Last week I was overjoyed when Parks and Recreation revealed that Leslie Knope was pregnant. I was less pleased after this week's episode when Leslie found out she was having triplets.
I spent the majority of last night's the episode wondering if the triplets plot was going to be some elaborate ruse. The ultrasound, after all, was conducted by Dr. Saperstein, the father of the less-than-reliable Jean-Ralphio. Dr. Saperstein is played by Henry Winkler, the man whose work on Happy Days is quite literally responsible for the term "jumping the shark." Alas, at the end of the episode, Leslie and Ben announced the news of their triplets to their friends, and it appeared there is no question that this is indeed what the show is forcing on its main character.
The most rational way to handle this plot development would be to put my trust in Mike Schur—who, over the course of six seasons, has done little to prove himself untrustworthy—but I am prone to worry. This is the end of the line for Parks and Recreation. The show, yes, was renewed for another season, but it's likely that it will be the last. I, for one, would hate for it to end with Ben and Leslie as two harried parents in Pawnee, especially with Leslie currently fielding a job offer from the National Parks Service that would require her to relocate to Chicago. Parks and Recreation has always been about Leslie's journey to professional success, so it would be a shame if that success was curtailed at the end of the series because the show's writers decided it would be funny to bestow triplets on her.
I greeted the news of Leslie's pregnancy with joy because I root for Leslie and Ben as a couple. Leslie is one of the few characters on television whose fate I worry about as if she were one of my friends. I shook my head when I heard triplets because that seemed like a gag. Perhaps I should be less pessimistic, Leslie was certainly more relaxed than one might suspect her to be. Leslie told Ben after he (rightfully) freaked out over the financial problems associated with having children: "All of it has just been preparation for this. I am immune to stress because I have you."
I'm not helping The Wire's reputation on the subject of TV children when I say that the triplets revelation felt like a cheap move on the part of the show's writers, an easy way to add outlandish drama. I guess I'll just wait and see if the show can redeem itself during the star-packed season finale next week.