"Parks and Recreation" Flu Season (TV Episode 2011) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Leslie gets the flu right before an important fund-raising pitch for the Harvest Festival, Chris tries frantically to avoid catching the bug, and Ron hires Andy to replace April while she is out.

  • While planning for the local Harvest Festival, Leslie is struck with the flu and is forced to go to the hospital. Ron and Andy have a day of male bonding, and Tom hits the spa.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The flu season has hit Pawnee hard, leaving nurse Ann Perkins caring for many sick citizens at Saint Joseph Hospital. Among them is April Ludgate, who constantly mistreats Ann in retaliation for kissing Andy Dwyer. April asks Ron Swanson not to tell Andy she is in the hospital, and Ron is anxious not to get involved in their personal affairs. Leslie Knope also has the flu, but will not admit it because she wants to give an important presentation to the Pawnee Chamber of Commerce about the planned Harvest Festival, which she hopes will restore the dwindling budget of the parks department. Ben Wyatt finally takes a reluctant Leslie to the hospital, where she is admitted with a dangerously high fever and dehydration. Ben decides to do the presentation on Leslie's behalf, much to the chagrin of Leslie, who does not trust anyone but herself to do it. Tom Haverford, who was assigned to help Ben, immediately abandons him to hang out with a group of older men at the spa. To Ann's surprise, Chris Traeger has also been admitted to the hospital with the flu. The two have been dating and, although Ann really likes Chris, she fears he is too perfect. However, because the extremely health-conscious Chris has a poor immune system and nearly no body fat, he suffers a complete physical breakdown, which makes Ann feel less intimidated about dating him. Meanwhile, Leslie escapes the hospital and heads back to City Hall to deliver the presentation herself. Tom returns from the spa, revealing his spa friends are the owners of several car dealerships, which have agreed to lend vehicles to the festival. Although delirious with fever and an excess of flu medication, Leslie delivers a flawless presentation, wildly impressing Ben. She is immediately brought back to the hospital, where Ben tells her 110 businesses have agreed to help with the festival, surpassing the minimum 80 needed. At the department, with April absent from work, Ron asks Andy to fill in as an assistant because the anti-government-oriented Ron believes Andy will be ineffective. The two bond over the course of the day, and Andy begins to tell Ron about his problems with April, for whom he still harbors romantic feelings. Although initially not wishing to get involved, Ron reluctantly tells Andy she is at the hospital and he should visit her. Meanwhile, Ann remains pleasant throughout her nursing shift despite April's constant abuse. The second her shift ends, however, Ann immediately loses her temper and curses at April. Ann apologizes for kissing Andy, but insists it was a mistake and that April should stop taking it out on Andy. Later, Andy visits April, who pretends to be asleep but smiles, revealing she is happy he came. At the end of the episode, Chris tells Ben they have been called back to Indianapolis for a new assignment, but both agree to seek an extension to stay in Pawnee longer. Although both claim they want to help organize the Harvest Festival, it is hinted they really want to stay because of Leslie and Ann.

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