Parks and Recreation recap: The Trial of Leslie Knope
Wow. That was a curveball. That was deep. Ill be thinking all week about that ending: Jerrys real name is. Gary?
Oh, oh, right youre talking about Ben and Leslie. Indeed, the lengths to which Ben went this week to be with Leslie (AND to allow her to keep her permanent record relatively unblemished) was an unabashedly noble romantic gesture, and one that further cemented these two star-crossed civil servants as one of prime times most endearing will-they-or-wont-they couples in recent memory. He had sacrificed for her before, ending their relationship so she could run for office. And here was again, sacrificing his job, so they could be together and she could still run for office. (On couches across America, women poke their half-attentive husbands and ask, Would you do that for me? Why arent you more like Ben?) His selfless act and their end-of-episode reunion could have melted even the most frozen of whores, and it delivered an emotional payoff to a different kind of Parks episode (one that contained no B- and C-plots). Lets re-open the official record and recap the action from The Trial of Leslie Knope. Ethel, are you ready?
From the moment the episode opened on Leslie and Ben holding hands in Chris office, we knew these two were ready to fight for their right to kiss each other on their respective mouths. Chris was shocked by their relationship revelation not just because Ben usually prefers tall brunettes and said hed be launching an investigation into their wrongdoing by holding an ethics trial on Monday morning. Leave it to Leslie to arrive in council chambers at 3 a.m. to, you know, get a feel for the room. Ben showed up just a few hours later to give her a good-luck Lil Sebastian doll that he had made at the toy store (they dont already make them?). He reassured her hed be just outside the room, behind that portrait of that wrinkled, hideous monster Old Stoneface, whose damaged visage shall haunt my dreams tonight. (Sidebar: Parks has done a fine job counterbalancing sweet with sass in the Ben-Leslie story; Im hopeful that they will continue to walk a fine line of awwww without falling into a pile of gooey sap.) Chris then showed up, vitamins and assorted home remedies in tow, and told Leslie that this trial filled him with so much sadness, he received two B12 shots from his herbalist (assuming he had to travel back to Indianapolis for that?), ate an unreasonable amount of St. Johns Wort, and had bee pollen paste rubbed on his gums, causing his mouth to feel like a spaceship. (!)
As the trial started, Leslie knew that history loomed large over her, in the form of 19th century elbow-exposing martyr Sarah Nelson Quindle. But our current-day Quindle wasnt willing to serve herself up as a human popsicle; she was fighting this. Leslie admitted to violating Chriss rule by engaging in a relationship with Ben and one filled with adorable nicknames and amazing back rubs but she insisted that theyd done nothing unethical or illegal. Still, Chris brought the high heat, challenging her on when their relationship began, announcing a roster of 14 witnesses. Things got tense as he told her that he believed she began the relationship with Ben earlier than she claimed, that she received special treatment, and that she may be guilty of bribery.
Next: April holds herself in contempt of court
And so began an amusing sequence of witnesses testifying, starting with Ann. While we didnt get to see Chris cross-examine his ex, we were treated to Leslie instructing Ann to open her email inbox, where an email entitled Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (someone double-check my 18 Ys and 44 exclamation points) contained an adorably painful iMovie that proved that Leslie didnt hook up with Ben until the day after they got back from Indianapolis, where Chris had sent them to bid on the Little League World Series. Point, Knope. On Toms cross, Chris tried to show that Leslie had a pattern of hooking up with coworkers, citing the passionate yet tender kiss he witnessed her plant on Tom (cue: the online dating episode Soulmates ), but Tom quickly explained that it was a jokey liplock. Point, Knope. Next up was April, who went down a Janet Snakehole wormhole, shouting in an old-school Southern voice (I dont know why Leslie Knopes on trial! Ethel Beavers did it! Beavers did it! I will hold myself in contempt of the court! ). Then came Andy, who wound up confessing to an unrelated spaghetti-in-the-laptop crime before objecting to himself, which was figuratively sustained.
Chris soldiered on, producing a receipt from a Pawnee hotel that Leslie submitted for reimbursement. Donna stood by Leslie, affirming that the room was being used for business purposes, as they were dressed in unsexy khakis and button-down shirts. (Your basic white people clothes. ) The only thing that was ravaged were these federal grant proposals that Donna had dropped off earlier, Leslie quipped, before trying to slam it home: And by the way, we got the gramps. grants. God, uhhh, that was gonna be such an awesome moment. Surely Leslies honor wouldve been defended by Ron, a man so freaked by the invasive powers of internet pop-up ads and Google Earth, he tossed his computer into a dumpster. But after emitting a series of weird noises to prevent stenographer Ethel Beavers from hearing Leslie attempt to enter his address into the official record, he fled the scene, having detected the scent of ex-wife Tammy 2. (I can smell the sulfur coming off her cloven hooves. ) Ah, this was Chris killer witness. (Megan Mullallys cameo was all too brief, though, as Chris reminded her mid-lie that hed fire her if she committed perjury, so she bailed.) Another point for Knope.
His final witness? George Williams from Public Works. Hes just a maintenance worker, NASCAR enthusiast, I believe, and oh, interesting tidbit: I once bribed him to keep my relationship with Ben private, Leslie nervously told the camera. We gulped through the commercial break and then watched some footage from the season 3 finale (including the producers cut), which showed George spotting them kissing, and being paid off with a $50 spa gift certificate that rejuvenated his face. Damn, this witness was damning. After failing to prove that he was sight-impaired, a panicked Leslie requested a day recess. The committee granted her 30 minutes, which she and her crew used to pore over Pawnee law books in search of an obscure statute that might save her. (If only the speed-reading Chris were on their side!) Ron relayed his findings: In , the council banned all sexual positions but missionary before banning that one as well two years later. Even more chilling, Donna discovered that black people still cant legally use city sidewalks. Bad Pawnee!
