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Are You Better Off?

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I'm here today to ask you one question: are you better off now than you were a year ago?
Leslie Knope

"Are You Better Off?" is the season finale of the fifth season of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation. It aired on May 2, 2013.

Storyline Edit

Founder's Week is a yearly celebration of all things Pawnee, and to prepare for the momentous day, Leslie Knope brings her entire staff to Ron's cabin in the woods for a brainstorming session. As Leslie encourages everyone to focus and rid themselves of distractions, Tom Haverford is still dealing the train wreck that is his girlfriend Mona-Lisa Saperstein.

While searching through the trash for his sweatshirt at Ron's cabin, Andy Dwyer comes across a positive pregnancy test, which propels him to reassume his alter ego as Bert Macklin, FBI. There were five women at the cabin over the weekend, and Andy vows to figure out which one is pregnant. Andy confronts Ann Perkins first, but it's not her. She is a little annoyed that someone else got pregnant before her, though. Ann hops on board as Macklin's partner, and the two set out to find the woman behind the test.

Leslie hosts a Founder's Week public forum to help celebrate her first year in office as a Pawnee city councilwoman. To kick things off, Leslie posits the question, "Are you better off now than you were a year ago?" Immediately, however, there is hostility with Pawnee Restaurant Association spokeswoman Kathryn Pinewood speaking up against many of Leslie's changes which she feels restricts citizen's basic personal freedoms. Many more stand up against Leslie, and overall, the forum does not go well.

Business is booming at Rent-A-Swag, and a lawyer representing an anonymous client approaches Tom about buying the company. Tom reports back to his investors – Donna Meagle, April Ludgate, Jerry Gergich and Ron – about the opportunity, and Donna is all over the idea, but Ron thinks Tom should continue growing his business as he is clearly doing something right if he is being offered to sell. Tom meets with the anonymous buyer's lawyer again, telling the man he's keeping Rent-A-Swag. The lawyer subsequently informs Tom that his client will be opening up a competitor directly across from Rent-A-Swag in the near future.

Andy and Ann rule out Donna and Leslie, leaving only Mona-Lisa, but that turns out to also be a dead end, much to the relief of Tom. Andy, having originally ruled out April because she would have told him, goes to his wife to congratulate her as she is the only suspect left. April denies this, but informs Andy that she was accepted into Veterinary School in Bloomington.

Leslie finds the Founder's Week Parade to be a perfect distraction from the drama surrounding her humiliating forum. This is quickly brought back to light after a float advertising her recall from city council is present in the parade, with Kathryn Pinewood leading the charge. At breakfast the next day, Leslie is disheartened, and questions the value of her job. Ben Wyatt assures her to not worry about her doubters and continue to follow her heart. She later holds a press conference in which she publicly encourages her detractors to "bring it on" with their recall campaign. Leslie is proud of her record as a city councilwoman and urges the press and citizens of Pawnee to ask themselves if they're seriously not better with her in office.

The episode ends with Andy questioning Ron as to who the pregnancy test could belong to if it wasn't his five suspects. Just as he posses the question, Ron's girlfriend, Diane Lewis, enters his office requesting to speak to him in private, ending Andy's investigation. 

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