The series finale of Parks & Recreation gave the audience a look at the future of each main character, but Leslie’s (Amy Poehler) was left a bit ambiguous, as it’s unclear if she became President or not – but this mystery might have been solved in season 2. Although it had a rough start, Parks & Recreation quickly found its tone and style and ended up becoming one of the best TV shows of the decade, with its characters winning over the hearts of viewers and leaving them with one of the most satisfying series finales ever.
Parks & Recreation took viewers to the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, to meet the crew at the Parks Department, led by the always cheerful and optimistic Leslie Knope. Through her, the audience met her coworkers and closest friends, sharing the spotlight with them and allowing many of them to become fan favorites. Over the course of seven seasons, viewers saw Leslie go through many ups and downs in her personal and professional life, but she was always accompanied by her family and closest friends, and she will continue to have them by her side even after the events of Parks & Rec. The series’ final episode featured a series of flash-forwards that showed what will happen to the main characters in the near and not-so-near future, but Leslie’s left a big question.
The final time jump in Leslie’s future took viewers to 2048, where she and her husband, Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), were attending Garry’s (Jim O’Heir) funeral, and Leslie and Ben were surrounded by Secret Service members. It’s implied, then, that either Ben or Leslie became the President of the United States, but this big question might have been answered in season 2 by Leslie herself while giving her point of view of one of Pawnee’s many political scandals.
Was Leslie Knope Always Destined To Become The President In Parks & Rec?
A theory posted on Reddit explains how the mystery of Leslie’s future was revealed in season 2 by Leslie herself. The author goes back to Parks & Recreation’s season 2 episode “Christmas Scandal”, in which Councilman Bill Dexhart is dealing with even more sex scandals. Leslie meets with Dexhart and the local tabloid takes pictures of them together, reporting that she’s Dexhart’s new mistress. Leslie then tells the camera that she would be lying if she said she had never thought of being involved in an incident like that one, but she always assumed that she “would be the politician and the man would be accused of sleeping with me”, adding that the man “would be the Vice President” and she would be the President. While Leslie was most likely referring to then VP Joe Biden, who she had a massive crush on, this ended up mirroring her possible future minus the scandal: she became President, and Ben was her VP.
The mystery of Leslie Knope becoming President or not in the flash-forward in Parks & Recreation’s series finale hasn’t been solved by anyone involved in the show, with co-creator Michael Schur saying on different occasions that the scene was meant to be ambiguous and that it’s up to every viewer to decide if Leslie becomes President or not, and Nick Offerman once shared his opinion on it, saying that Leslie wouldn’t become President because that lifestyle isn’t attractive to most people, and Leslie is one of those. Leslie’s hard work and ambition could have easily put her on the path to becoming President, so it’s easy to assume that Parks & Recreation could have given her her happiest ending, but ultimately, it’s just like Schur intended: a somewhat open ending that lets each viewer decide what happened to the unforgettable Leslie Knope.