DiscoverParks and RecollectionThe Master Plan (S2E23)
The Master Plan (S2E23)

The Master Plan (S2E23)

Update: 2022-03-29


We've made it! Today Alan and Rob talk about an incredible turning point in the Parks and Recreation universe—the 23rd episode of season 2. In "The Master Plan" Everyone is excited about celebrating April's 21st birthday except Leslie, who is preoccupied with the prospect of her budget being cut by the state auditor's office. On today's episode you'll hear the secret to the Chris Traeger cadence, the origin of the "Ann Perkins!" tag line, and the classic Tom Cruise / Kenny G synthesis! Got a question for the Pawnee Town Hall? Send us an email: Or leave a 30-Second voicemail at: (310) 893-6992


Leslie excitedly prepares to present the parks department budget proposal, or "master plan". However, city manager Paul (Phil Reeves), announces due to Pawnee's huge budget deficit, all proposals will be postponed indefinitely. State auditors have been sent by the governor to solve the impasse, which makes Leslie fear severe cuts. Ron is delighted because he hates any government spending, which leads him to heated arguments with Leslie.

 Meanwhile, April is turning 21 and is having her birthday party at Tom's favorite nightclub, the Snakehole Lounge. Andy debates whether to ask April to be his girlfriend, but worries about the age difference because he is 29. Ann has broken up with Mark, and they meet for lunch to discuss the end of their relationship. Mark is confused as to why Ann has decided to break up with him because they never fought and everything seemed to be going smoothly. Ann explains that their lack of fighting was actually a bad thing because it meant their relationship had no passion.

State auditors Chris Traeger and Ben Wyatt soon arrive, and the extremely cheerful Chris paints an optimistic picture of how they will fix the budget, but leaves the details to the more serious Ben. When Ben explains they will need to slash the budget of every department by nearly 40 or 50 percent, Leslie angrily lashes out at Ben, who responds to her that the poorly managed government is to blame. 

Later, at April's party, Tom desperately tries to pick up women, but to no avail, while Leslie and Ann get extremely drunk together. Andy and April appear to be getting along, but when he goes to the bar to get a drink for April, a drunken Ann flirts with him. An upset April flirts with Tom's annoying friend Jean-Ralphio (Ben Schwartz) to make Andy jealous. Andy gets upset, believing he misread April's signals all along, and April later regrets what she did. Ben arrives at the party and tries to smooth things over with a drunken Leslie, but she again angrily lashes out at him.

The next morning, Ann fears she made out with someone at the party but cannot remember who it could be. She eventually learns she made out with Chris, who shows a romantic interest in her. Tom returns to the Snakehole Lounge to close his tab, where he meets the bartender, Lucy (Natalie Morales), who makes fun of his efforts to pick up women. The two flirt and Lucy gives Tom her phone number.

Back at the Parks Dept., Leslie decides to apologize to Ben, and he invites her out for a beer. As they finally start to get along, Leslie realizes Ben was the 18 year old mayor of a small town called Partridge, Minnesota which he promptly drove into the ground and that Ben became a state auditor to prove he can be responsible and restart his political career. 

Later, at the parks department budget meeting, Chris and Ben reveal Pawnee's budget crisis was far worse than previously thought and that the Pawnee government will shut down until further notice, horrifying Leslie and delighting Ron.

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The Master Plan (S2E23)

The Master Plan (S2E23)

Team Coco and Stitcher