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Jerry's Retirement

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Well, everybody, um... wow, it has been an honor and a pleasure to work with you all. The time I have spent at Parks and Rec have been the happiest days of my life here in the government. And I know everyone says it, but I sincerely hope that we stay in touch.
Jerry Gergich

"Jerry's Retirement" is the twentieth episode of Season 5 of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation. It originally aired on April 18, 2013 to 3.34 million viewers.

Storyline Edit

Over her first year as a city councilwoman, Leslie Knope has worked nearly non-stop. Ben Wyatt feels it is time she take a day off to relax and spend with him. However, upon discovering that Jerry Gergich is retiring, she gets back to work in an attempt to send her colleague off on the right note. Jerry has worked in the Parks Department for 40 years without doing anything noteworthy, so Leslie goes about helping Jerry tick off his goals that he set when he filled out his original entry paperwork. She feels obliged to help Jerry as she doesn't want him to leave this job with nothing and go home to an empty life. The first goal she attempts to achieve is eat in city council dinning room, which can't be done. Next is to meet Mayor Knudson, which also can't done as Knudson died in 1985. Another absurd goal was to have a building named after him, so as a compromise, Leslie decides to name the Parks Department's conference room after Jerry. The department then sends him off with a cake, but in true Jerry fashion, his blazer catches on fire, which requires extinguishing. Leslie is not satisfied, so the next morning she visits Jerry at his home where his entire family welcomes her with open arms. Jerry explains he is not fussed about not achieving his goals; he is more pleased with the fact that his time working at the Parks Department allowed him to always get home to his family in the evening. Leslie realizes that, while not how she would picture such a life, it is how Jerry filled his life and he is quite content with it.

Meanwhile, Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger visit the fertility clinic where they are told they have every reason to suspect their child will be completely healthy, and if they'd prefer, Chris can provide his sample that day. But, with the concept of artificial insemination no longer just a distant thought, Chris and Ann get cold feet and decide to take a few days to think things over once more before rushing any decisions. At her house, Chris and Ann review the clinic's pamphlets on artificial insemination and are put off by the medical, emotionless verbiage throughout. After reminiscing on they good times they had "physically" together, the pair are immediately compelled to approach her fertility with a more "natural" route. This leads to Ann thinking it might be good for their child to have a stable parenting situation, fuelling the idea that the pair should be a couple once again.

In a B plot, with Jerry leaving the office, Ron Swanson proclaims someone will inevitably assume his place as the office joke. Tom Haverford takes every precaution to make sure he doesn't become the "new Jerry," but when he has a verbal flub in a meeting, his worst nightmare comes true. He is mocked to no end and implores Ron to hire a new intern so he can pass the torch on. This doesn't work, as everyone in the office immediately finds the intern to be a perfect specimen. Ron decides instead to let the intern go and bring in Jerry on a once-a-week basis, just so everyone can still enjoy the normalcy of ragging on their inept friend and his clumsiness.

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