'Parks and Recreation' Season 6 Spoilers: 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' Baby Swanson and More!

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Though likely not ranking much higher than its usual moderate ratings, last night's 'Parks and Recreation' season finale episode "Are You Better Off?" put an effective cap on yet another uncertain season, given the long-running NBC comedy's constant threat of cancellation. 'Parks' prospects certainly seem like a lock for next year, but what big twists and Marvel-ous new problems will the Pawnee Parks Department face next year? New details inside!

It comes as no secret among critics that 'Parks and Recreation' represents one of the most consistently great comedies in NBC history, and NBC's lineup troubles of late all but assure the series will return in the fall for another season. No stranger to potential series finales, series creator and showrunner Mike Schur left plenty of options to explore for the coming season, and made the rounds in interviews to set up the changes on deck for 'Parks and Recreation' season 4.

Despite a somewhat ambiguous ending, Schur confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that it was indeed DIane ('Spartacus' Lucy Lawless) who left the positive pregnancy test in Ron's trash can, baby Swanson to play a large role next season. Given Lucy Lawless' New Zealand residence, Schur prefaced that they'd still have to navigate Diane's potential absence, but “She’s going to be the mother of Ron’s child so she’s not going to suddenly disappear..we foresee at least trying to use her a lot next year"

And while preparing for fatherhood will dominate much of Ron's journey next year Andy (Chris Pratt) will have some major new territory of his own to explore, albeit off our TV screens. Despite the fact that "Are You Better Off" set up April (Aubrey Plaza) for potential absence next season, Chris Pratt himself will need to be written out occasionally to film his part in Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy.' Given Pratt's tendency to fluctuate his physique for his various roles, Schur jokingly told HitFix "Andy is going to inexplicably be super buff next September."

Schur also pointed out that April's acceptance to veterinary school in Bloomington wouldn't necessarily keep her character off screen, as they've yet to suss out how the character will handle the potential career change. Similarly, Jim O'Heir's Jerry will also stick around for his usual bumbling, in spite of the character's earlier retirement. "One way or the other his presence will be felt in a very significant and pretty constant way.”

Finally, Schur acknowledged that several meaty plotlines for season 6 had already been set in place, including the "Committee to Recall Leslie Knope" and Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari)'s mysterious "Rent-A-Swag" competitor, though the showrunner wouldn't offer much more than perfunctory details. Season 6 isn't a lock as of yet either, but Schur maintains his cautious optimism amid all the critical assumption. “I’ve been cautiously optimistic for five straight years, that’s not going to change,” says Schur. “I fully believe that we will be back next year, but until they actually make that phone call, I never like to say it’s a sure thing.”

What say you? Did you feel like "Are You Better Off?" wrapped up 'Parks and Recreation' season 5 in a satisfying fashion? What will you be most excited to see next season, assuming NBC's renewal? Give us your thoughts on the season in the comments!

Filed Under: NBC, Parks and Recreation
Categories: TV News
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