Monday, February 16, 2015

Parks and Recreation 7x08 ("Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington") & 7x09 ("Pie-Mary") [Contributor: Jaime]

"Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington" & "Pie-Mary"
Original Airdate: February 10, 2015

This week, Parks and Rec delivered yet another hour-long installment that made it even harder to accept that, in just two weeks, the show will be over.  Is it just me, or were you a lot more prepared to say goodbye before the season premiered?  Now that I’m seeing just how strong every episode is, and how well it’s servicing the characters and the love the audience has for it, it’s getting so much harder to imagine the idea of not seeing more every week.

But, sadly, the end is coming, and both of this week’s episodes seemed to be huge set-ups for the eventual endgame of the show.  It’s going to be really interesting once the season is over to go back and look at how all of these plotlines have been structured.  Right now, while we’re in the middle of the action, it’s kind of hard to tell what each plot development is doing – for example, in this week’s first episode “Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington,” is this the climax of April’s season-long arc?  Will the last four episodes be resolution?  Since the storylines of Ron and Leslie’s estrangement, and the fight with Gryzzl for the Newport land, were resolved much quicker than I had anticipated, I’ve given up for now on trying to figure out exactly what the structure of the season has been, or what it’s going to be.  Instead, I’m content to just sit back and watch the characters I love and the show that I love fire on all cylinders.

So let’s talk about “Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington”!

"Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington"

As the title might suggest, April and Leslie are headed to D.C. to meet with various senators about investing in the National Parks Service.  It’s basically a joint presentation between the two of them, and the fact that April’s part of it shows just how much responsibility she has within the parks service.  But considering that she’s been searching (so far in vain) for her dream job, she’s starting to crack under the pressure of preparing for this presentation and in having to be around Leslie.

Leslie Knope, bless her heart, is many things.  Many wonderful, amazing, unique things.  But no one could ever say that she is calm, or in any way chill.  So before their flight to D.C., she gives April the worst possible thing: a binder that outlines April’s five-year plan, all the way through to 2022.  Later, Leslie finds out that she’s been promoted to Deputy Director of Operations within the Department of the Interior; with her own five-year plan bumped up, obviously that means April’s needs adjustment, too.  And when Leslie presents April with her new binder, April quits.  She explains that she doesn’t know if she likes what she’s doing, and that she just kept going down a path that she started when she was twenty.  Now, she has to find out what she truly enjoys doing.  Leslie, needless to say, is not happy.

Really, what makes Leslie so upset is that she had no idea April was feeling this way.  It’s not a secret that Leslie can be a steamroller, but over the course of the show, she’s managed to tone it down.  Actually, it’s one of my favorite things about the show: Leslie’s enthusiasm has been embraced by the other characters, and rather than watching Leslie change to fit everyone else, we’ve seen how her light and dedication has changed and inspired everyone else.  So while April was worried that Leslie would hate her after finding out she wanted to leave her job, it was obvious to the audience that Leslie would never do that.  And sure, while some of Leslie’s initial anger comes from her ruined dream that she and April would get to work together forever, she ultimately comes to realize (thanks to her friend Madeline Albright) that what’s most important is her friend’s happiness.  And then, after April, in a rare show of emotion and gratitude, thanks Leslie for turning her into someone with goals and ambition, Leslie takes her steamroller approach to problem solving and vows to help April find the perfect job.  She brings her to the American Service Foundation, who provide career counseling to people unsure of what path to take.  And after a brief meeting, April emerges knowing exactly what she wants to do: work at the foundation, helping people discover their dream jobs – and she wants to run the idea by Leslie.  Needless to say, Leslie cries, I cry, everyone cried, probably.

I had been really excited to see what job April eventually ended up with, because she’s such a multi-faceted character that they could have gone in any number of directions and still been in line with who she fundamentally is.  And it doesn’t seem insignificant that, after searching all season with Andy and Ben’s help, she finally finds her dream job in the same episode that Leslie joins the search.  Maybe Leslie always envisioned herself and April working side-by-side, but if April has to leave, I think it helps soften the blow if it’s for a position that Leslie, however indirectly, helped her find.  It’s just the best possible way for Leslie to be assured of her friend’s happiness, which then allows the audience to rest easy knowing that their friendship is as solid as it’s ever been.

