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"Leslie & Ron" is the fourth episode of Season 7 of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation, and the 116th episode overall. It premiered on January 20, 2015 to 3.30 million viewers.

StorylineEdit

Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson are alone together in their old stomping ground, the headquarters of the Department of Parks and Recreation. Neither can bear the thought of being alone with each other for 10 hours, but the pair are unable to escape via any means. Leslie proposes they simply wait a few minutes, then turn on the baby monitor left for them and inform Ben they have talked it out and made up. However, Leslie's pretend version of her apologizing for being too caring and Ron admitting to being stubborn does not sit well with Ron; her sarcastic alternate is more to Ron's liking, which leads to Leslie throwing the monitor on the ground and destroying their only means of an early exit. As a result, Ron chooses to sit in silence while Leslie pesters him to get him to talk. He eventually can't take anymore of Leslie's nonsense and agrees to speak with her for three minutes. To aid her in her discussion with Ron, Leslie draws up a chart with a number of key events that occurred around 2014 and 2015 that may have contributed to the demise of her friendship with Ron, culminating in the infamous "Morningstar" incident. It is finally revealed that Morningstar was a luxury apartment complex that Ron's building company championed and built adjacent to the Pawnee Commons. Leslie was furious with Ron for the fact that he did not tell her in advance about the plans, combined with the project's go-ahead to removed many of the surrounding houses, including Ann's old house. Leslie figures she has deduced what happened, but Ron reveals that there is more to the story of what happened and why he left the Parks Department. However, before Leslie can get anymore out of him, Ron's watch beeps to signal that three minutes is up. He subsequently scampers into his old office to avoid discussing the matter any further.

As a result of Ron's unwillingness to converse, Leslie begins quizzing him directly outside his office. Ron eventually has enough and commits to using excessive measures to escape. He finds his old "partially defused" claymore mine that Leslie gave him 10 years ago, but is disappointed to discover that what he always thought was an actual landmine was merely a gimmick that Leslie bought as an anniversary gift for being Parks Director for five years—she had bought the empty shell online and filled it with balloons and confetti.

Two hours go by and Leslie has sifted through a number of the pair's old projects and documents in order to expand her original timeline chart. She stumbles across her Parks Department job application and is keen to read what Ron's very first impressions of her were. His words were blatant and described plainly how he and Leslie would never be able to mesh due to their completely different ideals, and that it would be a volatile relationship from the start. However, he was adamant that Leslie should be hired. Ron explains that it was her interview that had him convinced—to him, she was tough and honest, and stood up for what she believed in even if it might have damaged her chances of getting the job. The two have finally opened up to each other, but Ron can't bear to have the conversation get anymore sappy. He tries one final thing to get out: pulling the fire switch. It's another failure as the alarm merely turns on the sprinklers—April's constant tampering with the device over the years led to the fire department deactivating it.

There is now nowhere for Ron to run and he finally gives in to spilling his side of the story. Over a bottle of alcohol, the two finally fully embrace. Ron explains that after Leslie left to join the National Parks Service on the third floor, she took both Jerry and April with her, leaving Ron with no familiar faces in the Parks Department after both Tom and Donna also left to pursue their new careers. In a bold move for Ron, he made a decision in November 2014: to ask Leslie for a job at the National Parks Service over lunch. With Leslie being so busy however with her job, she stood him up. This blow made Ron realize that his time in government work was over, so he quit his long-time role of Director of the Parks and Recreation Department and did not feel the need to explain his decision to anyone. He went on to establish his own building company and took on the Morningstar project, of which he admits to Leslie he is incredibly resentful about. To make the old stomping ground feel like home again now they have reconciled, they redecorate the entire department office with all their old ornaments and furniture and rock out until the gang come back to let them out in the morning.

By the afternoon of the next day, the two old companions are once again on good terms. As a peace offering, Ron presents Leslie with a framed picture. He explains the wood used for the frame is that of the front door from Ann's house, having salvaged the door himself in the event he and Leslie may someday reconcile. The pair then head off to indulged in their favorite past-time: eating "too much breakfast food" at JJ's Diner.

GoofsEdit

  • When Leslie goes to visit Ron after hearing about Morningstar, it is January 2015. During the conversation, Ron mentions Ann Perkins "hasn't lived there for five years", referring to Ann's House. This is inaccurate as Ann left Pawnee and her home in the Season 6 episode Ann and Chris, which was set in 2014, meaning Ron's five-year estimate is well off.

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