Parks and Recreation — How A Bill Becomes A Law (S5E03)

(My review of the last episode of Parks and Recreation, Soda Tax)

When April invites Ben on a spontaneous road trip to Pawnee to surprise Andy and Leslie, he decides that “She’s like the little sister I never had. Because the sister I do have is normal and not terrifying.” When they get stuck in the world’s worst traffic jam, they finally have some time to bond, from listening to Ben’s absolutely horrendous music to him reading aloud his Star Trek fan fiction. After hours of waiting, the jam finally clears up, but Ben’s car is out of gas. After some complaining from April, Ben offers to fly them out to Pawnee on his dime. But when she gets excited, he rescinds the offer. But what does he decide at the end? I hope you like the taste of your own medicine, April! These two have an incredibly interesting dynamic that hasn’t been explored until this season. When at work, Ben is serious, professional, and on her case. But when he’s off duty, she really brings out the fun, goofy side of him, just like Leslie does.

Chris, after intensive psychotherapy, decides that everyone should receive any help that they request, so he opens up a 311 call line. Since they don’t hire anyone to man the phones, the Parks department is left with the job. Jerry’s line got mixed with the 911 call line, and is left trying to assist people in dire need. Ron gets annoyed when there is no one to fill a pothole that he is receiving calls about, so he takes matter into his own (and Andy’s) hands. While fixing the pothole, the woman who owns the house, Diane, comes out to complain. But once she realizes that Ron really knows what he’s doing, she gets to flirting. I don’t know how long Ron could last in a relationship with a woman not named Tammy, but I would kill to find out! Ron even agrees to be dressed up as a pretty, pretty princess by Diane’s daughters, because Andy suggests that Diane might like it. When she laughs at him, he runs away, scared for his perfect masculinity. Even upon Andy’s insistence to pursue Diane, Ron refuses. But it doesn’t look like he’ll be wearing the pants in the relationship, Diane comes to his work to ask him. It will be a casual date, “no need to wear makeup.” After Ron agrees, he admits that a government program works. Not only do we see the flirtatious, softer side of Ron, but we also see him willing to admit that the one thing he hates most is a success. Such a huge change, it’s quite adorable.

Leslie tries to pass a bill to allow the pool to stay open longer so that the swim team, the Porpoises, can practice for longer. Councilman Jamm, who moonlights as a dentist, decides to change his vote on the bill, causing both the Porpoises and Leslie to panic. Rather than give in to Jamm’s demands (he wants Leslie’s private bathroom), she tries to get Milton to change his vote. Milton is an incredibly ancient man who ran his campaign on de-integrating basketball. She manages to convince him, but when she refuses to kiss him and he falls over, it doesn’t look like his vote will help. Tom suggests taking the easy way out because “It’s so easy!” and give in to Jamm’s demands. At the very last minute Leslie decides to give Jamm her office and bathroom and gives into another four or five demands.

Though the bill passed, Jamm decides to tell the kids why it passed. Tom, wanting to protect Leslie, shoves him into the pool to prevent this. Leslie and Tom then jump into the pool with their suits on and declare a pool party. Tom cares so much about Leslie that he was willing to ruin his extravagant suit and give up his only chance to get into Pawnee’s famous smokehouse. Though he wouldn’t admit it, he really does care about her. In return, Leslie surprises Tom with his own private smokehouse in her own new office.

Due to Ann’s disappearance, Leslie had time to do whatever she wanted that day. She decided to get the perm that she had always wanted, which was only half finished and completely ridiculous. It’s hard enough to take her seriously as it is, but with this hair it is near impossible.

I think this was one of Chris’s best episodes. He learned from his psychotherapy that “you can’t share too much or too often,” which he disproves immediately after. He then goes on to discuss how great he and his idea for the 311 call line are. Though he usually talks about his amazing successes and accomplishments, this episode he talks about himself in the third person. This time, however, he realizes that he sounds insane when he’s talking about himself. He runs off to call his therapist and isn’t seen again.

(My review of the next episode of Parks and Recreation, Sex Education)

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About MockingSilence

Just an opinionated teenage girl who watches too much TV.

Posted on October 10, 2012, in Comedy, Parks and Recreation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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