|Kaboom is a word I made up. It's not in any dictionary. I trick people into building playgrounds in empty lots in their neighborhoods. It's an elaborate prank. For my next prank, I'm going to build a hospital in a poor part of China. They'll never see it coming.|
|— Keef Slertner|
The episode was written by Aisha Muharrar and directed by Charles McDougall, and featured guest performances by comedians Paul Scheer and H. Jon Benjamin. "Kaboom" saw the filling in of the Pawnee pit, a focal plot device in Parks and Recreation since the first episode. As part of a multi-network television campaign to spotlight volunteerism, the episode predominantly featured the real-life organization KaBOOM!, a charity that builds playgrounds in locations all over the United States.
According to Nielsen Ratings, the episode was seen by 4.98 million households, an improvement over the previous week. "Kaboom" received generally positive reviews, with several commentators praising the series for resolving the long-standing pit subplot.
The episode opens with Leslie receiving a speakerphone call about abnormal transactions on her credit card. The purchases turn out to all be legitimate, but Leslie cancels the card anyway out of embarrassment when Tom hears about her unusual purchases, including a "bucket of cake", a man pillow and tuition to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Later, the parks department visit neighboring Indiana town Eagleton to help build a playground in a single day, as part of an event by the charity KaBOOM! Leslie is inspired by the energy of the group and its leader Keef Slertner, which prompts her to take proactive measures in filling in the pit in Pawnee and turning it into a park. While discussing the matter with her parks department, Mark takes her aside and suggests she simply fill it in without permission. Leslie decides to take his advice and rents a bulldozer to fill in the pit.
Leslie meets Ann at the pit with the rented bulldozer, which starts filling it in with dirt. However, they failed to realize Ann's ex-boyfriend Andy was still living in a tent in the pit, and he is injured when mounds of dirt fall on him. He is taken to the hospital, where Ann is assigned as his nurse. An angry Ron tells Leslie the town is now open to a large potential lawsuit from Andy, and he sends her to visit him along with their city attorney Scott Braddock. Meanwhile, Andy is excited to be near Ann and insists it will lead to them getting back together, but Ann tells him she is very happy dating Mark, who unlike Andy has a job, apartment and future. A disheartened Andy decides he has to get money to impress Ann. When Leslie visits, he regretfully tells her he and his attorney Wendell Adams are going to sue Pawnee.
Leslie is convinced she can reason with Andy if they can talk without their lawyers, but Andy will not return her calls. Finally, Ann calls Andy and asks him to come to her house. Later that day, he arrives completely naked, having assumed Ann wanted to take her back. A disgusted Ann leaves the house, leaving Leslie and Andy to talk. Andy admits he is suing the town in an attempt to win Ann back, and she thinks of a different way he can impress her. The next day at city hall, Andy tells Leslie and Scott he will drop the lawsuit if they agree to fill in the pit right away. Scott agrees, unaware it was a trick between Andy and Leslie. The next day the pit is filled in and turned into a lot, and an impressed Ann waves at Andy while the construction work is going on. The episode ends with Keef riding a motorboat, revealing his role in KaBOOM! was an elaborate prank to get the playground built, and announcing he is heading to build a hospital in a poor part of China.
- Paul Scheer as Keef Slertner.
- Jim O'Heir as Jerry Gergich.
- Retta as Donna Meagle.
- H. Jon Benjamin as Scott Braddock.
- Chris Tallman as Wendell Adams.
Mark: Would you break the rules?
Leslie: I won't murder.
Mark: That's good to know.
Leslie: Sometimes when you make an omelet you've gotta break a few eggs. What's the alternative? No omelets at all? Who wants to live in that kind of world? Maybe birds. Then all their babies would live.
Keef: Kaboom is a word I made up. It's not in any dictionary. I trick people into building playgrounds in empty lots in their neighborhoods. It's an elaborate prank. For my next prank, I'm going to build a hospital in a poor part of China. They'll never see it coming.