“Lucky” was the last Parks & Rec episode before the show takes 5 weeks off. While it wasn’t initially intended to be the last before a hiatus “Lucky”, penned by Nick Offerman (the one and only Ron F*cking Swanson), it did a great job of giving us a whole lot of awesome from each character before the break.
In Parks & Rec’s previous outing “Campaign Shake-Up” I felt the show take a slightly darker tone than the up-beat heart filled comedy we’re accustomed to. Watching Leslie struggle to keep her head above water up against a professional, experienced campaign manager in it only for the money (played brilliantly by Kathryn Hahn), a stark contrast to the Knope 2012 campaign basically run on heart, was absolutely heartbreaking. As an underdog, Knope 2012 had hope, That’s why this week I was biting my finger nails when absolutely everything was going wrong. I couldn’t handle watching Team Leslie continue to take such a beating.
Then at the airport we saw a ray of sunshine in the darkness. Even after what appeared to be several margaritas and flaming shots, Leslie Knope was able to keep it together well enough to defend Pawnee against the never ending insults from Buddy Wood (Sean Hayes), the arrogant Indianapolis talk show host. As soon as the camera began cutting to the Pawnee airport workers and their pained, concerned expressions the hope was injected right back into the campaign. Leslie gets things done because she knows, and cares about Pawnee and the people in it. It’s because Leslie cares about people they support her too, it’s why she should win. It’s also why the baggage handlers were so willing to prevent her fairly embarrassing and inebriated television interview from ever making it to Indianapolis, let alone to air.
And the rest of the review in bullet points:
- When the Parks & Rec crew get drunk it is always, always a recipe for win
- Before it was revealed that Leslie’s Grease inspired outfit said “nympho” on the butt, I was hoping the pants were a custom creation care of Tom with the message reading “Knope 2012″ because he totally would
- The return of the hot tub limo!!!!
- I was so pleased to see Leslie’s kindness pay off in such an tangible immediate way with the baggage handlers coming to her rescue. We’ve had a few confrontational moments in this election so far (Ben’s punch in “Bowling for Votes”, the smack down on Perd Hapley in “Campaign Shake-Up”), it was refreshing to see a more under the radar resolution to this particular campaign dilemma.
- Tom & Ann were ON tonight, they worked perfectly together as enablers getting Leslie hammered. The work as a couple when they like each just enough to make it work as a hilarious, and very casual relationship of convenience.
- Andy discussing Laura Mulvey was just priceless (and took me back to my film theory class in university)
- Chris Traeger’s post-break up sad pants character seems to be given a lot more to do than regular ultra happy Chris Traeger. It’s getting some great mileage so for but for everyone, and mostly April’s sake I hope he cheers up soon!
- LOVE that the episode written by Nick Offerman is the one where Ron Swanson, the staunch feminist, and his three steaks and dessert omelet eating habits gets the girl
- Also love the special meaningful moments between Andy, Ron, and Chris respectively. There is a hella lotta heart going around the Parks Department in Pawnee
- April continues to shine, in her characteristically completely in the shadows kind of way. I certainly didn’t see this coming back in season one, and I love where the show has taken the character
- Donna watching Jerry stuff envelopes with such fascination that she cancels plans and stares for nearly 24 hours was priceless. Retta does an amazing job playing all the subtleties of Donna with the little screen time she has. “The Meagles are cold people” and Retta makes us feel it.
What did you think of “Lucky”? Will it hold you over for the mini-hiatus? Parks & Rec returns to our screens April 19th with “Live Ammo” but it will never have left our hearts (or tumblrs)