TV Review: Parks and Recreation Season 5 Episode 8
Parks and Recreation is back to what it does best: plot lines about Leslie trying to get a park built.
We are home.
TL;DR Leslie is back to her old self, park-wise. Ron doesn’t do anything too mushy. Tom’s business takes a turn for the semi-realistic. Not bad.
I think I’m just in an unshakeable good mood after this week’s 30 Rock. We’ll see.
So following the renewed interest in Lot 48 last episode, Leslie is on the war path to get it properly developed into the amazing park she’s wanted since the start of season 1. She receives an offer from a fancy architect from the snooty and much-reviled-by-Leslie Eagleton. Leslie is suspicious of his motives and embarrasses herself by falling into her old ways of petty rivalry. Amends ensue. Meanwhile, Andy becomes bored at his new security guard job and, with help from April, plays a round of Burt Macklin super agent-ing. He ends up finding a lost little boy and learns the value of responsibility. And Tom ropes the rest of the gang into helping him set up the store space for Rent-a-Swag. It goes badly, then well.
You know what, I’m just happy Parks and Recreation is finally about parks again. And Leslie’s ferocity with the Eagleton stuff is hilarious.
But fucking Rent-a-Swag is still a thing, apparently. Just fail, already.
Why I hate this episode:
What happened to you, Tom? You used to be cool.
Even though the Eagleton stuff is pure gold, it is essentially a recycling of an older (and better) episode from season 3. And Parker Posey was in that one. Scream 3 represent.
Chris’ depressing therapy bullshit continues. Now he’s learning woodworking from Ron as per his therapist’s suggestion that he take up non-exercise-related hobbies. Goddammit, Chris. Get your shit together.
Oh, and Andy decides it’s time to retire his Burt Macklin persona so he can grow up. Nooo!
Reasons to watch:
Leslie’s unbridled mistrust of Eagleton is magical. She blatantly refuses to be impressed by anything Architect shows her at the Eagleton park, including balloon art versions whipped up by park staff of Ben and herself. So brutal. So Leslie.
When 2 of Architect’s employees bring a highly offensive presentation to Leslie (later revealed to be unauthorised), Leslie has a seething, quiet rage moment. I believed that death threat.
Before she finds out the presentation was unauthorised and Architect fired those employees, Leslie ambushes him while he’s having lunch with Ben and pours whipped cream all over him. Her favourite food is also her weapon of choice. Poetic.
Having apparently learned from the failure of Entertainment 720, Tom has gone too far in the opposite direction and has become painfully frugal. This leads to Ann actually encouraging him to regain his swag-faggotry. Now that’s some ground-breaking Parks and Rec.
When Leslie has to make an apology to Architect, she cannot physically bring herself to say “sorry.” Cue montage of many failed attempts at spitting it out. She gets there eventually, though.
Best line goes to Leslie, who gets pissed off at how not-judgemental Ben is being of Architect and Eagleton: “You’re like a Southern Belle when Rhett Butler is around.” I get that reference.
Second best line goes to Tom when he greets everyone as they arrive to help him with the store: “Friends, former lovers, acquaintances, Jerry.” He pauses before Jerry, just for that extra burn.
Dan “Homer Simpson” Castellaneta cameos as a radio host.
There’s a Li’l Sebastian fountain in the actual park proposal. Cute.
Oh, and April’s villain persona for the Burt Macklin role play is Judy Hitler: Adolph’s daughter and necklace thief. When the little boy is reunited with his mother, he thanks her as “Miss Hitler.” The mother is understandably confused. I lol’d.