For Parks and Recreation viewers, Burt Macklin is a familiar name; Macklin is, of course, the FBI secret agent alter ego of Pawney’s lovable buffoon Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt, of “every blockbuster movie lately” fame). Macklin was a character Andy would pull out to lighten the mood, or sometimes when he genuinely wanted an adventure. Macklin was clearly imaginary… Or was he? Today I’m here to propose to you my alternate theory: Bert Macklin is real, and Andy is made up.

Think about it. Imagine that the federal government higher-ups caught wind of the Pawnee parks and recreation department. In their fervent Ron Swanson-esque anti-efficiency stances, they would be up in arms over Leslie Knope and her crew. They couldn’t allow even the least consequential local government agencies to run smoothly and effectively. As such, they called in one of their best men, Burt Macklin of the FBI. Macklin was trained for months in the art of sabotaging government operations. The FBI even invented an alter ego for Macklin, “Andy Dwyer”, an unsuspecting goof.

But things got complicated for poor Macklin. The mission grew lengthy, and he grew attached to the people he was assigned to destroy. He fell in love. Unable to live with the guilt of hiding his true identity, he began referring to himself as Burt Macklin, pretending that it was a goofy alter-ego he made up. Everyone just kind of shrugged and went with it, thinking, “Oh Andy, that goof!” Of course, this would only make poor Macklin more frustrated, as not even his wife could know the real truth. Years into his assignment and with all hope of completing it lost, Macklin finally accepts Andy Dwyer as his permanent identity, “retiring” the “Burt Macklin character” once and for all.

Or maybe Andy is just a goofy guy who likes to invent characters and play pretend. Both are equally plausible.

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