'Parks and Recreation' Season 3 Episode Guide

Episode Guide to the 2011 Season of 'Parks and Recreation' on NBC

Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt and Aziz Ansari in the 'Parks and Recreation' Season 3 episode 'Time Capsule'. Photo courtesy of NBC

The second season of Parks and Recreation brought the show a new level of critical acclaim, along with the arrival of new cast members Adam Scott and Rob Lowe in the final few episodes. The third season features those two as new regular cast members, plus more of the skewed dynamics of life in the Pawnee, Indiana, department of parks and recreation. Read on for the Parks and Recreation Season 3 episode guide.

Episode 1
“Go Big or Go Home”
Original Airdate: January 20, 2011

After three months, the Pawnee government finally emerges from its shutdown, so the whole Parks Department returns to work. Thanks to budget cuts, Leslie can’t move ahead with any of her projects, so she enlists Ann to go on a date with Chris to convince him to give the department more money. Her plan fails, but Chris and Ben approve a new Harvest Festival anyway, and Ann decides that she actually really likes Chris. Ron and Andy coach rival youth basketball teams in the only program left to receive any funding. Andy continues to pursue April even though she has a new boyfriend from Venezuela.

Episode 2
“Flu Season”
Original Airdate: January 27, 2011

With a bad flu going around in Pawnee, April, Leslie and Chris all end up sick and in the hospital. April constantly torments Ann with her demands while Ann is on duty at the hospital, in retaliation for Ann having kissed Andy. Leslie insists on giving a big presentation on the Harvest Festival despite being sick, but pulls it off perfectly. Chris totally falls apart while he’s sick, allowing Ann to feel less intimidated by him. Andy fills in for April as Ron’s assistant, and the two of them bond.

Episode 3
“Time Capsule”
Original Airdate: February 3, 2011

Leslie’s efforts to put together a time capsule representing life in Pawnee are sabotaged when a man (guest star Will Forte) chains himself to a pipe in her office and demands that they include the Twilight books. Leslie discovers that he’s doing this to impress his daughter, and she calls a town meeting to allow everyone to suggest items for the time capsule. There’s so much disagreement that they end up only including a video of the meeting. Andy befriends April’s new Venezuelan boyfriend, and April dumps him when she finds out he’s become friends with Andy.

Episode 4
“Ron & Tammy: Part Two”
Original Airdate: February 10, 2011

Ron and Wendy break up, and in his despair, Ron hooks up with his ex-wife Tammy (Megan Mullally), They get married in a drunken stupor, then arrested. Tom feels bad for trying to goad Ron by bringing Tammy as his date to an event, and he helps break Ron free from her once again. April fills in as Chris’ assistant, and can’t stand his enthusiasm and positivity, but he sees potential in her and asks her to come work for him when he returns to Indianapolis.

Episode 5
“Media Blitz”
Original Airdate: February 17, 2011

To promote the Harvest Festival, Leslie, Tom and Ben have to deal with the media, which Ben completely bungles whenever his past as a boy mayor is brought up. Ann is upset that Chris has asked April to come work for him when he returns to Indianapolis, but hasn’t asked Ann to move there with him. In order to win April back and convince her not to leave, Andy agrees to do all of her least favorite chores. After just one day, she realizes his dedication, and kisses him.

Episode 6
Original Airdate: February 24, 2011

Leslie and Ron travel to Indianapolis to receive a commendation from the state legislature. Leslie agrees to spy on Chris for Ann, who thinks he’s cheating on her. Ann freaks out and comes to Indianapolis, only to discover that Chris actually broke up with her and she didn’t realize it. Leslie convinces Tom to take Ben out on the town because she thinks Ben needs to make friends in Pawnee. April and Andy compete to see who can scam the most free stuff at a bar.

Episode 7
“Harvest Festival”
Original Airdate: March 17, 2011

The Harvest Festival begins, and Leslie is under a lot of pressure to make sure it goes well so that the Parks Department doesn’t get shut down. Things start going wrong, which everyone blames on an alleged curse from the local Wamapoke Indians, on whose burial ground the carnival is taking place. Leslie makes a deal with the local chief to “lift” the curse, and the festival turns out to be a success. April declares her love for Andy, and Ann hooks up with a random guy to help her get over Chris.

