Ron and Leslie – “Parks And Recreation”

It took four episodes and the act of physically locking Ron and Leslie in a office for 12 hours to get the mighty comedic twosome back together.  By the time the two have reconciled their differences, there is a tangible sense of triumph with the amazingly minimalist story that Parks and Recreation established in such a short time.  With Ron finally opening up to Leslie about the real reason for their falling out there is a genuine sense of emotion behind the character that few sitcoms can provide.

Their reconciliation starts by having the rest of the cast devising a plan to force a converstation between the former colleagues. Locking them into the office they worked in together for so long was another master stroke. Allowing them to see how physically changed the office is (thanks to Craig) pushes the two into thinking about their current situation. Not to mention some wonderful comedic moments including Ron’s increasingly desperate attempts to escape his imprisonment with Leslie.  The clear winner being the pulling of the fire alarm that only activates the sprinkler system (thanks April, all you care about are practical jokes and not safety!). Not only is the moment executed brilliantly but it also ends with Ron having to wear Craig’s yoga wear and having his mighty mane deflated.  This is the final straw that finally pushes Ron to….wait for it……tell someone how he is feeling and it is quite a bombshell.  It turns out Ron was stood up by Leslie when he was getting ready to ask her for a job (Nick Offerman just sitting at an empty booth with his damn puppy dog eyes kills). This event eventually leads him down the path to opening Very Good Business.  This twist was crucial and really highlighted that while Leslie does think she is the perfect friend in every way, sometimes she can be self-centered and obnoxious.  The two reunite and drunkenly bond over the wonderfully cheesy “We Didn’t Start The Fire” by Billy Joel and ending with a saxophone fart provided by Ron and mimed by Leslie (did he also tell her about his alter ego Duke Silver?).
The only part of this episode and this season that I have disliked is April’s search for a job she can care about (this happens prior to episode but I didn’t review those and I want to talk about it now, dammit!).  It seems to be the opposite way that this character has been written up until this point and the possible careers she looks at is are as pointless than her current position in the Parks Department. This storyline might be a bit outside of  Aubrey Plaza’s acting wheelhouse unfortunately, as her signature deadpan delivery works for a non-caring April but an April in crisis should emote more to give more than the usual one dimensional dry delivery.

 

Grade: A+

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