Parks and Rec: The last two before January


I’m not okay with the idea of waiting until January for the next “Parks and Recreation” episodes, but so many wonderful things happened during last night’s double-feature that it helped ease the tension. Let’s start with April, where all proper “Parks” recaps should begin.

April bought one of Ron’s four cabins with only the things she had in her pursue, including $8, Larry’s inhaler and a promise that she, Andy and Champion would use the space to escape society. I knew it would happen, as soon as April started trying to bond with weirdos to drive up the price of Ron’s cabin. April pulled a Tynnyfer on the hipsters. She’s a pro.

From day one, Ron and April have understood each other. They’re two people who don’t wear their heart on their sleeves when they can help it, but are the sweetest people deep down. I think, somewhere in Ron’s heart he wanted someone like April to buy the place. She’s married to Andy, who Ron respects, and her ideal vacation involves running away from society. While Donna and Tom try being real estate moguls, Ron and April sit outside the cabin and do nothing — literally, they watch the shadows get longer. Same brain, different body?

The price tag is exactly what you’d expect Ron to go for, too. He wouldn’t have been happy that Tom sold Rent-A-Swag and its name to Tommy’s Closet, because cash doesn’t matter to Ron. He bought the cabin for $2,200 a long time ago. A man’s name is all that matters. Nothing represents Ron more than his conversation with Donna, in the episode. Donna is willing to take a “friends and family discount” in commission on the Cabin: five percent to three percent. Ron: “Don’t mistake what we have for friendship.” Donna: “Respect.”

Ron is on fire in these two episodes, doing good things left and right. One of the other fabulous things that happens in these episodes is Chris and Ron in the wood shop. Recently, Chris learned that the perfect crib he bought in Bloomington actually burns off people’s finger nails, so rather than convince Ron to get one, too, he takes Ron’s road to building a crib — the handmade way.

As is to be expected, Chris takes everything Ron says about crib-making as a metaphor for being a father, even though Ron hates metaphors. That’s why he likes “Moby Dick.” The whale doesn’t represent anything. It’s just a big friggin’ whale.

Ron realizes Chris is doing that, which is a big tell that Chris is reeling as he looks forward to potential fatherhood. He made his first mistake, but rest assured he’s going to make more of them. “I, literally, wont trust anything but my owns hands.” Welcome to the party, Chris. Ron has been thinking this way since birth.

The cribs are rather impressive. It’s a sweet gesture when Ron offers his originally crafted crib to Chris, because there will be more kids and because somebody who cares as much as Chris is going to be a great father. Heart-warming moment. Two points for Ron, although Chris didn’t have to pay him anything.

Instead, Chris pays it forward to Leslie, who is 56-56 against Jamm since taking office. She’s running out of days and she can’t walk out of city council without a winning record against her nemesis. She goes through hell to get there. Leslie and Chris spend the night as Jamm’s place. Leslie wears a “My Mouth Got Jammed” T-Shirt. They eat sushi rolls made of tuna. They have to go to sleep staring at a photoshopped bikini picture of Michelle Wie. She has nice legs, but come on! Leslie is forced to take the Zuko role in the karaoke version of “Summer Nights,” luck though that she doesn’t have to sing “Beauty School Dropout” because it’s feminist and Leslie doesn’t do sad songs.

I figured it was all pointless in the first place. Jamm loves seeing Leslie suffer. Chris comes to the rescue by manipulating the situation. As City Manager, he promises Jamm five big IOUs in exchange for Leslie’s lock box to get the Pawnee Commons project started. Little does Jamm know, Chris is moving to Ann Arbor soon.

Now to digress into a sad part of Thursday night. Leslie is pushing so hard for the Pawnee Commons project to start because she thinks it might keep Ann around; after all, it’s the reason she met Ann in the first place. This is the first time we’ve seen this kind of disbelief from Leslie, since the initial storm of depression after Ann gave her the bad news. But it’s not going to work. Ann and Chris are moving to Ann Arbor because Ann’s on vacation this week buying their first house. She didn’t tell Leslie, which upset her more.

Back to happy. Leslie helps Tom, by bringing him into the spotlight of politics, where he is not surprisingly brilliant at manipulating situations. See: H2Flow, the who-gives-a-shit brainchild of Tom and Leslie, but mostly Tom.

Unfortunately, H2Flow gets Ben fired from working at Sweetums because he’s married to Leslie. It works out the best for him, though. He goes to that accounting firm that he’s turned down twice and really shakes things up. Here is where most of the greatest moments of this episode happen. When Ben thinks of the idea that will settle the firms biggest account, they rewind and think of the great idea to hold a tall light over his head. When he thinks of the idea, the light comes on. THAT WINS. “This isn’t pizza. These are calzones!”

Last, but not least, Ben’s latest genius creation: The Cones of Dunshire. This game, like his intricate claymation movies of the past, come from his boredom. But we’d pay Ben to be bored all the time if these were the ideas he came up with. It’s a funny moment when he quits the firm, taking Chris’ city manager job, and leaves the guys — who are older version of his nerdiness — the game. It’s even funnier when they fight over who will be the scorekeeper. Silly accountants.

I love this show.


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