'Parks and Recreation' recap: 'Tom's Divorce' makes us love the show more

It was a Parks and Recreation of mass consumption last night. Ron ate his weight in breakfast buffet foods, Andy got a piece of closure pie, and I finally got the big helping of Tom-centric story line that I’ve been craving.

We began at the Parks office where Leslie was given the daunting task of going to the fourth floor, home of the Department of Motor Vehicles, probation central, and divorce court. While on the floor of doom, she sees Tom and Wendy walking out of divorce court. Distraught over the misfortune of her fellow employee, Leslie enlists everyone’s help to cheer up Tom, who (at least at the beginning) doesn’t need it.

Tom confesses to Ron that his and Wendy’s nuptial was a Green Card Marriage. She’s Canadian (Pfft, that was totally my first thought, too.). Nonetheless, he agrees to put on a sad act so Leslie can stop bugging him about it.

Off in Still Not Over You Land, Andy continues his harassment of Mark and Ann, claiming that he’s slowly chipping away at their relationship, when he actually was chipping away at my nerves. I’d like to see something new with Andy in the coming weeks. I think it would help him be a more appealing character and help push the Mark/Ann relationship into more exciting territory.

Back with the group, the entire department begins Operation Happy by going out for a classy dinner at Jurassic Fork, where Tom continued his sad ruse. We also learned that Ann hates splitting checks, Jerry wishes he had Tom’s body (uhm… in a non creepy way), and Donna wants to put Tom in a little cape and hat and fly him around (huh?).

At dinner, Ron asks for Tom’s permission to ask Wendy on a date (”Looking at her, I think she might be the perfect spooning size for me,” Ron reasons). Tom gives the green light, but comes to a bit of a revelation: He’s not okay with it.

A post-dinner game of pool also produces a revelation for Andy: He sucks at pool. After losing two games to Mark, the two wager Ann. In the end, win or lose, Ann goes home with Mark. The next day, Andy vows to leave them alone. Yeah, we’ll see how long that lasts.

After Tom’s epiphany, even Leslie-funded lap dances from a stripper named Ciara (or Seabiscuit, as Leslie hears) at the breakfast-buffet-serving Glitter Factory can’t help him kick his now-genuine divorce blues. He gets plastered, and Leslie and Ron take him home to Wendy, who is entertaining the company of a new man (much to Leslie’s chagrin).

The next day, Tom comes clean to Leslie about his and Wendy’s arrangement (and his feelings for ex), and the two bond over the impossibly difficult task of removing post-evening glitter from various areas of the body.

Best lines of the night:

”At least we lasted longer than Avril Lavigne and that guy from Sum 41. ” – Tom, on his failed marriage

”I like pretending to be sad. I now know why girls do it. ” – Tom

”There’s a girl here (at the strip club) who also works at Quiznos. She’s really nice to me here, but really mean to me at Quiznos” – Tom

”It takes forever to get off. My crotch looks like a disco ball.” – Tom, on stripper Glitter

Now (and most importantly), what did you think of ”Tom’s Divorce?” Was it about time for a Tom episode? Want to see more Tom? Does Andy need a new love? Don’t worry, I won’t make you go to the fourth floor to make your case. You can sound off below!

Comments (49 total) Add your comment
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  • Tiffany

    All in all a great episode. But the one thing that I loved is the close up’s of Donna’s face after someone finishes a thought. HA!

  • KRibbons

    one thing: Ron already knew about the green card marriage. He discovered it in an earlier episode. Tom didn’t confess it.
    This was a great episode. I love Andy. But Ron is one of the funniest characters on tv right now.
    Parks and Rec is one of my favorite shows of the week now!

    • BilbrosB4Hos

      Yeah, Sandra must not be a regular viewer of the show. The whole green-card marriage thing is not new.

    • Coconutty

      Yeah, I was going to mention this too!

  • CP41

    Somebody punch someone!

    • Sandy

      That was a great line from the bored intern girl.

  • Fred

    Sandra, You must work 4 NBC because this is one of the least funny shows on TV.(But then, that’s not saying much lately.) My wife, the easy audience, doesn’t even laugh at this junk.

    • Dave

      Great episode last night! Really hitting it’s stride this season. Maybe the real problem is the humorless Fred family?

    • Isembard

      And yet mysteriously you either continue to watch it or insist on reading articles about shows that don’t interest you. Might be time to get a life there, pal.

