Parks and Recreation loads up the second to last episode of season four with more comedy awesomeness. Going into the final day of persuading Pawnee voters, Leslie Knope’s campaign is running like a well-oiled machine… until. That’s right, something crazy happens, and it includes another guest appearance from Paul Rudd. What’s not crazy is how consistently terrific the show has been all season.
- Director: Dean Holland
- Writers: Aisha Muharrar & Alan Yang
- Cast: Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, Aziz Ansari, Jim O’Heir, Retta, Aubrey Plaza, Rob Lowe, and Chris Pratt
Episode Title: “Bus Tour”
Leslie goes on a bus tour for the final day of her campaign and is caught off guard when an important person in Pawnee passes away.
- Chris: When you’re a big Chris Treager fan, he must lead the rundown of goodness. Chris will not enter a ‘bottomless pit of despair’ because he is bike-riding. Sad Chris is still funny Chris, busy doing anything he can to keep his mind off Milicent and Ann.
- Jen: Which leads us to Jen. Let’s admire her sexual needs and no nonsense approach to having those needs met in Bobby Newport’s mansion with Chris. Traeger’s “OK!” line/facial expression to Jen’s let’s do it right now proposition is fantastic.
- April: She’d be happy with the Chris/Jen union, considering she tells Chris he dodged two bullets by not being with Ann or Millicent (Ann is kinda lame, Millicent is Jerry’s daughter!).
- Ben: Fans of all things Star Wars had to appreciate Ben’s “It’s a trap” line. A nice nod to a classic bit of dialogue from Return of the Jedi.
- Bobby-Leslie: Very nice scene between Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler. It was made even better when Bobby steals Leslie’s story about her mom.
- T-Shirt Canons: Yes, they are awesome, and people love free t-shirts – especially when they are received by way of shot through a canon.
- I, Sad: Poehler did fine work during the scene when she calls Bobby’s dad all sorts of mean things, only to find out he has passed away.
- Andy/Bert-Macklin: Having the FBI guy around never gets old. Add a pie throwing investigation, and it’s go time! The Jerry interrogation scene with the pie is a definite highlight.
- Andy II: The code name part was funny and deserves a mention. Andy referring to Ann as ‘Been There, Done That” was very funny. The look on Ben’s face as he is called Eagle 2 is equally good.
The Bad (but not that bad):
- Vans: Although Donna, Ron, and Tom had some fine moments, the Van/$10,000 storyline was weak, and felt a little forced. Still, Donna going all one half of a Malachi Crunch with her Mercedes on Van Guy’s car is worthy of numerous repeat viewings. Van Guy is played by Mike O’Malley.
- Bus: The ‘campaign bus stop at the Newport mansion’ didn’t work because it just seemed so out of character for both Ben and Leslie to make such a tactical blunder. But it did allow Ben to yell, “It’s a trap!”, so there is merit to the scene.
The election is next week. Two endings were shot, one Leslie wins, one she loses. Not quite sure what outcomes serves the show best.
Apparently the show has not been officially renewed for a fifth season by NBC. This seems odd considering how damn awesome the show has been all season. To not give “Parks and Rec” a renewal would be insane, but this is the same network that thinks Whitney Cummings and Chelsea Handler need a TV show on air.
Anyway… After last week’s excellent episode (“The Debate”), there was a slight letdown with “Bus Tour”, but only slightly. The Van story wasn’t bad, just clunky. The campaign bus dropping in on the Newport mansion was also a bit goofy.
Chris might annoy some, but for others the character is great. Rob Lowe has done a superb job with fine-tuning Chris Trager. And now he’s sexing Jen!
Season four has been a comedy delight from the get-go. The writing and acting have remained consistently terrific – “Bus Tour” serving as yet another fine example of comedy done right. Is that a network slogan?
Tune in next week as we close the book on season four of the best comedy on TV. That’s right!
Parks and Recreation airs on NBC at 8:30 pm (ET/PT) on Thursday nights.
What did you think of last night’s episode?