Leslie vs. April
As usual, Parks and Recreation is on fire this season (and as a matter of fact made me cry a few weeks ago), so after this week’s particularly strong episode (“Leslie vs. April”), I just couldn’t resist posting some of the most ridiculously hilarious moments. It is also worthwhile to note how the show seamlessly ties in the same themes across its multiple narratives to form one coherent half hour. Most sitcoms struggle to cohesively integrate B (and sometimes C) plots around their A plot. On Parks and Rec, Leslie and April are the stars of the half hour, but both Andy, Tom, and Ben all experience forward momentum in their own arcs. This episode focuses on personal growth; whether it’s finally showing initiative or presenting new job opportunities, Pawnee is a-changing, and yet it seems like a natural transition.
Tom and Ben
After getting out from under the dead weight that is Jean-Ralphio, Tom’s Rent-a-Swag business is actually coming together, so much so that Ben is willing to help him out — even though he just accepted the accounting job he turned down last season. Doors just continue to open for Ben; Tom asks him to be his CFO, he gets offered a job at Sweetums, as a news correspondent, and a management position at Urban Outfitters (Pawnee has an Urban Outfitters?!) while Tom cannot find any backers for his business. However, Ben decides that accounting is too boring (especially since there is no A&E show about it) and he decides to help Tom and maybe take one of the other positions offered to him.
Tom: (to Ben and Chris) Well, well well. If it isn’t Mr. Looks and Professor Books. (points to Chris). He’s looks.
Ben: I got it.
Tom: Of course you do, Books.
Ben: What’s the new company?
Tom: We specialize in making stacks on stacks on stacks on stacks.
Tom: It’s like The King’s Speech. But the first part, before he’s fixed!
Leslie and April
April finally shows some initiative by proposing that Pawnee create a new dog park. Unfortunately, the best local for the dog park appears to be Lot 48, a site Leslie has been trying to develop into a park for the entire series run. Her new position on the city council gives her a closer proximity to the issue, since April brings it up at the meeting. Leslie and April may spend the majority of the episode at odds, but they reunite to take down Councilman Jamm, who wants to exploit the discussion of Lot 48 to build a Paunch Burger there.
Leslie: I don’t want to whip out the legalese on you right now, but I’ve got dibs.
Leslie: (showing April a site designated as Zone 14B, Industrial Waste Cleanup) There’s something about this place…just a really good energy here, ya know? Lots of natural light.
Leslie: Ron, thanks for agreeing to see me.
Ron: I didn’t, you just walked in and started talking.
Leslie: I don’t have time for a history lesson.
Leslie: Those were distraction waffles?! I thought they were friendship waffles!
Ron: Breakfast food can serve many purposes.
Guy at Human Farm: Here’s your animal feed. DON’T feed the animals.
Ann: I hate Paunch Burger but if there was one in my backyard, I would eat there like every night and that’s no good.
Leslie: I have an idea. It’s very uncool. But it’s not illegal, technically. But it is…a dick move.
Andy (and Chris)
Since beginning his regime to become a police officer, Andy hinted to his colleagues that perhaps they should steal something from his desk so he could have experience solving a crime. When he realizes his computer is missing, he instantly begins interrogating the office, revealing how unprepared he truly is for this work. When Chris brings an actual police officer in to report the crime, Andy realizes it isn’t exactly the exciting career that he imagines. Chris offers Andy a part time job as a City Hall security guard and he accepts it as a sort of proving ground; should he pursue the idea of becoming a cop?
Chris: Fun fact: Ben just got an amazing accounting job. Regular fact: I have to go to a meeting. Un-fun fact: My uncle just had a stroke. Well, I’m off.
Andy: (after realizing someone might be inviting him to investigate his missing computer) A game…is…the foot.
Andy: (to Chris) You’re as guilty as you are sexy.