Which transitions us nicely into that entrancing mural Bad Pawnee, Good Pawnee, which depicted the towns glorious moments on one side, the inglorious on the other. Gazing at it, Leslie glumly told Ron that she was on the bad side. Fortunately, it was that time in the episode when Ron can put down his human-deflector shields briefly and dispensed some sage advice: You know what makes a good person good? When a good person does something bad, they own up to it. Leslie called off the loophole search and apologized to her team for letting them down. (Bribing someone to hide a sexcapade? Im proud to call you a friend, declared Tom.) She returned to chambers to accepted her punishment: Suspended for 2 weeks with pay. RECORD SCRATCH. Only two weeks? Why me no fired? Chris explained that Ben met with the committee privately, assumed full responsibility for everything, and resigned. Chris also told her that he was doing his job of protecting the government from corruption; and not only was she was an excellent government employee but the only person Ive ever met whos worthy of being Bens girlfriend. (Touching stuff, Chris, but if you felt that way, did you need to go after her that hard in the trial?) Before leaving, he told her to check out the transcript from his meeting with Ben, which proved to be a clever device to unspool this part of the love story.
Next: Ethel needs a ride home
CHRIS: Was all of this, all of the sneaking around, the scandal, losing your job, was it worth it?
BEN: Yes it was
because I love Leslie, picked up Ethel, quoting Ben in a monotone drone. I want to be with her and I dont want to hide the way I feel about her anymore. So yeah, it was worth it, because Im in love with Leslie Knope. Chris Traeger: That was beautiful. Im literally crying and jumping. Crying noise. Crying noise. Nose blow. (Chris sobbing in Bens arms? A half-step too far for me.)
Leslie tracked Ben down in the snowy night air, and returned the favor. Ethel stepped out of Leslies car and read page of the official testimony: Leslie Knope: Let the record state that I, Leslie Knope, love Ben Wyatt. I love him with all of my heart. Did you get that? Ethel Beavers: Yes, I got it. Ben and Leslie kissed perfectly while Ethel piped up: Can I get a ride home? Its freezing. (Sweet and sass, right?)
All of this sets up some intriguing possibilities. What will Ben do now for work? Open a sci-fi collectibles shop? Take an accounting job in Eagleton, which could put him in competitive conflict with Leslie? Work on her campaign? How will their indiscretion affect her campaign? Did Ron not wipe his hard drive before tossing the computer in the trash?
Lets end this recap where it began, with the shows final moment: When Leslie asked Jerry to state his name for the record, he identified himself as Gary Gergich. (Oh, God, Jerry, you cant even get your own name right. ) Turns out, the previous director of the Parks department botched his name! And called him Jerry instead of Gary! And Jerry, er, Gary, just didnt think he should correct him!!! Oh, that was almost as rich of a reveal as the big penis discovery earlier this season, in the opposite direction! To make up for this one, his wife is going to have to be really hot.
Okay, your turn to type stuff. Whats your verdict on The Trial of Leslie Knope ?
ADDITIONAL LINES OF MERIT
Marcus Everett Langley was Pawnees greatest lawyer at the turn of century. His nickname was Old Stoneface because of his steely demeanor and because he got in an accident at the rock quarry and dynamite blew up his face. Leslie
Sarah Nelson Quindle exposed her elbow outdoors which was a class A felony. Although she felt the law unjust, she acknowledged that she had broken it and she nobly accepted her punishment: to be set adrift on Lake Michigan like a human Popsicle. Leslie
I broke one rule and I will accept a slap on the wrist. But when you sit back and let your relationship be destroyed, you go down as history as a frozen whore. Im fighting! Leslie
Did Tom Ford turn around the house of Gucci? Tom to Chris, when asked if Leslie was a good employee
No, thatd be like dating my older sisters elderly aunt! Tom to Chris, when asked if hed had further romantic contact with Leslie
Tammy 2 is your killer witness? Please! Youre going to have to do better thActually, she is a terrifying sociopath who could say or do anything. Pretty good killer witness. Leslie
Any woman caught laughing is a witch. Thats true. April, quoting from an old Pawnee law book
Your actions wounded me to my core. Which is not easy since the bulk of my workouts are focused on core strengthening. Chris to Leslie
Gary Gergich. Jerry Gergich. Gary Gergich. Jerry. Gary. God, theyre both horrible. But Jerrys better. Im going to call you Jerry. Okay, Jerry, do you remember a time Im sorry, I cant get over the Gary-Jerry thing. Leslie
RATE THIS EPISODE:
Parks and Recreation
"The Trial of Leslie Knope"
|“||I’ve seen over episodes of Law & Order and it’s paying off big time.|
|— Leslie Knope|
"The Trial of Leslie Knope" is the ninth episode of season 4 of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation. It originally premiered on December 1, to million viewers.
Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt reveal their romantic relationship to Chris Traeger, who reluctantly launches a full investigation and prepares an ethics trial for the two, with Leslie's trial first. Chris regrets having to prosecute Leslie and Ben, and fights his depression and sadness by taking an obscenely large amount of herbal medicine and supplements.
Leslie admits to the relationship to the ethics committee at the Pawnee Courthouse but insists that she never did anything unethical. Chris not only intends to prove that Leslie received special treatment from Ben because of their relationship, but that it also started earlier than she stated and that she may even be guilty of bribery. He has several witnesses lined up which offends Leslie, but Chris says that it is his job as City Manager to fully investigate to prevent corruption. Leslie successfully proves over the course of the trial that she never received special treatment from Ben and that their relationship did not begin earlier than she stated. However, Chris' last witness is George Williams, the maintenance worker that witnessed Leslie and Ben kissing in the episode "Li'l Sebastian". Since they gave him a gift certificate in exchange for his silence, Leslie and Ben technically bribed him.