And after all, both Leslie and April’s new jobs require them to live in D.C.  It’s perfect for Leslie, seeing as her family would be living part-time in D.C. anyway if Ben wins the congressional race.  The show began as a depiction of a powerful woman whose journey was only going to continue to climb upwards, and part of the fun within the fandom over the last seven years has been guessing where Leslie is going to end up.  It seemed obvious in the first few seasons that she was going to move on from being the deputy parks director within city government; there was speculation that she’d go into Congress, or slightly-less-realistic speculation that she’d become president.  But no.  For Leslie, the endgame has always been parks.  That’s not a prediction I would have made prior to her getting the job in the National Parks Service, but now that she’s going to be working with parks within a high level of federal government?  Of course this is her ending.  This is how her story has to end.

Back in Pawnee, Andy has tasked himself in his wife’s absence with finding her dream job.  He enlists Ben’s help, and they meet with Ron to see if there are any positions within Very Good Building and Development that might suit April.  They quickly realize that it wouldn’t be a good fit, so they try Ben’s suggestion: the accounting firm Tilton and Radomski, where Ben has dabbled in employment, recently opened up a consulting branch.  If April was hired, she’d get to utilize creative problem solving and she’d get to fire people, both of which are in line with her list of dream job traits.  With a little Wyatt charm (and some math-related puns), Barney (whose appearance this week made me realize he might be one of my favorite recurring characters) gets excited about the prospect of April working for them, but sadly, they’re no longer hiring.  However, there’s always an opening for someone else, if they were interested…

I hope in ten years, when the Parks and Recreation reunion movie gets made, it features a “what if?” segment where Ben works at Tilton and Radomski, okay, because I am just that tickled by Barney and his love for Ben.

Ben comes up with a plan to update April’s resume and prepare a presentation that will change Barney’s mind about meeting with her.  His plan is going to require everyone’s help – and yes, that includes Garry, much to Andy and Ron’s chagrin.  Together, they come up with a pretty killer presentation of all the work April did within her various parks jobs and running animal control, but Andy doesn’t think it’s enough.  So, naturally, he runs out at Barney in a parking lot, wearing an April mask, and throws fireworks at Barney’s car, yelling, “I’m April Ludgate and my talent is explosive!”  For some reason, Barney isn’t happy?  I don’t get it, I did the same exact thing at a job interview this week and they loved it.

When April comes back home, Andy tells her what he did, and tells her that Ben and Ron are meeting with Barney to try and fix his mistake.  Of course, it doesn’t matter; April tells him that she found her dream job, so she calls Ben to let him know…just as Barney agrees to meet with her.  Ben awkwardly tells him that she doesn’t want the job, and Barney remains, as always, disappointed.

Some of the episode’s funniest moments:
  • April explaining how high-strung Leslie is: “One time I told her I wanted to change my bangs and she called 911.”
  • The way Ben and April interacted with each other in this episode was written like they were having an affair.  First, while telling April he can’t keep her secret from Leslie any longer, Ben said that he gets nervous around his wife every time April’s name is brought up, and later when April tells Leslie that Ben has been helping her look for a job, Leslie responds, “Behind my back?”  Ugh, I’ll never stop shipping it.
  • Andy’s list of nicknames he wants people to call him: Apple Juice, Barbeque Sauce, and Count Chocula.  Then, the follow-up joke when he called Ben: “Ben Wyatt, please.  Tell him it’s Count Chocula.  It’s…Andrew Dwyer, I’m sorry.”
  • The introduction of Don Swanson, Ron’s brother that no one knew about, plus Ben’s absolute shock that Ron has a brother none of them knew about.  Actually, he has three brothers: Don, Lon, and – I couldn’t catch the last one, but it sounded like Bon?  That’s not a thing, right?  Anyway, in turn, Ron’s brothers hilariously don’t know that he used to work for the parks department.
  • The Gov Buds for Life shirts Leslie has made for herself and April.  Now they’re D.C. Buds for Life!
  • “Creativity is for people with glasses who like to lie.”
  • “It is actuarialy very good to see you guys,” and Ben’s subsequent joy at how much he’s appreciated by Barney.
  • John McCain with a Gryzzl phone, you guys.  I say it every week, but I love 2017.
  • “Did anyone ever tell you that your tenacity can be intimidating?”  “Yes.  Every month of my life since fourth grade.”
  • Ron’s face whenever Ben made a math pun was just so delightful.
  • Ron and Andy’s anger over Ben suggesting they call Garry was funny enough, but the way the camera zoomed in and Ben very seriously said “Get me Garry Gergich” sold the joke.
  • “Andy and Ben have been helping me look into different jobs to figure out what I really want to do.”  “Ben who?  Ben Wyatt?  He’s been helping you behind my back?  Wow.   Okay, well, you know what, we had a good run but he’s dead to me now.”
  • “Wow, Leslie.  I haven’t seen you this upset since you almost forgot Ann’s half-birthday.”
  • “This guy better appreciate it, because I do not compare people to Mary J. Blige lightly.”  “Uh, no one should.”  
  • The back-and-forth of Craig asking Donna to dinner, her saying no, Garry saying he’s free, and Craig saying he has plans.  I love this show so, so much.
  • “Atta girl!”  “Ugh, MOM.”
  • “She…doesn’t want the job?”  “I see.”  “Well, this is uncomfortable.”  Poor Barney.  I just want him to be happy.
That’s it for “Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington”!


