'Parks and Recreation': Love (and a nasty virus) is in the air

Ah, flu season — that magical time of year when a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. Well, as long as that young man happens to be a character on Parks and Recreation.

In “The Flu,” April’s illness inspires Andy to swear he won’t leave her side (before he realizes that she could be sleeping for hours),¬†and to bestow a sweet kiss upon her fevered forehead (which he instantly regrets because the fever has made her forehead all sweaty and gross). Leslie’s determination to deliver an important speech despite her flu-induced hallucinations (has anyone seen her tiara, perchance?) impresses a smitten Ben so much that he makes her chicken soup from scratch. And then there are Ann and Chris, who are also brought closer by the flu — and who might just have been the episode’s MVPs.

Even Parks and Rec lovers often agree that Rashida Jones’s character can seem, well, kind of boring, especially compared to the comedy powerhouses that surround her. Tonight, though, we got to relish the sight of usually unflappable Ann accidentally showing Chris her inner geek (who else loved the way she delivered that lame joke about her body being like a potato chip?), forcefully taking charge as the rest of the cast succumbed to sickness, and flipping out after April’s demands pushed her to the breaking point.

Rob Lowe’s Chris, too, really came into his own tonight, especially when he started freaking out about getting the flu — the way he deadpanned “My brain is on fire. I’m dying” had us practically rolling on our friend the floor. Clearly, he and Ann belong together not only because they’re the best-looking people in Indiana, but also because they’ve both got seriously weird sides. Okay, maybe that’s still more true of him than it is of her; I love them together anyway.

What about you, PopWatchers? Did you relish watching each of Parks and Rec‘s three major couples took baby steps toward real relationships tonight? Or were you just dazzled by the sheer volume of quotable lines and hilarious moments from “The Flu”? (I haven’t even mentioned the Ron/Andy scenes, or Tom’s spa day, or Leslie offering to write Ben a rap, or…)

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  • Hoboken Park Director

    I did enjoy the spa being called SPAwnee. Good stuff.

    My favorite relationship right now, just might be the newest……Ron Swanson and Andy’s bromance. Good stuff.

    • Pawn-E

      Agreed. Ron/Andy is great, and so were the spa scenes.
      I loved the show but thought this one was a little flat. Again, they are trying to force Ann’s character into the show. Cut bait, let her fly, butterfly, let her fly.
      More Swanson charts!

      • Rob

        Flat?! I could’ve watched Lesley trying to force herself not to be sick all night! Her comedy timing is amazing. Both Ann and Rob Lowe’s character seem forced.

    • Dalia

      YES!!!! Ron and Andy were so great together. I want more of this bromance! I think they could beat out Troy and Abed as my favorite bromance on TV if they keep it up! I think Ann can go too. I see no value in her character. She’s not really funny, she’s kind of mean but thinks she isn’t, maybe she’ll marry Chris and they’ll go off to another bankrupt town never to be heard from again.

    • Mr. Holloway

      Ron giggling like a little girl in the parking lot when they were running away after setting off the alarm was gold.

      And has he ever looked more proud than when Andy correctly identified a “religious oligarchy”? (“Holy (beep)!”)

      • JLC

        “I can remember stuff!”

      • Erin

        Ron running through the parking lot was funny.

    • Karate Pants

      I knew their love was real when Andy brought up April, Ron attempted to block, Andy kept going, and Ron helped Andy get to April. I thought my heart was going to burst with joy.

    • Verity

      The whole cast is on fire! I even liked Ann last night though Chris, Ron and Andy stole the show. Just watching Andy slowly demolish April’s desk had me cracking up. “This came out.”

    • Brady

      You had me at meat tornado.

  • Josh

    This show has me laughing out loud more often than any other show on TV. So happy it’s back! “I work with a lot of women in this job, and that includes the men.” Love you Ron Swanson

    • Dean

      Same here. I laugh out loud more at this show than any other. This ep was a home run. Perfect hilarious line deliveries from just about every actor. Loved Aprils reaction to Anns tirade. And Rons meat tornado line was predictable, yet thanks to nick offerman, still so funny.

    • LisaP

      i agree. this show is 1/2 hour of funniness. it blows away every other show i watch. thank God it is back.

  • Turkey Leg with Bacon

    Stop Pooping! Best Line Ever!!

    • tracy bluth

      The look on his face when he said that? Brilliant.

    • Marion

      I laughed out loud. He was so weird and funny.

    • J-Mac

      The delivery of this line (and the timing of it) was so brilliant…I cant put it into words. I laughed so hard.

    • Sara

      Oh. My. Gosh. I thought he was going to stay “Stop. Being. Sick” or “Stop. Puking”, but this just cracked me up.

    • Mr. Holloway

      Lowe has been absolutely FANTASTIC on this show!

    • Katie

      Oh my god, I was literally dying when he said that. Absolutely hilarious.

      • marymary

        I think maybe the best episode of Parks and Rec so far, and that’s saying a lot. I think I laughed out loud the entire episode. Agreed that Rashida is the weak link in the hilarious cast, but I guess someone has to play the straight guy. Only thing missing was more Donna, she cracks me up. Stop.pooping. Maybe the best line ever said on tv, HILARIOUS !

    • leslie

      I died at this line. Rob Lowe, way to go!

      Does PopWatch always do a recap? If so, I can’t wait.

    • ihatescreennames

      when you have food poisoning and/or colitis, THAT is what you do when you look in the mirror. You try to will your body into constipation.