Realizing her job is at stake, Leslie and the Parks Department scramble to find a loophole in the law, but Ron Swanson tells Leslie to just admit guilt. Everyone in the Parks Department assures Leslie that they will still respect her. Leslie admits she bribed the maintenance worker to the committee, but her punishment is merely a two week suspension with pay; Chris reveals that Ben called a private meeting, took full responsibility for the bribe, and resigned as Assistant City Manager. After the trial, Chris apologizes to Leslie and explains that he was just doing his job, and tells her that Ben said something during the meeting that she would want to hear. The court stenographer, Ethel Beavers, reads the transcript, revealing that Ben has no regrets about losing his job because he loves Leslie. Leslie says the same thing on record and has Ethel read it to Ben later that night.
Ron: APRIL! [April walks into his office] Listen, I was trying to buy this handcrafted Mahogany wood model of a B Mitchell Panchito aircraft-
April: Aww, for me?
Ron: Don't sass me. [April looks at the camera, taken aback]
Ron: I went to this website and this ad popped up that said "Hey, Ron Swanson: Check Out This Great Offer!!"
April: What's your question?
Ron:[irked] My question is, "What the hell??"
April: There are these things called "cookies" [Ron gives a weird look] where, like, if you go to a site and buy something, it'll remember you and create ads for other stuff you might wanna buy.
Ron: So it learns information about me? Seems like an invasion of privacy.
April: Dude, if you think that's bad, go to Google Earth and type in your address. [Ron does so]Boom.
[The camera zooms in on Ron's appalledface, then it cuts to him outside tossing his computer in the dumpster]
Leslie: Ann, I need you to text me every thirty seconds that everything is going to be okay.
Leslie:[Phone rings] Thanks Ann!
Ron: Don’t sass me.
Chris: I am, of course, shocked. And not just because Ben usually prefers tall brunettes.
Leslie: Are we hugging or fighting? Let me know.
Ben: I wanted to sneak in before you got here…an absurd pipe dream I now realize is impossible.
Leslie: For me, a slap on the wrist is like a kick in the nuts.
Chris: My mouth feels like a spaceship.
Chris: Did you ever receive special treatment as a result of your relationship with Ben Wyatt?
Leslie: I received adorable nicknames and amazing back rubs. Oh, you meant professionally.
Leslie: Marcus Everett Langley was Pawnee's greatest lawyer at the turn of the century. His nickname was "Old Stone Face", because of his steely demeanor. And because he got in an accident at the Rock Quarry, and dynamite blew up his face.
Andy: Put the files in the drawer, let’s go.
Ethel Beavers:The official record has now been annoyingly re-opened, so that Leslie Knope can make a statement.
Leslie: In , Sarah Nelson Quindle exposed her elbow outdoors, which was a class 'A' felony. Although she felt the law unjust, she acknowledged that she had broken it, and she nobly accepted her punishment: To be set adrift on Lake Michigan, like a human popsicle.
Leslie: When you sit back and let your reputation be destroyed, you go down in history as a frozen whore.
Ann: He said to look at the monster, I’m hoping you know what that means.
Leslie: Just to be safe, find out who it is and silence him.
Ron: With pleasure.
Leslie: Wait, let me be clear. Don’t silence him, just make sure he can’t talk.
Leslie: That’s “Y” “A,” and 18 “Y’s” and 44 exclamation points.
Leslie: Ann! Aaaahhh! Ben and I hooked up last night! And I learned how to use iMovie! Call me later. Bye!
Tom: Did Tom Ford turn around the house at Gucci?
April: It was Ethel Beavers! Beavers did it! I will hold MYSELF in contempt of the court!
Andy: Is this about the laptop? I didn't mean to steal it. I took it home and I spaced, I forgot. I'm gonna bring it back. It totally works, but I got spaghetti in the keyboard.
Leslie: The only thing that was ravaged were these federal grant proposals that Donna had dropped off earlier.
Leslie: And by the way, we got the gramps – grants – ugh, it was gonna be such an awesome moment.
Leslie: Tom, will you please tell the committee why we were kissing?
Tom: An online dating site randomly paired us up, so as a joke I thought it would be funny to pretend you and I were dating. And then you kissed me as a joke to shut me up.
Leslie: But we never had any other romantic contact after that?
Tom: No, that would be like dating my older sister's elderly aunt.
Ron: She's here.
Leslie: Who's here?
Ron: My ex-wife Tammy Two. I can smell the sulfur coming off her cloven hooves.
Chris: Ms. Swanson, do you - as you claimed - have evidence that links Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt to law-breaking?
Tammy Two: Absolutely. I have several photographs that will defintively prove
Chris: May I remind you that you are under oath and if you lie I will fire you and have you prosecuted.
Tammy Two: Nothing! They will defintively prove nothing. Oh, you cut me off. I don't have any evidence! Oh Chris, so silly. OK bye, guys! Leslie, have fun with this trial. Yay!
Ron: In , the city council banned all sexual positions except for missionary. And two years later, they banned missionary.
Tom: Should a Presbyterian speak out of turn, he may be caned across the shin bone.
April: Any woman caught laughing is a witch. That’s true.
Donna: Oh my God! Black people are still not legally allowed to use the public sidewalks.
Tom: Bribing someone to hide a sexcapade? I’m proud to call you a friend.
Leslie: This mural is called Bad Pawnee, Good Pawnee. All of the terrible things that have happened in this town's history are on one side. And on the other side are all the good things that have happened. I'm on the bad side.
Ron: No you're not.
Leslie: Yes, I am, Ron. I'm guilty. I did something bad. I'm a bad person.
Ron: It's not that simple. You know what makes a good person good? When a good person does something bad, they own up to it. They try to learn something from it and they move on.
Chris: I was just doing my job. I hope that you can understand that.
Leslie: I do. Honestly, I do.
Chris: ‘Cause your actions have wounded me to my core. Which is not easy, since the bulk of my workouts are focused on core strengthening.
Chris: You’re the only person I’ve met who’s worthy of being Ben’s girlfriend.
Chris: So, you are prepared to resign, effective immediately? And take full responsibility for all the events that transpired at Li'l Sebastian's Memorial?
Ben: That is correct.
