Parks & Rec celebrates the coming union of Ben and Leslie with an engagement party and the first appearance of Ben’s parents, it doesn’t go well.
The surprise proposal a couple weeks ago was a great turn of events for the show (especially since I think this might be our last season) and they wasted no time getting us on with the wedding parade. Ann plans the party and everyone is in attendance for a change, before slowly breaking off into their own adventures.
Our main story this week is Ben and Leslie attempting to keep the peace between Ben’s long divorced parents and things get off with a bang. Ben’s dad (brilliant casting of Breaking Bad’s menacing Jonathan Banks) brings his young girlfriend and this is just the first of many battles between the exes over the course of the night. Ben is ready to run, Leslie is determined to make things work and neither of them are very successful in either of their plans. Ben and Leslie eventually swap roles, Ben ready to fight/Leslie trying to run, but it doesn’t do much for the characters other than Ben learning to further stand up for himself. Light character development aside, the appearance by Banks is worth it just for the epic standoff between Ben’s Dad and Ron Swanson over a shrimp; Ron, sort of surprisingly, wins. It’s a shame Leslie’s unity blanket had to be taken down a peg or two.
Chris on the other hand keeps creeping closer and closer to that projected mental breakdown as he has a happy/sad attack right in the middle of the party. April, Andy, Ann and Champion do their best to cheer him up, and Chris does pull out of it, but he is continuing on path that would be considered dangerous if this show wasn’t a comedy. That got some decent laughs out of Chris’ manic state and April’s sad attack was delightfully snail filled, but it felt like a bit of a wash for all the characters.
The same can be said for Tom’s C-plotline with Ron and Jean Ralphio. Even the always hilarious Jean Ralphio couldn’t pull this maturation of Tom Haverford out of a mostly comedic rut. Tom is going to run with his Swag rental company, but outside showing Ron he has grown up by ejecting Jean Ralphio as his business partner, not a lot happened in this story line. At least Jean Ralphio was back in full force, his interactions with Ron being the highlights.
A solid enough episode for Parks & Rec this week, but certainly one of the weakest entries of the year. I am happy for the engaged couple, but I hope their future wedding endeavors find a little more humor for us viewer.
-Chris is excited!
-"Put him down as a maybe."
-"We are a Red Vines family."
-Adam Scott is great in breakdown mode.
-"We're a Twizzlers family."
-Champion, where has he been?
-"Ron in 60 Seconds."
-"Rethink that move son."
-"Right fucking now."
-They are getting friendly, Champion and Chris.
-"Dave Matthews Band."
-Condoms with pictures on them?
-The unity blanket does it again.
-"Technically I'm homeless!"