Parks and Recreation: Unintended Consequences

Parks and Rec returns from its spring hiatus with more campaign hijinks and more looking towards the future. This week finds the Knope for City Council Campaign working to restore a cut in the parks department budget. The badgering of a retiring council member (The West Wing’s Bradley Whitford) into finding room elsewhere in the budget sets off a chain of unintended consequences. First the money comes from the animal shelters, which leads to some fun as Andy and April’s house is filled with cats and dogs. This inspires our weekly dose of Andy Enthusiasm (“I had six cats on me! Wanna try and break my record?”) and another example of April being quite nice as she takes up the job of getting the animals adopted “ They should be rewarded for not being people… I hate people,” she says.

As Leslie gets hit by the Bobby Newport campaign for protecting the park over the cute little puppies, Leslie finds the money for the parks and the animal shelter by eliminating a class of employee that unbeknownst to her included Anne’s city health job. In the end Leslie saves the day by taking one for the team. She talks Bobby Newport’s campaign manager into getting Newport to save the shelter with his personal funds, seceding a week of good media coverage to get everything thing she wants. It turns out be a sacrifice Leslie is willing to make because next week she and Newport are going to debate and she is confident that she’ll kick his ass. Which could mean only one thing: Paul Rudd.

Meanwhile Chris is continuing his quest to evaluate Ron for the position of Assistant City Manager. In doing so, Chris proposes that they spend the day together, tossing a “Bring your yoga pants!” as he walks away. After a warning from Anne that mediation will be “Super boring,” and “Feel like forever,” Ron meets Chris at Pawnee’s Greek food scented yoga studio. Ron refuses to sit and as Chris meditates he creates the new technique of Swanson Standing Yoga, where he simply stood with a completely empty mind. Ron’s willingness to go to yoga with Chris proves his flexibility and Chris offers him the job. In short order though, he learns that only half the City Council is for keeping him around and the swing vote will be the winner of the Knope/Newport race.

So it is that Parks and Rec lays out its two possibilities, Leslie loses and all goes back to as it was, or Leslie wins and Ron moves up and the top two jobs in the Parks Department will be empty. On most sitcoms you would expect the former but I think Parks and Rec will chose to continue its commitment to change and shake things up. They apparently filmed two endings for the season finale, so we’ll have to wait to the very end to find out which one it will be.

This week in Ron Swanson Food Awesomeness: “There’s a spinning cone of meat in the Greek restaurant next door. I don’t what it is, but I’m going to eat the whole thing,”

 

Also a nice little nod to the West Wing with the framed “Pilner for Pawnee” napkin in Whitford’s office.

468 ad