Chris: Okay, fine. This makes me sadder than I previously thought humanly possible but I accept your resignation. Can I ask you one more question? Was all of this, all the sneaking around and scandal, losing your job, waswas it worth it?
Ben: Yes. It was. Because I love Leslie. I want to be with her and I don't want to hide the way I feel about her anymore. So yeah, it was worth it, because I'm in love with Leslie Knope.
Ethel: Crying noise. Crying noise. Nose blow.
Leslie: Jerry’s better, I’m going to call you Jerry.
Parks and Rec Recap: ‘The Trial of Leslie Knope’
Leslie and Ben spent the better part of the last two seasons worrying about the ramifications of making their relationship public, so it only makes sense that, when they do disclose their secret romance, it’s taken seriously. In this case, they’re at the mercy of Chris Traeger and his thorough investigation and ethics trial, with Leslie fears will ruin her career.
“The Trial of Leslie Knope,” written by Parks co-creator and showrunner Michael Schur and producer Dan Goor, is a rare Parks and Rec episode in that it only features one main storyline and is completely free of subplots. A typical episode of the show has three plots (an A, B, and C story), but “Trial of Leslie Knope” only has one overriding A story. It was a smart decision to put so much focus on Leslie’s trial as it serves as a life-changing, pivotal moment for both Leslie and Ben. Even though the episode only featured one storyline, it’s one that incorporated all of the regular characters well, even making time for a blip of an appearance from Tammy 2 (Megan Mullally) and a tour-de-force performance from aged stenographer Ethel Beavers (from the fourth floor).
Chris’s thorough prosecution of Leslie puts him in an antagonistic role – something that’s unusual for his character. Although the writers are careful to show how sad Chris is to have to go after Leslie and that Leslie understands where he’s coming from, I can’t imagine Leslie and Ben’s relationships with Chris would be hunky dory after the results of the trial. Chris never seems too villainous in the episode, as his affection for Leslie and Ben is clear throughout, but it was a little hard to watch him come so close to ruining Leslie’s life, even if he was just doing his job.
For most of the trial, it looks like Chris’s investigation will only result in a slap on the wrists for Leslie until he brings in a surprise witness, George Williams from Public Works. If you’ll recall (as I do, vaguely), Leslie and Ben bribed George to keep him quiet after he discovered their relationship in last season’s finale, “Li’l Sebastian.” With bribery now added to Leslie’s charges, her job is now on the line. Ben stands up for her – and their relationship – by taking responsibility for the bribe and resigning.
As in the last two episodes, which saw Tom Haverford returning to the Parks Department after the failure of his multimedia conglomerate and Leslie and Ben getting back together, the writers are continuing to move the chess pieces around to keep the show fresh, this time by having Ben resign from his post. It’s a major change for his character and “The Trial of Leslie Knope” doesn’t offer much of an indication of what his future plans are (besides that they involve Leslie Knope). Maybe he’ll take a job on Leslie’s campaign staff, as he already has success mounting a successful political campaign with his ill-fated mayoral run at If he’s learned from that mistake, he won’t try to encourage Leslie to make the cornerstone of her campaign an expensive winter sports complex called “Ice Town.”
Join us next week for a recap of Parks and Rec’s final episode of , before the show (and everything else on the primetime lineup) takes a month-long holiday break. Hopefully, we’ll get some idea of Ben’s next move, as well as what this mini-scandal means for Leslie’s campaign.
-This episode features a title card bearing the episode’s name at the start, the second time the show has done this, with the first being Season 2’s “94 Meetings.” What is this turning into, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia?
-For you podcast nerds, this was the episode Amy Poehler was filming when Julie Klausner dropped by the set to interview her for How Was Your Week. Klausner and Poehler ran lines in Poehler’s trailer for the scene where Leslie and company are looking thorough old lawbooks for a loophole to save Leslie.
-The tag reveals a shocking truth about Jerry’s past that may be the most pathetic thing about him yet. The old Parks Department Director got his name wrong on his first day, calling him “Jerry” instead of his given name, “Gary,” and Jerry was too polite to ever correct him and has gone by the wrong name for the past couple decades. (By the way, how were April, Mark, and Tom able to dig up dirt on Jerry in the amazing Season 2 episode “Practice Date” if they didn’t know his real name? I may have found a sitcom plothole!)
Bradford Evans is a writer living in Los Angeles.
Parks And Recreation: “The Trial Of Leslie Knope”
ReviewsParks And Recreation
“The Trial Of Leslie Knope”
“The Trial Of Leslie Knope” is a pretty good episode—in which Leslie and Ben make their relationship known to Chris, who is forced to hold an ethics hearing for both of them. But I get the feeling that most of the good stuff was happening off-camera. The courtroom setup means that there’s a lot of talking about past events; and as is the case with the frantic Leslie Knope, there’s also a lot of time when the characters go off to gather new ammunition to fight the charges. There are even clips from previous episodes filling some of the time, distracting from the meat of what’s happening in the courtroom. There’s was a real chance Leslie will lose her job, but it’s very hard to feel those stakes.
The episode’s best moments come whenever new information is introduced. Basically, Chris—now hopped up on vitamins and nutrition supplements to avoid his inevitable depression—has multiple charges to lob Leslie’s way, things like lying about the start of the relationship and using the affair for professional gain. Each time Chris brings anything up, Leslie is ready to swat it down. So when she testifies that the relationship began in May, and Chris questions the validity of that statement, Leslie has Ann come into the courtroom with her laptop and play a video Leslie apparently made the night she and Ben first kissed. It’s a gloriously lame fake movie trailer that ends with a frantic Leslie talking directly into the camera, “HiAnnIKissedBenTonightIAlsoFiguredOutHowToUseiMovieOkayBye,” dated May Boom, court roasted. There are a few of those types of scenes, but there are way more of the type where, for example, Chris introduces a receipt for a hotel room where Leslie and Ben might have had a tryst, and Leslie has Donna explain that they were just working that night. Some of the most lively things to happen during the trial—like when April goes apeshit and Tammy 2 brings clearly doctored photos—are relegated to just a few seconds. (However, Ron’s loud cover-up of his cabin address, plus smelling Tammy 2’s arrival in the air? Just long enough.) There is little from Andy or Tom either, so the episode felt very controlled without the usual sources of unpredictability.
