Parks And Recreation Watch: Season 5, Episode 17 - Partridge

Parks & Rec returns for its final run of episodes this season and its first episode is pretty great at bringing the funny.

The A story of the week has got to be the lawsuit of Jamm vs. Swanson. If you don't remember, Ron punched Councilman Jamm to the ground after he tried to interfere with Ben and Leslie's wedding and he is now suing Ron for $46 million. Andy, Tom and April are all brought in as witnesses and a pair of them have a little trouble with the truth. While Tom and April's lies might be funny, Ron doesn't want to win that way and they are forced to tell the truth. The silly thing is, it becomes all for naught as they just blackmail Jamm into dropping the case. The story might be light, but the performances and the laughs keep on coming from the Parks Department crew and councilman Jamm. Glaser is great as Jamm, as always, and the story allowed Offerman to really show some range in Ron. It was a perfect balance of the best traits of all the characters involved, except maybe Andy who was the low man in the group this week.

Leslie and Ben are up in the title town, Partridge, the city of which Ben was Mayor and that he destroyed financially with his infamous Ice Town. They are supposed to be honoring Ben with the Key to the City he never received as Mayor. All their Mayors get one, but it quickly becomes clear it is a giant ruse. J.K. Simmons plays the current Mayor and he wants to use this elaborate prank to earn political points for re-election. Ben's sudden kidney stone spoils these plans, but there are still plenty of laughs to be had. Leslie ripping on the town was great, as was a very drugged up Ben (Adam Scott is great at playing under the influence), but I don't feel like this had the closure they were looking for in a story like this. I actually had put all of these Ben demons out of mind, and I thought Ben had as well, and it was a bit out of left field to have these two try and get more closure; especially when the resolution was nothing more than "I don't care about this." I did enjoy seeing the town still being so angry at Ben and I almost wish this was a redemption story over a who needs them one. Still, lots of laughs here so I won't really complain; though more J.K. Simmons please.

The last story of the night was a concise and to the point adventure in compatibility as Chris and Anne run the gauntlet of tests to see if they should really go through with this baby. The results say no, but they reconcile it with a really sweet scene as Chris comes up with his own test that gets down to all that really matters, they both really want this. It was a very nice platonic moment between the two and they squeezed a lot of good laughs, especially for Lowe, into the slimmest section. The writing team has gotten excellent at these C stories as of late, trimming them to the bare minimum yet still finding lots of laughs.

There really wasn't a lot of story this week, and barely any of it mattered, but the episode had a very strong laugh consistency that kept em coming. The show really highlighted its characters' strengths to lift the lack of story material. I'm glad this episode was funny, but with this possibly being the last run of episodes I wish they were moving towards a bit more closure.

Random notes:

-"You should sue Jamm's parents for having a turdburger."

-"You're so sexy when you talk percentages."

-"They once got him 60,000 dollars for getting too scared at a haunted house." Oh, Jean-Ralphio.

-"Yes, we did not win."

-"Skim milk, which is water lying about being milk."

-Totally stayed home from school to watch The Price is Right.

-"What if that testimony leaks, how will anyone respect me?"

-"You just do your thing baby Smurf."

-"Just day dreaming about punching Jamm in the face."

-Lee Jansen slam!

-"Self Jamm."

-"I'm feeding your eagle, he's starving."

-"We got Jammed."