Spoiler Alert: Do not read below if you do not want to know the results of Pawnee’s recall election.
“Too close to call.” “A nail-biter.” “A bitter battle to the very end.” These were all the things Leslie Knope’s recall election was NOT. In a landslide vote, reported by local newsman Perd Hapley, Leslie Knope was officially recalled from office.
It was a sad day for the plucky public servant. A sad day for the Parks department. And a sad day for America, really. And as we saw, Leslie didn’t take the news well. She drowned her sorrows with booze and had what we’ll call an near-unfortunate tattoo experience. But she’ll bounce back from this personal and professional blow, right? As Leslie would say, absotutely.
“I think there’s a lot of comedy coming up,” said Amy Poehler, who spoke with reporters after a screening of the episodes earlier this week. “We had a lot of fun with what she does as a dead man walking.”
In fact, the next two episodes will largely focus on the “massive ticking clock” on Leslie’s time as a councilwoman, according to exec producer Mike Schur. As mentioned in tonight’s episode, she has 30 days left in office, and Schur says she intends to use them to their fullest potential, leading up to January’s 100th episode, which is “literally about her final hours as a city councilwoman.”
“The writers spent the two weeks up to the shooting [the current season] talking about the options and [recalling Leslie] just seemed like the best, juiciest option,” Schur said. “Once we committed to having the recall, we thought if she won the recall vote, she would just be back where she was before. The most exciting and interesting thing was to move her out.”
Looking forward, Schur says Leslie will seek advice on her next step from “a lot of people along the way” and actively seeks out her next step. “Certainly things present themselves to her,” he says. “She never stops moving. She’s a shark. Eventually she’s going to figure out a path that’s right for her.”
Here’s some more insight into tonight’s episodes and scoop on what comes next:
+ THE 100TH EPISODE will also have a storyline about Tom figuring out what to do with the money he got from the sale of Rent-a-Swag. “We wanted that episode to be a lot about people at different forking paths in their lives,” said Schur.
+ KRISTEN BELL is currently set to appear in one more upcoming episode, but Schur says she’s welcome to come back “any time.” Meanwhile, the election for Leslie’s unoccupied seat on city council — which Bell’s character said she was going to vie for — will be something that occurs “off to the side,” according to Schur. “You find out later what happened, but we’re sort of…moving away from the city council.”
+ GUEST STAR Erinn Hayes, who played pretentious lifestyle guru Annabel Riordan in one episode tonight, has long been a person on the show’s list of dream guest stars, according to Schur. “And then this part came along and it was very obviously the right move,” he says. Adds Poehler: “I think it was just her natural, genetically superior hair.”
+ RASHIDA JONES AND ROB LOWE’S farewell episode is being filmed this week, and Poehler says the send-off will be as sad as expected. “We’re really bummed to send them off to the great beyond,” she says. “But we’re a really tight family here, so you never really feel like you’re saying goodbye to family when they go somewhere else. You just know you’re not going to see them as much as you have. But I dont think anyone feels….knowing out show, nobody ever really leaves Pawnee….I’m certain Rob and Rashida will make their way back to Pawnee as many times as we can drag them.”
+ LESLIE AND BEN rocked their rollerskates in the first of two episodes tonight, but their stunt efforts came with a price. “I think the next day we both had legit cramps in our legs,” said Adam Scott, who also mentioned his skills paled in comparison to his co-star. “Amy was really good on roller skates, and not shy about it.”