'Parks and Recreation': Come back soon, Parker Posey!

Parks-rec-Posey

Image Credit: Danny Feld/NBC

Does anybody do uptight passive-aggression better than Parker Posey? The indie darling’s guest spot on tonight’s episode of Parks and Rec was so pitch-perfect that I can’t wait for her character, Lindsay Carlisle-Shea, to appear on the show again. Just like another memorable guest played by a different funny lady (Megan Mullally’s Tammy Swanson), Lindsay is an important figure from one of our protagonists’ pasts. 35 pounds and one nose job ago, she was Leslie’s best friend and colleague at Pawnee’s Parks Department. But their bond was shattered when Lindsay took a cushy job in Eagleton, the snooty Shelbyville to Pawnee’s earthy Springfield — a job Leslie had turned down.

The former BFFs met again tonight to discuss a fence Eagleton had built to divide its side of a shared park from Pawnee’s side. After Lindsay insulted Ann (“Nursing! You must be so tired and sad”) and, worse, Leslie’s beloved hometown (“Pawnee is, and always will be, a dirty little nightmare from which you’ll never wake up. But it was good seeing you”), our heroine became more determined than ever to get rid of the fence. She, Tom, and Ben then took a trip across the border dividing the towns, and we got a glimpse of the paradise that is Eagleton: Their town hall meetings include complementary crepes made out of porcini mushrooms and Boursin cheese. They give out free iPod Touches and verbana scented soy candles to everyone who attends said meetings. And because of the burg’s cupcake factory, the air always smells like vanilla. It’s a far cry from Pawnee, where residents believe arson is a valid way to solve most problems.

When the Eagletonians failed to respond to her impassioned pleas, Leslie decided to take matters into her own hands. But her plan was thwarted, first by a few wise words from Ben and then by the sudden appearance of Lindsay. The snobby shrew had the nerve to tell Leslie that she only came to Pawnee so that she could pick up waffles from JJ’s Diner… to use them as dog laxatives. Clearly she forgot that nobody besmirches waffles in front of Leslie and gets away with it. Knope jumped on Carlisle-Shea, prompting police officers from both towns — Eagleton’s, of course, arrived on Segways — to turn up and haul each lady to jail.

After a hard night in Eagleton’s prison (they only had maple walnut scones available; the horror!), Leslie got bailed out by Ann — and, finally, came up with a brilliant solution to her problem. In just one day, Knope and co. transformed the scruffy Pawnee side of the park into  a beautiful baseball diamond. It was a sweet coda to a great, funny episode; one of the greatest pleasures of Parks and Rec is watching Leslie achieve the seemingly impossible by sheer force of will.

The baseball diamond wasn’t Leslie’s only great accomplishment tonight. She also managed to give Ron the perfect birthday celebration: a solitary night including a cozy chair parked in front of a table piled with steak, bacon, and scotch, and a TV playing Bridge on the River Kwai and The Dirty Dozen. Man, what can’t that centaur lady do?

Highlights:

- Ron is so fiercely protective of his privacy that he’s had his birthday redacted on all government documents. It took Leslie three years of snooping to figure out the date — and she only managed to do it after bribing the Baskin Robbins guy, who knew when Ron was eligible to come in for a free scoop of Rum Raisin.

- Hey P&R writers: More Donna, please! Though she only had one real line tonight, it was hysterical: “Eagleton is a bunch of rich snobs. And that’s coming from someone who has a Mercedes.”

- Leslie: “Our side [of the park] is this scrappy piece of land where kids go to smash fluorescent light tubes. But it has a lot of heart.” April: “That’s what people always say when something sucks.”

- “Where are my kids supposed to play, the rock quarry? There’s rocks in there!”

- Joey Plunkett, who broke an arm trying to climb the fence: “Uh, I can wave with this arm.” Leslie: “No you can’t. Both your arms are broken.”

- Ann strikes fear into Ron’s heart when she describes the crazy blowout Leslie planned for her last birthday. First, she kidnapped Ann from work and took her to a cheesy Mexican restaurant. Then she brought Ann back to her house for a party that included a bouncy castle, and karaoke, and a face painter who painted Ann to look like “a fairy tiger.” What would I have to do to get Leslie to plan a party for me?

- What disgusted Ron more: Chris’s veggie loaf, or when Chris wished him a happy birthday, then kissed him on the mouth?

