Parks and Recreation Season 7, Episode 6
What I am loving about this final season (SOB) of Parks and Recreation is that they are doing a farewell tour of some of their most loved stories without making it feel like an unnecessary retread. In “Save JJ’s”, the gang unites to save that bastion of waffles in a kale milkshake filled world (what has HAPPENED to Pawnee in 2017, you guys?) JJ’s Diner, whilst Tom and Donna indulge in Parks‘ most loved tradition: Treat Yo Self Day. Thank GOD one thing holds true in 2017: Tom and Donna still love THINGS.
Not only are Leslie and Ron friends again, they are finally on the same page regarding Gryzzl after Ron shot down a droid bearing a gift for his son. But like Chris Kirkpatrick at the 2013 VMAs, Leslie and Ron’s moves are a little rusty after 2 years of not working together. (Side Note: I hope Leslie brought up NSYNC because they DID have a reunion tour in the time between 2014 and 2017 cause we all need that to look forward to.) (At said reunion tour, I’m sure Chris Kirkpatrick’s dance moves were AMAZING.) To Ron and Leslie’s credit, they never let their rusty moves discourage them. They know they’ll get there eventually. All that matters to them is that they are fighting on the same team again. Because when they team up, she tells him confidently, “good things happen”.
The entire Parks team, sans Tom and Donna (who are busy treating themselves), gathers to watch Roscoe try to smooth the data-mining scandal over. He apologizes and announces that to make it up to the citizens of Pawnee, everyone is getting a free ticket to a concert with U2 and Beyonce. The tickets are already loaded on to their phone, with seating organized by income and sexual history…which will be the LAST time Gryzzl takes advantage of their data. Leslie shares her latest plan with Ron (which much to Andy’s dismay does NOT involve a blimp) which is to split the Newport Land. After all, Gryzzl needs the good PR, so donating half their purchase back to Pawnee would make sense for them. Ever the realist (which is why he is ESSENTIAL to Leslie’s team, she needs him to keep her grounded), Ron shares that he’s certain that Gryzzl plans to keep all the land for themselves. Ron’s instincts are proven true when Jessica Wicks holds a special press conference. Gryzzl has upped their offer to $125 Million, and since that sum makes her very horny, they’ve accepted the offer. There is nothing for them to do but go drown their sorrows in some waffles at JJ’s Diner.
To everyone’s shock and horror, we learn that JJ’s is closing after 41 years in business. This just goes to show how widespread the gentrification in Pawnee has become. This used to be the fourth most obese city in the country (but first in friendship, always) and now it’s a city that has juice bars and tries to put kale in Leslie’s milkshake (her MILKSHAKE, you guys). Leslie fears that Pawnee is losing its charm and innate Pawnee-ness. I don’t doubt that Leslie has a lot of PRIDE in how Pawnee has changed…she’s been a big part of that change, after all. But she also doesn’t want to lose the very thing that made her invest so much in this town in the first place: its heart and yes, its delicious waffles. JJ’s is a symbol of old Pawnee. It’s a symbol of where they started and how far they’ve come. It should be made a historical landmark, dammit, but Leslie will settle for keeping it open. Because Gryzzl can take her land, but she’ll be dammed if they take away her waffles.
Since “there is nothing more noble to go to war over than bacon and eggs”, everyone unites to save JJ’s. They learn that the land has been bought by cologne magnate Dennis Feinstein. Leslie, rejuvenated by having a task to do, gives everyone assignments to organize a rally for the diner. Once again to Andy’s dismay, Leslie does not need a blimp (He’s been suggesting blimps for years, right? Also, I need the finale to have a blimp just so I can see Andy’s look of joy). What she DOES need is Jonathan Karate to appeal to Feinstein’s basic human goodness. Jonathan Karate is Johnny Karate’s serious older brother who comes in to deal with real issues like bullying and holding in a fart, so there is no one better equipped for the job than him.
While Jonathan and his pack of ninjas appeal to Dennis, Ron and Leslie lead a rally outside his building. Everyone is bedecked in “Save JJ’s” shirts that should have been on sale on nbc.com immediately following this episode, so way to go with the missed opportunity, guys. Leslie constructs a narrative regarding how JJ’ built the diner with his bare hands (not true). Ron gives the most Ron Swanson-y speech ever, where he says he doesn’t like any of the people here, but he DOES like breakfast food. Everyone loves it. Feinstein comes out, having seen the masses demanding their breakfasts, and says that JJ’s can stay open. Everybody wins. JUST THIS ONCE…everybody wins!
Dennis Feinstein doesn’t give a shit about waffles. He gives a shit about one thing: money and selling JJ’s land once he tears the place down will make him a fortune. He reminds them they are all trespassing on his property and releases the hounds on them. He dumps cologne that smells like wet dog on them (also water makes the stench worse, as Ben is horrified to learn) and nourished by their hatred goes off to count all his gold. Andy says they should TP Feinstein’s office because it would totally get them on a prank show, while April asks why JJ’s can’t just relocate. There are tons of empty places in their new neighborhood, why not move there? It’s a brilliant idea and just another box checked off in the formulation of April’s new career (maybe she should work with Ben? City planning is a lot of telling people what to do after all).
