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Recap / Parks And Recreation S 03 E 03

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Leslie: I think we should put Twilight in the time capsule.
Ron: Leslie, no. We don't negotiate with weirdos.

The Parks Department is organizing the making of a time capsule, meant to be opened 50 years in the future and filled with items that encapsulate the spirit of Pawnee. A citizen named Kelly Larson comes to the office and makes a passionate plea for the Twilight books to be included. Leslie refuses because the books have no connection to Pawnee, so Kelly handcuffs himself to a pipe in her office until she reconsiders. Leslie calls security to get Kelly out of her office because he is trespassing, but when the security guard prepares to cut Kelly's handcuffs, he freaks out so Leslie lets him stay, assuming he'll leave when he gets hungry. Kelly, however, came prepared with food, water and a pillow.


During his stay, Kelly notices Tom looks down and correctly deduces Tom is having romantic issues; Tom's girlfriend Lucy has dumped him and he doesn't know why. Kelly encourages Tom to read Twilight, which he initially scoffs at, but after reading them, he finds he loves the books. Donna agrees that the books are good.

Andy tells Chris the story of what happened between him and April. Ann is a little concerned that Andy is talking to Chris, because Andy always screws things up. In actuality, Chris offers to help Andy with April. He tells Andy to focus on the things about him that made April like him; all Andy can come up with is he's "nice" and he's in a "band".

Leslie is frustrated by Kelly's continued presence at the department, as well as Shauna Mulwae-Tweep's news report focusing on Kelly instead of the time capsule. Kelly gives Leslie a copy of the book to read. The next morning, she tells him she couldn't get past the first ten pages of the book, but did notice that the book belongs to a 12-year-old girl – Kelly's daughter. He's trying to impress his daughter by getting the book into the time capsule. Leslie is sympathetic, so she suggests to Ron and Ben they put the book in the capsule. Ben thinks it would start a bad precedent.


Leslie holds a public forum allowing citizens to suggest ideas for the time capsule. The meeting gets out of hand, with participants arguing over what to include and make absurd suggestions, like human ashes and dead cats. So many ideas are suggested that the Parks Department starts setting up multiple time capsules to accommodate everyone.

Andy starts being nice to Eduardo, and they bond over an interest in the same kind of music. Andy gives him a copy of Mouse Rat's CD. April is annoyed when they start hanging out together.

Lucy shows up at the Parks Department at Tom's request to explain why she broke up with him. She tells him she still likes him, but she doesn't like the way he's obsessed with Ron dating Wendy. She tells him that if he works through this issue to give her a call.

Leslie complains about the meeting and jokingly asks Ben if she can blame him. He tells her he's impressed by the citizens, calling them "weirdos who care". This gives her an idea: the only item to be placed in the time capsule is a videotape of the public forum, which represents Pawnee because it shows "a lot of people with a lot of opinions arguing passionately for what they believed in".


Leslie later sets up an evening viewing of the Twilight movie in the park. April tells Andy that Eduardo went back to Venezuela; when Andy expresses disappointment, since he was starting to like Eduardo, April replies that's why she started to hate Eduardo. Andy tells Chris that "nice" and "being in a band" worked. Kelly, who is at the movie with his daughter, thanks Leslie for setting up the viewing.


  • Dark and Troubled Past: The town of Pawnee as a whole, though this is played for laughs. The city's old slogans included welcomes for enemy soldiers out of fear America would lose the war (for Germany, Vietnam and the Taliban), was sued by Julia Roberts when they attempted to pose as her birth town and was taken over by a cult, twice (with the second cult taking over the first one).
  • Complexity Addiction: While reading Twilight, Tom thinks that the reason his girlfriend broke up with him is due to some convoluted Love Triangle, but it's really just because she noticed he is still hung up on his ex.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Subverted - Kelly brought food and pillows to stay in Leslie's office as long as needed.
  • Funny Background Event: While the Parks department is meeting to discuss the time capsule, Andy is making mean faces at Eduardo and April.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Donna loves supernatural fantasy stories.
    • Kelly wants the Twilight books put into the capsule because they're important to his daughter.
  • Long List: Pawnee has gone through so many town slogans that even April is impressed that Leslie manages to compile a complete list of them. The list takes up its own binder.
  • Moral Guardians: Marcia Langman objects to Twilight for being "pro-quivering". During the same meeting, another one is against Twilight for its overt Christian themes.
  • Nice Guy: Andy realizes that he can break April and her new boyfriend up by being a nice guy. He befriends Eduardo, making it so that April can't make him jealous with her new boyfriend anymore, so she breaks up with him.
  • Noodle Incident: Ann mentions one when talking about how Andy always screws things up:
    Ann: When we were dating, I bought him a fish, and I don't want to get into it, but somehow that fish ended up dead in a cowboy boot.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: One of Pawnee's former slogans is "Pawnee: the Akron of Southwest Indiana."
  • Periphery Demographic: In-Universe. However, the middle-aged father Kelly knows a lot about Twilight because of his 12-year-old daughter.
    Leslie: You are the person who has been emailing me about Twilight! I thought you would be younger. And a girl.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: When Leslie tries to get security to get Kelly out, he does this.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The episode heavily relies on everyone talking about Twilight.
    • Tom takes tips on how to deal with a break up from the show Entourage.
  • Where It All Began: Kelly starts talking about Twilight dating back to the writer's birth.

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