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Parks & Recreation Watch: Season 4, Episode 21 - Bus Tour

Parks and Rec is about ready to put it to a vote and they delivered one of the best episodes of the season.

Its one day away from Election Day and everyone is in final preparations for the big day. Tom, Donna, and Ron are off to make sure the van rentals for the old folks are squared away while everyone else is on the campaign trail in the Knope Mobile.

At the van rental office the Newport campaign has swept in and bought the lot for ten grand to keep them out of the hands of Knope. Our three heroes approach the problem from a multitude of angles and all are successful, entertainment wise, from start to finish. Tom pans to use that “Haverford Charm” on the guy, Mike O’ Malley, but he is quickly bullied into submission. Ansari gives us some of the best Tom material of the season here, and it’s a shame it took so long to get this great of stuff out of him. Before Tom can try and cry his way in, Ron gives it a go and simply tries to buy the cars out from under Newport. Where Ron has ten grand lying around I don’t know (Duke Silver?), but the season has gone to great lengths to show how committed Ron is to Leslie and her success as a person; a very sweet gesture by Ron. The last resort for the vans is Donna who brilliantly plays into the mistake the owner makes when he love taps her baby (her car) to try and get her to move. Donna slamming into his truck was a fist pump worthy moment, further punctuated by Ron calling the guy an asshole; great stuff.

Over on the Knope Mobile the story is split among three branches with the return of Andy’s alter ego Bert Macklin being the best. Chris Pratt just takes the character to another level this week as he delivers brilliant moment after moment. Macklin gives him an insane confidence and swagger that replaces his goofy side, but Pratt lets it come through in just the right moments this week. Whether he is pie-ing Jerry, giving out code names, investigating the pie crime, or blowing his protection of Ben, he was nonstop laughs.

Leslie and Ben, in the meanwhile, are caught in a spin situation when Leslie trashes Bobby’s dad before finding out he has died that very morning. Leslie is stuck spending the rest of the day trying to make up for the flub, but mostly makes things worse. It all culminates in a pretty sweet scene with Bobby Newport himself, Paul Rudd, as they put the campaign aside and they connect as much as one possibly can with the dim witted Newport. Rudd is great, as always, in his brief scenes and I loved the way Newport endorsed Leslie at the end of the episode.

Less of a main plot and more of a series of funny tags, Chris might have had his funniest episode of the season. Facing his “rough year” head on, Chris thinks he can never stop working and ends up running every earned and doing anything possible to escape the “dark place” in his head. The episode’s best gag might be Chris blazing past the bus on his bike, but April gets a really sweet moment with her old boss as they wander the Newport mansion. Still interested to see if they are going to resolve this downward spiral for Chris this season, but seeing Rob Lowe struggle with the misery has provided some excellent comedy as of late.

Parks and Rec hasn’t had as strong of an episode as this in sometime as there wasn’t a weak link across the board. Tom has a nice resurgence, Chris and Andy haven’t been funnier this year, and the plot continues to nicely set up the big election in the upcoming finale. I can’t wait to see what happens with the election and I hope the show keeps the same level of quality as this week from here on out.


-A bus tour!

-Oh, we are only one day away!

-“The home Ben and I share together.”

-“I can see, in the crowd, President Obama, staring at me.”

-“Luckily it only hit Jerry.”

-Bert Macklin!

-Love Chris’ shirt.

-“Chris, If It Had To Be A Dude.”

-“I have total faith in you. Take Donna with you, and Ron, you too.”

-“I will avoid falling into a bottomless pit of despair.”

-Loving the code names.

-Those evil librarians.

-T-shirt guns!

-Poor Jerry.

-Clean yourself up, do this again.

-“Bam, I start crying!”

-Who is this reporter?

-Wonder if they faked the death?

-“But this reporter does love that t-shirt cannon.”

-“Good answer, great body.”

-Andy is killing it this episode.

-Yogurt Platinum.

-“No you can’t do that, Ron!”

-“Did Graffle use a boat of some kind.”

-Chris is moving fast on that bike.

-Damn Ron, where is that cash coming from? Duke Silver?

-“It’s a trap! It’s a trap!”

-Saw that portrait getting hit, but still hilarious.

-“It’s very classy. No melons, no apples.”

-“I had to try.”

-“What’s next?” Poor Chris.

-“Dark places are awesome.”

-“I’m not fine, it didn’t work.”

-Kinect bowling or real bowling?

-“Now I get it. Your mom and my dad are both dicks.”

-Get him Donna

-“You mean bald man.”

-“Macklin, you son of a bitch.”

-“That’s just a good story that happened between me and my dad, and no one else.”

-Don’t do it Chris.

-“There’s a dead guy in another, what do you say.”

-It was sewage Joe!

-“Oh fuck, Ben sorry.”