'Parks and Recreation': Welcome back, you psychotic, library book-peddling, sex-crazed she-demon

Parks-and-RecreationImage Credit: Chris Haston/NBCWhen I found out that tonight’s episode of Parks and Recreation was called “Ron & Tammy: Part Two,” I felt a lot like Little Red Riding Hood: excited and scared. After all, the original “Ron & Tammy” — which aired near the beginning of Season 2 — was damn near perfect. In fact, I can say with complete certainty that it was the episode that made me fall truly, madly, deeply in love with Parks and Recreation. Sure, I couldn’t wait to see Megan Mullally reprise her role as Tammy Swanson, a woman Ron has variously described as “a grade-A bitch,” “the eye of Satan’s butt-hole,” and a machine “programmed by someone from the future to come back and destroy all happiness.” But how could her second appearance possibly live up to her first?

As it turns out, my worries were completely misplaced. “Ron & Tammy: Part Two” gave Parks and Rec fans everything they could hope for and more: Tammy sexily slapping herself in the face with a piece of beef jerky, present-Ron watching a video of past-Ron explaining what to do now that he’s fallen into his ex-wife’s clutches again, hilariously disgusting foreplay, and the drunken, impulsive wedding to end all drunken, impulsive weddings.

And though the Ron/Tammy (Ton? Rammy? Trammy?) shenanigans were clearly the center of the episode, other characters also got a few moments to shine tonight. I howled at the running gag about calzones being the worst food ever invented — Leslie clearly wasn’t totally kidding at the end of the half hour, when she angrily reminded Ben why they’re terrible — and I think juxtaposing April’s utter apathy with Chris’s boundless enthusiasm was a smart move. Hopefully, these two will get more scenes together… provided Burt Macklin, F.B.I. doesn’t tear them apart again. I was also tickled to be reminded again of just how good Leslie is at her job; her insane competence is one of the things I love most about Parks and Rec.

Now, on to highlights, quotes, and discussion questions:

- Tonight’s most-GIFable moment: Tom and Tammy dirty dancing. Internet, you served me well the last time I asked for a GIF — if you feel like capturing this incredible scene, please leave a link in the comments.

- Ron’s reaction when Wendy suggests moving to Canada: priceless.

- Ben: “You know what I like? Calzones.” Police Chief: “What the hell is wrong with this guy?”

- “Sounds like it was Macklin’s call.”

- And speaking of April and Andy, you should know that Aubrey Plaza is guest-starring again on this week’s episode of Portlandia (the funniest show you might not be watching). Watch a clip of her sketch at IFC.

- One more related question: Who would win in a fight between Burt Macklin, F.B.I. and Andy Radical?

- Leslie’s response when Ben asks if she wants to grab a bite: “You know, yeah! There’s a really great calzone place… over in Idiotville… down by Terrible Idea Avenue.”

- “I don’t want him within 500 feet of the library.” “That’s good advice for all of us.”

- This episode got me thinking about Ron’s other ex-wife, whose name also happens to be Tammy. Who would you like to see play her in a future episode?

-Do any of you want to try and defend calzones in the comments?

Comments (121 total) Add your comment
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  • Rissa

    Tammy Swanson-Swanson can really kick some sharp-dressed Indian ass.

    • thegospelofgus

      talk about GIFable moments! i need that clip. NEED IT.

  • Jillian

    there is nothing better than this show. (except maybe friday night lights, RIP).

  • Chancey

    Leslie’s tirade on calzones at the end was classic. Lots of great jerry moments as well. Somehow I work at a library, love calzones and proudly list parks and rec as my favorite show.

    • Rissa

      Haha I loved Jerry’s insistence upon giving Ron and Tammy wedding gifts. “What the hell, Jerry?!”

      • Melly

        Jerry at the bridal shower eating cake was awesome.

      • no cars go

        agree, when tom walked into the bridal shower and was like “what the hell jerry!” and the fact that he was just sitting there with all the library ladies eating cake, so funny.

      • Verity

        I cracked up when he walked into the intervention with a present. A great episode for Jerry.

      • Mr. Holloway

        “You gonna return those glasses?”
        “Nah, too much of a hassle.”

    • Chancey

      P.s, like how oblivious leslie is about bens crush on her.

      • Black Heart

        They should kill that “love connection.” It’s forced, and she looks ten years older than him. The show is too funny to shoehorn that in.

      • Mr. Holloway

        @ Black Heart

        I don’t think it’s forced at all. Besides the age thing (which doesn’t matter to me at all), they’ve shown Leslie to be absolutely fantastic at her job these last few episodes and really passionate about where she lives, and I like that that’s a turn-on for Ben.

      • PhillyGirl

        @Black Heart there actully only 2 years apart in real life.

      • tomm

        Adam Scott is 37, and since Amy is married to anotehr sexy man in real life, it works for me.

        I started watching regularly since they added Adam and Rob Lowe, a big improvement.

    • pauly p

      punk-ass book jockey!