Even Ben barely shows up, which feel strange considering how much the characters talk about Ben. Granted, he’s forced to wait outside during the hearing, with his own commencing the next day. And he does have a sweet scene with Leslie before the hearing begins, where he gifts her a Lil Sebastian stuffed horse and promises to sit right on the other side of the wall the entire day—so every time Leslie looked up at the picture of that “wrinkled, hideous monster,” she could think of him. And she looks up at that picture an awful lot (which means we get to see that lovely image a few times), each time reminding me of his absence from the episode. The hearing ends with Leslie receiving the equivalent of a slap on the wrist, and it’s due to a secret meeting Ben had with Chris and the rest of the board. When I heard this, I got worried that we’d be denied even seeing that part of the episode.
Thankfully “The Trial Of Leslie Knopes” sticks the landing in a major way. Not only do we get to see what happens during the meeting, but the camera cuts back to Leslie’s face, hearing the transcription from the court stenographer. During the sit-down, Ben tenders his resignation, and Chris asks Ben if it was all worth it—was losing his job and slandering his name worth being with Leslie Knope. Of course the answer is “yes”, and seeing Leslie react to the retelling, slotted right after seeing Ben’s face in the actual moment, is one of the most touching things Parks And Rec has ever done. Until a few minutes later, when Leslie brings the court reporter over to Ben’s place and has her read back Leslie’s own on-the-record love fest. The two can’t even hold their smooching until the woman is done; it’s a powerful, passionate moment that stands out in a show full of ’em.
I mean, even though we don’t get to see a lot of what happens behind the scenes of “The Trial,” we see a whole lot that happens “on the record.” First off, the entire office cares enough about Leslie that they forego work for the day so they can help her pour through antiquated Pawnee historical texts. Tom’s physically repulsed by Leslie—the mere thought of dating her is like thinking about dating his older sister’s elderly aunt—yet he willingly takes the stand and lets everyone know that they kissed each other once. Andy’s so eager to help that he rushes off to gather evidence before Leslie can even finish telling him what evidence he’s supposed to be gathering. And Chris—poor Chris. He’s psychosomatic to his core (the target zone of his workout) and is becoming physically ill at the push-pull between his respect for Leslie/Ben and his duty as their boss. He pops a bunch of pills, works himself to a sweat by jumping up and down, and openly weeps in Ben’s arms… because he cares. Parks And Rec is, as always, a shining example that characters can really like each other and things will continue to be funny. Right, Gary?
- I love that Ron thinks the computer is the problem with his privacy, and that by throwing out his computer everything will be better.
- I’ve interviewed Poehler, and she’s expressed a fondness for Law & Order. Art, it imitates life!
TVReviewsParks And Recreation
Knope leslie trial of
Parks and Recreation: "The Trial of Leslie Knope" Review
Yes, I do think that this show has spent too many episodes in a row specifically dealing with Leslieand Ben's relationship, but - dammit! - it also has an amazing knack for making it all so sweet and touching that there are moments when my eyes well with actual waters of sadness/joy. It's really hard to find a comedy that can be ridiculously hilarious and satisfyingly sentimental at the same time.
"The Trial of Leslie Knope" was very solid and great display of this show's ensemble, with Amy Poehler's Leslie really shining under the backdrop of a courtroom scenario where she could really sink her teeth into Leslie's gusto, stubbornness and OCD tendencies. Chris was also a stand-out in this one and by the end, as cartoonish as his character can sometimes be, you really did understand why he took Leslie and Ben's relationship so seriously, even if it did push him towards the brink of anxious depression, making him surround himself with an extremely high dosage of herbal remedies ("My mouth feels like a spaceship.") In fact, even though it all seemed to be "much ado about nothing," I wound up wishing that guys like Chris were actually real and working to help root out corruption in our actual country's government.
So, now that Ben has resigned and he and Leslie are free to be an actual public "item" I feel as though this show can be a bit freer in its upcoming storylines. Let it not be said that this show didn't work really hard to earn this relationship – from big gestures like Leslie bringing the gravel-voiced court stenographer out to Ben's house to read aloud her love for him, to Leslie just looking over at the portrait of Ol' Stoneface, Marcus Everett Langley (steely demeanor, face 'sploded by dynamite), simply because he represented Ben standing right outside the door. The upside to this TV relationship is that Leslie has built-in ambition and her potential career in politics is a focal point, so there a good chance that we won't fall into too many cliched couple pitfalls.
I really enjoyed the brief return of Tammy II, mostly because it meant that I got to see Ron Swanson run. Which is always a joy. Plus, Ron's overboard reaction to Google Earth's invasion of privacy was classic. Not that throwing one's computer away would technically abolish Google Earth, but I liked the gesture. It was basically Ron treating the computer like it was some sort of demon that needed to be destroyed. Which is funny considering that we also uncovered a few of Pawnee's madcap ordinances in this episode; one being "Any woman caught laughing is a witch." Also, the story of a woman who exposed her elbow back in and was set adrift on an ice bed out on Lake Michigan. Yes, Leslie vowed not to be a deemed a "frozen whore."
Also, how great was finding out that Jerry's real name is actually "Gary?" Also, how Leslie and Chris had no idea to fully accept or process that new information? Jerry Gergich or Gary Gergich? Doesn't matter. Both are awful.
Matt Fowler is an Editor of IGN TV. You can follow him on Twitter at @MattIGN.
Was this article informative?