- Tom’s finest moment tonight: “You listen to me, Lindsay Carlisle-Shea! Why don’t you take your fancy dog, get in your Escalade, and if you have any job openings, maybe you should let me know about them! I’m sick of being treated like I’m not willing to relocate to Eagleton, because I am! So here’s what you can do, lady. Take this resume, and shove it into your human resources slot.”

- And Andy’s: “I love you like a father, who’s not that much older than me. Like a young uncle. Or like, uh, you’re my camp counselor. But we’re adults, so we hang out it’s not weird. Or actually, here’s what it is—you’re my lacrosse coach—”

How did you like tonight’s Parks, PopWatchers?


Comments (74 total) Add your comment
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  • Dessa

    When Leslie jumped on her former BFF I completely lost it. Was no simple jump, but a leap. Because Leslie goes all out whatever she does.

    • Dash

      Agreed!!! I loved the look on Ben’s face as he watched this fight go down. Haha!

      • Rock Golf

        Nothing to say here. Just want to take this prime real estate away from the phony millionaire dating site.

      • Phony Millionaire Dating Site

        Rock Golf, you know we post on every EW board just in the hope that someday YOU will join our club. Make our dream come true, Rock Golf – sign up now, and we’ll leave EW alone forever!

    • jrs

      Parks & Rec is the awesome-est show! It just puts a big smile on my face. And, thought it was a slow entrance, I’m totally in love with Ben. Just love the looks on his face.

      • Lilly

        Me too although I would share him with Leslie if they would just go ahead and find a way to hook them up. Chris be darned!

    • Nee Nee

      I watched that whole scene 4 times because it was THAT funny!

  • Lime

    I really loved all the birthday fakeouts. Ann’s fairy-tiger karaoke party, all of April’s phone calls in front of Ron (I need 40 dozen blow-up saxophones…), and Andy “accidentally” spilling that he was on kidnap duty! PRex is the show I laugh at the most each Thursday, just keeps getting better.

  • LOL

    How great was the ending? Leslie is the coolest, after all.

  • Sara

    My favorite part was actually April just picking up the scissors and looking stabby. It was perfect.

    • Brigid

      YES! That was the best. I really loved April on the phone with the Oriental Trading-esque company as well.

    • Ali

      Neon colored fedoras!

  • deedeedragons

    Parker Posey makes ANYTHING better than what it should be, Scream 3 & Superman Returns are good examples of this.

    • Mike

      Agreed, but P&R was already top-notch without her.

      Scream 3…yeah, she pretty much single-handedly made that movie enjoyable.

    • Bobby’s Robot

      She should have played Lois Lane in Superman Returns!

  • Nicole

    Parker Posey is always great. I was happy Ron got the birthday he wanted. I cracked up at the size of that steak, plus bacon.

    • Melly

      Watching Ron enjoy his birthday meal/movie was a treat for me! The look on his face after the kiss from Chris was priceless. Also, Tom’s mention that he had to go to Eagleton to pick up his B&b haircare ever 8 days had me cracking up! The beauty of B&b prods is that they last for a long time. What is Tom doing to his hair?!?

  • Continuity!!

    I was just watching Season 2 episode, Kaboom!, and Leslie says that Eagleton is two towns over from Pawnee. Did Eagleton swallow up the two towns between them? Also, Ron and Leslie have replaced Jack and Liz from 30 Rock as my favorite platonic couple. They’re perfect for each other in a nonromantic sense.

    • Just Me

      AGREE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • kim in kentucky

    Watching Ron’s spirits being slowly crushed as Ann described what Leslie did for her birthday as he realized what would in store for him was priceless. And April saying she was on a personal call – she never makes business calls while at work – great!

    • no cars go

      looooved april’s line about never making business calls at work! i also loved how everyone at the eagleton town forum clapped when someone stood up and introduced themselves. the contrast between their town meetings and pawnee’s town meetings was great.

  • JLC

    That was a huge steak, but, man does Ron eat slowly. Bridge on the River Kwai is over two-and-a-half hours long, and the part Ron was watching comes at the very end. And he still had Dirty Dozen to go!

    All kidding aside, great episode (as usual). The difference between the Eagleton and Pawnee jails was equally hilarious. It looked like Carlisle-Shea was being tossed in Hannibal Lector’s dungeon cell.

    • Dash

      I imagined that there was somebody there to bring him more bacon/steak whenever he finished one plate.

      • JLC

        Especially if they were bringing him all the bacon in Pawnee. I don’t mean “a lot of bacon.” I mean all the bacon they had.