    • Verity

      I liked Ben’s unsure laugh at the end when Leslie was teasing him. A nice added touch from Adam Scott.

      • Johnification

        That whole exchange, Leslie’s joke, Ben’s snappy little comeback, Leslie’s dour response, and Ben’s awkward laugh…just priceless.

  • Joey
  • steph

    i actually really enjoy the spinach calzone at sbarro. haven’t had it in years, but remember it to be delish.

  • Nick

    omg an into the woods reference, i heart you lets be friends forever

    • Alia


    • mawhi

      WITHIN a parks and rec recap. PERFECTION.

    • Johnification


    • Brigid


  • Dave

    This much-anticipated episode definitely did not disappoint. “I don’t want him within 500 feet of the library.” “That’s good advice for all of us.” That was one of my favorite moments. I really love the rivalry between Parks and Rec and the Library. It’s one of my favorite things about the show. And it seems the Police Dept hates the Library too, which is a bonus.
    I also loved how Ben was the new Jerry in this episode. And how Jerry was still Jerry.
    Plus, the return of Bert Macklin is always a good thing.

    • Well $pent

      Your write-up is just about as good as the “professional” who was hired to write.

    • Mr. Holloway

      Ben was being a real Jerry at during that brainstorming session at the beginning.

      • Saphron

        Am I the only one who feels bad for Jerry? Aside from this episode, when he earned the hate, usually he’s doing awesome things and they’re acting like it’s total crap. (Anger peeing aside)

    • Verity

      I loved that Ben was being a Jerry during that meeting. You could tell he was really trying to contribute and help but he’s an outsider who doesn’t quite get the delicate culture of the people of Pawnee :)

  • Alexia

    Friction’s removal of the center of Ron’s mustache. Awesome.

    • Karate Pants

      And OF COURSE it had nearly grown back in by the end of the episode…Swanson’s so manly he probably has 5 o’clock shadow by 9 in the morning.

      • jk

        I love Ron Swanson and all of his American manliness. I laughed IN ANTICIPATION of his reaction to Wendy’s asking him to move to Canada.

      • John

        I was hoping he’d go into detail. I get the whole he-hates-government thing and Canada has some socialized aspects, but I thought he’d like Canada. Less people, plenty of wilderness and wood for whittling!

        Anyways, this was a great ep. I love how Leslie gets all the favours she wants from the cops! And I LOVED that the cop mentioned Dave (Louis CK)!

  • MCS

    Laughed so hard when Jerry was at the party in the library when Tom came in. Also, can I address the elephant in the room regarding the ad for NBC.com. Was that an accidental spoiler?

    • mawhi

      yeah, it was meant to be “ron and tammy”

  • KRibbons

    The other ex-wife Tammy should be played by Julia Louis-Dreyfuss as some kind of PETA activist. That would be hilarious.
    Tonights ep was so great. I think Parks is my favorite comedy this year.

  • ion

    GREAT episode.

    Did anyone else see that promo at the end? It said “April and Andy’s wedding” and had video of them in it. Any chance NBC accidentally put up a future promo and spoiled some stuff for us?

    • Dave

      Yeah saw and thought the same thing

    • Verity

      I saw that and wondered the same thing. It has to have been a goof up.

    • Johnification

      Yeah, I’ve been reading that it was a mistake and supposed to be “Ron and Tammy” to dovetail into the episode.

    • Karate Pants

      Major WTF moment.

    • Rissa

      As someone on AV Club’s website said, “Stupid NBC! They’re like an entire network of Jerry’s!”

  • SMH

    “I don’t know what it is about big outdoor gatherings that makes everyone want to urinate all over everything…
    But it does…
    And they do…”

  • Julia

    I thought the post it notes at the beginning were great. Also, the way Andy didn’t really understand anything that was going on, especially during the intervention. “Follow your dreams.”

    • Verity

      “To Whom It May Concern: Dear Chris” LOL!

  • Melly

    I loved how Ron carried out Tom and the look on his face after the Tammy Swanson Swanson beat-down.

    • Jace

      YES!!!! This was THE moment of the night for me. He called Tom “Little Buddy” and then picked him up and carried him out and I was dying. DYING! I wonder how long it took them to shoot that scene without cracking up.

    • Ari

      I loved Tom’s face. It reminded of a little kid thinking and my dad took care of you!

    • orville

      I half expected “An Officer and A Gentleman” music in the background.

  • Mike

    Corn rows, kimono & a reverse hitler mustache… LOL!! I think I like this new Ron Swanson look!

    • Melly

      Don’t forget the beads at the end of the cornrows! That shiz was priceless!!

      • kim in kentucky

        they were red, white & blue — All American Ron !

    • val

      My birthday wish is that Nick Offerman and Megan Mullaly use the picture at top as their Christmas card.

      • orville

        Or at the very least for the invites to the party for the next significant wedding anniversary. If they have a P&R calendar, this has to be one of the months.

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