Leslie Knope — Is it Knope-Wyatt now? Has this been determined? — (played by Amy Poehler) and newly minted husband Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) travel away from Pawnee to Ben's hometown of Partridge Minn., the site of his calamitous teenage mayorship. Partridge, it seems, is ready to forgive Ben for bankrupting the city with his Ice Town project and to award him with the key to the city.
Meanwhile, back in Pawnee, Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) has been slapped with a lawsuit for punching Councilman Jamm in the face during the Knope-Wyatt wedding and Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) and Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) struggle with whether they are compatible enough to be parents. To get through all of this and emerge on the other side stronger and more mature, everyone is going to need a bit of guidance. Follow these 10 rules, young grasshoppers, and you will be able to accept responsibility for your actions and live a fulfilled life.
10 Rules for Becoming a Responsible Adult
1. As we learned last week while helping out our friends, the first step to personal growth is facing our challenges head-on. Take that parenthood compatibility test, meet with that lawyer, visit the scene of the crime – I mean, childhood — and confront your obstacle. You can't move forward until you know what you are dealing with.
2. Collate your binder — metaphorical or, in Leslie's case, actual. (In layman's terms, come prepared.) Ben has written his gracious, apologetic acceptance speech, Ron has brought his witnesses (in the form of April, Andy, and Tom), and Ann and Chris have taken their electronic compatibility tests. Preparation is the first step on the road to success.
3. But… sometimes your preparation doesn't quite pan out as planned. Really, who can foresee a sudden onset of stress-induced kidney stones, lying witnesses, or a failing test score? (No, Chris, you can't literally win everything.) But that's the hand you've been dealt, and you have no choice but to accept the conditions and move forward. In the case of certain lying witnesses, you must make them see the error of their ways and come clean.
4. Never call Ron a vegetarian.
5. Tell the truth and make amends. Sorry, three amigos, you've got to tell the judge the truth about Ron — lying will get you nowhere here. Be honest, even if you worry about Ron's fate. And Chris and Ann, you can't fake your way out of your 56%, so you will have to be open with your fertility counselor. And Leslie… Leslie… You and Ben didn't really do anything wrong here, so you just keep on keepin' on.
6. Take responsibility for your past. Only once you have acknowledged your mistakes — perjury, punching someone in the face, exorbitant youthful spending, failed relationships – will you be able to move past them.
7. When coming to terms with your past (and with your calcified penis stones), regulate your narcotic intake. You must remain alert in order to come through this in one piece, so don't get distracted by feeding the bronze eagle.
8. Oh f**k it, throw away the rules. As honorable as rules 1-7 are, sometimes honesty isn't the best policy. Sometimes honesty gets you an ice key, the humiliation that comes with it, and too many pounds of gold in reparations to count.
9. Take things into your own hands. Jamm Jamm right back by meeting his frivolous lawsuit and libelous affidavit with a healthy dose of blackmail and threats of a lawsuit of your own. That should shut him up. And no test can tell you whether you would make a good parenting pair. The only thing you need to be compatible in is your love for your child and your desire to see him or her be happy, healthy, and successful. Now, what about Partridge, you say? Well, they're a bunch of ignorant, unforgiving, hateful goons. They and the key to their rubbish city can sink to the bottom of the pond, for all you care.
10. No one sums things up quite like high-as-a-kite Ben: "Love is everywhere and [you] have to surrender to the flow of the universe." Only then will peace and love and responsibility prevail.
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[Photo Credit: Tyler Golden/NBC]