'Parks and Recreation' recap: Breaking up is hard to do
Parks and Recreation was like a bad boyfriend last night. It made me laugh, broke my heart, touched my soul, and then left me on a note of uncertainty.
Leslie had the entire office volunteer at a senior citizens dance party on Valentine’s Day. But she took off from the preparations to find her mother’s long lost teenage love (guest star John Larroquette) in the hopes of reuniting the two at the big event. In the process, the show managed to cram more character development into 22 minutes than I thought possible.
Almost every couple had a major milestone of sorts last night. Here’s the breakdown starting from the top:
Tom and Wendy – Tom confessed his love to Wendy, and she gave him the ole ”I just don’t feel that way about you.” Join me in a slow clap for Aziz Ansari in this scene. His reaction and the way he poured the champagne back into the bottle after she shot him down made me want to give him a big hug (…and then steal his champagne). Later on in the episode, his attempt to blackmail her into giving him a chance didn’t go over well, but (I think…) they made up in the end. I’m sure we’ll find out more about what was said during that silent reconciliation in a later episode.
Andy and April – Andy dedicated a song to April during his band’s set at the old folks’ dance. Collective ”awwww.” But during this song, we saw a hint of jealousy from Ann. Collective Jerry Springer-style ”ooooh.” Which brings us to…
Mark and Ann – The pair exchanged boring gifts like the boring couple they are. She got him towels and ”things humans use,” and he got her cliché Valentine’s Day gifts (his words). I’m sorry, but if a guy’s affection for you is one giant cliché, that’s a sign you need to give the relationship the Old Yeller treatment. Given Ann’s reaction during Andy’s song dedication to April, she might be realizing that. Agree?
April and her gay boyfriends – April’s gay boyfriends also weren’t too happy about April/Andy Lustfest 2010. They haven’t been for a while. Frankly, they have been growing apart all season, and last night she finally called it off. Judging by the comment’s on last week’s recap, this won’t come as a surprise to any of you. The whole story line was pretty predictable, no?
Marlene Griggs-Knope and Frank, her long-lost love – Anyone else spend half of the episode with a feeling of dread in their gut? I didn’t know what would go wrong. Something had to go wrong. But Marlene was actually happy to see Frank when Leslie and Justin showed up with him. Her flame was put out, however, when she learned he never amounted to much. For a Knope woman, a breed that has more ambition than blood flowing in their veins, that just didn’t fly, and she bid him adieu.
Leslie and Justin (guest star Justin Theroux) – After Justin helped her track down her mom’s high-strung ex flame, Leslie saw a different side of Justin. She didn’t like it, and they broke it off.
Leslie and Ron – The Leslie/Justin break-up was actually prompted by Ron. In probably the smartest moment we’ve ever seen from Ron, he told Leslie what we’ve all been feeling for a few episodes: Justin’s kind of a d-bag. ”He’s a tourist. He vacations in people’s lives, takes pictures, puts them in his scrapbook and moves on. All he’s interested in are stories. Basically, Leslie, he’s selfish.” I didn’t think I could love Ron Swanson more, but he proved me wrong. It was a touching moment between these two friends.
Tom and Justin – Breakups are hard for everyone, including those in budding bromances. Tom and Justin had become close. Too close, you might say. So when Justin and Leslie broke it off, Tom suffered his second loss of the episode.
”It’s like Lilith Fair minus the angst and plus frittatas.” –Leslie
”It’s the most romantic story ever. It makes The Notebook look like Saw V.” –Leslie
”If you find him and he’s weird, like a ventriloquist or a puppeteer or anyone who pretends toys are people, then abort the mission.” –Leslie
”Think how much better our friendship would be if we added doin’ it.” –Tom
”My problem is that I don’t know how to tell if we’re doing good because when you play a rock show it’s really easy to know if you’re doing great because chicks will flash their boobs at you when you’re up on stage. You’re like, ‘Oh, that must have sounded pretty good.’ But if that happens here, my eyes will fall out of my head, and I’ll die.” –Andy before his gig at the senior citizen dance
”If I’m not mistaken, that was the old lady version of flashing.” –Andy
A special award: Best-timed Joke of the Season
John Mayer has been in the news all week, and in my head, I could see the Parks writers getting out of their chairs and doing a happy dance when they realized the episode with this amazing Mayer joke would be airing this week. For your luck and skill, I salute you, writers.
”How often do you get to reunite soul mates? What if I told you that you could reunite Romeo and Juliet? Or Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston? Oh, Jen, I really want you to be happy. Stay away from John Mayer.” –Leslie
Now, PopWatchers, share your favorite lines of the night, tell me what you think of all these developments and admit how many times you cried from laughter last night.