10 essential Parks and Rec episodes to watch when you’re missing Pawnee

2 of 11

Season 1, Episode 6: “Rock Show”

The first season of Parks and Rec is a short one, but its finale still manages to pack a punch. Though Leslie has yet to make her vision of turning the pit behind Ann Perkins’ home into a park a reality, the episode ends on a high note for her. Her coworker, Mark Brendanawicz, tells her that it’s going to be a constant uphill battle, but she laughs and admits that she’ll probably fight it anyway.

Leslie’s moment with Mark is one that sets the tone for the entire series, as Leslie always seems to be fighting uphill battles for the sake of Pawnee. She’s always pushing the boundaries to help the people she represents and to take her career to the next level. Even when the odds are against her, Leslie continues to fight for what she believes in. It’s part of what makes her character so compelling.

Not only does “Rock Show” highlight Leslie’s strengths as a main character, but it’s also the episode where Andy Dwyer finally has his leg casts removed after a long season of being out of commission due to his fall into the pit. As it turns out, he could have had them removed two weeks earlier—a reveal that jeopardizes his relationship with Ann, setting the two of them up for new storylines throughout the rest of the series.

Andy’s former injuries don’t prevent him from performing during “Rock Show,” however, giving viewers and the Parks Department first-row seats to his band’s newest song, “The Pit.” Mouse Rat turns out to be a pretty decent band, and “The Pit” is only the first iconic song fans hear throughout the series.

In so many different ways, “Rock Show” sets many of the Parks and Recs characters’ stories in motion, placing them on paths that they’ll continue to walk the remainder of the series. That’s why it’s a great place to start rewatching, It’s a solid reminder of how the show began, but it also prepares fans for all the shenanigans to come.