Parks & Rec has one of its best episodes of the season by supplying lots of laughs and finding drama in the characters that actually feel relevant.
The A story is Ron and Leslie fighting over a senior, Allison, who shows promise as a future Leslie in the Parks department, but Ron won’t let the youth of America be sucked into government work. Allison is spending time at City Hall because the Parks Department is putting on the Prom this year, due to budget cuts, and the battle over Allison’s summer job extends all the way to the Prom itself. The battle allows for a number of crazy Leslie opportunities, but Ron steals the plot with classic Swanson-line after Swanson-line and they wrap up it up with some actual poignancy that these two can have from time to time. I feel like they missed an opportunity with Ron in the principal’s office, but still, plenty of good stuff here.
Andy and April have my favorite plot of the night, as April wonders how she and Andy ended up together as she sees him thrive at the Prom while she wants to curl up and die; creeping everyone out in the process. April’s worries feel genuine and the show does an excellent job of not overplaying the drama and they find the perfect balance of poignancy. Seeing Chris Pratt tear up that dance floor is fantastic, and I am bummed they don’t have the budget to show him attempting to jump that lake, but as the two settle in and have a blast destroying Prom I couldn’t help but smile ear to ear. And what the hell was that Orin as April’s Mom bit? Delightfully bizarre, and Champion!
Ben and Tom run the C story of the week, and even that gets a lot of laughs. I can’t remember Tom being this funny in a long time and I always love Ben in one of his geeky modes. Tom not thinking he is cool is a great character beat to explore, I wish they had a bit more time to do so, and I love that they brought it around in the end that it just means he is becoming a grown up and is too successful to keep up with all of that. Every storyline is hitting some quality character beats this week and this is exactly what the show has been missing all season. It doesn’t hurt that Ben’s DJ skills were pretty solid either.
Parks & Rec has been a bit all over the place this year, but this week was one of the season’s high points. We’ve been looking for character work like this all season and the episode was a reminder of how high this show can climb, it's just a shame we haven’t seen it at this level more this season. Still, take it when you can get it, and this was a pretty great episode of Parks and Recreation.
-I saved Latin!
-Zoot Suit Wyatt
-Juan Julio Officina Supplies
-”I had to throw away my whole computer just to be safe.”
-”Because they moved, to prison.”
-”I tried to jump it over lake, why don’t you try and stay out of our conversations, Larry!”
-”I built his saw mill.”
-”He can eat a big old bowl of butts.”
-April’s Prom Dress!
-Champion! “Good night sir.”
-”I think I’m still messed up from it.”
-”I was 12 years old.”
-”It is not good. It’s not a good movie.”
-”What’s grizzle dump?”
-”Continue with your awkward close quarters gyrating.”
-”I was buried in it!”
-”Hiding mops so the janitor thinks he is going insane.”
-”I think the extra length can help us get over that length.”