‘Parks and Recreation’ Recap: Every Dog Has Its Day

Parks and RecreationTonight is the night that Leslie Knope’s biggest dream comes true. Is it a waffle tower? Nope. It’s something better. We suspend our disbelief for the pre-titles sequence in order to accept that, somehow, Ben’s months in Washington have given him enough clout to arrange for Leslie to meet the only man on her celebrity sex list: Vice President Joe Biden. That mischievous smile, that steadily declining physique, that slightly balding head — it’s all more than Leslie can handle. “My… my name just came out of your mouth,” she stutters when the Vice President says hello. She can barely listen as he thanks her for her commitment to her hometown, she is too busy trying to caress his withering cheeks. Luckily, before Leslie has time to further proclaim her interest in taking Hillary Clinton’s position as Secretary of State or terrifying the nation’s second in command, Ben calmly steers her away.

I Want to Take a Picture of You Saying, “Per Capita”

It really sucks when your friend suddenly becomes your adversary, Leslie and April learn this week. The two are unexpectedly pitted against one another when April decides that Vacant Lot 48 — aka, The Location Formerly Known as “The Pit” — would be the perfect place to build a new dog park. Leslie’s pride in April’s conviction instantly transforms to selfish greed when April’s planned location is announced.

After Leslie’s attempts at dissuasion fail (April was not so into the idea of building her dog park in a place that Ann says “seems like the sort of place a ska band would go to shoot heroin”) our blonde, Biden-loving councilwoman is out of ideas. Confused by her own icky feelings — and yet still desperate to stop young Ms. Ludgate’s caninophile pursuits at whatever the cost — Leslie asks advice of the wisest, most fantastically mustachioed man she knows. “How did you slow me down when I was becoming too me-ish?” she asks Ron Swanson. His answer is simple in concept, but could be tricky in execution: Distraction. Will April be as easily susceptible to the wiles of busywork disguised as actual work or a piping hot pile of flapjacks? Only time will tell.

I’m Roughly The Same Size as An Average Pawnee 12-Year-Old

The earnestness in which Tom Haverford is now pursuing the only realistic-sounding business venture (sorry Snake Juice) he has cooked up to date warms my cold New Yorker heart. After successfully procuring funding from one Ron Swanson last week, Tom now looks to enlist the help of one Ben Wyatt — or should I say, “Bond, Municipal Bond”? — to get his finances in order. Ben, who has decided that all married people must be boring, has accepted the sad, gross, marginally creepy job at the accounting firm he turned down last season so he declines Tom’s offer to join him as CFO of Rent-A-Swag. He does, however, agree to lend his financially savvy brain to Tom’s cause as a friend.

The dynamic duo set off on a publicity tour for Rent-A-Swag, with stops at such locations as the Sweetums foundation and the local news channel. Neither is so keen on helping Tommy boy out, but both seem to know how well Ben handled Leslie’s campaign (we have to decide to believe that anyone cares about campaign managers for a second) and offer Ben jobs. Ben turns down both offers and a third from Urban Outfitters. Tom sulks.

A Game Is the Foot!

“There is something different about my computer… It’s missing!” deduces Andy after staring at his empty desk. Since he asked his coworkers month ago to at some time in the indeterminate future steal something from him so he could investigate said theft in his police practice efforts, Andy decides this is a fake crime. He interrogates his coworkers, who proclaim their innocent. Andy, who “can’t tell when someone is lying,” sends them on their merry way.

Wait — there’s a twist! Chris Traeger thinks the theft of Andy’s computer is an actual, real, illegal, not staged in any way crime! He calls in the cops who, much to Andy’s dismay, file a police report. And do nothing else. There is no major investigation, there are no arrests to be made. Andy, saddened by this news, takes off his shirt and sits down. He’s not sure he wants to be a police officer anymore. Can Chris and friends help Andy change his mind, or will be be trapped by his own absurdity, resigned to a life without ambition forever?

No One Leaves the Octagon

Things heat up between April and Leslie after Leslie’s thinly veiled attempts at distraction fail. Not even a trip to Orin’s performance art petting zoo — a truly nightmarish place — is enough to make April forget about her new plans for Vacant Lot 48. April, as firm in her convictions as ever, decides to seek help and dental work from this season’s new supervillain, Councilman Jamm. “Gasp!” says Leslie. “He’s a snake and will dupe you and then eat your soul. He’s more evil than the library!” she cried. But April folds her arms, pats Orin on the head, and leaves Leslie alone, holding her not-for-animals animal feed, in the creepiest of places.

And now we come to the episode’s climax. The place: City Hall. The time: I’m not really sure, probably some time after lunch, judging by how sleepy everyone looks. The people: Leslie, April, Councilman Jamm, and people who for some unexplainable reason find city council meetings interesting enough to actually attend. What happens next happens in a quick succession of painful barbs. April presents her plan for a dog park, Leslie attempts to interrupt her, Councilman Jamm interrupts them both to propose putting a new Paunch Burger on Leslie’s beloved plot. You can practically see all the faith April has left in local government withering and dying.

Following the meeting, Ann and friends stage a Friendervention. April and Leslie must put their differences aside, remember they are friends, and think of a way to stop Coucilman Jamm before Ann gains 500 pounds (the empty lot is behind her house, if you recall). Or course the two patch things up in record time, as is how fights typically resolve themselves on Parks and Rec, and put their heads together to plan some massive sabotage.

It’s Not Technically Illegal, But it Is a Dick Move

Leslie, Ann, and April round up all of Pawnee’s dogs and children and have them go play on Councilman Jamm’s front yard. After all, there is no park nearby and they need a place to frolic and fancy free. Councilman Jamm, hater of children and puppies, acquiesces to giving Leslie and April more time to design their park before they face off in the courtroom City Hall regarding the future of Vacant Lot 48 once again. Councilmann Jamm, you just got Knoped… and Ludgated, and Perkinsed!

Life is Short, Why Be an Accountant?

“But whatever happened to our B and C plotlines?” you ask. Will Ben ever be able to understand that being an accountant is, like, the worst thing ever? Will Andy really give up on his newfound goal to become a police officer? Will the children of Pawnee be able to rent Tom’s swag?

The answers, in order, are: Yes. (He decides to quit his boring job, again, and join Tom as Rent-A-Swag’s CFO. And maybe join the news channel as a Washington correspondent from time to time.) No, at least not yet. (Andy takes Chris up on his offer to become City Hall’s security guard so he can see if police work is to his taste.) And yes. (With Ben on board to handle the stacks on stacks on stacks, I think Rent-A-Swag has a fighting chance to make it off the ground. Thanks goodness, you really don’t see enough pre-teens wearing monogrammed velvet blazers.)

Best line of the night: “Aren’t you supposed to be a sheep?” “No, you are.”

Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone

[Photo Credit: NBC]


‘Parks and Recreation’ Recap: One Quilt to Rule Them All

‘Parks and Recreation’ Recap: It’s Better Than Strawberry Jell-O Night

‘Parks and Recreation’ Recap: Sexytimes at Pawnee Senior Center

From Our Partners:

Prince Harry

Prince Harry’s ‘Naked Vegas Party Pal’ Carrie Reichert Writing a Tell-All Book — EXCLUSIVE