Parks and Recreation, The Return of Dave (and Duke Silver!)

Tonight marked the return of two great figures from Parks and Rec’s past, Duke Silver and Officer Dave.   We’ll get to Pawnee’s number one purveyor of smooth jazz in a bit, but first we have to discuss Louis CK.   I really can’t say enough about how great Louis is, he cranks out brilliant, hysterical stand up specials on a yearly basis, his show Louie is one of the strangest, funniest, smartest things on TV, and then there’s sweet decent Officer Dave.

We first met Officer Dave back in season two when he became Leslie’s first real romantic interest on the show.  Dave was a genuinely nice guy, who spoke slowly, and tended to lapse into cop speak when flustered.   Despite Leslie’s typical spastic-ness it quickly became clear that the two were crazy about each other.   They were a classic example of how Parks and Rec was, at its heart, a show about decent people being nice to each other.  But as is usual with sit-com guest star loves it was not to be, Dave’s Army Reserve Unit was called up and off he went to San Diego.

Officer Dave is in town to attend Police Chief Hugh Trumble’s retirement party (and to interview for his job), bumps into Leslie and Ben at the police station where they are seeking an endorsement from Trumble.   After hearing his depressing dinner plans (gas station burrito in the police station break room) Leslie invites Dave out to dinner with her and Ben.  What ensues is a dinner filled with awkwardness as Dave tries to get Leslie alone so he can confess his feelings for Leslie and win her away from Ben.  The whole scene hinges on Louis CK’s low key affability as Dave, he manages to make even handcuffing Ben to a urinal seem sweet.   Eventually at Trumble’s party Leslie convinces Dave of Ben’s fundamental fitness as a boy friend and gets the retiring Chief’s endorsement based on Ben’s working convincing him that Leslie has long term solutions to help the police.   Let’s hope Dave gets the job as Pawnee’s police chief so that we can have more Louis CK in our lives.

It’s hard to imagine that the return of Ron Swanson’s middle aged lady wooing, saxophone playing alter ego could be over shadowed by anything, but since he returned in the same episode as Officer Dave, Duke Silver was relegated to the B-plot tonight.  Across town from Ben, Leslie, and Dave the campaign staff is holed up in Double Time studios trying to record a new jingle for Leslie’s campaign.   Here we have three plots running side by side.  April’s attempts to hide any and all Duke Silver memorabilia from the rest of their coworkers (April’s mom, you’ll remember, is a huge Duke Silver fan and April recognizing but not ratting out Ron is one of the things that endeared her to him).  Andy’s attempts to write the perfect jingle after messing up a fundraising barbeque (“I dropped all the hot dogs on the ground… like a thousand of them…”).  And finally, Tom’s continued attempts to get Ann to date him despite having failed to keep their first date on the down low and his repeated use of the word “boo.”   Smashed coffee mugs and abuse of Jerry keeps Duke under wraps, a little Duke Silver sax is just what the jingle needed, and Tom amazingly manages to wear down Ann and get her to agree to another date.    Apparently they’ll actually be a couple for a while, despite the fact that Tom’s version of “no games” is singing about boos to Ann until she can’t take it anymore.

No bullets this week.  Instead enjoy this ironical clip of Louis CK not wanting to play a cop despite being an absolutely delightful cop on Parks and Rec.

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