Parks and Recreation
Season 5, Episode 19: Article Two
Season 5, Episode 20: Jerry’s Retirement
– Posted by Sage
The conclusion of Season 5 and the likely announcement of Season 6 are in sight, and we got a Parks doubleheader this week! With no elections, no clandestine relationships, and the wedding in the can, the lead up to the season finale isn’t as tension-filled as years past. I’ve been sure for a few weeks now that we’d have a pregnant Ann Perkins by the season finale. But (twist!), could Leslie and Ann both be knocked up in Season 6? If you think they’re cute now, just imagine them in maternity wear.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
It’s Ted Party Day in Pawnee, and thanks to some hard-to-decipher handwriting in the charter, the town celebrates a historic tea dump by throwing some poor guy who actually goes by Theodore into Ramsett Lake. This is what Leslie Knope LIVES for. It’s everything she loves about Pawnee, and I have to side with her on this one – these quirky traditions are what make towns into communities. But the Ted in question has pretty much had it, and challenges Leslie to man up and hold up all of the other outdated laws in the town charter too. He had his phone in his pocket. I can understand the rage.
Has Patton Oswalt been on this show forever? Because that’s what it feels like. Garth Blunden (another classic name) is so perfectly Pawnee and such an appropriate foil for Leslie. Unless you are headless, you have seen or at least heard about Oswalt’s 8 minute plus outtake from this week’s episode, where he busted out the best filibuster since Stackhouse to block Leslie’s proposed amendments to the charter. If you haven’t watched it yet, you owe it to yourself to do so now. I hope JJ Abrams took notes, because I would watch the shit out of that movie. My only quibble is that Han and Leia stay together in the officially licensed Star Wars sequel novels, so that’s canon. Sorry, Garth. Also, how am I still single?
Garth challenges Leslie to play house, pioneer style, and he schools her. Leslie is unaccustomed to not being the best student of Pawnee history in the room, but she realizes that Garth’s aptitude for the task is a direct result of his sad and lonely life. (I refuse to read anything into this and my extensive knowledge of Star Wars novelized fanfic.) Garth accepts her invitation to join the Pawnee Historical Society and volunteers to be their Ted. There is no quicker way of making friends than by suggesting that they ceremoniously throw you into a freezing lake. Or hand-churning them some sweet, delicious sunshine.
Meanwhile, Ann and Ben are making friends by, well, battling over who is the better friend to Leslie. FutureMrsTigerWoods and TallTyrionLannister are in a bidding war for a vintage JJ’s waffle maker to give to their bestie/wife for Breakfast Day or Waffle Day, respectively. Leslie’s thoughtfulness drives them to take more and more drastic action to prove themselves worthy. I.E. future mother Ann Perkins is considering doing $500 worth of nitrous with the scary pawn shop guy. And so on. But Ben and Ann find out that they’re more powerful when they join forces. Together, they can give Leslie the perfect gift for both occasions, and convince her to cram all of their mini-anniversaries into an Ann Week and a Ben Week and a Friend Week, where they will commemorate this very decision. There will always be a tiny bit of competitiveness in Ben and Ann’s relationship, and that’s okay. Ann could hardly approve a husband who didn’t wouldn’t enter into these little challenges to prove his love for Leslie, and likewise, Ben couldn’t respect a best friend who wouldn’t do the same.
Sadly, in the second episode of last week, it was time to say goodbye to our friend Jerry. (Or was it?) He’s retiring today. (Or is he?) Unfortunately, no one realized it until he brought out his sad little file box of belongings and bid a teary farewell to his coworkers. Leslie, who was supposed to be taking the day off with Ben, decides to help make a few of Young Jerry’s work dreams come true. How she is able to resist a day of making out and mac and cheese pizza with a rumpled Ben Wyatt going casual in an old LETTERS TO CLEO T-SHIRT is completely beyond my understanding, but there you have it.
Jerry’s hopes and dreams are just as depressing as we all imagined, and it’s all the more gloomy that Leslie can’t manage to make any of them really come true. It’s difficult to arrange a meet and greet with a crooked politician who was pushed out of a plane, for example. But the triumph in Jerry’s life isn’t work. It’s his creepily beautiful, sweet, and upbeat family and their insatiable admiration of him. Leslie steps into their idyllic happy home and regrets neglecting her own family in favor of her job. Now, I’m sort of into just having Leslie and Ben on their own for a while longer, but if Season 6 is our last chance to see baby Joe Knope-Wyatt, then let’s do this.
Actually doing it are Chris and Ann, taking the advice that Kim and I have been screaming into our TVs for months. Chris has the resting heart rate of a tortoise and Ann’s ovulating, but the cold and clinical reality of the sperm bank is depressing them. After a couple of fertility pamphlets and a little bit of sexy talk, it’s off to make a baby the old-fashioned way. HURRAY. When Chris and Ann first came about, Chris was still the teensiest bit insufferable. They weren’t a match. Now that he’s emerged from his midlife crisis as a more practical, less neurotic man, he’s a much better fit for our lovely Ann Perkins. They attempt to have “the talk,” but “the talk” doesn’t always result in answers. It’s enough to pose the questions and then put it all on pause to make out.
Random Thoughts and B-Stories:
- If you’ve figured out a way to get “Eggs, bacon, and toast!” out of your head since Thursday, please let me in on your secret.
- #gpoy, Part 2. Expect to see this gif a lot here.
- Rob Lowe could CTMTS me any day. ANY DAY.
- “That’s a dope bonnet.”
- I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Andy streaking into the lake was an impromptu stunt by Chris Pratt. Someone please ask this at the next Paley panel.
- Yet another #gpoy. I relate to Tom’s relationship to modern conveniences. “One time my regrigerator stopped working – I didn’t know what to do – I just moved!”
- Nice call back to Leslie’s senior sex-ed sessions.
- Harris, world-class marijuana consumer and leader of the topless park movement, has yet another talent. He’s made the Hall of Fame at the sperm bank by being an excellent…producer.
- “Ronfire of the Vanities”
- The cast and creatives were mum on Jim O’Heir’s actual future on the show prior to the ep, but thankfully Jerry will be back in the office once a week and we can “talk to him about anything he might do, or say, or fart.” The viewers thank you. Pile-o File-o thanks you.
As I write this, I can hardly believe that it’s true, but we have still not seen ONE conversation between Ann and Leslie on the baby subject since the Douche episode. Does Leslie know what’s going on? Who will get pregnant first? Will Retta ever be tapped to guest on GoT? Are Letters to Cleo still together? When exactly can we expect April to take over the world? I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, so I suppose we should just make out. See you next week.