Any show that can work a canoe, a possum, and self-inflicted bicep kisses into a single episode immediately earns my seal of approval. Throw in a Tiger Woods joke and some possum tackling and you have one of the greatest episodes of Parks and Recreation ever. Not to mention some of April (Aubrey Plaza) and Andy’s (Chris Pratt) best work on the show to date.
Now, the episode was too funny for me to grapple over the difference between an ”opossum” and a ”possum” (for the record, the episode title is ”The Possum”). So, I’m going to leave that for zoologists to discuss and focus on Fairway Frank, menace to Pawnee golfers/biter of public official’s dogs/the subject of last night’s episode.
After the mayor’s dog is bitten by the legendary golf course-dweller, Leslie is asked to assemble a task force to capture the creature. The crack team includes Tom (who hilariously runs away from the scene moments after they spot the possum), two stoners from Animal Control, and Andy. When they finally encounter it, Andy tackles it to the ground and grabs it with his bare hands. It was the most cringe-worthy scene on Parks in a while, and I didn’t actually believe he did it until the possum was crawling all over his shoulders. Insert collective squeal of horror here.
A few things arise from the group’s success in capturing Frank. Leslie earns praise from the Mayor’s office and the promise of a ”special favor,” and Andy earns a spot on the front page of Pawnee’s newspaper. Leslie’s joy is short-lived, however, when she spots another possum before leaving the golf course with the (possibly innocent) possum in tow. Overcome with doubt, Leslie and April attempt to identify their marsupial prisoner as the culprit before it is killed, but in the end, fail to do so. Spoiler alert (because I know you’re dying to know): They end up turning it over to the zoo and not its executioners.
Andy revels in his victory, but makes a misstep during his interview with the newspaper reporter (same one from last season who slept with Mark. Kudos to Andy for uncomfortably bringing that up.). When the reporter mentions that Ann might be impressed by Andy’s heroic act, he seems excited by the prospect of luring her back into his arms. Hurt by his perceived hang-up on Ann, April begins ignoring Andy. Thankfully (and almost uncharacteristically), Andy takes note of April’s distress and apologizes (in a very Andy way), saying ”I feel like you were mad at me yesterday, and I don’t know why. So I made a list of everything I did, and I’m going to try to not to any of them again.”
Meanwhile, Ron needs Mark to sign off on his plans to expand his workshop, but Mark refuses to do so, citing Ron’s many code violations. Ron tries to convince him otherwise (”Come on, Brendanawicz, relax. Let me make you a canoe”). Mark rejects his offer and gives him 24 hours to get up to code. Hello, Mark? Don’t you remember Joey and Chandler’s canoe? They’re awesome! Eventually, Mark comes to his senses (after a major jerk moment) and helps Ron get the shop up to snuff. And how does Ron thank him? You guessed it: a canoe.
Now, before you dive into the lists below, tell me: What did you think of Parks and Recreation? I know you all are loving this Andy and April thing as much as I am. What do you think is next for them? Should the writers drag this on longer? For the record, I say yes. But tell me what you think. Also, help me flesh out the lists below.
– The cold open, specifically Donna taking home the Nanny Cam Teddy Bear
– Pawnee’s most wanted pests list, including the bell tower-soiling bats (the pictured one was named ”Vlad” – ha!) and ”Poopy,” the raccoon who earns his nickname by spreading his love all over the high school cafeteria
– Shoeshine head
– Ron’s death trap of workshop
– Tom in his golfing clothes, complete with gloves with tiny pom poms on them
Leslie: Hello. I’ve always dreamed of you.
Evelyn from the Mayor’s office: Excuse me?
Leslie: Dreamed of meeting you
Leslie: Ma’am, next time we speak, we will be dancing on the grave of a possum
Andy: We’re acting on direct orders from Mayor Grunderson’s dog.
Leslie: (correcting him)… office
”I used to love Tiger Woods because he was a great champion. But after that sex scandal, the man is a god.” – Tom
Mark: …you’ve got hazardous chemicals over here.
Ron: Yea, which only I am breathing. It’s the same liberty that gives a me the right to fart in my own car. Are you going to tell a man that he can’t fart in his own car?
Andy: By day, Andy Dwyer, shoeshine-ist. By different time of day, Andy Radical, possom tackler. And by night, I do whatever I want, no job.
Leslie: (whispers) Does he want to have sex with a dead possum?
Evelyn from the Mayor’s office: No! He’s not a monster. He wants to stuff it and hang it above the urinal in his office bathroom to that little flecks of pee can get on it forever.