'Parks and Recreation': Double your episodes, double your fun


Image Credit: Byron Cohen/NBC

I don’t think I truly understood the meaning of the phrase “embarrassment of riches” until I was tasked with recapping back-to-back episodes of Parks and Rec. It pains me that I’ve got to find a way to whittle 3,000 words worth of notes down into a coherent recap; at the same time, both of tonight’s episodes were so funny that I’m tempted to just slap up a list of quotes and call it a night. But I care about you too much, PopWatchers, to do a thing like that. I care about you as much as Leslie and Ann care about each other.

How’s that for a segue? As the title of “The Fight” indicated, tonight’s first episode focused on a tiff between Leslie and her best friend. Their troubles began when Leslie got Ann an interview for a new job at City Hall without first asking Ann if she’d even be interested in it. Things really heated up when both of them — along with the entire Parks department — took a trip to the Snakehole Lounge to celebrate the launch of Tom’s newest venture, a Kahlua-like liquor called Snake Juice. (April, upon hearing the drink’s name: “Sounds like you took a snake and twisted it like a rag until its blood and guts came out.”) Leslie was upset that Ann wasn’t preparing for the job interview; Ann was upset that Leslie had barged in without considering what Ann wanted.

Thankfully, in the morning, cooler (and more hungover) heads prevailed. After Ben went to her house and told her how sorry Leslie was, Ann showed up for the interview after all. She and Leslie made up, then celebrated by going to vomit into wastebaskets together. I loved “The Fight” for a lot of reasons, not least of which is the fact that it finally found a way to explain just why Ann the nurse is always hanging around the Parks Department — it’ll make a lot more sense for her to be at City Hall all the time now that she works there three days a week. The long Snakehole scene was also a tour-de-force, especially the montage that showed each member of the cast displaying a different kind of drunkenness — Leslie was hysterical, Tom got even more overly confident, Ben was goofy (“Ba ba booey”), Andy went full Nickelback, April began speaking in rapid Spanish (did anyone catch what she actually said?), and Ron just danced euphorically. I’m happy to report that the good people of the Internet have already made a gif of this last moment.

Episode 2, “Road Trip,” was also pretty great, though overall I thought it wasn’t as funny as the episode that preceded it. Here, Leslie and Ben’s long-simmering sexual tension was put to the test when Chris sent the two of them on a road trip to Indianapolis. Despite Leslie’s best anti-seduction techniques — banjo music, chatter about Johns Hopkins University dorms, inviting a random photographer to come to dinner with them — sparks still flew… then were put out by Chris when he showed up unexpectedly. But not even a strict “no office romances” policy could keep these two nerds apart, and the episode ended with them sharing a passionate smooch. Hooray!

This episode also had a couple of subplots. The one in which Ron taught an adorable, impressionable young girl why government is evil was the stronger of the two. The whole “April and Andy play The Newlywed Game” — sorry, Know Ya Boo — thing, on the other hand, was much more predictable and rote, which are two adjectives I don’t like associating with Parks and Rec. Still, that storyline was the only semi-bum note in an hour of high-quality TV, so I can’t complain about it.

Highlights and extras:

- Ann, upon seeing that Leslie’s brought her a copy of Freedom: “Why am I reading this?” Leslie: “Because I’m almost done with it, Ann, and I want to talk to you about Patty!” This exchange might be one of my favorite jokes ever.

- Did you know that the Snakehole has a website, and that it’s amazing?

- Ron: “I won’t publicly endorse a product unless I use it exclusively. My only official recommendations are U.S. Army issued mustache trimmers, Morton’s salt, and the C.R. Lawrence Fein two inch axe-style scraper oscillating knife blade.”

- Signs the disgruntled former Public Health PR director hung all around City Hall: “Chlamydia affects nearly 100% of Jan Coopers.” “The Department of Health congratulates Jan Cooper, Miss Chlamydia 2011.” “Re-elect Jan Cooper, Mayor of Whoreville.” Anyone else getting shades of Billy Madison here?

- In these episodes, Janet Snakehole, Burt Macklin, The Douche, Jean-Ralphio, and Kyle all make appearances. It’s like catnip for continuity nerds. (EDIT: Oh, and how could I have forgotten to mention ’80s Flattop Perd and Sewage Joe! Thank you, commenters.)

- Drunk Leslie: “No offense, but I don’t remember you having a nursing degree in feelings!” Drunk Ann: “Offense! That’s rude!”