Episode 8
Original Airdate: March 24, 2011

After the success of the Harvest Festival, Leslie is under pressure to come up with a great new idea. She plans a camping retreat for the department so that they can brainstorm. Everyone assumes that Leslie will have a great idea, but she actually can’t think of anything. Leslie freaks out, but when Ron forces her to finally get some rest, she wakes up full of new ideas. When the city manager has a heart attack, Chris returns from Indianapolis to take over as the interim city manager. Ann feels awkward seeing Chris again.

Episode 9
“Fancy Party”
Original Airdate: April 14, 2011

April and Andy decide to throw a dinner party, and they invite everyone in the office. It turns out that the party is a cover for a surprise wedding for April and Andy. Leslie decides that the wedding is a horrible idea and that she has to stop it, but she fails. Ann feels completely awkward at a singles mixer, and Donna tries to help her out. Chris offers Ben a job to stay in Pawnee, and he accepts.

Episode 10
Original Airdate: April 21, 2011

Chris launches a health initiative for the local government. He challenges Ron to a burger cook-off between his fancy turkey burger and Ron’s beef burger, and despite Chris’ efforts, everyone prefers the traditional version. Ann helps Leslie put together an online dating profile, and Leslie is horrified when the site matches her with Tom. She decides to figure out why only sleazy guys are interested in her, but Tom thinks that she wants to date him. She fends off Tom and learns that Ben is actually interested in her but can’t pursue it because it’s against regulations.

Episode 11
Original Airdate:

Jerry paints a provocative work of art for a community exhibit, which features a likeness of Leslie as a topless centaur. After someone complains, the arts commission orders the painting destroyed, but Leslie finds a way to preserve it for herself. Ben decides he needs to move out of the motel he’s been living in, and he becomes April and Andy’s new roommate. Ben tries to teach them how to behave like responsible adults after discovering that they essentially live in squalor. Chris tries to set Ben up with various women, but Ben is only interested in Leslie.

Episode 12
Original Airdate: May 5, 2011

When the rich neighboring town of Eagleton builds a fence around their half of a park that straddles the town line, Leslie vows to tear it down. She faces off against her former friend and current archenemy Lindsay Carlisle Shay (Parker Posey), who now works in the local government in Eagleton. After a fight lands them both in jail, Leslie finds a way to make the fence work for Pawnee, and makes up with Lindsay. Leslie finds out about Ron’s birthday, and he goes crazy imagining the huge party she’ll throw for him.

Episode 13
“The Fight”
Original Airdate: May 12, 2011

Tom enlists everyone in the office to help him to promote his new alcoholic beverage, Snake Juice. When Chris finds out that Tom is using his government job to promote his business, he forces Tom to sell his shares in the Snakehole Lounge. Leslie tries to get Ann hired for a job in the health department, and then gets mad when Ann isn’t interested. After they have a huge fight, Ann decides to apply for the job, and she gets to work part-time at City Hall while still working as a nurse.

Episode 14
“Road Trip”
Original Airdate: May 12, 2011

Chris sends Leslie and Ben on a trip to Indianapolis to pitch Pawnee for a Little League championship. Leslie is worried that being alone together will be too tempting for them. They seem on the verge of hooking up before Chris arrives to congratulate them and puts a damper on things, but then later back at the office, they kiss. Tom enlists Andy, April, Jerry and Donna to test out his game show concept for couples, which leads to April and Andy getting in a fight.

Episode 15
“The Bubble”
Original Airdate: May 19, 2011

Ben and Leslie are happy in the early stages of their relationship, sneaking around so no one finds out and they don’t get fired. When Ben has to meet with Leslie’s mom about an education issue, he at first makes a fool of himself but then is able to make a good impression on her. He and Leslie tell her mom about their relationship, and she approves. Chris makes numerous changes to the department that disrupt everyone’s lives and make them miserable, and Ron has to set things right.

Episode 16
“Li’l Sebastian”
Original Airdate: May 19, 2011

When beloved tiny horse Li’l Sebastian dies, the parks department works to plan his funeral. Ron discovers that Ben and Leslie are seeing each other and agrees to keep it a secret. Chris is diagnosed with tendonitis and descends into a panic about his health, and Ann helps calm him down. A local political group approaches Leslie about running for office, and she tells them she has nothing to hide about her life. Tom decides to start a media company with Jean-Ralphio.