Something you don't expect any NBC show that isn't The Voice to be asking: "Are you better off than a year ago?" Leave it to cockeyed optimist Leslie Knope (the sublime Amy Poehler), the hopeful heart and resilient soul of Parks and Recreation, to set herself up for a smackdown in the too-soon season finale (Thursday, 9:31/8:31c), by posing this question at a public forum that she naively sees as a "victory lap" to celebrate her one-year anniversary in office. While Leslie contends with a Pawnee version of Tea Party-style opposition — in this town, more like "sweet tea," with extra sugar in a 512 oz. cup — Andy (Chris Pratt) adopts his bumbling "Burt Macklin, FBI" persona (always a win) to solve a mystery that could change one of his co-worker's life forever. NBC is certainly better off for sticking with this show as it has improved over the seasons to become the network's most reliably enjoyable comedy — even though this already eventful and possibly pivotal episode would have been better off without the subplot involving Tom's "Rent-a-Swag" business and his contentious relationship with Jean-Ralphio's horror-show sister Mona Lisa (Jenny Slate).
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It's been so long since you offered up any scoop on Glee. Please! —Sammie
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