Why Parks And Recreation Fans Worry About Ron's Family Life In The Finale

When it comes right down to it, Parks and Recreation isn't about the plot, or the comedy, or even (dare it be said?) Li'l Sebastian: it's about the characters and the relationships between them. Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) have one of the most enduring and endearing friendships in television history; Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt) and April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza) set the standard for couple goals; and of course we can't forget Tom Haverford's (Aziz Ansari) relationship with... his own ego.

The Parks and Rec finale does a great job of wrapping up everyone's stories, showing where they and their families end up a few years down the line. Compared to where they all started, things have changed quite a bit for the crew — mostly for the better. Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) gets the perfect job with a little help from Leslie — overseeing Pawnee, Indiana's, newest national park — but something's strangely missing.

Ron values independence more than anyone, yet even he hasn't always been alone. Over the course of the series, viewers learn about both of his life-ruining ex-wives firsthand: Tammy I (Patricia Clarkson) and Tammy II (Megan Mullally, Offerman's real wife). His true love, however, comes in the form of Diane Lewis (Lucy Lawless). After bonding with her children and preparing to have a child of their own, Ron marries Diane, and yet — you guessed it — she's not in the finale. Did Ron get divorced again offscreen?

The busy life of Lucy Lawless

Thankfully, Diane's absence most likely has nothing to do with a marital spat between her and Ron. Quite simply, actress Lucy Lawless' schedule became far too busy for her to return to what amounts to little more than a Parks and Rec guest role, final season or not. Not that she was ungrateful for the opportunity to be on the show or anything like that, but duty calls.

At the time, Lawless had a recurring role on horror show Salem as Countess Palatine Ingrid von Marburg, a witch dedicated to resurrecting the devil and becoming the queen of his human host (that sort of gibberish wouldn't fly with Ron, so be thankful he met Lawless as Diane and not as Ingrid). She had also just signed up for Ash vs Evil Dead as Ruby Knowby, who has connections to characters that previously appeared in the franchise. Even after Parks and Rec officially ended, Lawless landed other roles that would've prevented her return as Diane — including the starring role of Alexa Crowe on crime drama My Life Is Murder.

That's it! A nice and simple explanation, which the taciturn Ron would undoubtedly appreciate.; as the character himself might've put it, "She's busy. End of conversation." 

Lawless' next role will be voice acting Nunchuk in the upcoming Minions: The Rise of Gru, and her schedule isn't likely to become any less busy after that.