The Trial of Leslie Knope - Parks and Recreation
OK GUYS MY ONLY HOPE IS THAT IN ONE OF THESE OLD BOOKS THERES SOME WEIRD, ARCANE STATUTE OR GOVERNMENT RULE THAT HELPS ME. SO EVERYBODY GRAB A VOLUME, AND LETS JUST READ UP. - OKAY, MINE DOESNT HAVE ANY PICTURES. DOES ANYONE HAVE ANYTHING? DID ANYBODY FIND ANYTHING GOOD? - IN , THE CITY COUNCIL BANNED ALL SEXUAL POSITIONS EXCEPT FOR MISSIONARY. AND TWO YEARS LATER, THEY BANNED MISSIONARY. - , SHOULD A PRESBYTERIAN SPEAK OUT OF TURN, HE MAY BE CANED ACROSS THE SHINBONE. - OH, MY GOD. BLACK PEOPLE STILL CANT LEGALLY USE CITY SIDEWALKS. - LOOK, I KNOW WERE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE SEEN TOGETHER, BUT I THINK BEN COULD BE REALLY HELPFUL WITH THIS. CAN SOMEBODY GO GET HIM? - ALL RIGHT, ILL GO. - "ANY WOMAN CAUGHT LAUGHING IS A WITCH." THATS TRUE. - UM, HES NOT THERE. - NO, HE SAID HED JUST BE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT WALL. HES PROBABLY IN THE BATHROOM. - ALL RIGHT, ILL FIND HIM. - THIS MURAL IS CALLED BAD PAWNEE, GOOD PAWNEE. ALL THE TERRIBLE THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED IN THIS TOWNS HISTORY ARE ON ONE SIDE. AND ON THE OTHER SIDE ARE ALL THE GOOD THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED. IM ON THE BAD SIDE. - NO, YOURE NOT. - YES, I AM, RON. IM GUILTY. I DID SOMETHING BAD. IM A BAD PERSON. - ITS NOT THAT SIMPLE. YOU KNOW WHAT MAKES A GOOD PERSON GOOD? WHEN A GOOD PERSON DOES SOMETHING BAD, THEY OWN UP TO IT. THEY TRY TO LEARN SOMETHING FROM IT, AND THEY MOVE ON. - GUYS, EVERYBODY STOP READING-- NO MORE LOOPHOLES, NO MORE FIGHTING. - ARE YOU SURE, BOSS? - YEAH. I KNOW I LET YOU DOWN. AND I JUST WANT TO SAY IM REALLY SORRY. - LESLIE, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? - YEAH, THIS MAKES ME LIKE YOU MORE. - BRIBING SOMEONE TO HIDE A SEXCAPADE-- IM PROUD TO CALL YOU A FRIEND. - AND I ALWAYS LIKED YOU. - OKAY, WERE BACK. CLEAR THE CHAMBER, PLEASE. - I THINK IM ABOUT TO GET FIRED, RON. - MS. KNOPE, UNLESS YOU HAVE ANY OBJECTIONS, WELL BE ENDING THIS INVESTIGATION AND MOVING ON TO THE PUNISHMENT PHASE. - I HAVE NO OBJECTIONS. - WE HEREBY HAND DOWN THE FOLLOWING JUDGMENT. YOU WILL BE SUSPENDED FOR TWO WEEKS WITH PAY. - JUST TWO WEEKS? - CORRECT. THIS CONCLUDES THE INVESTIGATION. - I THOUGHT I WAS GONNA GET FIRED. I SHOULDVE GOTTEN FIRED. WHY DIDNT I GET FIRED? - BEN ASKED FOR A PRIVATE MEETING WITH THE COMMITTEE, AND HE TOOK FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE BRIBE AND RESIGNED, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. - WHAT? WAIT. HANG ON. YOU CANT LET HIM RESIGN. - I TRIED TO TALK HIM OUT OF IT, BUT HIS MIND WAS MADE UP. LOOK, MY JOB IS TO PROTECT THE GOVERNMENT FROM FRAUD AND CORRUPTION. I WAS JUST DOING MY JOB. I HOPE THAT YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THAT. - I DO. HONESTLY, I DO. - CAUSE YOUR ACTIONS WOUNDED ME TO MY CORE, WHICH IS NOT EASY SINCE THE BULK OF MY WORKOUTS ARE FOCUSED ON CORE STRENGTHENING. BUT WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS. YOU ARE AN EXCELLENT GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, YOURE THE ONLY PERSON IVE EVER MET WHOS WORTHY OF BEING BENS GIRLFRIEND. - I HOPE THATS TRUE. - YOU KNOW, THE MEETING THAT BEN AND I HAD-- ITS ON THE RECORD. YOU SHOULD TAKE A LOOK AT THE LAST PAGE OF THE TRANSCRIPT. - "MR. WYATT: CHRIS, FOR GODS SAKE, "WOULD YOU MIND NOT JUMPING FOR A WHILE? MR. TRAEGER: SORRY, BEN, BUT" - THIS IS HOW I FIGHT DEPRESSION. OKAY, FINE. ILL STOP. - THANK YOU. - OKAY, SO YOU ARE PREPARED TO RESIGN, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, AND TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ALL THE EVENTS THAT TRANSPIRED AT LIL SEBASTIANS MEMORIAL. - "MR. WYATT: THAT IS CORRECT. " - THAT IS CORRECT. - "MR. TRAEGER: OKAY, FINE. "THIS MAKES ME SADDER THAN I PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT "HUMANLY POSSIBLE, BUT I ACCEPT YOUR RESIGNATION. CAN I ASK YOU ONE MORE QUESTION?" - WAS ALL OF THIS-- ALL THE SNEAKING AROUND, THE SCANDAL, LOSING YOUR JOB-- WAS IT WORTH IT? - YES. IT WAS. - "BECAUSE I LOVE LESLIE. I WANT TO BE WITH HER. "AND I DONT WANT TO HIDE "THE WAY I FEEL ABOUT HER ANYMORE. "SO, YEAH, IT WAS WORTH IT, "BECAUSE IM IN LOVE WITH LESLIE KNOPE. "MR. TRAEGER: THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL. "IM LITERALLY CRYING AND JUMPING. "CRYING NOISE, CRYING NOISE, NOSE BLOW. "MR. WYATT: ITS GONNA BE OKAY. MR. TRAEGER" - [sobbing] - OH. LET IT OUT, I GUESS. - "END TRANSCRIPT."