    • Mark

      Great show, of course, but my one small quibble – I would have liked a brief scene showing how Lindsay survived her night in the Pawnee jail (definitely not the Eagleton experience she might have been expecting!)

      • Dash

        I was waiting for it! I thought we would get the contrast because Leslie had such a cushy cell. I swear it was nicer than my college dorm.

    • tomm

      Maybe he fast-forwarded to his favorite scene.

    • Chloe

      The Eagleton jail was such a lovely shade of lavendar. I don’t believe I will ever say those words again.

  • Housewife in the Desert

    I spend a good 30 minutes giggling through 30 Rock while remembering all the great P&R moments I just experienced. There should be a “Best Ensemble” Emmy given to them every year – such an amazing show! Parker Posey & the lost headband…priceless…

  • Jenna

    I was cracking up when Andy smacked Tom with the bag of garbage!

    • Melly

      Me too!

    • Mark

      My favorite scene of the night, too: “Garbage fight!” and poor Tom falls head over heels!

      • AntonioSaucedo

        Yes, Andy httting Tom with the garbage bag: instant classic.

    • Drea

      That made me laugh out loud! What a GREAT episode. This show just keeps getting better.

  • reno

    Love Parks and Rec. More Parker Posey! I have to rewatch the episode to catch all the classic lines.

  • Rachel

    Despite some very funy moments (like April with the scissors), I actually thought this week was disappointing compared to the fantastic last two episodes. Too much in the direction of bad slapstick farce. Maybe it’s just that we’re waiting so eagerly for the Leslie-Ben plot to resume that this one felt like annoying filler to me. Oh well. I did like the ending — both the baseball field and Ron’s steak dinner (although I though the steak ending was pretty predictable).

    • JKH

      I kinda agree. Liked this ep — there were some great moments, and Hillary was right in saying that no one can do passive-aggressive cattiness like Parker Posey. But for me, P&R is golden when it focuses on the rich interactions among the main cast members. (i.e. any Leslie-and-Ben moment… especially during the painting debacle at April & Andy’s house; the Chris-Andy scenes at the health food store; the recent Donna-Ann scenes)

    • Jenny

      Agreed, it felt a little filler-y. But next week’s two episodes look like they’re going to move the Ben/Leslie thing quite a bit forward, especially the second one.

    • ChristineOH

      Last week’s episode was sooooo amazingly hilarious, that I think this one inevitably would be less funny. I still lol’ed at stuff, but this wasn’t my favorite of the season by any means. I was also missing the hints of the Ben/Leslie romance in this episode.

  • Mike

    Hillary, thanks for mentioning the Springfield/Pawnee and Shelbyville/Eagleton parallels. That’s the first thing I thought of watching this episode; the fence reminded of the big “lemon tree” scandal from The Simpsons.

    Pawnee is a lot like Springfield, in that it’s one of the main characters of the show, with an ever-increasing population of colorful characters.

    P&R is fast becoming my favorite of the Thursday night comedies. It just has the PERFECT balance of laughs and heart; the final scene with Ron and Leslie was both funny and really touching. You really believe these two would want to work together.

    • Olivia

      The town weirdos are some of my favorite parts of this show! My favorite is still the bird guy from earlier this year. There’s no time HE CAN FLY.

      • KT8711

        I love that guy! Whenever my husband sees a bird now, he says, “THERE’S NO TIME, HE CAN FLY!” The bird guy is still my favorite Pawnee citizen, although fence arson guy, and the two fences guy are close.

  • Just Me

    Leslie Knope has to be one of the best fictional character IMO. I appriciate how the writer did a complete 180 on Leslie’s personality. In Season 1 she was like a female Michael Scott and even though I like S1, I LOVE this Leslie 1,000 more. That last scene with Ron and his b-day party just solidified my complete love for this show!!!!

    • Just Me

      Is there a reason why Parks and Rec is never in the “TV Recap” section of this site anymore?

      And I know this has been said to death but Puhleeze bring back Community recaps!!!

      • JLC

        I’m right there with you about Community, but I’ve tried everything to no avail. How about this as a last ditch effort: Because no writer at EW is smart enough to recap Community! Gauntlet, thrown!

    • Bobby’s Robot

      I was thinking about the Michael Scott comparison too. But where Michael got unbearable and impossible to watch anymore, Leslie just keeps getting more lovable.

    • frostysnowman

      I totally agree with you on this!

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