Leslie's made something of a name for herself with city government as "that blonde pain in the ass" because of her... proactive behavior. So when she learns that the Parks budget will be taking a cut, Leslie isn't about to take it lying down. Leslie approaches standing city councilman Pilner to insist that the cuts be made elsewhere, and though it takes a bit of convincing, she manages to get her way. But as it turns out, to keep the money for Parks, they're shutting down the animal shelter, positioning Leslie as a killer of animals!
Chris comes to Ron with some exciting news: he's a finalist in consideration for the position of assistant city manager. Ron takes the potential promotion in stride; he's willing to walk into the belly of the beast if it's a means to prevent further reckless government spending. Chris insists that Ron spend a day meditating with him, so that he can become "spiritually engaged." Despite his insistence that meditation is in no way something he's interested in, Ron begrudgingly agrees.
With Leslie out of the office, April has agreed to fill in and take on a bit of responsibility. But Leslie's job turns out to be a bit of a struggle, as April can't stand dealing with people... let alone making executive decisions. Tom encourages April to find some aspect of the job that she can latch onto and be passionate about, maybe then she'll be able to enjoy her job.
Leslie's found herself in a difficult position - being held responsible for destroying the animal shelter will certainly ruin her campaign. So she does the only thing she can think of and adopts all the animals from the shelter, though she insists it's just until they find a way to cut costs somewhere else in the city budget. April sees this as an opportunity to do something she's actually passionate about and throws together a pet adoption in the park. The only problem is that people take this as an invitation to drop off their unwanted pets. By the end of the day, April's left with more animals than she started out with.
Ron joins Chris for meditation, but under he own terms: he refuses to sit, and he keeps his eyes open for the duration. As Ron later explains, he was not mediating; he was just standing there quietly breathing with no thoughts in his head whatsoever. Chris later tells Ron that he didn't expect him to enjoy the experience, he just wanted Ron to show he could be a flexible person. By agreeing to try something new, Ron has earned the job.
Later, Chris delivers some bad news to Ron: if Bobby wins the election, Chris will be replaced, and as such, Ron will no longer earn the promotion. Ron convinces Chris to have a glass of whiskey and gets him to look on the bright side: if he's not working for the government, he has a whole world of other opportunities he can explore. As Chris considers this, he sees his "off-limits" co-worker Ann outside, quietly mulling over the possibility of giving their relationship another go.
Leslie and Ben finally hatch a plan and set a meeting with Bobby Newport's campaign manager. They pitch their plan to Jennifer: Bobby will use his personal fortune to save the shelter. In exchange, Jennifer will lay off the puppy killer attack ads she has running against Leslie. If Jennifer doesn't agree to their terms, Pilner will just cut the Parks budget, making Leslie seeming tough and fair. They'll let Bobby take the spotlight this week because next week, Leslie is sure to destroy Bobby in the debate!
Ron has found that Chris' meditation practice has its perks... and sits silently in his office, ignoring anyone who comes in. April explains that Ron is deep in meditation and can't be disturbed, as Ron gives her a subtle wink.