Parks and Rec: Season 6 episode 2
I really loved this week’s episode, but I was swamped with homework and this is wicked late so I’m going to try to make this a little shorter. (HAHAHA I just went back to re-read after my first draft and it is 1300 words. What can I say, I’m a talker).
The episode opens with Leslie about to give a press conference, and Ben informing her he has added a few more Eagleton jokes at the end. “Are you sure you want to attack them at this press conference?” Ben asks. “It’s a friendly wager on a high school basketball game”. Leslie responds by reminding Ben she is still fighting the recall battle (and not doing very well) and “slamming Eagleton is the easiest way to score some points”.
Uh-oh, does this remind anyone of a similar situation? Last season Ben returned to his hometown to receive a key to the city, which turned out to be a prank to embarrass Ben. The current mayor wanted to score some points, and the easiest way to that? Make fun of Ben Wyatt, creator of “Ice Town”, the sports complex that bankrupted his town when he was an 18 year old mayor. That episode was particularly memorable in that Ben had to be hospitalized and given morphine, which apparently makes him EVEN CUTER than he normally is. Hmmm, will this end up any better for Leslie?
For those that are new to P&R, Eagleton seceded from Pawnee 200 years ago with all their money and rich people, starting this rivalry and animosity between the two towns. Inside the press conference, Leslie wagers a basket of apples from the Pawnee orchard while guest star Kristen Bell as Eagleton’s Ingrid wagers a basket of oranges made out Swarovski crystal that are worth 7 Billion dollars. Leslie cracks some jokes (“I’m not saying Ealgetonians are out of touch, but if you tell them it’s time to change their oil, they ask ‘extra virgin or white truffle’?”). Ok, this did actually get some laughs from me.
Let’s check in with Ron. Ron storms into the office asking about a circular that was delivered under his name to Diane’s address. As Mr. Privacy, this is quite offensive to him. Ron asks Tom for help getting off the grid, and Tom suggests going to Donna. Yes, I love Donna! Excited to see more of her this episode. Tom and Donna throw out words like twitter, snapchat, and ustream and Ron looks bewildered.
Over to Chris, Ben, and Leslie: we learn that not only Ben named his old calculator “Mr. Buttons” but he and Chris had nicknames: Butch Count-ssidy and the Sum-dance Kid. Ohhhhh my goodness I love this. Also, Ben can’t catch things, and there are financial problems in Eagleton. But also-cute handshakes!! This was probably some of the best 2 minutes of the show, because it reminded me how important friends are to all of these characters. Anyways, then Leslie makes a case for being involved with this somehow, because problems in Eagleton are a dream come true.
Ann and April go on a roadtrip to Bloomfield so that April can check out her new campus where she will be studying veterinary medicine. April throws Ann’s special road trip mix out the window- but Tori Amos? For a road trip? No.
Ann drops April off for orientation, and she obviously introduces herself as April Ludgate Kavorkian. Ann leaves April with her tour guide, Laura, in order to do some baby shopping. Ann is at the baby store and sees April had jumped ship, and drags her back to orientation. April only agrees to go back to orientation if she can pretend Ann is her 65 year old grandmother. April and Ann finish up their tour, which leaves Ann excited and April ready to blow off vet school.
Tom & Donna initially try to convince Ron to stay on the grid, but then enthusiastically agree to help Ron disappear from the grid in exchange for leaving work early. Ron tries to convince the mailman not to deliver circulars under his name, but the mailman says he really doesn’t get to decide that. No more credit cards, cell phone, or even employee I.D. badge. Then they travel the town to remove all pictures of Ron setting eating records in local restaurants. “Why is everyone else so bad at eating?” I don’t know, Ron, I don’t know.
Ron completes this successfully only to find out that Tom has been taking pictures of him all day for his facebook album! Ron tries to delete the photos but accidentally takes a vine selfie of himself…ERASE ALL PICTURES OF RON! ERASE ALL PICTURES OF RON!
Leslie joins Ben & Chris for a budget meeting with Eagleton where Ben and Chris realize that Eagleton is on the verge of “epic” financial problems because they’ve continued to borrow money and spend it on things like bottled water to fill public pools and HBO for every household. Leslie is way too excited about all of this. Revealing Eagleton’s problems will hand her the recall election!
Leslie offers to help Eagleton solve its financial woes only to mock them in her presentation and then offer a small loan with 25% interest. The Eagletonians leave, and Leslie yells that no one will ever help them, ever.
April tells Ann drive home from Bloomfield and April reports she isn’t being flaky, she’s just trusting her gut. She makes all her major life decisions based on gut emotions- marrying Andy, disliking Ann. She jokes that Ann is worse than Guy Fieri. Ok, maybe this was my favorite two minutes, because both of them kind of smile and laugh at this- even stoic April. She might be finally thawing.
Also: Mariah Carey I can get behind. ROAD TRIPS NEED FUN SONGS, OKAY?
(“Always Be My Baby” is definitely on my “songs to sing at the top of your lungs” mix)
Leslie finds out that Ben has still offered to help Ealgeton, and she isn’t so happy about that. Here is a perfect example of Leslie having faults, without resorting to bullying or fat shaming. She has a tendency to take over other people’s lives and boss others around. “This is what you tacitly agreed to when you married me!” she tells Ben. She has a tendency to think she knows what is best for those she cares about and sometimes crosses the line between assertive and aggressive in trying to run their lives. She means well, but is clearly in the wrong whenever this happens.
Ron tries to buy an RV when Diane catches up to him. She’s angry because she hasn’t been able to get ahold of him for hours since he’s destroyed his phone. “You don’t have to be on the grid, but you have to be on our grid”. Right on, Diane! This couple is an awesome partnership of equals- something hard to come by in sitcoms, it seems. She understands his need for privacy but states her needs to be able to get in touch with him as equally important and valid. They compromise by Ron getting a cell phone with a number only known by his immediate family. Donna and Tom are disgusted by his low tech flip phone and belt clip.
At the basketball game, Eagleton is killing Pawnee with “students” who are clearly out of high school and 7 feet tall. Leslie apologizes and acknowledges wanting to feel supported through the recall election happenings, which ben reassures her- he’s always on her side. Another awesome couples-as-partners moment. Leslie realizes she knows how to save Eagleton.
We don’t get a conclusive answer from April about whether she will or won’t attend vet school (I hopes she does, I love seeing her character grow, but I want her to stay on the show!), but we do get some answers about Chris & Ann’s departure. Ann has a “gut feeling” about Bloomfield.
We’re at another press conference, where Leslie unveils her master plan: Eagleton will be reabsorbed by Pawnee. Nobody is happy, but Ingrid and Leslie show a united front and at least momentarily are able to calm the crowds from both towns. Ingrid thanks Pawnee and Leslie specifically. Let’s hope she’s right, and this saves the election for her!
YAY: Couples as equal partners, Guy Fieri references, Butch Counts-ady and the Sum-dance Kid, slightly more Donna, and a potential big project for everyone to work on together (the toown merge)
NAY: Ann and Chris moving to Bloomfield mean Ann will be off the show and thus the Ann-Leslie friendship will no longer be a feature. Here’s hoping there are other opportunities for friendship relationships in addition to all the couples