- “This committee would like to ask if you are the kind of candidate who can forgive someone after they behaved like a complete jackass.”

- Another reason to like Ann: She owns a replica of the dress Julia Roberts wore as a prostitute in Pretty Woman. And she looks really good in it.

- Tom: “Everyone steals. My favorite movie is Love Don’t Cost a Thing with Nick Cannon. Which is based on Can’t Buy Me Love, which is based on Kramer vs. Kramer, or something, which I think was Shakespeare.”

- Andy’s a big fan of Ultimate Battle Smoothie on Slurp HD. I would watch the crap out of that show.

- Andy’s guess as to April’s favorite place to “smush her boo”: “At the Neutral Milk Hotel.”

- Before Lauren, the little girl, goes to write a new paper about why government matters, Ron has her sign the two-word paper she wrote in initially (“It doesn’t”). Awwww.

What were your favorite moments from these episodes? And which one did you like more?

Comments (136 total) Add your comment
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  • amanda

    ben and leslie!!!!! so amazing……also so was Rons dancing

    • JenR

      Last night I said I could watch Ron dancing over and over again. Now, thanks to that gif, I can!

    • Dash

      Nobody is going to mention that Ron gave that little girl a landmine to protect her property? HAHA! It took me back to the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. I have to say that comedically the second episode was weaker but it was still excellent because we finally got B&L to admit out loud their feelings. I love Adam Scott!

      • Three Dollar Bill

        THere is something seriously wrong with you if you don’t love Adam Scott.

      • Liv

        @ Three Dollar Bill, a lot of my friends don’t understand why I love Adam Scott as much as I do. I am seriously considering friend breaking up with them because in my mind there must be something fundamentally wrong with them if they don’t see the appeal of A Scott.

      • Three Dollar Bill

        Liv, you sound like a good friend so you should give them a chance. Insist they see a pyschiatrist to find out what traumatic childhood tragedy caused this fundamental personality flaw, and make sure they follow the prescribed med schedule. If not, the friendship is over.

      • Ali

        I LOVE Adam Scott. My family and friends don’t understand me.

      • ChristineOH

        LOVE Adam Scott. Love, love, love Leslie and Ben.

  • banana

    I love P&R so much. Seriously, it makes me so happy. Leslie and Ann’s friendship is so great. Maybe the best on TV. And Ben&Leslie!!! Finalllllly!!!!

    • Melly

      Me too—P&R just keeps getting better. Ann and Leslie’s fight reminded me of the times that I had drunken arguments with my best friend.

      • Just Curious

        And did you used to vomit in wastepaper basket together the next morning?

  • MJ

    My friends and I had a debate over which kiss was better: Jim and Pam’s first one or Ben and Leslie’s first one? I honestly think I have to go with Ben with Leslie! The “uh oh” moment after was too great.

    Also, I think we need to see Pawnee’s Parks & Rec department drunk more often.

    • Elizabeth

      Yeah, I was having the same debate last night. I don’t know why I was caught off guard by Ben’s move. Either way, I loved both of them. (Leslie’s Uh-oh=awesome)

      • Chancey

        I was also cut off by Bens move. I was more moved thought when Ben did his whole town/feelings confession.
        Ben: Pawnee is a really special town. I love living there. And, um, I look forward to the moments in my day where I get to hang out with the town, and talk to the town about stuff. And the town has really nice blonde hair, too. And has read a shocking number of political biographies for a town… which I like.

    • Mr. Holloway


      Ben and Leslie’s kiss was absolutely lovely, but I personally don’t think it even touches Jim and Pam in “Casino Night.”

      I know it’s easy to forget because it was so long ago, and “The Office” has taken a noticeable tumble in quality and because Jim and Pam have changed over the years, but when Jim walked in and kissed Pam (after confessing his feelings to her, getting shut down and trying not to cry) I audibly gasped.

      On the other hand, I’d guessed that Ben was going to kiss Leslie at the end of last night’s ep after being c— blocked by Chris, so that may be why it didn’t have quite the same impact.

      • Yep

        I pretty much always agree with your posts, and this one is no different! Parks and rec is my favorite show right now, Adam Scott is quickly becoming my biggest celeb crush, and the Leslie-Ben relationship is one of my favorite things about the show…BUT, nothing will touch that Jim and Pam kiss for me! They were already so in love when it happened! Totally different. Don’t get me wrong, though, I definitely squealed in joy at the Ben-Leslie kiss! All in all, those two episodes last night were the best hour of tv I’ve watched in awhile

      • M

        I agree. Jim and Pam’s kiss was fantastic. Ben and Leslie’s was cute.

