The writers seem to be preparing the audience for the void caused by the loss of Leslie and Ann’s friendship.
Ann and Leslie have not had a scene together since “Recall Vote,” meaning that the five episodes prior to Ann’s departure include no interaction between the two.
This is most evident in the recent episode, “New Beginnings,” in which Ann has no scenes without Chris.
The only other member of the parks department she has any interaction with is Jerry, a character with whom she does not have a significant relationship.
This is something she would normally share with Leslie, as she did countless times during past relationships.
Perhaps the writers want to distance Ann from Leslie so that her departure will be less noticeable: it’s difficult to miss a dynamic that hasn’t been present in the show for an extended period of time.
Ben Wyatt, who, as Leslie’s husband, shares Ann’s guilt, joins forces with Ann in this episode.
Inevitably they both realize how lucky they are to have someone in their lives who cares so deeply for them.
When Leslie worries about the possibility of having a disastrous first date, Ann provides exposure therapy by taking her out on a worst-case scenario practice date, eventually giving Leslie the confidence that she can handle anything.It was the beginning of the platonic love story of the series: Leslie goes from being “that parks lady,” as Ann refers to her in the first episode, to Ann’s “best friend in the world.”Leslie is inarguably one of the most enthusiastic and selfless characters on television, but this is most evident through her friendship with Ann.