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Parks and Recreation - Episode 3.16 - Li'l Sebastian - Review


Hello all my faithful Parks and Recreation review readers! It’s been a fun five months, and I’ve really been enjoying writing these and reading through your comments. Since this last episode is the season finale I won’t be seeing you again until the fall, at least in the Parks and Rec section of the site. I still haven’t decided yet if I’ll be reviewing any of the summer shows, but I’m leaning towards yes so keep an eye out for me! Also a quick note before we get started, I’ll be basing my review off of the Producers Cute of the ‘Li’l Sebastian’ episode, which is about five minutes longer and guaranteed to be five minutes funnier. This version is up on Hulu or NBC’s website.

If I had to describe tonight’s episode in one word it would be SHOCKING. And those are the best kinds of season finales, am I right? Generally you leave the shocking moments for the cliffhanger at the end of an episode, but instead the writers spaced them out. I liked this a lot, the episode had a nice level even feel, as opposed to stacking everything at the end.

The first shocker, Jean Ralphio is now filthy rich! Let’s just say he knows a guy who will run you over by a car gently enough to cause enough damage for a lawsuit without loosing any brain function, although you can argue that there can’t be many active brain cells under his strangely enticing afro. He decides that he wants to use the money to start a business, and goes to Tom for ideas. Thus Entertainment 720 is born. What does it do you might ask? Everything. Including going around the world twice for every customer, regardless of what it is they actually wanted you to do. Their first client? A public funeral extravaganza.

Which brings us to Li’l Sebastian. I’m sure you all remember the amazing mini horse from the Harvest Festival, who was already fairly old and diabetic. Well it’s a fairly common TV trope to have a beloved character hit the dust during a season finale, and who was more loved on the show than Sebastian? Certainly not Jerry. As this is a public mourning, the Parks department is tasked with putting on a memorial/funeral, and they hire Entertainment 720 to assist.

Another fun TV shocker is when a character comes down with a debilitating and incurable medical condition. In this case, Chris gets tendonitis. Sure, it’s not exactly the shocker that say CANCER would be, but to Chris any medical condition is a shocker. It also gives him his first taste of the horrors of ageing. His utter disbelief at the idea that someone as healthy as him could be doing too much exercise appeared to have shaken him to his core. The formerly constantly chipper Chris was replaced with a more somber version, who equivocated his minor prognosis of tendonitis to a death sentence. Of course when you’re sick who’s the best person to have around you? A nurse. There were some cute moments between Chris and Ann in this episode, and I sense a possible rekindling on the horizon for season four.

The next shocker literally had me screaming. While Ann is out of the office, Ben and Leslie use it as a secret rendezvous point. Well, instead of seeing Ben’s naked body draped across the desk, Leslie opens the door to find Ron Fucking Swanson. And he knows. All thanks to Ben apparently butt dialing Ron, revealing by far one of the most disturbing things that I have every heard on television. I don’t want to go into details, I just ate lunch and would like to keep it down, but lets just say that it involves some odd historical role-play involving female politicians and how they might approach first base. Needless to say I was scarred for life. Despite getting caught once, these two can’t seem to figure out how to keep it behind closed doors. It’s not that hard, just stop and look around. Are you anywhere other than your home with the blinds closed? Then don’t do anything. As simple as it sounds, they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other, and a worker for the funeral catches them. After a quick pay off with a massage gift certificate and the rest of the day off, everything should be back on track. Except that the worker they sent home had some kinda important tasks left to do.

After the memorial started we get a chance to see Tom in action, and he’s doing a great job! And more importantly he actually seems to be enjoying what he’s doing, as opposed to playing scrabble all day at the Parks office. Things start to go awry when they discover that the maintenance worker that was sent home had been in charge of the propane for the eternal flame. Jerry is tasked with finding the propane, and instead Donna gets to read the Italian poem, which is one of my favorite scenes of the night. And of course I can’t forget the main event, a video memorial by 720, featuring Tom attempting an elitist and existential voice over, and stock images of everything from the universe to ominous clouds that vignette Sebastian. It was hilariously glorious. And Tom realizes that maybe the 720 life is for him. Now this is an interesting turn of events for Tom, but not surprising. He’s always been trying to do something more grandiose in his life besides local government, and quite frankly as long as we still get to see him in every episode next season I’ll be happy. What would we do without the awesomeness that is Chikky Chikky Parm Parm Tom? Thanks to the preview of Entertaiment 720 at the end of the episode, I have a sneaking suspicion that they won’t be around for very long, especially with that kind of money management. Hopefully the gang will take Tom back!

