Title: “Ms. Knope Goes to Washington”
Original Airdate: September 20, 2012
Leslie and Andy travel to Washington, D.C., to visit with Ben and April, who are there working on a Congressional campaign. Leslie feels inadequate when she sees what Ben’s life is like and all the impressive women he meets (including senators Barbara Boxer and Olympia Snowe). With Leslie gone, Ron is in charge of the Parks Department’s annual employee appreciation barbecue. After Ron drains the barbecue of all the fun Leslie used to bring to it, Chris tells him that he needs to demonstrate more leadership. Although Ann and Tom have broken up, they pretend to be together so that Tom can win a bet with Donna.
Title: “Soda Tax”
Original Airdate: September 27, 2012
Leslie proposes a tax on sugary sodas and then has a crisis about whether to vote for her own proposal, since so many citizens are against it. In the end, Ron and Ann both help give her the confidence to vote for her bill, and it passes. Chris and Tom help Andy train for the physical part of his police academy entrance exam, since he’s completely out of shape. In Washington, Ben has trouble getting the college interns in the office (as well as April) to respect him. Eventually he sticks up for himself and tells April she needs to put actual effort into her job.
Title: “How a Bill Becomes a Law”
Original Airdate: October 4, 2012
April and Ben decide to take a road trip to Pawnee to surprise Andy and Leslie, but they get stuck in traffic in Washington. Chris implements a 311 line for non-emergency calls, and Ron takes it upon himself to fix a pothole reported by a single mother (Lucy Lawless). Impressed with his efforts, she asks him on a date. Leslie desperately tries to put enough votes together to pass a bill she proposed about extending public pool hours. To do so, she gives up her office and her parking space to her obnoxious rival, Councilman Jamm (Jon Glaser of Delocated).
Title: “Sex Education”
Original Airdate: October 18, 2012
As punishment for texting while driving, Tom has to go a week without using electronic devices. Ron takes Tom out to his cabin to help Tom get over his dependence on screens. Leslie launches an initiative to offer sex education to senior citizens, who have been contracting sexually transmitted diseases. She runs up against the city’s abstinence-only education laws, but defies them in order to do the right thing, and promises to fight to change the laws. Ben and April discover that their congressman boss is disturbingly robotic.
Title: “Halloween Surprise”
Original Airdate: October 25, 2012
After his congressional campaign in Washington wraps up early, Ben is offered the opportunity to run a campaign for governor in Florida, and is torn about whether to take the job or return to Pawnee. Before making his decision, he comes back to Pawnee and proposes to Leslie, who says yes. Jerry has a mild heart attack on Halloween, and Leslie arranges a benefit to help raise money for his medical care. Ron has trouble dealing with his girlfriend’s kids when he takes them trick or treating, but he decides to make an effort to get to know them.
Title: “Ben’s Parents”
Original Airdate: November 8, 2012
Ben and Leslie throw an engagement party, and Ben is terrified of his divorced parents, who hate each other, being in the same room together. Leslie comes up with a plan to make sure they don’t fight, but she fails, and Ben’s parents nearly ruin the party. Ben and Leslie sit them down and demand that they stop fighting at least long enough to both attend Ben and Leslie’s wedding. Chris has an emotional breakdown over being alone, and Ann, April and Andy try to cheer him up. Tom pitches his new business idea, Rent-a-Swag, to Ron.
Title: “Leslie vs. April”
Original Airdate: November 15, 2012
April presents Leslie with a proposal to build a new dog park on Lot 48. Leslie feels that she should be the one to develop Lot 48 since she’s been working on it so long, and she attempts to sabotage April’s efforts. Both of them get screwed over by Councilman Jamm, and so they agree to team up to make the dog park a reality. Tom enlists Ben to consult on his new business, which shows Ben how many career opportunities are out there for him. He declines his new accounting job in favor of seeing what else is available. Chris offers Andy a job as the weekend security guard for City Hall.
Title: “Pawnee Commons”
Original Airdate: November 29, 2012
Leslie issues a call for plans for the new park, and the best response comes from an architect in Eagleton. She can’t accept that an Eagletonian would be interested in helping Pawnee, but he turns out to be considerate and talented, and presents a model for a lovely park. Tom enlists his co-workers to help set up the Rent-a-Swag store. Andy is bored in his new job as a security guard, but he and April help a lost kid, and he realizes he might be good at his job.