A Model UN at a local Pawnee high school is the backdrop for much of “The Treaty,” the latest episode from “Parks and Recreation.” With the failed Entertainment 720 now just a listing on his resume, we find out if Tom returns to the comforts of the parks and rec department, just as Chris puts together a think tank to find out why his girlfriend has taken a step back. From Chris? No Way!

Check out the complete review below…

The Players:

  • Director: Jorma Taccone
  • Writers: Harris Wittels
  • Cast: Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, Aziz Ansari, Jim O’Heir, Retta, Aubrey Plaza, Rob Lowe, and Chris Pratt

Episode: “The Treaty”

Leslie enlists the help Ben, Andy and April to host a Model U.N. for Pawnee Central High School. Tom might return to the parks and rec team, and Chris asks Ann, Jerry and Donna for advice on love when Millicent doesn’t return his calls.

The Good:

  • Return of Tom: Ron knows Tom is secretly working the cologne counter at Macy’s. Ron also knows he needs Tom back in his old job. With Entertainment 7-Twenty now just a bankrupt memory, Ron needs to persuade Tom back into the fold. A round of interviews with kooky, unqualified candidates serves to underscore how well Tom is made for his job with the parks and rec department.
  • “The only thing I will be waving is your decapitated head on a stick in front of your weeping mother”: Leslie screamed that at Ben, and it was terrific.
  • Nails: Let it be known that Ron sands his toenails every three weeks, because his nails are too strong for clippers.
  • Full Scale Investigation: Of the three story lines, my favorite was Chris’ all-out investigation into what is up with Millicent. Pulling Donna, Jerry and Ann into the think tank equaled big laughs. I thought Ann did quite well, especially when the character gets lost now and then. Ann’s critique of Chris’ ‘ relentless cheeriness’ was both funny and spot-on. But once again we have Rob Lowe serving the Chris Traeger character perfectly, rapid-fire bursts of positivity delivered in a cadence that never gets old.

The Bad (but not that bad):

  • Leslie: I personally did not respond to the Model UN story Thursday night. It contained some nice work from the actors and delivered plenty of humor (April as the moon was a nice touch), but the back-and-forth sexual tension/friends-only thing between Ben and Leslie started to wear on my nerves. The two reach a treaty, but I’m not sure how the writers will continue to address the relationship/non-relationship. It was fun to see Leslie and Ben’s ‘war’ breakout at a high school, which brings back memories of all sorts of romantic adventure set against a backdrop of hallway lockers and lunchrooms.

Overall:

Damn – there were some lines that had me laughing out loud, which is par for the course with this show. But overall episode 7 was just passable. I guess when the show is almost always rocking it hard every week, expectations (mine) get out of control.

Rob Lowe was aces, as were all players featured tonight, but the model U.N./Leslie-Ben-War story line didn’t work for me. Poehler had some kick-ass lines, but her situation with Ben is getting a little tiresome. April and Andy also shined with some great, comedy moments.

It’s good to see Tom back in the fold after the demise of Entertainment 7-Twenty, which we knew was coming sooner or later. I thought Ron Swanson was particularly good in the episode. He also made like a speed-walker and that is cool and funny.

But Chris’ Full Scale Investigation/Think Tank regarding Millicent’s radio silence carried the day for me. As of this second, Rob Lowe can do no wrong.

So there are plenty of highlights to – highlight, but overall the show lacked a spark. Yes, that’s personal nit-picking, but even a Fast-Walking Ron cannot move me to push this episode into the company of the season’s best so far.

Rating: 8/10

“Parks and Recreation” airs on NBC at 8:30 pm (ET/PT) on Thursday nights.

What did you think of last night’s episode?