A minor shocker of the night is when MouseRat makes a special appearance at the funeral during Andy’s tribute song, ‘five-thousand candles in the wind’. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen the band play an actual concert, but more importantly was the development of April as Andy’s new manager. It’s nice to see her take a more active role in the band, especially after the Neutral Milk Hotel incident. Which is apparently an actual band; I originally thought that the writers had just taken random words to make a ridiculous parody of a band name, but then my boyfriend handed me a CD of theirs and I freaked out. Side story aside, as long as April doesn’t Yoko Ono the band I can’t see how this won’t be an awesome development for next season.

The next shocking moment of the night is all thanks to Jerry. Unable to find propane, he puts lighter fluid in the eternal flame display thinking that it would somehow work in the same way. The ensuing fireball burned the eyebrows off Ron’s face, and even the resilient mustache was thinned. It’s still a better look than the cornrows and friction shaved mustache Ron sported earlier in the season with Tammy II. Speaking of Tammy II, she shows up at the memorial after party to make another pass at Ron, but then another shocking moment happens, one that makes me sad that I’m going to have to wait for so long until season four.

Tammy I shows up. Now we have no idea who Tammy I is, who plays her, or what she even looks like. All we know is that Tammy II ran screaming at the sight of her. Now if that’s not the perfect set up I’m not sure what is.

The final shocker is the biggest of all, and the one that is going to have the most implications on season four. Leslie is essentially head hunted by a group of political king-makers who would like to support her in running for office. This is of course her biggest dream, and it looks like it finally might be about to come true. Except for one thing, the group asks her is she has any scandals that might derail things. And of course her secret relationship with Ben would absolutely count, but despite this she says no.

Overall this was an amazing season finale. There were so many set-ups for the next season to resolve, which was a stark contrast to the second season finale that only had the government shut down scenario. The main characters have really grown and transformed over the third season, and I’m really looking forward to the continuation of this next season. Most of all though I’m looking forward to writing more Parks reviews and your wonderful comments! I’d like to sincerely thank everyone who took the time to read these past sixteen reviews, and I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I did writing them! I’ll see you again when season four premieres!



Favorite Quotes:

  • “I made my money the old fashioned way. I got run over by a Lexus.”
  • “We can take comfort in the fact that he is in heaven right now, doing the two things that he likes most. Eating carrots and urinating freely.”
  • “When I walking in this morning and saw that the flag was at half-mast I thought, alright, another bureaucrat ate it. But then, I found out it was Li’l Sebastian. half-mast is too high. Show some damn respect.”
  • “Amen. We need to send that glorious beast into the great beyond with a display that rivals the super bowl halftime show. Also the budget is six-hundred dollars.”
  • “Cube but! Cube but! Cube but! Cube but! Cube but! Cube but!”
  • “Oh God. Death is inescapable. “
  • “Hello Leslie. How long have you been sleeping with Ben?”
  • “Show me Pelosi again.”
  • “Please tell me you hung up before Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”
  • “No doubt, which one floats your penis.”
  • “I do hope we can be friends, before I die.”
  • “Cocoanut just took a dump on the stage and we gotta clean that up. Code Red. Cocoanut just took a dump on the stage.”
  • “Why don’t you live your life like that calf from the video?”
  • “All proceeds will go towards Li’l Sebastians favorite charity, the Afghan Institute of Learning.”
  • “I think if you would know one thing about me, it would be that I prefer laying wreaths to lighting torches.”
  • “I have cried twice in my life. Once when I was seven and I was hit by a school bus. And again when I had heard that Li’l Sebastian had passed.”
  • “What happened here and more importantly, does the carpet match the face?”
  • “An hour ago a giant fireball consumed my face, and it was far preferable to spending an hour with you.”
  • “What’s the point of doing ten thousand push ups when you’re doing them alone? I’d rather do five thousand push ups, with a beautiful woman sitting on my back to increase my resistance.”
  • “Asbsa-toot-ly I am very sorry that I just used that word.”

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