Parks and Recreation Watch: Season 5, Episode 5 - Halloween Surprise

Parks and Recreation takes some major steps forward this week as the show forces its characters to look into themselves and find out what makes them tick.

Leslie and the Pawnee gang are celebrating Halloween, Ron and Andy go trick or treating with Ron’s new girl Diane and her daughters while everyone else attends a scary movie event available for the town. Donna gets the most face time she has gotten in sometime and she excels as she live tweets the movie, but it is a Jerry fart attack that causes everyone to get introspective.

When Jerry has a minor heart attack after Anne and Leslie mistakenly scare him, he also expels an insane amount of gas. This minor mishap not only provides a ton of comedy, but Jerry’s new lease on life seems to lead to everyone else to take a look at their own. Leslie decides to throw a charity auction to help pay for Jerry’s hospital bills and the event opens a lot of doors for our favorite Pawnee citizens. Leslie doesn’t want to lose Ben and she is ready to lease a new house for the two of them to live in, Anne is getting rid of all of the reminders of her past relationship phases, Chris is tackling his greatest fears and Tom might have found a new business endeavor he can take on. A lot of good humor and character progression for this group this week and it is great to see that the Parks & Rec writing staff is still finding interesting places to take these characters.

Ron even gets to grow this week as he has to swallow his pride and make some personal concessions for the woman in his life. April got out of D.C. ASAP and she wastes no time getting right back on Ron’s case, this time in the matters of love. Ron more or less fails a parenting test when he and Andy are forced to take Diane’s daughters out for Trick or Treating and their mother’s anger and Ron’s stubbornness seem to be sending this romance to an untimely end. April won’t let Ron off the hook and he sweetly shows off his softer side as he commits to Diane and her children. Ron in a fatherly role has always been one of the highlights of the show in his time with Andy, but I am eagerly anticipating his time with the pair of Diane’s young daughters. This week already gave us a couple of great moments of parenting and seeing Ron’s softer side is almost always a gold mine for humor. I hope more is to come.

Ben is wrapping up his campaign in D.C., but his boss wants to take him down to Florida to meet with a potential Governor’s candidate for said state. Ben wins him over, but this would obviously lead him to spend an extended period of time in Florida and keep him from Leslie for an ever greater period of time. Leslie takes the news in a sad stride, having to abandon here down payment on her new home lease, and she decides to walk through the house one last time. But there is a surprise. Ben is back in Pawnee, gets down on one knee and proposes to Leslie in one of the sweetest proposals ever put on television. Adam Scott is incredible in this moment and while I think they shouldn’t have let Leslie’s neurosis get in the way, the moment still couldn’t have really been any sweeter.

The Halloween Surprise this week had little to do with the holiday and everything to do with the paths of our characters. Almost everyone made large strides forward this week in growing their character and I am genuinely engaged to see where they are heading. Chris is still on a potentially dangerous path of sadness, Ron’s sweet side could be a source of great comedy and I am really excited to see what they do with Ben and Leslie. They didn’t say whether Ben was going to get off the campaign trail or not, I doubt it, but they took a giant step forward towards capping off one of the best romances ever put on television with the couple’s engagement. I can’t wait for the wedding.

Random Notes:

-"Impossible, I work for the government."

-Andy is excited for trick or treating.

-"His words, and Anne’s, and the official report from the health committee."

-"After I asked for it, while crying loudly."

-April is out!

-"I was going to get a chicken parm and watch Blade Runner."

-"What else you got?"

-"You mean alligators?"

-Ron's parenting tactics are flawed.

-"Now I know how FDR felt after Pearl Harbor"

-Poor Jerry. Fart jokes work for a change.

-"I just wish he would say Jerry had a fart attack."

-"Having a wrist is a pre-existing condition."

-I want Perd's biography.

-"I'm live tweeting this dumb ass conversation."

-"Watch me." Drive reference!

-"What are you going to do to her?"

-"Your future has been canceled."

-Words of wisdom from Jerry.

-"Strawberry Jello night!"

-Awe, Ron's growing up.

-Oh snap! Ben nailed it. Leslie, shut up.

-Scott and Poehler were perfect there.