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Parks & Rec stays on its hot streak with its best episode of this season, it's only misstep is naming it after one of the show's all time great episodes.
The "Flu Season" naming misstep was not only setting a high bar, and in hindsight barely makes any sense, but it can entirely stand on its own so why name it after that? Regardless of that, the episode works like gangbusters as every storyline is working at near the highest levels. Andy and Leslie get a rare, exclusive, pairing and while Leslie spends most of the episode throwing up because she is pregnant (!), Andy is firing on all cylinders again. I hope Jurassic World doesn't keep Chris Pratt away for as long as Guardians of the Galaxy did, because he is having one of his strongest seasons on the show. Every time Pratt opens his mouth something hilarious was coming out. Leslie is a pretty great companion though, and the misunderstanding in the dinner was one of the episode's highlights.
Nearly as great was Ben's drunken vision quest with Ron and Ron, that made the most out of the Parks Department managers. Ron gets some great material for the front half of the episode, but Sam Elliot's return as Eagleton Ron was one of the best guest appearances on the show. When that falcon landed on him I just about lost it. Adam Scott also had one of his best episodes of all time, as the blueberry wine does quite a number on him. Ben is always best when he gets pulled out of the straight man role and he has never been this loose in the role before. And that blue stained mouth, yowzers. They even found an effective way to make the baby news poignant from both ends of the relationship. Good stuff.
I think Billy Eichner and Aubrey Plaza steal the episode in the end, as their shenanigans in the amateur wine competition are a high point of the season. Eichner got on my nerves in his first couple of appearances, but he has completely won me over the course of the last season or so. From the competition, to his dry run at the office, Eichner was slaying me. The setting was also ripe for Plaza to do what she does best as April, and if Eichner wasn't so good I would be raving about her.
A really great episode of Parks and Recreation and I hope this is a sign that the show is about to break off a stellar run to end the season. The writing seems to be finally figuring out what to do with all of new full time cast members and they are competing with the leads for best turns ever episode. Here is to more episodes like this as they close out the season.
-What is that sneezing.
-That tent is your home now.
-That song would probably be a #1 hit if it was real.
-"He's basically the Bruno Mars of Indiana amateur wine tasting."
-"I don't drink alcohol from the end of the color spectrum."
-"This counts as one."
-"Thank you friend, that really means a lot to me."
-There's so much pumpkin its like Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin in there."
-"Not if you're eating a steak you loon!"
-Snerling Valley, ha.
-"There was pee on my palms!"
-"I thought you were getting a dog!"
-"Same way I got a perfect score on my SAT's, broken Scantron machine."
-"I'll bring it down a thousand notches if I have to."
-Billy Eichner, you've come so far on the show.
-"Welcome back old friend."
-"Actually cleans the air when it drives."