Parks & Rec Theory Reveals OG Character Secretly Caused Leslie and Ron’s Feud

A Parks & Rec fan theory on Reddit has revealed that an OG character may have secretly been the cause of Leslie and Ron’s feud in Season 7.

According to a fan theory, Mark Brandanawicz secretly helped spark the feud between Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson in Parks and recreation season 7. Mark (Paul Schneider) was the Pawnee city planner who played a prominent role in the first two seasons of Parks and recreation. However, he was never seen again or mentioned on the show after he left, after his relationship with Leslie’s (Amy Poehler) best friend Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) ended, and his growing disillusionment with government work. Unsurprisingly, this has led to many fan theories about what happened to him, including a particularly dark theory that Mark Brendanawicz died after he exited the show.


Parks and Recreation The Season 7 feud centered on Ron’s (Nick Offerman) construction company, Very Good Building and Development Company, becoming involved in the development and construction of the luxury Morningstar apartments adjacent to the Pawnee Commons. Not only had Ron not informed Leslie of his involvement, but the project also required the demolition of Ann’s house, among other things. In reality, the fight was more about Leslie upping Ron for lunch when he was going to ask her for a job. He was even willing to work for the National Parks Service because he missed her and all her friends after Leslie Knope started her new job as Midwest Regional Manager.

Related: Parks and Rec: Why Mark Brendanawicz Only Lasted 2 Seasons

However, according to one fan theory (via Reddit), Mark may also have been involved in the development of Morningstar. After quitting his job at Pawnee City Hall, he started working for Norton Construction. In Parks and recreation, Season 7, Episode 4, “Leslie and Ron”, a sign for Morningstar Apartments displayed the Norton Construction name and logo prominently. Given his role as a planner for the construction company, the theory would suggest that Mark had indeed demolished his ex-girlfriend’s house and helped bring about the rift between Leslie and Ron.

The argument between Parks and Rec Leslie Ron broke the timeline

In addition to that, Parks and Recreation season 5, episode 10, “Two Parties” also revealed that the Morningstar development wasn’t the first time Norton Construction had been involved in a project involving Ann Perkins’ home. In the episode, Councilman Jamm tried to get a Paunch Burger built in the vacant lot next to the house Leslie was trying to turn into a park that later became the Pawnee Commons. In a photo of the sign at the start of construction, the Norton Construction logo was again displayed. As such, it might suggest a pattern of behavior consistent with an unhappy ex-partner taking some sort of revenge.

What remains unclear is exactly how long Mark Brendanawicz stayed with Norton Construction. For this reason, it might be worth considering another explanation. Another logo displayed just below Norton Construction on the Morningstar sign was that of Wreston St. James, Eagleton’s design company. While St. James showed himself to be a decent man and responsible for the design of the Pawnee Commons, the same could not necessarily be said of his colleagues at Eagleton. Despite the work Leslie Knope did to save Eagleton when the town was on the verge of bankruptcy, some may have behaved in typical Eagleton fashion by getting involved in building an apartment complex that rightly bears the name of the devil.

Truth be told, the meaning of the logos is more of a fun reminder for eagle-eyed viewers than the underlying cause of the rift between the two characters. After all, Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson were two very different people, with diametrically opposed political beliefs. What united them was mutual respect, a belief in each other’s decency and honor, and a love for L’il Sebastian and breakfast food. Given that Parks and recreation season 2 hinted at their fallout, attributing too much importance to Mark Brendanawicz or Wreston St. James’ involvement in Morningstar would be to miss the joy that Parks and recreation so often presented to viewers. The beauty of the episode lies in the revelations and the acceptance of the mistakes made. Leslie and Ron finding a way to share responsibility and regret for the disagreement successfully elevated the show and paved the way for its heartwarming finale.

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Sharon D. Cole