Parks and Recreation
Season 5, Episode 13: Emergency Response, Producer’s Cut
– Posted by Sage
This is Willa Tremaine reporting to you from Head Over Feels, where we’ve just watched the extended producer’s cut of another classic episode of Parks and Recreation. If you’ve only seen the version that aired on NBC Thursday night, proceed immediately to Hulu and enjoy the episode plus some killer extra scenes. Now, back to our regularly scheduled recap.
It’s the moment of reckoning for this season’s great white whale, the Pawnee Commons Project. Despite Jamm’s best efforts to bribe the planning commission with Paunch Burger’s Greasy Lardbombs™, the group is still behind Leslie’s proposed park. The problem is that the park isn’t fully funded – there’s a $50k hole. Leslie mopes about the seemingly insurmountable gap while she and Ben head troll Macy’s (a rare obvious product placement for this show) with Tom to register for their wedding gifts. Ben comes up with a plan: they’ll register for the park instead. Beslie are purer of heart than your recapper, because I would be Harlem Shaking down the aisles with Tom and pointing that little gun thing on everything that wasn’t nailed down. Also, how does planning a gala fundraiser preclude you from having a wedding registry? I’m really upset about this, because I have more fantasies about registering than my actual wedding.
Team Parks Department kicks into action, as they are wont to do. Put together a black tie gala in one week? They won’t even break a sweat. “Breaking a sweat” is probably on both Tom and Donna’s “Oh No-Nos” lists. But crisis comes in the form of well, a fake crisis. Leonard Chulm, head of the Indiana Department of Emergency Preparedness (hey, Matt Walsh!) rolls into town to throw a emergency preparedness drill at Pawnee and (quelle surprise) Emergency Czar Leslie. We’ve got an outbreak of avian flu, ya’ll. I hope you’re prepared to bathtub-drown all the birds in town.
On any other day, Leslie would HAVE this. She’s prepared for every scenario, with binders and fake news casts at the ready. But passing the drill will likely mean losing Pawnee Commons forever. This is Lot 48. It represents every dream Leslie has ever had for herself and for Pawnee. She cannot let it end up in the hands of Jamm, ghost or otherwise.
So she makes the call: to save the town, she must destroy it. She puts her containment and recovery plans into reverse and quickly ensures that the entire town is soon struck down by bird flu. And if all our citizens are as over-therapized as Chris Traeger, they’ll be pretty psyched about it. (“I’m dead!) Off to save the gala – suck it, Jamm!
But if we’ve learned anything in the past few seasons of Parks besides some awesome nicknames for food, it’s that Leslie’s friends can be counted on to rise to the occasion. Under the inspiring leadership of one Ben Wyatt (“Get some chairs from…somewhere.”), the gala has already come together perfectly. All that’s left for Leslie to do is put on a super hot red dress, give an inspiring thank you speech, and introduce Mouserat. We will build it, the park!
Leonard Chulm’s entire purpose is to make sure every town in Indiana has the right protocol in place to survive a disaster. But protocols and processes are nothing without ingenuity and people who can think on their feet. Leslie has grown from a person who will blindly follow a prescribed plan to the letter to one who is ready to toss the rule book out if necessary, and even if she wrote it herself. And in what WOULD have been the episode’s twist had NBC not PUT IT IN THE PROMOS, we find out that Leslie might even be willing to do that with my – I mean her – dream wedding. I hear you, Les. I too, hate the feeling of not being married to Ben Wyatt. At least you can do something about it. Mazel, you crazy kids.
- We get a callback to Ann’s quest for a baby when she drops a not-so-subtle potential daddy hint to okay guy Leonard. Could the season-ender be a pregnant Ann in lieu of a white wedding? And when will Chris find out about the sperm donor plan? He’s been hinting for weeks that he may not be completely over her and this might be the push he needs.
- Andy thinks he’ll “nail” the police personality evaluation “because people always say, ‘buuut, he’s got a great personality.'”
- Brett from Animal Control, MARRY ME. “Hey Leslie, you on the TV!” “So, how will I kill ’em? Like, with a gun?”
- Putting Ron Swanson and Mo Collins’ hilarious Joan Callamezzo was another inspired Parks pairing. Those scenes were chockfull of classic Swanson-isms and the best we’ve EVER seen of Drunk Joan. Again, I encourage you to watch the Producer’s Cut, if only for Ron’s marvelous advice to a guy whose lady wants to know if she looks fat in her dress. It’s a slow-clapper.
- Ben’s inability to communicate with bros rears its head again when he tries to relate to some firefighters. What do you mean, they don’t talk about Backdraft all the time?
- I think the writers are setting up Chris to be the keeper of Andy’s future, but I don’t know how that’s going to happen. Now we know that Andy is a police work savant, there has to be an important place for him in Pawnee. I’m intrigued, Chris. I’m intrigued.
- “Grapes of Wrath, chocolate chip ice cream, and Johnny Cash.” = the correct answer to any question.
I will need this week to prepare, you guys. I haven’t seen an OTP wedding like this since JAM in 2009. Get your tissues ready and meet me back here this time next week for a very weepy recap.