Parks and Rec Post Mortem: Amy Poehler and Mike Schur Break Down Those Recall Results

ParksandRecRecallThe following story contains spoilers from Thursday’s episode of NBC’s Parks and Recreation.

The votes have been cast, the ballots counted and the results revealed: Leslie Knope is no longer a Pawnee City Council member.

Parks and Recreation on Thursday reached the end of its weeks-long recall storyline with the ouster of Amy Poehler‘s beloved go-getter — but why?!

“Occasionally we have to knock her around a little bit,” Parks creator Mike Schur told reporters with a laugh at a press screening, “especially professionally!”

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While it wasn’t always the plan for Knope to lose her much-ballyhooed position, Schur explained that once she was “recalled in the finale last year… the writers spent the 10 weeks leading up to shooting talking about the options, and this seemed like the best, juiciest one. Once we committed to having her recalled we thought, ‘Well if she wins the vote, she’s just back where she was before.”

Poehler, for her part, believes that this latest hurdle for her alter ego dates back to a conversation she and Schur had very early on in the series.

“The idea [was] this long arc of one person with very little power believing that they can make a difference,” she recalled. “But people don’t always like the things you change — especially when they’re very personal and small, like the size of your sodas. So, it’s cool to play with the idea that just because Leslie is getting things done doesn’t mean that people like what she’s doing…. How do you fight the cynicism and disappointment that comes along with that? How do you make a difference in politics?”

Agreed Schur: “You kind of can’t tell the story [of a character fighting the tide of cynicism ] if everything is going right.”

And just like that, the recall twist was born. But that doesn’t mean Leslie is down for the count. As was made very apparent at the end of this week’s second episode, Knope is nothing if not resilient.

“She’s going to mull some stuff over, and she gets a lot of advice from a lot of different people along the way as she actively seeks out a bunch of different possibilities for her life,” Schur revealed. “She just never stops moving and eventually she’s going to find a path that makes sense to her.”

But for now, Leslie has roughly a month left in her city council seat and, Schur shared, she’ll spend every waking minute — leading right up to Parks’ 100th episode, which airs in a January and chronicles her final hours in office — “finishing off her career” in style.

Were you sad to see Leslie recalled? Will she be better off sans the City Council?

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14 Comments
  1. Tim says:

    That was actually a surprising twist. I loved it!

  2. Josh says:

    I felt my heart snk when Perd read the results.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    my heart hurts.

  4. Mike R. says:

    Surprising twist, but I can’t help but I can’t help but be heartbroken over the results.

  5. Parker says:

    I can understand why they did it, and it is going to be far more interesting, but i still hated it so much!

  6. Spencer says:

    This episode was emotionally devastating. I’m going to need a month to recover….

  7. Keila says:

    I loved the episodes. I strongly feel I know the direction this show is going to take and I love it. (maybe its just wishful thinking) Leslie will bounce back to better things after all she is…LESLIE “freaking” KNOPE!

  8. Sam Goop says:

    I like how P&R always mixes things up. I think they should have Andy & April lose their house and have to move in with Ben and Leslie. And have April break her leg b/c of a Leslie Knopp hording tower falls on her.

  9. EDE says:

    With Chris & Ann leaving how about Leslie as City Manager? It would change things up a lot but give her a chance to do something different and change the dynamic of her relationship with Ron rather than just going back to the way it was 2 years ago.

    • KT8711 says:

      My husband and I guessed this would be the outcome last night! Ron was Chris’ first choice to be his replacement a season or two ago, but Ron declined the job. Leslie would be a great choice.

      Or maybe Ben will get the job to bring him back in the fold at City Hall.

  10. Jon says:

    Jamm needs a good butt kicking

  11. Agent_Coulson says:

    Being sad for Leslie but still laughing for the brilliant gags the episode give us… That’s the Parks & Rec magic. One of the best comedies ever. But now NBC prefer to make show like the MJF one and Welcome to the Family, witch they sponsored on Twitter w/ the hashtag #WTTF. That says it all. (PS I love MJF, but that new show is horrible)

  12. Kat says:

    is she going to use this time to finally build the park that kicked off the show? because that still hasn’t happened as far as I remember (I could be wrong?).

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