      • Mark

        Was anyone else thinking that, to shake up the next season, CHRIS was going to come in and plant the giant wet one on Leslie?

      • Mr. Holloway

        …or maybe Chris plant one on Ben. (Why not, after the one he planted on Ron last week?)

      • @Mr. Holloway


      • tnsmoke

        John Krasinski has a mouth made for kissing, so his and Pam’s kiss on Casino Night still ranks #1 for me, too. I wish The Office would show more affection between Jim and Pam these days, it seems to have died out when they married them, as if it’s a sitcom rule or something.

  • Erin

    sewage joe also made an appearance (if we are going on about the continuity thing). gross but also kind of awesome, no?

    • Dash

      This show reminds me of Gilmore Girls in that it has a recurring group of crazy background characters that you love to see pop up! My favorites are Jean Ralphio (he’s so skeezy), the sewage guy, and Kyle, poor Kyle.

      • Mr. Holloway

        Don’t forget The Douche and 1989 Perd!

  • banana


    • KD

      YES. And for WRITING “The Fight” as much as for her always outstanding performances.

    • lucy2

      Completely agree. The whole show deserves them.

  • Katie

    I just adore this show. Ben & Leslie, FINALLY! I seriously hope they can stay together- I love Adam Scott on the show and they’re just perfect.

    & Drunk Parks department is probably one of the greatest things in the world, especially Ron’s dancing.

  • P&R Fan

    Ben and Leslie! I squealed so loud when they kissed! Ben’s “Ba ba booey”. Andy as Burt Macklin’s brother (with a different last name) puking just as he runs after Janet Snakehole, and Ron dancing in Janet Snakehole’s hat. Hilarious moments!

    • kate middleton

      Yeah, Kurt Hacklin. LOL

    • tfc

      When Andy sat back down and puked all over Kyle’s shoes I could not stop laughing!

  • tae

    Donna threatening jean Raphael,rons visual of taxes/explanations for the bomb jerry on the roof toms ideas Omg i could go on forever love parks and rec

  • kate middleton

    Love John Ralphio – his appearances are amazing.

    I was so excited when Ben and Leslie kissed. I can’t even remember the last time I cared much about the love interests on a comedy. P&R did a fabulous job building the chemistry and tension for these two….I am so invested!

    • Ally

      K-N-O-P-E..she’s the flyest little shorty in all Pawnee..Indiana
      (can’t remember exactly what his rap was but it was hilarious)

      • sjcb

        Big Ben…clock

  • LOL

    Best comedy on television.

  • Zack

    “The Fight” was LITERALLY the best episode of Parks and Rec yet.

    • Loch Ness

      Janet Snakehole agrees.

    • Ally

      Bring me another Snorkjuice!

  • Crystal

    Rob Lowe/Chris air banjoing.
    Jean Ralphio {immediately appears} Dance up on me

    Then B & L kiss was very close to J & P Casino Night greatness. Not quite as impactful but very close.

    • Call me Daphne

      The Air banjo killed me!!!

    • MJ

      The air banjo moment made me love Chris again…after hating him for 30 seconds when he destroyed the moment at the restaurant for Ben and Leslie.

    • frostysnowman

      Agreed! Him saying, “What is this? It’s great!” and then playing air banjo was classic!

    • Justin

      The air banjo was freaking hilarious!

    • ChristineOH

      The air banjo makes me laugh just thinking about it. Rob Lowe’s funniest episode by far.

  • eel8

    Please tell me that someone saw Nick Offerman on Jimmy Fallon and the ah-mazing clip he brought. I was dying. If possible, next week might be even more amazing.

    There are just too many great moments to rehash, so I’ll just leave it at that. DUNZO!

    • LOL

      Saw it! How ’bout that burger? It’s one thing to hear about it, but to actually see it? Whoa. Anyway, I’m gonna butt-dial ya.

    • Ally

      I almost died when Ron said “Tonight is gonna get K-razzy.” LOL

  • jack&jill

    I’m going to make out. On his face.

  • ally

    im so glad ben kissed leslie finally! i wanted to scream at chris every time he ruined their moments. and Ron has got to be the greatest drunk ever. most unexpected scene that had me laughing was chris’s sporadic (thank you clueless) dancing to the banjos lol that was great

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