TV Review: Parks and Recreation Season 5 Episode 5
I know I know. I hate the sappy sentimentality that has been loudly invading this show.
But goddammit, my black, frayed heart strings can still be tugged at occasionally.
TL;DR The show actually moves forward this episode (unlike last episode’s obvious filler). And Ben proposes to Leslie. Whaaaat!?
Spoiler alert or whatever.
So the plot this episode actually spends a lot of time on Ron. Xena is back and things don’t go well when he has to look after her kids while trick or treating. Tom finds another business calling (renting swag-esque clothing. Naturally). Jerry has a heart attack when Leslie and Ann jump-scare him. Ben gets a job offer in fucking Florida, but that doesn’t stop him from (spoiler alert. Too late?) proposing to her. Squee.
Much like this week’s 30 Rock, I don’t really have anything truly awful to complain about this episode. What the hell, NBC?
I thought the whole giving Jerry a heart attack thing was done pretty rudely (even for this show’s standards). Leslie and Ann originally plan to scare Tom, but get Jerry by mistake. They initially feel guilty (for, you know, almost killing Jerry) but pretty much brush it off afterwards. It’s a bit too brutal to be funny.
I do like how the tension with Ben’s job is included, though. Otherwise this truly would just be hamfisted sentimentality with complete abandon.
Why I hate this episode:
You guys almost killed Jerry. Rude.
The Ron plot continues to make him look like a pussy, just not as bad as usual. Xena loses points here, too. She leaves her kids alone with him (and fucking Andy) for trick or treating. This doesn’t work for 1 of 2 reasons (I like to have choice in whingeing). 1) She has spent enough time with him to trust him with this. However, if she had, she should have realised he would be terrible at handling it. Or 2) She doesn’t know him well enough to know that he won’t be good at it, which means she’s leaving her kids alone with some guy she barely knows (and fucking Andy, who is a freak). Fail.
Ron gets mega sad after Xena fucks him off, too. Lame.
Tom’s Rent-a-Swag thing shouldn’t work. Who even goes to suit rental stores anymore, let alone intentionally douchey ones? Unless there is a glut of tool weddings in Pawnee, this isn’t going to work.
Oh, and Leslie’s token effort to help Jerry (they hold a rummage sale or some shit) only raises $1200. Rude.
Reasons to watch:
Xena gets to dress as a princess. Is cute and hot.
Jennifer (Kathryn Hahn) is back and more fabulously tipsy and horrible as ever.
She gets best line, too. Ben calls her amazing: “Yes, I am. I’m amazing.” Own it.
Ron gets second best line when he gets ambushed into accepting Xena’s trick or treat invitation: “What the hell just happened?” In character.
The fact Ron is not good with kids is also, thankfully, in character. I suppose I can suffer him becoming on over emotional vulva as long as he still has his moments. Maybe.
April doesn’t get much to do this episode, but she doesn’t do anything too sappy. When Ben tells her she can leave early to return to Pawnee she drops her champagne glass on the ground (smashing it) and fucks off. Awesome.
Leslie’s halloween costume is this. Appropriate.
Jerry farts profusely during his heart attack, leading to various “fart attack” jokes. I lol’d.
Donna live tweets while watching an 80s horror movie. She gets chastised by some hipster about spoiler alerts, but shuts him down with the very appropriate point that the movie is 25 fucking years old. Burn.
During the fundraiser for Jerry there is an auction segment. When Leslie finds out about Ben’s job offer, she freaks out and tries to focus herself on the task at hand. By offering Ann up for auction. A gnarly looking redneck wins and Ann bitches out. So Pawnee.
Ron and Xena make up and look like they’ll be going strong. Aww.
And speaking of aww, there’s this: