New Beginnings

Season 6
Episode 610
Air Date 01/16/14
TV-14

Leslie comes to Ron's office to officially interview for her old job as the Director of the Parks and Rec Department. Ron assures her that she doesn't have to interview for the position, but Leslie insists. Ron finally decides to play along, and after a brief interview he decides that Leslie isn't right for the position. Leslie pleads desperately for special treatment as Ron pushes her out the door.

Later, Leslie attends her first department meeting and learns that a lot has changed during her time away. Tom is now Pawnee's official business liaison, and each member of the staff has a designated spirit dog now. It's a different world than the one Leslie left behind, and she might have some trouble reorienting herself.

Chris and Ann take a jaunt around city hall to take photos of their favorite places. They run into Jerry in the courtyard, who encourages them to get married. Chris takes the initiative and proposes to Ann on the spot. Despite Jerry's gag attack during the entire ordeal, Ann accepts the proposal.

Ben is adjusting to his new role as Pawnee's city planner, a position he's taken over from Chris. Ben immediately puts some strict rules into effect. Employees are no longer allowed to use Facebook or be on personal cell phones during business hours. Ben thought that bribing the employees with illegal French cheese would gain favor, but nobody cares about his cheese.

Meanwhile, Leslie struggles to rebuild the Parks Department she left a year ago. She's replaced the spirit dog chart with a spirit kangaroo chart, but it's not nearly as engaging. Later that afternoon, the police stop by Ben's office to confiscate his illegal cheese. It seems that someone ratted him out. Ben is awkwardly escorted to the police station to face the music.

Chris and Ann stop by the jewelry store to purchase an engagement ring, and they're quickly overwhelmed by their uncharacteristically casual engagement. They finally choose a ring, but realize that they should either plan their wedding more intricately or commit themselves to their non-traditional wedding style. Chris immediately returns the ring, much to the chagrin of the jewelry store owner, then changes his mind again, then returns the ring again.

The police have no sympathy for Ben, and Ben quickly begins to panic. He later discovers that the whole situation was an elaborate prank organized by his co-workers. Andy convinces Ben to pull a revenge prank with his help. Andy has a bad track record for pranks, but Ben is desperate. Leslie makes a move to squelch Tom's new business endeavor because she doesn't trust Tom's abilities. Ron tries to convince her that Tom is a new man.

Back at the office, Andy gives Donna and April a heads up that Ben is planning an elaborate prank. Moments later, Ben walks in sweating and acting very strangely. Donna and April play along, but Ben eventually caves and tells the women his entire plan, which is way too scary and elaborate for a normal prank. Andy accidentally sets off Ben's squibs, and fake gunshot wounds explode from his chest. Even though the prank failed, April still loves it.

Meanwhile, Tom gives a fantastic presentation to the business board. Once Leslie sees him in action, she understands what Ron has been saying: Tom is a formidable businessman, and he's definitely come into his own while Leslie's been away. After the meeting, Ron explains how Leslie's influence has turned Tom and April into incredible employees.

Leslie also informs Ron that he's been named Pawnee's Government Employee of the Month. Before she can even finish her congratulations, Ron snatches the plaque, takes it to his woodshop, saws it into pieces, burns it in a fire and buries the ashes in the woods.

Parks and Recreation - Ben Wyatt sits with Officer Killnose in a scene from episode 611, "New Beginnings"

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