- Jeep jk afe exhaust
- September 14 zodiac career
- Zoom meeting id
- 70 crash ohio
- Gender change movie list
- Minnie mouse tumbler
- Bars near moma
- Weather channel baltimore
Recap / Parks and Recreation S04 E09
Leslie: I've seen over episodes of Law & Order and it's paying off big time.
Ron tries to buy something online and receives a pop-up ad with his name on it. April explains what "cookies" are to him and he is shocked at what he sees as an invasion of privacy. April then refers him to Google Earth and to type his address in it. He does so and throws his computer out in the dumpster.
Meanwhile, Leslie and Ben come clean to Chris about their on-off relationship that's been going on for the past year. After getting over his initial shock, Chris decides to launch an investigation and hold a hearing the next day to determine whether Leslie has violated any ethical codes and her subsequent punishment, with a hearing for Ben to be held the following day.
The next day, Leslie and Ben meet up early in the courtroom. Leslie is worried the worst could happen. Ben reassures her that she'll likely get a suspension at most, but to Leslie, even that is a terrible thing. He encourages Leslie, even though he won't be allowed to attend the hearing. Later, Chris arrives, miserable at having to hold this trial. He fights his sadness over this by taking an obscenely large amount of herbal remedies and supplements.
The trial commences. Chris asks Leslie when her relationship with Ben began, if she ever received special professional treatment, and if she ever broke a law to cover up the relationship. She answers that she and Ben began their relationship after their road trip to Indianapolis and admits to breaking the "no-dating" rule, but insists she never received special treatment or did anything unethical. Chris, however, believes that Leslie is lying about when the relationship started and that she may be guilty of bribery, and has fourteen witnesses to call up. Leslie is angered and offended by these accusations, but Chris emphasizes that it is his responsibility as City Manager to fully investigate any possible instances of corruption in the government. Leslie becomes determined to fight back against his charges.
During a break, Leslie consults with her team. She assigns Andy and April to get some files out of her office while Ron and Donna are sent to find out who will be testifying. Later, Ron informs Leslie that there is a rumor that Chris has a "killer witness".
The hearing resumes, and Leslie uses the witness testimony from Ann and Donna to establish that her relationship with Ben began just when she said it did and never used the taxpayers' dime for any romantic ventures. Hours pass by and Leslie has refuted every one of Chris' charges. During Ron's testimony, Tammy 2 shows up for her testimony and Ron immediately takes off. When Chris questions Tammy, she claims to have evidence that Leslie and Ben broke the law, but when Chris reminds her that she's under oath and will be fired and prosecuted if she lies, she retracts her statement and takes off.
Leslie addresses the panel, stating that the only broken rule was that she and Ben were in a relationship. Chris calls in his last witness: George Williams, the maintenance man that witnessed Leslie and Ben kissing during the preparations for Li'l Sebastian's memorial service. Since they gave him a gift certificate in exchange for his silence, Leslie and Ben technically bribed him.
Realizing her job is at stake, Leslie, as a last resort, calls for a brief recess and has her team search through old statutes that might get her off the hook. Leslie sends Donna to get Ben, but he can't be found. Leslie is afraid she'll be fired and laments how she screwed things up. Ron gives Leslie some encouragement to admit her guilt. Realizing that she has to face the consequences, Leslie calls off the search and apologizes to her team. They reassure her that they still and always will respect her.
The panel comes back and ends the investigation. Leslie's punishment is a two-week suspension with pay. As things wrap up, Leslie asks Chris why she hasn't been fired. He reveals that Ben called a private meeting, took full responsibility for the bribe, and resigned from his job. Chris apologizes to Leslie and explains that he was just doing his job; Leslie assures Chris that she understands. Chris then adds that out of all the other women he's seen Ben with, Leslie is the only one he truly sees as deserving of his best friend. He also suggests she meet with the court stenographer, Ethel Beavers, to read the transcript of the meeting to her.
Leslie listens to Ethel read the transcript of Ben's meeting with the panel. Chris had asked Ben if the scandal and losing his job were worth it, and Ben replied that he has no regrets because he loves Leslie. Leslie has Ethel reopen the transcript and declares her love for Ben on the record. She brings Ethel to her house later that night to read the official testimony to Ben.
- Accidental Misnaming: Turns out Jerry's real name is Garry. The previous department head called him "Jerry" on his first day at work and he didn't have the heart to correct him. Everyone keeps calling him Jerry anyway since they're just used to calling him that.
- Attention Deficit Oh Shiny: When trying to get Andy to gather evidence, Andy is distracted while scratching his ear and Leslie has to snap her fingers in his face to get his attention, and even then he doesn't understand her instructions.
- Bait-and-Switch Boss: Tammy 2 is introduced as Chris' most dangerous witness, which Leslie agrees is apt, describing her as a dangerous sociopath. However, when Tammy is reminded by Chris what the consequences of lying under oath are, she retracts her statement and leaves, giving space to the real killer witness: the park worker that Leslie and Ben bribed in the season 3 finale.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Chris visibly loses it with Leslie during the trial when she insists that she only violated "[his] rule" in an effort to downplay it and avoid getting punished, sharply pointing out that it's an important rule in government offices to prevent fraud and corruption. To her credit, Leslie does realize this and assures him later that he was very fair and she understands why he did what he did.
- Chekhov's Gunman: George, the maintenance worker who caught Ben and Leslie kissing at Li'l Sebastian's memorial, is called in to testify on their relationship and the bribe they gave him to keep him quiet.
- Comically Missing the Point:
- Ron throws his computer in the trash when he finds the Internet has invaded his privacy.