The team tours the neighborhood and while they see the potential in the area, JJ fears opening a business in a desolated part of town. It is in that moment that Ron and Leslie get back in sync…they realize that Gryzzl should have their campus here, which would revitalize an entire section of Pawnee. It comes pre-graffitied (so Gryzzl wouldn’t have to hire Banksy) AND frees up the Newport land to be donated back to the city as a park. Now all they have to do is convince Gryzzl. They bring Roscoe and one of his cronies to see the land and give them the proposal. Roscoe is not convinced that easily…they just paid a shit-ton of money for a sweet package of land after all. Ron reminds them of their PR problems and here’s where Leslie’s passion for Pawnee comes in handy. “You have to make a covenant with this city,” she pleads. “You’d be cleaning up one part of the city while preserving another.” Roscoe is unwilling to make a decision since most of his board is ‘shrooming at a music festival and it’s 4:20 and he has a meeting, but he promises to let them know within the week.
Later that week, Ron and Leslie share a scotch as she stresses over whether or not Gryzzl will accept the offer. Ron slyly tells Leslie that if they don’t accept it, she can be secure in the knowledge that she gave it her best shot. The whole conversation it’s obvious that Ron has a secret and is enjoying tormenting his partner in crime. “A wise woman once told me that good things happen when we team up,” he giggles as he tells Leslie that the proposal was accepted. Every time Ron giggles an angel gets its wings.
What I find so interesting about this episode is that it seemingly puts this entire arc to rest with 7 episodes left in the season. Leslie won. She’s getting her National Park in Pawnee. She’s friends with Ron again and they are fighting on the same team once again. What’s going to happen NEXT? I’m excited and scared to find out.
BUT REALLY ALL YOU GUYS CARE ABOUT IS TREAT YO SELF 2017 RIGHT?
When I get married one day, I want to conjure Tom Haverford to be my butler of honor because he and Sage would plan a KILLER treat yo self day. At Donna and Joe’s cake tasting, Tom wheels out a Treat Yo Self cake as a surprise for his best girl. Joe has NO idea what Treat Yo Self means, which is disturbing. Even Terry knows Treat Yo Self, Joe! Get with it.
Before they leave for their day of decadence, Donna invites a newly single Lucy to her wedding. Tom immediately says she should come as his date, but then makes an ass out of himself by immediately backtracking. Poor sweet precious Tom Haverford. He has it bad for this girl and he’s terrified of screwing it up…which naturally means he immediately does. He backs off “date” and says Lucy can come as his plus one…as work friends…boss/employee…and lastly she should just come do paperwork. Both Donna and Lucy’s faces here are priceless. Lucy is both confused and endeared while Donna just wants to knock some sense into his head. Lucy says she’ll think about her answer. Donna tries to talk to Tom in their limo but he won’t have it. After all today is not about him, it’s about things. “THINGS, Donna. Our Favorite.” And because Tom is a baller restaurant mogul now and because Donna is getting married, he takes Treat Yo Self to the Next Level…and Donna’s squeal of delight is everything. TREAT YO SELF IN BEVERLY HILLS.
The Beverly Hills trip is everything you could ask for. Tom and Donna rent a sportscar, they hit the elbow art salon (where Tom discovers that someone stole his lasik for fingernails idea), and they take a tour of all the stars’ homes, including Bruce Willis and Christina Aguilera’s mansion. All the while, Tom keeps checking his phone to see if Lucy has texted him. Over sushi made from fish previously owned by celebrities, Donna give her boo a gift. Sadly, the gift is NOT the shoes Jaden Smith wore in Hitch 2: Son of a Hitch but some advice. Just be honest with Lucy about his feelings. Tom reveals he’s afraid of asking her out because she works for him and doesn’t want to make it weird for her, which just shows how much our little Tommy truly has grown up. He’s also afraid that he’s the only one who has caught feelings and that Lucy will reject him. Donna tells him to man up. “When it comes to matters of the heart I say: Treat Yo Self.”
And she did get him the shoes from Hitch 2.
Selves thoroughly treated, Donna and Tom head back to Pawnee where he lays it on the line with Lucy. He wants her to go with him as his date and to let her know that he takes her job security seriously, he signs the day-to-day operations over to Craig (who immediately gets the cranberry salad off the menu). Tom Haverford has turned into a prince among men. He need not have done that though since Lucy wanted to be his date all along. Tom seizes his power back from Craig, who is happy with the decisions he made and the people he fired in his brief run of power.
Now just don’t screw things up Tom. Lucy is a keeper.
– For those who care about sports, Lebron James plays with Miami in 2017.
– “Voldemort Putin of Russia” (basically accurate)
– Continuing to have strong celebrity cameo game…
– Chris Pratt and his little ninjas!! I need him to be the father of my children.
Donna’s wedding is happening as I type this. Sage will be your guide through that…until then Treat Us to some comments!