry and Ann Perkins. Jerry is now a fearsome robo-warrior who crushes enemy skulls.  Ann, still the only useful person in the hellscape, is hard at work developing a vaccine.

Leslie has retreated into alcoholism. A still-mournful Ron, refusing to be a joiner, hides inside the bunker and bides his time. Hopelessly addicted to snorting luxury shoe polish, Jean-Ralphio secretly leaks information about the resistance to Kyle, Chris’s reluctant lackey.

Thanks to Ben-Prime’s time-shattering board game, more and more Bens continue to enter this reality and have become the new dumb and angry population of Plaguee. A Ben leads a brutal attack on the resistance base. Leslie is taken prisoner while Donna goes down guns blazing. In her dying moments, she sees her 2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350 flashing its high beams down at her from Heaven.

In their darkest hour, the resistance is saved by Andy Dwyer, who has gotten so smart that he’s figured out a plan to stop Chris and has come up with a way of sending all the Bens back to their original timelines. Ann sends Leslie to recruit Ron for a suicide mission: assassinating Chris Traeger by force-feeding him a double-patty bacon Angus slider.

Everything converges back at City Hall for the climax. Jerry rips out Kyle’s spine (after apologizing profusely), and April kills Jerry by putting a spider in his inhaler. Ron succeeds in feeding Chris the burger, but dies from getting grazed by a tofu-laced bullet. His redeemed soul is borne aloft to Paradise by a heavenly host of angelic Tammies. At last, he can be with Diane and the girls!

Leslie, the newly elected president of Plaguee, sees that nobody’s done any paperwork in the last 10 years and sobs uncontrollably on her John McCain body pillow.

Ann and Andy are both moments away from succeeding in making a vaccine when disaster strikes. Someone wheels an idol of Zorp the Surveyor into the town square in a shopping cart, claiming they found it in the woods. The idol is actually a nuclear bomb that Ron bought from a suspicious Russian at a woodcarving convention. The bomb goes off, instantly killing everyone in Pawnee and Eagleton.

Adult superstar Brandi Maxxx, who got the hell out of Pawnee long before the dome went down, watches all this happen on TV. The disintegration of Pawnee and Eagleton is the nation’s most popular reality show. She is now the only Pawnee citizen left.

Fade to black.

Post-Credits Sting

Ben-Prime returns to his timeline. He and Leslie are getting ready to move out of Pawnee. He tenderly embraces his wife. The camera pulls away from the couple and zeroes in on the TV in the living room. Hapley is on the air, positive and professional as always, reporting that Pawnee just got its first confirmed COVID-19 case. Cut to Andy making an “OH MY GAWD” face.

The end.
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Ashley Naftule