‘Parks and Recreation’ – Recap: “Gin It Up”

In this week’s episode, Leslie (Amy Poehler) has to deal with the nasty business of the recount that is threatening her job. She tries to approach all this with her trademark zeal, which can be annoying – and that is an important theme in this episode: Leslie’s annoying behavior.

When Donna (Retta) accidentally Tweets a lascivious note to a fireman on the Parks & Rec’s account. Happy to captialize on this, Leslie’s archnemesis Council Jann exploits this for political points – he gets access to Donna’s personal account, and alongside the hot n’ heavy Tweets, Donna also uses social media to complain about her job, even going as far as calling Leslie “annoying” and hashtaging her bitchboss.

It’s great to see Donna and Leslie square off at a hearing in front of the press – only because Donna’s been little more than an extra with a line or two… Their friendship is strained and Leslie’s lectured by Chris (Rob Lowe) about her demands on her friends. He points out that Donna always comes through, only because she loves Leslie, but that she needs some space to decompress – he then reads some supportive Tweets that Donna volleyed against the organizers and supporters of Leslie’s recall.

The two ladies march back into the hearing and Leslie loftily announces that she is leaving the hearing to get back to work, and with her sista from another mista they leave, head held high.

With Andy (Chris Pratt) gone, April (Aubrey Plaza) is paired with Tom (Aziz Ansari), who is trying to impress Nadia, a doctor who works with Doctors Without Borders. She shows up at the office wanting to rent a park for a West Nile virus vaccination thing. Nadia is gorgeous and intelligent and is a doctor – like Tom’s Green Card wife – and so he starts to do stupid things to impress her, including putting on a fake British accent.

Because he’s intent on getting her, he and April schlep to Indianapolis, so that he can try to hit on her again. With April’s intervention, he gets a date (Nadia’s going off to Africa in a couple weeks, so she reasons she’s got nothing to lose).

Ben (Adam Scott) and Ron (Nick Offerman) have a great storyline, too – Ron needs a will now that he’s a husband and father. It’s great because Ron’s naturally wary and dismissive of things like laws, lawyers, documents, etc. But Ben exploits Ron’s anti-government attitudes and convinces him to see  a lawyer about drawing up a will. Apparently, Ron’s a kajillionaire, and doesn’t want to make his kids lazy, spoiled layabouts, and refuses to make them heirs to his secret fortune.

I loved this episode – it was funny, touching.

Some randome points and observations:

  • So it’s weird because in the scenes inside City Hall, it’s raining – you can clearly see rain, but in the exterior shots it’s bright and sunny.
  • This episode obviously is meant to show that despite Ann’s (Rashida Jones) iminent departure, Leslie will be okay – Donna and Leslie have a great bonding scene.
  • By the way – where was Ann in this episode? I felt cheated that in last week’s episode, Ann and Leslie had a heart-to-heart after Leslie had a meltdown about her best friend leaving, but we didn’t get to see any of it. So some follow-up to that conversation would be great.
  • Councilman Jann’s got a great line when he describes the manufactured Twitter controversy as making “Benghazi look like Whitewater.” Note: he said Whitewater which was a scandal that plagued the Clintons, particularly Hillary – who is an obvious influence on Leslie. Aaaaaand Benghazi was a manufactured controversy drummed up during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. Nice touch – Leslie’s a feminist and brings out much of the same kind of knee-jerk misogyny that Jann feels for Leslie – it’s a great joke with loads of layers.
  • I love Retta and think she’s woefully underused – it’s nice when she gets a subplot for herself – she needs more, and this episode proves she’s a fantastic cast member.

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Filed under Comedy, Sitcom, Television

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