October 17, 2019

Parks and Recreation Reca: Pawnee Eagelton Showdown

Parks and Rec continues to be delightful: last night's episode played to every single one of the show's strengths, pairing Tom and Donna with Ron as he attempted to go off-grid by destroying all public evidence of his existence and pitting Leslie and Pawnee against their enemies, the snobs of Eagelton. Kristen Bell was pitch-perfect as the snotty Eageleton rep (“We don't like to talk about MONEY,” she whispered as a kick-off to their budget meeting.) There's also some sense of the plot moving forward, and taking its characters along with it: Leslie is forced to work with Eagelton, eventually deciding that Pawnee will absorb the town and some its debt in order to save the regional economy, and Ann and Chris start thinking about raising their baby somewhere where the baby bibs don't come standard with pictures of NASCAR drivers. Ron learns that he'll have to compromise occasionally on his intransigent anti-government, anti-sharing stance now that he has a family to take care of.

The only character who's stuck is April, who just decides she doesn't really want to go to veterinary school in Bloomington after all. Don't get me wrong, I want April to stick around Pawnee (especially as Ann and Chris prepare to take their leave) but I wanted more from that plotline than April, who's always dour and recalcitrant, trusting a gut feeling that the school isn't for her. I hope that's not the end of her story, because it's a depressing kind of story to tell about a smart young woman, that she just instinctually knows not to move away from home, and that that feeling is always the right one to trust.