Just when I think I can’t love Leslie more, she goes to see Tom’s apartment in her “sneak around” clothes. Can she get more adorable? *sigh* I love girl-crushes.
Now that I’ve gotten that out, let’s talk about Parks & Rec! We’re counting down to the season finale, and with only four left, we were treated to “Live Ammo“. What a way to launch those last four!
Leslie is on a crusade to stop the town council from reducing the Parks and Recreation’s budget. She catches Councilman Pillner (guest star Bradley Whitford) outside their meeting to make her case. He caves immediately and Leslie is thrilled. But are there consequences? Hmm.
She tells her boyfriend and Campaign Manager – Ben Wyatt, what she’s accomplished, and he reminds her that her actions might reflect poorly on her now that she’s in the spotlight. Leslie can’t see a downside, but admits that she should’ve consulted with Ben. That would have been a smart move, since he knows what goes into a budget decision. The council votes to cut funding to a local animal shelter in order to keep the Parks & Rec budget intact.
Of course, that translates to Leslie being depicted as an ‘animal killer’ – and that is not the image you want people to see when you’re running for office. Jennifer Barkley, Bobby Newport’s slick Campaign Manager (Kathryn Hahn) jumps on the opportunity to appear on “Final Word with Perd” to call her a ‘dog murderer’. She even holds up an adorable puppy and tells the viewers to vote for Bobby, or Leslie is going to kill it. Wow. Dark. (okay, it wasn’t really – she was saying it in really cute baby-talk)
Ben and Leslie start to brainstorm separately, and while Ben is sleeping, Leslie adopts every animal from the shelter. Watching Ben in his jammies find a house full of animals is – in a word – awesome.
This is where the A-Story merges with the larger of the two B-Stories. April is struggling with her new duties as she takes some of Leslie’s tasks while she’s away. She tries to run a meeting only to be met with questions she can’t answer, and a co-worker who can’t help because he’s tweeting business ideas to Russell Simmons.
April is trying to find enthusiasm in at least one of her duties when she finds the menagerie in her living room. She organizes an adoption drive in one of the city’s parks, and with the help of her co-workers – it’s a resounding… failure. They end up with more pets than they started with, as one Pawneean drops off two unwanted cats. I love that Donna was in charge of the information sheets, and made up amazing backstories for the animals.
Meanwhile, Ben and Leslie find some ‘waste’ in the budget that can be cut in order to keep the shelter open. They meet with Pillner in his office full of Ships-in-Bottles, and show him that he can cut some employees that are getting paid – but not working. He agrees to the new cuts, but taking them a step further, he decides to propose cutting the entire grade of employees, thus putting Ann out of her position as part-time Health Department P.R. Manager.
In the end, Leslie comes up with a plan that gives her opponent a little ground, but allows the town to keep the shelter, the Parks and Rec budget, and Ann’s job. She and Ben meet with Jennifer, and propose that Bobby will pay to save the shelter, making him look great in the media. They ask that she stop airing the ‘puppy killer’ ads in return. If they don’t stick to the terms, Leslie will allow Pillner to cut the P&R budget and leak to the press that Bobby refused to help the shelter.
When Jennifer asks them why they would help Bobby’s campaign, Leslie tells her that she’s so confident she’ll annihilate him at the debate that they can afford to lose a little momentum. I wonder if those words will come back to haunt her? Hmmm.
Now… let’s talk about Ron Swanson and Chris Traeger. In his quest to find a new Assistant City Manager, he’s still got Ron high on his list of candidates. In order to continue vetting him, he invites Ron to accompany him as Chris has a session of ‘heart-rate meditation’. As you can probably guess, Ron jumps at the opportunity to… wait, what’s that? Oh right. He loathes the idea.
However, Chris wasn’t planning to judge him on his ability to meditate, but his willingness to stay flexible in his ideas. Ron not only succeeds in keeping his appointment with Chris’ dojo, he inadvertently achieves a higher level of being by emptying his mind of all thought during the meditation. Golly I love Ron Swanson.
Before he can actually hire Mr. Swanson, Chris is informed that his position is in peril if Bobby Newport wins the election. Another blow to the upbeat Mr. Traeger in a bleak 2012.
With that, we come to the end of another stellar episode of Parks & Recreation. We get another new episode on April 26th entitled, “The Debate”. Wonder what that one’ll be about!?
Ron: “There’s a hot, spinning cone of meat in that Greek restaurant next door. I don’t know what it is, but I’d like to eat the whole thing.”
Chris: “Ron Swanson. It is my pleasure to inform you that you are a finalist for the job of Assistant City Manager.”
Ron: “Chris, I feel I should remind you that I do not believe that the position, or the entire Government, Should exist. That said, you’d be a fool not to pick me.
Ann: “Tom and I have been seeing each other for a few weeks, and I think I’m ready to say ‘I love you’ – to his apartment.”
Ron: “All told, we were in there about six hours. And no, I was not meditating. I just stood there quietly breathing. There were no thoughts in my head whatsoever – my mind was blank. I don’t know what the hell these other crackpots were doing.”
Donna: “Each animal has a photo, special talents, and a personal history… that I made up. A lot of these dogs have rescued people from burning buildings.”
Andy: “Whaaaat? This cat was in ‘Boogie Nights’?”