Parks and Recreation
Season 5, Episode 16: Bailout
– Posted by Sage
I’ve often wished that science would clone the swaggie perfection that is Jean Ralphio Saperstein. But until we get over our stupid ethics (playing god, schmaying god), twin-sister-from-the-same-
I’ll leave the Freudian analysis of why Tom was so ready to give the D to the female version of his best friend to the professionals, but I WILL say that Jenny Slate is always a complete delight. She’s also the object of my most ardent jealousy, getting to work with Ben Schwartz on this season of House of Lies too. (By the by, are we supposed to be shipping Marty and Jeannie there? Weird. I digress.)
They’re family, yes. But Jean Ralphio thinks she’s…well, I’ll let him tell you:
Mona Lisa’s got all her brother’s style and complete ignorance of societal norms, PLUS a fairly violent streak. While Tom has stopped letting Jean Ralphio peer pressure him into all the things, he hasn’t developed that tolerance to the influence of his twin. Mona Lisa wraps Tom around her well-manicured, terrifying finger. Even Chris’s parenting can’t sway him into giving up a few torrid weeks of public sex and Pitbull concerts. Or public sex AT Pitbull concerts? I bet they get that a lot.
But Chris is satisfied enough with his sack-of-flour experiment to get over his hang-ups about “negatively affecting any living thing” and deliver the good news with his most joyous “Ann Perkins!” Now, when Ann popped the question, that question was about being her sperm donor. When Chris comes to give his answer, he tells Ann that he’s ready to raise a child. And she’s thrilled. Chris and Ann are not just having a baby, you guys. They are making a family. My shipper heart! Let’s raise a glass of your cheapest wine, because I honestly can’t tell the difference.
Hold up, though. Does Leslie even know about this? As far as we’ve seen, the only people Ann has told about asking Chris to be the father of her child are Ron and April. Is she afraid that Leslie wouldn’t approve? Or, more likely, that Leslie would have involved herself in some kind of scheme to get him to accept? I can’t wait for her to find out.
Leslie was distracted this week by the tribulations of the Pawnee Videodome and its owner Dennis Lerpiss, played by our second guest star and fellow Bored to Death (RIP) alum Jason Schwartzman. The indie-centric video store is failing because, as Joe Mande kept reminding us, everything is online. For free. All the time. Leslie can’t stand to see the neglected store go under, even though she can’t bring herself to be interested in bleak foreign films or Japanese slime candy. What she loves about it is that Dennis hosts screenings and discussions where the few Pawnee film buffs can get together and talk movies. Leslie is a modern lady with plenty of use for virtual expression. But she’s also a community builder who feels the loss of face-to-face communication those advancements create. Her solution, to Ron’s dismay, is to use government resources to have the store declared a historical landmark and give Dennis a chance to make it more accessible. And that’s how, to Ron’s delight, Leslie ended up inspiring the creation of Pawnee’s first porn emporium. It’s wildly successful. You gotta give the people what they want.
And what Ann wants, second to Chris Traeger’s fastest swimmers, is for April to like her. April’s faux-disdain of Ann is a holdover from her crush on Andy and how insecure it made her feel. By now, she’s only going through the motions. Ann’s ready to crack right through that thinning ice. She starts with a healthy does of blackmail, holding her recommendation of April to vet school hostage. Then she moves on to a heavily scheduled day of BFF activities. But what gets April to finally come around is that Ann shares her anxiety about Chris. She confides in her. She gives her that friend privilege. And that’s what April responds to. April may be uncomfortable with sincerity, but she despises pretense.
Aw, my girls. Well done. Let’s have a best friend singalong! Donna’s invited too.
- Please, please, please, please can we have an episode with Mr. and Mrs. Saperstein? I need to meet the couple who spawned our favorite twinsies.
- I love that her older colleagues have always invested in April instead of writing her off. There’s a lesson here to be applied to how we relate to bored teenagers the world over. Like a lot of kids (and adults, let’s be real), April was afraid to care or really try to accomplish anything until she perceived that people she trusts believed she could succeed. And look at her now.
- I really hope that Dennis turning his arthouse video store into a triple X wonderland was a dig at networks trashing their critically-acclaimed series to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Whether that was the intention or not, that’s how I choose to take it.
- Lights, Camera, Perd.
- Minimal Ben in this one, but I did appreciate his coining of the word “dad-cision.”
- “If she murders me, tell Jean Ralphio to clear my browser history.” I have this pact with several friends. Destroy it all, guys. Just burn it down.
- Like every red-blooded American woman, Ann is also a huge fan of Michael Fassbender’s…sense of humor.
- “You’re like a scary Charlotte.” Nailed it.
- You wouldn’t think a small town like Pawnee would have as hot a porn star as Brandi Maxxx. Then again, they also have Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger waltzing around, all sexy-like.
- Capitalism: “It’s what makes America great and England okay and France terrible.”
- “I guess your uter-you and my uter-me are now our uter-us.”
It looks like we’re still on track for a pregnancy announcement in the season finale! If Friends with Kids taught us anything, it’s that Megan Fox isn’t really as terrible as we thought. AND that platonic types who raise a child together will inevitably fall in love. Are you ready for the writers to go there again with Chris and Ann?