Parks & Rec has one of the best episodes of the season and winds up in an unexpected place I didn't expect until the season finale.
Jamm gets another one up on Leslie at the latest council meeting, but the biggest thing holding her and her park back is a funding gap. Leslie's idea to fill said gap is a good one, black tie gala, but Jamm pulls another fast one on Knope by calling in the Indiana Emergency Response team to perform a test of the city's preparedness. Of course Leslie is the head of the Pawnee emergency response team and her ever preparedness knows no limits. Watching Leslie's video prepared for the random emergency selected, yes she has one for all of them, is a beautiful moment for Poehler and I wish we got to see even more of her work in these videos. The state official is putting the screws on Pawnee and he is played wonderfully by Matt Walsh.
Walsh particularly plays well off of Rob Lowe, who has a great episode as he hypothetically dies of Avian Flu. I enjoyed the third act twist as well with Leslie destroying the town just to get everything over with and foil Jamm, and she is just as efficient at doing that as well. Everyone in these scenes is actually pretty great, with Jonathan Glaser getting his biggest appearance yet proving Jamm isn't just a one joke pony, but I have to say that Animal Control stole the show and might be my new favorite department.
Leslie has to leave the gala in the hands of Ben, but it is Ron who saves the day. Ron gets his best episode of the season as he goes on Pawnee Today and takes over the hosting duties for a hungover, “allergy affected,” Joan Callamezzo. Offerman is just excellent and natural as Ron doles out advice on some of his many hobbies with the feature montage in particular being so fantastic I couldn't even try to keep up with all the jokes. I feel like we can never get enough Ron Swanson, but the show has been hesitant to overkill him, and Ron just really shines in this great moment. Most of the putting together of the Gala is done off screen, but the resolutions turn out to be nice moments for Ben, Tom and the rest of the crew involved all setting up an excellent opportunity for Leslie and Ben to get married!
Side note, I have been commenting on how the show has been seemingly heading towards a possible series finale and this next wedding episode was actually conceived as a possible series finale when they only had a thirteen episode order. So my prediction was right that the two would get married in the park, I just thought it would be completed all the way, not just funded.
The other story of the week had Andy and April at the police station as he tried to take the test to become an officer with her there to boost his confidence. There is actually only a pair of scenes at the station and one of them actually is quite sad as Andy bombs the personality interview, ending his dream of becoming a police officer. The silver lining to all of this is that the chief of police tells Chris that Andy was the first person to ever score 100% on the written test, calling Andy a genius; what will Chris do with that smile he gives Andy after hearing this info?
A really great episode of Parks & Rec tonight and I was legitimately caught off guard by the wedding TBC. The episode was a great feature for Offerman and Poehler and if this had been the penultimate episode of the show the writers did its stars right. We are lucky enough to be getting even more episodes of Parks & Rec though, I still think this will sadly be the final season, and I can't wait to see what they have in store for us next week at the impromptu wedding.
-”History will decide.”
-The corporate takeover of government is so wonderfully, and hilariously, represented on this show.
-”Things are forever.”
-Tom might enjoy a black tie gala more than registering for someone else wedding.
-”But, he's got a great personality.”
-I love Animal Control already.
-”That family took a terrible hit.”
-”Prepare for the diarrhea.”
-”I'll kill'em, as soon as their done with these birds.”
-Joan is looking haggard.
-”Andrew, I think.”
-”Also do you know where my catcher's mit is?”
-Novels about tall ships?
-I hope I am never Jamm'd.
-Leslie is bringing this town down, TornadoQuake!
-Too many lines, Ron has a knack for this.
-”I will see you in Hell!”
-”I also helped a child perform a tracheotomy on his dying uncle.”
-Andy is a genius?
-Mouse Rat! Ron even likes them.
-”You did want to invite the whole town to the wedding right?”
-Amy Poehler is great.