"Parks and Recreation": Michelle Obama cameos in surprise-packed season finale

Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt and Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope on the season 6 finale episode of "Parks and Recreation." Byron Cohen/NBC

[Warning: Spoilers below if you haven't seen Thursday night's episode of "Parks and Recreation."]

If you thought the biggest moment of last night's "Parks and Recreation" season finale was going to be the guest appearance by first lady Michelle Obama or the Pawnee/Eagleton Unity Concert, you thought wrong.

Both of those things did happen -- the concert went off without a hitch, and Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) was predictably starstuck while meeting the first lady (though not as much as when she met Joe Biden) -- but the final minutes of the episode is what really blew viewers away.

The show finished its sixth season with Leslie agreeing to a job with the National Park Service that would have taken her away from Pawnee to Chicago -- but then managing to convince Grant to let her move the office's Midwest headquarters to her beloved hometown.

And then, this happened -- the show jumped three years into the future, showing Leslie (with bangs!) successfully running her department and firing the worst National Parks employee (a cameo from Jon Hamm)...who's apparently even more incompetent than Jerry/Larry/now Terry (Jim O'Heir). Ben (Adam Scott) seems to have some fancy gig (perhaps related to him getting the rights back to The Cones of Dunshire), and their brood of 3-year-old triplets are super-cute and have Aunt April (Aubrey Plaza) and Uncle Andy (Chris Pratt) to watch over them.

Elsewhere in the episode, Leslie was encouraged to take the job after getting her husband's blessing and some words of encouragement from Mrs. Obama during a trip to San Francisco; Ron (Nick Offerman) freed himself from the evils of Tammy 2 (Megan Mullally) and performed onstage as Duke Silver; Tom (Aziz Ansari) had a successful opening at his restaurant; and Andy got to sing at the Unity Concert both as Johnny Karate and with an April-orchestrated reunion of Mousetrap, singing next to a Lil' Sebastian hologram.

It all came together into a bold finale that had happy endings for all our favorite Pawnee residents. And while this could have easily doubled as a series finale, fans have no reason to fret -- the show's been renewed for a seventh season.

Tell us: What did you think of the "Parks and Rec" finale?

  • Jessica Derschowitz

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