A weak episode story wise for Parks & Rec is saved by some excellent character moments sprinkled throughout the entire episode.
Ron is the highlight of the episode this week as he gets sick and Anne forces him to go to the hospital. His girlfriend's kids got him sick during a viewing of Finding Nemo and his reaction to sickness is as expected. Just because we expect him to fight going to a doctor doesn't mean it isn't going to be hilarious to watch and Nick Offerman doesn't disappoint. From his complaints about the tongue depressor to the most painfully eaten banana ever put on film, Offerman gets many wonderful gags and a couple classic Swanson moments. It's the sweet sacrifice he makes for those that love him though that is the icing on the cake and it gives some welcome depth after some excellent character beats for Mr. Swanson.
Leslie and April have to deal with Jamm as Animal Control has gotten out of control and the city council has to figure out what to do with it. After a series of funny interview candidates, Orin!, to replace the justly fired former Animal Control employees it comes down to a pair of puppet candidates from Jamm and Leslie. April is Leslie's attempt to derail Jamm's attempt to force in a coned customer/friend, but she isn't all that prepared either. Luckily, April gets to show off her suppressed talents as she gets the council to consolidate the Animal Control into the Parks Department. It's great to see April is continuing to grow. I love that Jamm keeps finding a way to weasel his way into all of these episodes. Jonathan Glaser has been having a good year between this and Girls. The episode was actually a really nice showcase for Aubrey Plaza as she got to show off all of the strengths of April from her crazy, random comments to those genuine moments of brilliance. April is one of the most interesting characters on the show but is wasted often for simple, “isn't she weird,” gags.
The last storyline followed Ben, Andy and Tom and was pretty much a dud all around. We don't learn anything new or interesting about fragrance mogul Dennis Feinstein other than that he is clearly the giant asshole we all thought he was. It is great to have Jason Mantoukas in anything we can get him in, but he has been better on both the show and elsewhere. Sure, it's nice to see Ben trying to help his new job at Sweetums get off of the ground, but I actually was more interested in Ben and Andy trying to change Sweetums, not get money for the company. Still, they managed to get in a couple of good lines, but the plot ultimately went nowhere. Nice to see a softer side of Tom though, but I really want them to figure out what to do with Andy. I also am not really sure I buy Ben going along with all of Feinstein's BS as long as he does. Plus, they completely diminish Andy in the process by making him crawl back and apologize. I call foul.
A pair of plot lines elevated a weak story week with a couple of shining showcases for Ron and April. The Sweetums storyline might have been one of the weakest of the season, but I think most fans of the show will just be happy to have another great episode of Mr. Swanson. Only four episodes left this year, let's hope they pick up some story sooner rather than later.
-"Harder than it looks though."
-Sick Ron looks like a wreck; and he is down.
-Dennis Feinstein! Jason Mantoukas!
-Milton, wake up!
-"One shelf." "Love making and wood work." "I had an uncle who did yoga." "Epic and private."
-"That's true because I'm half wolf."
-Bill and Ted reference!
-Orin! He speaks!
-"You could at least use mahogany."
-"I wish all patient were like that."
-"Put only if you divorce Ben."
-"And appreciated by all of us."
-"No one needs to be Jammed today."
-No, Andy, tell him he's a dick.
-Is he growling?
-Orin! Orin! Orin!
-And that's how you eat a banana.
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