There was bound to be a minor – very minor – letdown on “Parks and Recreation” after last week’s A+ episode. But “Citizen Cope” still scores high marks across the board, allowing the world to get an up-close look at Leslie Knope, Private Citizen. There is also a pretty good twist at the end.

Check below for the complete review…

The Players:

  • Director: Dean Holland
  • Writers: Dave King
  • Cast: Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, Aziz Ansari, Jim O’Heir, Retta, Aubrey Plaza, Rob Lowe, and Chris Pratt

Episode: “Citizen Knope”

Unable to get work done from inside the Parks Department, Leslie forms a citizen action group and fights from the outside…

The Good:

  • Jean-Ralphio: His end of the episode, hired-and-quickly-fired routine at the accounting office was superb. 5-stars!
  • “Call me Dennis Feinstein“: Always great to see Jason Mantzoukas in action. His scene with Ben was short, but no less awesome. I love his work on “The League” as Rafi.
  • Swagger Coach: If you are running for office you need to look good. You need to show style. And who better than Tom to handle all of Leslie’s swagger?
  • Ron: Ron Swanson can accomplish just about anything, but the list does not include gluing graham crackers together.
  • Spaghetti: Andy and April waiting in the closet to jump on Leslie’s uneaten pasta that Ben had prepared was great. It’s those types of little moments that makes the show so likable. I still think it’s hilarious that Ben lives with Andy and April.
  • Ben: I really liked his sub-plot in the episode. The accounting job interview was funny, as was his bumping into Jean-Ralphio and the dinner scene with Leslie – and later April and Andy devouring the uneaten spaghetti. I’m interested to see what happens with Ben, especially now that Leslie is moving ahead with her campaign for City Council. Does he have a spot on the team, or is he the supportive boyfriend who is ready to search for career happiness? I reckon one can be both, but I have a feeling changes are forthcoming for Ben.

The Bad (but not that bad):

  • PCP: I found Leslie’s ‘charge of the light brigade’ style intensity to her private citizen’s revolt a touch annoying – even though the story line was not lacking for humor. It’s nice to see how quickly a citizens group can pull together cool, team t-shirts. But no detail is left unchecked with Leslie Knope leading the way. Her brief scene with Chris was very funny, so all was not lost.

Overall:

The show is definitely taking an interesting turn heading into the second half of season 4 – yet one that should continue to deliver plenty of laughs. Dumped by her campaign advisers, Leslie’s dreams of the City Council are no more. Until! Until her office co-workers/friends tell her they will help run her campaign for City Council. I must admit – I was genuinely surprised by the ‘twist’ at the end of “Citizen Knope.” I thought the campaign storyline had been shelved once Leslie’s polling numbers bottomed out at one percent.

It’s not that the show necessarily needed something to keep the engines burning, but this certainly will shake things up. And yeah, April in charge of Youth Outreach sounds about right.

I’m not sure if the writers should have Leslie win in the end, or come up with a way where after milking all the campaign hi-jinks they can, Leslie fails in her quest for City Council and is back at the parks and rec dept. Either way, the campaign taking over a large portion of the weekly story lines should be fun to watch. It also hopefully opens up more opportunity for the top-shelf supporting cast.

“Citizen Knope” had all the usual funny dialogue and memorable moments you’d expect, but most importantly it set the table for what’s to come the rest of the season.

Rating: 9/10

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

What did you think of last night’s episode?