“Parks and Recreation”: Welcome to the Terror Dome

April doesn’t like conflict just as much as she doesn’t like disappointing Leslie, which makes it difficult for her to come clean about her feelings on working in government because she can’t tell Leslie without dealing with both conflict and disappointment. Leslie doesn’t want to hear it just as much as April doesn’t want to tell her, but their trip to D.C., in “Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington,” is going to force the admission out of her whether she likes it or not.

Parks and Recreation takes this secondary storyline to the forefront this week in what becomes a split-team effort to find April a future job she loves. I’ll call Andy, Ben and Ron her grassroots team in Pawnee. The trio investigates all the right companies — Ron’s Very Good business and the infamous accounting firm that brings back Barney, played by the slaphappy John Balma —to find her a job that fits her wish list, and all along you know none of it is right for her. Then, there’s the Washington team of April and Leslie, and they’re the ones who will find her a job.

The plot was bound to get emotional this season and the tears started to flow a little bit this week. April and Leslie, who will both be moving to D.C. by the way, shared two touching moments — once when cooler heads prevail and April’s able to explain how Leslie made her so ambitious, and then when April wants to run her career choice by Leslie before making a move on it. There’s another April tear-jerker in “Pie Mary” between her and Ron. Anytime Parks has April express her feelings for another person, it’s a massive moment. April’s admission of love on Ann’s final episode last year was like perfect gossip column fodder.

Parks is working to another one of its strength in the Washington episode. Amy Poehler has always attracted politicians to work with her on the show and this episode is an even bigger party than we’ve ever had. It’s not quite Joe Biden, and it’s still not President Obama, but added together the political elite in “Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington” may add up to one vice president.

And the show has always used these type of guest stars to its advantage by giving each of them hilarious ways to interact with the cast. Barbara Boxer turns down an invitation for the D.C. Historical Lamp Post walking tour because she has a meeting with the president (“Can we come?”). Leslie’s prepared to see Kirsten Gillibrand by inscribing her book for her, all she has to do is sign (and add a P.S. if she has something else to say). Cory Booker and Orrin G. Hatch are in a band called Across the Isle (a play on words!). And of course, Leslie has lunch with Madeline Albright at what will become Leslie’s No. 1 breakfast place, Lincoln’s Waffle Shop. Leslie got so wrapped up in her story that she ate Albright’s waffle, too.

Parks has another strong week, although we miss Tom’s presence in both episodes. The truth is, we’re getting ready for a wholesale move to Washington. Leslie’s going to take a job as the Deputy Director of the Interior, something I have no clue what it means, and April’s going to take a job at the career-discovering agency. By putting together April and Leslie, as well as the guys in a group, Parks couldn’t go wrong.

My favorite thing: I can’t decide between Andy’s plan to break into April’s college to change her major and then live out what sounds like an adapted version of Good Will Hunting, or Donna’s contribution to the guys’ resume-building team — a wad of cash to go the straight-up bribery route if all else fails. Both hilarious bits. Of course, the way Andy and Ron react to the Barney-Ben relationship is priceless.


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