    • teehee

      Stop. Pooping. HILARIOUS!

  • Chancey30

    “I brought you a magazine and lipstick, you know women stuff.”

    I was laughing pretty much every other line that episode. Pretty amazing how Leslie gave that entire speech only to flub up when she took questions at the end.

  • J

    I LOVE Ben and Leslie! His crush is so cute! But when will she notice?

  • Flyer

    I loved how Leslie completely ignored Ben’s homemade chicken noodle soup (from a family recipe!) in favor of the waffles. Yeah, I totally would have done that too…sigh. But Ben’s still awfully cute. Oh, I totally want an in-office barbecue at my office. It would ALMOST make it worth coming in to work each day.

    • Flyer

      Obviously, my word du jour is “totally.” I totally need to go get some sleep now. But NBC’s 3 hrs of comedy (plus The Daily Show and Colbert Report) were totally worth staying up for.

    • Mr. Holloway

      The closing credits scene with Ben and Chris both agreeing to stay in Pawnee a little longer was sweet, especially since neither admitted to the other that they’re both doing it because they’ve got crushes.

      • Lana

        Yes!!! So sweet

  • tracy bluth

    Loved every minute. My highlights:
    -April heard Andy!
    -Andy and Ron (had no idea they’d become so close!)
    - Spawnee
    -Everyone of Leslie’s lines. Give Amy an Emmy!
    -Leslie only contaminating Jerry’s stuff
    -Adam Scott, because he’s adorable

    • tracy bluth

      *every one

  • LOL

    MEAT TORNADO!

    • Dave

      You had me at meat tornado.

    • LisaP

      plus when andy said, oh they skimp on pickles. that was SO funny. i mean, who notices that?

  • Katja

    Ron Swanson is always my MVP in every episode, but I really do love the Leslie/Ben relationship that’s brewing. I love how much he seems to admire her passion; it’s so sweet.

    • no cars go

      i agree ron is pretty much the best always but i love andy too and i’m glad there was so much andy in this episode. the ron/andy combo is pretty much the best it gets for me personally. april is great too but i prefer sarcastic, apathetic april to angry april. and leslie and ben? i love it, he’s so adorable. i was sad for leslie when louie c.k. (i can’t remember his character’s name) left for san diego but ben is an even better match for her.

    • Karate Pants

      I had a big cheesy smile on my face when Ben told Chris he turned down the other assignment to keep them in Pawnee.

    • Mr. Holloway

      His awe-stricken “That was…that was Leslie Knope” after comparing her to a flu-ridden Michael Jordan in the NBA Finals was perfect.

    • Verity

      Adam Scott has to be my favorite addition to this show. I love Ben’s growing crush on Leslie and her obliviousness. I was rolling when she said, “It’s not that I don’t trust Ben, I just have no faith in Ben.”

      • ally

        lol “i’m also starting to forget who
        Ben is”

  • BS

    Leslie! I plugged your symptoms into this toolbar thing and it came back “Network Connectivity Error!”

    • DDB

      I loved the way he pronounced “connectivity!”

    • YH

      I had to pause the DVR because I was laughing so hard at this.

  • AndyLuvr

    Best comedy on TV. ‘Nuff said. Every moment was hilarious. Loved Ron Swanson and Andy Dwyer bonding. And especially enjoyed Rashida Jones letting Ann’s hair down. Her talking head where she thought Chris farted when it fact it was she who passed wind was precious. As was her telling April to F off. Awesome stuff all around.

    • Dani C

      Yes! I don’t know why everyone hates on Ann…yea she’s not as out-landish as some of the other characters, but that’s what makes her great! You need a straight man, and she’s good at…and i too am glad she’s getting to let loose a little…starting w/her and Chris’s drunken smooch last season. Love P&R…need more recaps!!

  • Crystal

    I cackled like a crazy person at Poehler’s delivery when she was saying the walls and the floor had been switched. And then when she started walking she did did this move where you really did believe Leslie thought the wall and floor were switched. I was DYING.

    • Dalia

      I agree!!! Amy has been really great as Leslie Knope. It’s like she was born for this role.

    • Rob

      Agreed. And the way she would slip from normal speak into hallucination was awesome. Get her an Emmy!

    • Susan

      I watched that scene three times – it was hilarious!

  • mickey

    stop. pooping.

  • Dave

    Can we all take a moment to appreciate the name of the spa: SPAWNEE.
    Leslie lashing out a Jerry was absolutely priceless. The Jerry jokes will honestly never get old.
    I nearly fell on the floor when Leslie told Ben that the meter in the cab was in Egyptian hieroglyphics. That was hilarious!
    And I guess we learned that nurses and janitors are interchangeable. Except no one dresses up like a janitor when they want to look slutty.
    Gosh, I love this show so much I want to take it behind a middle school and get it pregnant.

    • Christa

      The meter in Egyptian hieroglyphics! Just another reminder of why I need to wait until commercials to try drinking anything. Ginger ale ended up all over me.

      • Erin

        Yes! This! And then when she followed it up with “Do you know the conversion rate?” That entire scene had me in hysterics.

    • Karate Pants

      Nice job taking Tracy Jordan to Pawnee, Dave! :)

  • Lou

    Everything about this show makes me smile.

    x Ron and Andy bonding!
    x Anne flipping out at April (and April liking her for it)
    x Ben and his adorable chicken soup
    x Chris and his microchip body ha, x Tom hanging with old white dudes in the Spa.

    I don’t know how people can’t enjoy this show, its 21 minutes of comedy bliss.

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