    • Cee

      I REALLY like this show! It’s one of my favorites. And I’m sure your wife appreciates being called an “easy audience”…nice.

    • BilbrosB4Hos

      Nice comment about your wife. Stay classy, Fred.

    • Kevin

      Stick to 2 1/2 Men and reruns of According to Jim… I believe that’s more your pace.

    • GASP!!!

      WHAT?!?! Sandra AND 5+ random people like this show? You must all work “4 NBC”!!!!! It’s a conspiracy! Quick, Fred! Grab your inferior wife and follow me to the bomb shelter!!!!

  • Al

    Equality is a better stripper name than Seabiscuit.

  • Horatio

    Apparently Sandra has not been a regular viewer, for as KRibbons already pointed out, Ron has known for a long time.

    If they would replace Amy Poehler, this might be a tolerable show.

    • Sarah

      Disagree. I LOVE Amy. She can do no wrong.

    • Kevin

      Amy Poehler is HILARIOUS! If you don’t like her or the show then don’t read the reviews and comment negative things about it! I don’t go to reviews of shows you watch, like Gossip Girl, and say how stupid it is.

  • cz

    i think the show is finally starting to hit its stride…and Ron has the best moustache on TV, hands down!

    • Lauren

      He looks just like Ned Flanders

  • Jessica Lynn Cohen

    “See that girl over there? She’s my emergency contact!”
    I was a little confused at first by the green card thing because I remember Tom saying in the pilot he was born in North Carolina. Funny how they’re still playing on that, though.

    • David

      Tom was born in North Carolina but his wife was born in Canada, thus she needed to marry him to get her green card.

      • Jessica Lynn Cohen

        Yeah, David, I got that. I missed the episode where they said the wife was Canadian. They cleared it up at the end when Leslie, again, thought Tom was foreign.

      • cress

        I thought Tom said he was born in South Carolina. Pretty sure it was SC

    • Season

      That line was my favorite.

  • BilbrosB4Hos

    I’m noticing a recurring theme of EW “columnists” writing articles about TV shows, movies, and books that they don’t fully understand, or maybe just aren’t really fans of.
    So EW, I’m offering myself up. I’ve never missed an episode of The Office, 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, Glee, or The Bachelor/Bachelorette and I am a Twilight series savant. I would be happy to cover these things for you.

    • elena

      Agree! I’d write recaps for Chuck, HIMYM, Supernatural, Greek, and all the shows you listed. I haven’t missed an episode, and I have the time…

  • Lisa

    what about ron covering his food when the glitter fell like he was guarding a child from acid rain. i love this show.

    • BeaAnn


  • FJWalker

    Come on, Kevin? That’s exactly what they want! It’s too smart to be funny; or, it’s so smart it doesn’t have to be funny.
    Comedy is not “bravely intelligent”, it is “bravely stupid.” It’s been co-opted by over-priveleged Harvard grads…who, by the way, also produce shows like “According to Jim.”
    Parks and Rec is afforded so much latitude. That first season was a debacle; it wasn’t “finding itself.” It was rudderless and now, they’ve punched it up to save it.
    Who said you can’t dissent on these forums?

    Don’t group this with Freaks and Geeks and other fantastic shows that weren’t appreciated by Networks…also overpriveleged Harvard Lampoom Alums.

  • Sandy

    I loved that when Ron was talking to Tom about dating his ex-wife “when the fake dust settles,” and the Jurassic Fork dinosaurs roared in the background to echo what Tom was obviously feeling inside.

  • Kristen

    Did anyone notice the back of Ron Swanson’s head during the last shot when the horse was singing to him in his office? My husband caught it and rewound the DVR like 20 times – it looks like he has some of his hair shaved shorter or something. Weirded me out!

    • Jen

      That’s a bit of continuity from the episode where Tom accidentally shot Ron in the hunting episode. Well played, Show!

  • Madd

    It still surprises me that this has become one of the only shows I watch that has continuously good weeks. One thing I don’t get is Ann- she went from being completely devoted to Andy in the first season to acting like she’s never met him now. Plus, Mark can be kind of an ass. Also, where is Louis CK? Did I miss a week when they broke up or something?

  • Run

    Andy, Anne and that city planner guy are becoming superfluous. The show would be fine without them. They deflate the show whenever they’re on, especially when together.

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