Parks & Recreation Watch: Season 4, Episode 17 - Campaign Shake-Up

Parks and Recreation gets back on the campaign trail and introduces a new campaign manager for Bobby Newport who proves to be quite the foil for Ben and Leslie on every front.

As mentioned, Ben and Leslie are constantly at odds with the new Newport campaign manager, in particular in the battle for the elderly vote of Pawnee. Leslie plans on winning over the elderly by proposing a plan to but ramps all over Pawnee for the many Rascals running around town. The competition one ups Leslie by selling lifts at every corner and the Pawnee hopefuls are basically left with no idea how they are going to top her. Kathryn Hahn was very good as the new campaign manager and seeing her just having a blast, and taking joy in lying and screwing with Leslie should make for another excellent foil for the road to the council seat. I particularly enjoyed Leslie trying to mine the Newport manager for ideas on how to beat her and then the reveal that the Manager is completely self aware and just playing a game with herself. Was clever. Getting the show back on the campaign trail is necessary for the season’s home stretch and I am glad they were able to fold in another fun element for our heroes to have to tackle.

Everywhere else there sadly wasn’t a lot going on, but at least we were stayed from having to deal with any Tom and Anne crap this week. Chris is thinking about hiring a new face for the Parks Department, much to the chagrin of Ron who will do whatever he can to stop it. Ron enlists Anne to come in and pick up some of the slack lost from Leslie’s absence and commissions the group to solve a problem so Chris doesn’t insist they hire more staff. The problem they tackle is a local Pawnee habit of its citizens just molesting water fountains with their mouths and the imagery was disgusting but funny all at once. Sadly, their problem solving meeting turned into a completely over the top water fight that felt forced and far too contrived to cause pain for Ron as him and Chris walked in on it at the most in opportune time.

This group would never get this crazy unless under the influence of Snake Juice, so thankfully it was just this one scene. The weirdness didn’t stop there though as the show seemed to almost skip a couple scenes to move things forward with Ron and Chris as they rushed to push April into a more prominent role in the department. The rushing of the plot makes sense since there wasn’t a lot there, but at least it afforded us some interesting Ron Swanson moments; most disturbingly that he slaughtered both of his cats on his sixth birthday since he could pick just the one his father requested. When are we going to meet Mr. Swanson, which is probably a manly dude.

All in all not a lot to report this week on Parks & Rec as the show mined some decent character beats while they try and get the show back on track for the seasons end game. Paul Rudd can’t be on every episode and Kathryn Hahn looks to be an excellent stand in enemy for Team Knope as they try and win the race to a council seat. A solid ep, we have seen far better from Parks & Rec this season.


-Perd is quite dumb.

-Bobby Newport better look out.

-"Hmmm, mmmm."

-Lets get the grey vote.

-Ramp Up Pawnee, brilliant.

-"Everything hurts, and I'm dying."

-New hires?

-"They were delicious," dark Swanson.

-"The middle third."

-"Your slight but powerful body."

-"Nonsense, we're great friends."

-Those drinking fountains are nasty.

-"A sexy elf king."

-Disgustingly hilarious water fountain drinking.

-"and two I would like to be lifelong friends with."

-This water fight is way too over the top and convenient.

-Ron has a claymore pointed at his door!

-What just happened to the interviews? How did they get their act together?

-"Oh, you're still here?"

-"Wonder what they are going to try and do with April?"

-"Just like you taught me."