Parks and Recreation — Soda Tax (S5E02)

(My review of the last episode of Parks and Recreation, Ms. Knope Goes to Washington)

Leslie is really struggling with who she is now that she is on city council. She writes a proposition to tax sodas to try to lower the amount of citizens with diabetes and create a healthier Pawnee. When she finds out that if this tax passes, the local restaurants will be very negatively affected, which could cause hundreds of layoffs, she doesn’t know how to vote on her own proposition. When there is a town meeting, she asks to hear both sides of the argument, because she no longer knows which way to vote. She is really pro-health, but she doesn’t take layoffs lightly, either. When she polls the constituents about their opinions on the matter, they are split nearly in half, which prompts her to say, “Thank you so much, this has been very confusing.” I have never seen Leslie struggle with so much indecision before. And this indecision takes its toll. The night before the vote, Leslie didn’t sleep at all, os she drank a child-sized drink with every flavor mixed in (when they say “child-sized” they mean the size of a child, not the size for a child! It’s 512 ounces!). When asked how she will vote, she says she doesn’t know, she’ll go with her gut. And with her gut she went! She threw up when it was her turn to vote. If that isn’t enough reason to vote for the tax, Leslie goes to Ron for inspiration. He explains that he tried to fire her four times, but even though she disobeyed direct orders, what she did ended up being precisely what needed to be done, so he withdrew the requests for termination. Ron, in one of his sweetest moments in the history of Parks & Rec, gives Leslie a compass telling her that this will help guide her the right way. With Leslie’s vote making the decision, the soda tax passes.

Ben has a massive stick up his ass, he doesn’t trust his interns to do their work and he makes sure that they know it. They retaliate by drawing a caricature of him with said stick up his butt. When Ben talks to his boss about firing them, he finds out that every single one of his interns is incredibly well connected. So rather than firing them, he decides to “kiss their asses like crazy.” He throws them a pizza party and organizes an ultimate frisbee match. But the best part of this is how Ben starts to act around the employees. He pretends not to care about the job and he talks in ridiculous slang. This is so far from how teenagers actually talk, which is why it’s so great. He sounds like the biggest idiots, his employees know it, but he’s clueless. When Ben asks Ellis (the head of the obnoxious interns) who drew the caricature, he tells him that his daughter did. After a bit of confusion, he realizes that everyone thinks that April is his daughter! Not only is he freaking out that people think that he’s so old, but he’s deeply offended by April’s lack of respect. It hurt a lot worse that it was his friend than some undisciplined employee. After a decent amount of arguing, April agrees to Ben’s request to make a 15% effort. And she definitely does that, when Ellis is taking a personal phone call, she grabs his phone and threatens to torture and kill him if he doesn’t work effectively and respect Ben. I’m pretty sure that this is enough to whip anybody into shape. And man, oh man, I love this side of April!

Andy decides that he wants to have a real job so he can provide for himself and April, so he wants to be come a police officer. If he makes the cut, I feel truly sorry for Pawnee. Just as I did for Point Place when Michael Kelso became a cop in That ’70s Show. Tom and Chris agree to help whip him into shape to pass the physical tests. Andy manages to run two miles in 29 minutes (less than 25 is the requirement), which prompts Chris to be excited for how much he can help Andy improve. Andy tells Chris that he’s doing this for April, which prompts the two to agree that the only things in life are family and love. Chris says something depressing about how he is all alone, but Andy ignores him. When Andy and Chris are about to race, Chris collapses and says that he is broken. The doctor didn’t find anything, which Chris believes is the silent killer. He admits that “I’m going to die one day. Probably.” Though this might seem like nothing, Chris always insists that he is going to live forever, or at least to the age of 150. When he realizes that he’s just upset that he doesn’t have a girlfriend or any family, Tom suggests that therapy might be the best option. Chris agrees that before he climbs Mount Everest, he needs to “climb the Mount Everest of [his] mind!” Man, Chris is such a freak, but you have to love him!

It looks like this season is going to be a lot about the growth of each individual character. Leslie has to figure out who she is a city councilwoman, and it’s really difficult for her. She has never been in a position where she can make a huge difference, either positively or negatively. Ben has to learn how to manage people who don’t want to be managed; he needs to understand that not everyone is as much of a perfectionist as he is and how to deal with them. Andy is finally trying to turn himself into someone successful. Hopefully he won’t learn too much, because where would the show be without his crazy antics, such as wearing a bandana for underwear? And Chris has finally hit his midlife crisis. His life isn’t perfect just because he is fit, he needs more to be truly happy. And who knows, maybe he will find someone who makes him truly happy and isn’t overwhelmed by him this season! And Ron seems to be becoming a softie. That’ll never happen though, will it?

(My review of the next episode of Parks and Recreation, How A Bill Becomes A Law)

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About MockingSilence

Just an opinionated teenage girl who watches too much TV.

Posted on October 3, 2012, in Comedy, Parks and Recreation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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