Parks and Recreation Galentine’s Day

Let’s face it, since the pit was filled in Ann Perkins has been a bit of a character adrift.   Generally two things happen to Ann, she gets sucked into Leslie’s wackiness or she has some sort of relationship issue.  If asked to describe her character you would end up with something like, “Leslie’s friend…who dates men.”  Tonight we get a romance plot that doesn’t do much to develop Ann as a character but does deliver lots of laughs.

The whole thing kicks off with a return of galentine’s day, Leslie’s yearly February 13th gathering of all her favorite gals.  This year everyone’s gift is a pillow embroidered with the news paper from the day they were born.  Leslie’s mom gets “Joseph Stalin: Dead.”   During the brunch it becomes clear that Ann is the only one of the ladies not seeing anyone.  Leslie being Leslie, this kicks off a quest to find Ann a man for the Pawnee Valentine’s Day Couples Dance.

Despite enlisting the gangs help, the dance comes around no one has had any luck finding a date for Ann.  April, not yet in the spirit of things, brings creepy goth kid Orin who Leslie immediately rejects. “Offense intended, Orin.  Maybe this will make you think about how you present yourself.”   The lack of outside options inspires an impromptu round of speed dating, moderated by Tom and Leslie.   Rejected suitors include 200-308-Phish-Shows, Starts-with-Amateur-Juggling, and Incest-Joke.  Mean while, still mourning his loss of Millicent Gergich, Chris DJs in the back ground, spinning creepy instrumental tunes.

Meanwhile, Leslie gives Ben a scavenger hunt Valentine’s Day that sends he, Ron, and Andy across Pawnee trying to solve highly complex clues.  After Martin Starr clues in Ben that he’s way behind (“She said you’d be here by noon,” he deadpans) the boys split up and try to find clues any place that Leslie possibly could have gone.  Despite his protestations Ron clearly enjoys himself, even giggling with glee when he finds a clue at The Bulge (where he is clearly a hit with the clientele).    Eventually, realizing they’ve failed to find the final clue, Ron realizes that Leslie likes to be right just as much as she likes romance and asks Ben if there’s anything she’s made him change his mind about lately.   This brings Ben to the Lil’ Sebastian memorial and brings us the classic long running joke of Ben’s utter bafflement at Pawnee’s love of the miniature horse.

At the memorial, Leslie reveals to Ben that she thinks Ann may have left the dance early to go on a date with Chris, her boss, the same offense that lead Ben to resign.   At first she tries to take the high road, but Ben appeals to her initial instinct and they go to bust Chris and Ann on their date.  Only to find that Ann is on a date with Tom instead.   April, once again showing there’s a big heart under all that cynicism, convinced Ann that Tom could actually be a sweetheart under all that false bravado.   The one glimpse we get of that date makes it look like it will be an uphill struggle for Tom.

  • “Dear congress it’s Leslie again…”
  • “Sorry, I was talking to these ribs.”
  • “Did you try ‘fucks’?”
  • “Please get your gigolo out of here.”
  • “Can we change up the music? It sounds like the end of a movie about a monk who kills himself.”
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