- Leslie has her team members search through thick books of statutes to help her find a loophole in the law, and Andy says this while flipping through one:
Andy: Okay, mine doesn't have any pictures.
- Courtroom Episode: It's right there in the name ("The Trial of Leslie Knope").
- Crazy-Prepared: Chris had a huge number of witnesses ready to testify the Monday after Leslie and Ben informed him of their relationship, and Leslie is visibly stunned by the number of witnesses he's going to call and the evidence he's gathered. The hearing taking place on Monday implies that he had at least a weekend to pull everything together, but that's still a quick turnaround. Based on all that, it's possible that Chris already knew about their relationship and had been quietly gathering evidence for weeks if not months, because he knew if it came out he'd have to investigate and he's too noble and dedicated to even try and be half-assed about it. Leslie, on the other hand, was surprised at the number of witnesses and Chris's accusations, but she's still able to pull together a lot of physical evidence and work out lines of questioning for cross-examination to disprove every accusation Chris madeat least until his star witness testifies, at which point she's reduced to researching obscure laws that are ultimately unhelpful.
- Cry Cute: Chris does this after Ben resigns from his job out of love for Leslie.
- Cry into Chest: Chris breaks down sobbing into Ben's chest. Ben can only awkwardly hold him and tell him to "let it all out".
- Curbstomp Battle: In a way, Chris quickly reminding Tammy 2 that if she lies (which she will do), he will have her fired and prosecuted for perjury. Tammy immediately retracts her "proof" and leaves. Taking her down is practically impossible for Leslie, with Ron (and later on, Diane) being the only one who can get her to back down normallyand even then it doesn't always work.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: As usual, this is Played for Laughs regarding Pawnee's history and old laws. For one thing, black people aren't allowed to legally use sidewalks, every other sexual position except missionary was banned (and even that got banned shortly afterward), and a woman was sentenced to death for having accidentally exposed her elbow.
- Distinction Without a Difference: Leslie tells Ron to silence Chris's decisive witness, then corrects herself "Don't silence him, just make sure he can't talk."
- Facial Horror: A painting in the courtroom depicts a lawyer from s Pawnee known as "Old Stoneface" who was nicknamed so for his steely demeanor and for the horrible scars on his face that came from him being caught in an explosion at a rock quarry where a stick of dynamite blew off half his face.
- Gilligan Cut: As soon as Ron searches his address on Google Earth, it cuts to the next scene; Ron throwing his computer in the dumpster.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Ben willingly resigns from his job to help Leslie keep hers at the end.
- Lampshade Hanging: When Leslie defends herself by arguing that she and Ben only violated "Chris's rule" about government employees dating their superiors, Chris points out it's actually a law and standard practice in most government institutions.
- Lawful Neutral: Chris invokes this when Leslie and Ben decide to confess they have been together despite the policy against co-workers being in relationships. Chris tells them how much he loves both of them (he's worked personally with Ben for years), but also proceeds to launch a full and thorough investigation to make sure their relationship didn't compromise city assets. Eventually, a maintenance worker that caught them last season proves they did bribe a city employee to keep their relationship a secret, but Ben takes responsibility and resigns while Leslie is given a mild reprimand. Chris reiterates after it's done that his first responsibility is to protect the city from corruption and scandals and that he still sees Leslie and Ben as some of the best people he's ever worked with.
- Malaproper: While refuting another charge of Chris', Leslie talks about how she and the department had to pull an all-nighter to finish some federal grant proposals, and she has a slip of the tongue when she finishes it off with "We got the gramps."
- Moment Killer: Ethel during Leslie and Ben's kiss at the end of the episode.
- Nothing Personal: Chris apologizes to Leslie for putting her and Ben through the wringer in the trial, stating he was just doing his job. Leslie assures him that she isn't taking it personally, and she understands his position.
- Principles Zealot: Chris considers Leslie a great friend and a great employee, and really hates that he has to put her and Ben through an ethics trial. However, he will not half-ass the investigation and does it to the best of his ability.
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Ethel does this while reading from the transcript of Ben and Chris' private meeting.
Ethel: Crying noise, crying noise, nose blow.
- Shipper on Deck: Chris becomes one for Leslie and Ben at the end, stating that out of all the other women he's seen his best friend date, Leslie is the only one he feels is truly worthy of Ben.
- Stepford Smiler: Chris is utterly stressed out and really doesn't like that he has to put two people he considers his best friends and good workers through the metaphorical grinder. But thanks to a massive amount of supplements and exercises, he's keeping his positive energy Up to Eleven.
- Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Tammy 2 is clearly planning to take a golden opportunity to spitefully slander Leslie from the witness box, in true sitcom/TV fashion right up until the point that Chris reminds her that doing so at an official legal proceeding would be perjury, which would leave her open to being fired from her job, prosecuted and open to serious legal punishment. And that despite currently prosecuting Leslie, Chris is not on her side and has absolutely no motivation to or interest in just letting her get away scot-free with doing so. Tammy 2 gives up and scurries away as quickly as she possibly can.
- Tastes Like Purple: A variation - one of the herbal remedies Chris used before coming to the trial was a bee pollen paste he rubbed on his gums that makes his mouth feel like a spaceship.
- Was It Really Worth It?: Chris asks Ben this as he resigns, if all the sneaking around and keeping secrets and losing his job was worth it. Ben replies that being with Leslie made it all Worth It because he loves her and wants to be with her.
- Women Are Wiser: A mild example - Andy needs April's help to gather the evidence Leslie needs to refute Chris' charges, and Donna accompanies Ron around City Hall to meet the other department heads to get information on Chris' witnesses but Ron doesn't know any of the other department heads. Donna lampshades this, wondering what's with the men in the Parks office.
Parks and Recreation
In a memetic scene from "The Trial of Leslie Knope", upon realizing that his own private information can be obtained by the internet through the use of "cookies", Ron Swanson proceeds to throw his computer in a dumpster.