Keeping with the political theme, “Pie-Mary” put the attention back on Ben’s political campaign.  He, Leslie, and Jen Barkley are going over his schedule for the upcoming day, and he’s got so much to do that he and Leslie are going to have to skip a few events, including the famous pie-baking contest between the wives of congressional candidates, called the Pie-Mary (guys, I love a good pun).  Jen warns Leslie about how much attention gets placed on candidates’ wives, and that she’s going to have to be careful how she acts because any wrong move could stir up controversy.  Leslie brushes her off, reminding Jen that she was once running a political campaign, too, so she knows how it works.  But it turns out Jen was right – being a candidate is not the same thing as being the wife of a candidate.  At a press event for the new Gryzzl headquarters, reporters question Leslie’s decision to skip the Pie-Mary and quickly spin it into a statement that Leslie doesn’t support homemakers or care about her family.

Leslie and Ben both know all of this is ridiculous, but to get the attention back on Ben’s campaign, Leslie decides to compete in the Pie-Mary.  Just before she starts baking her pie, they get a visit from Elise Yarktin, part of the Indiana Organization of Women, who tells Leslie that they were thrilled to hear that she was boycotting the event, which they consider to be oppressive and misogynistic, but now that Leslie’s decided to compete, the IOW will have no choice but to protest the event and Ben’s campaign.  Leslie explains herself, and Elise seems to understand – until Ben comes out and tells Leslie it’s time to get in the kitchen and start baking.  Out of context, it’s kind of…not great.

Elise leaves, still intent on protesting Leslie, so Leslie and Ben discuss their options.  Dropping out of the Pie-Mary just puts them right back where they were, and if Leslie competes, it’ll only continue the controversy and push the spotlight even farther from Ben’s campaign.  Then Ben comes up with an idea: he’ll compete in the Pie-Mary, acting as his own wife, which keeps Leslie out of the spotlight and refocuses everyone’s attention on him.

At the Pie-Mary, Ben takes the stage with his pie (or should I say, dessert calzone), but he gets interrupted by the arrival of The Male Men, a men’s rights activist group who’s come to protest Ben’s oppression under his wife.  That’s right, kids.  The whole episode is a beautiful dedication to feminism, which on its own was already enough for me to stamp it one of the best episodes of the season, but making fun of men’s rights activists?  I am so there for that.

But really, the best part is seeing how Ben supports Leslie throughout this whole controversy, and how the show manages to paint him as being pro-women’s rights without suddenly swooping in as the hero.  There are little moments, like when the announcer at the Pie-Mary calls her Mrs. Wyatt and Ben corrects it to Ms. Knope, or big moments like him stepping aside and letting her address the controversy before he delivers a speech, because ultimately he values his wife’s freedom more than any political ramifications.  They’re these little things that seem so natural for him to say, that you know Ben hasn’t picked up just from being married to Leslie.  They’re things he genuinely believes, and that’s why he can be married to Leslie – because they truly value the same things.  And when those things are feminism, ugh, it just makes them the best couple in the world, honestly.

Later, after watching a panel (consisting of Elise Yarktin, the representative from The Male Men, and Marcia and Marshall Langman) on Joan Callamezzo’s show that basically tears Leslie apart, Jen tells Leslie she needs to publicly apologize.  It doesn’t matter what she actually says, and she doesn’t have to believe a word of it, but she just needs to apologize to make this whole mess go away.  So before one of Ben’s speeches, he lets Leslie come up to make her apology – then quickly cuts her off and stops her, telling the press and all of the protestors that he loves his wife’s independence and that he wants her to say whatever she wants, regardless of the political consequences.  So Leslie takes the mic back, and what happens next is a beautiful, beautiful speech about feminism and how misguided and unbalanced it is for media attention to be on her but not her husband.  And together, she and Ben tackle everything: how she gets asked questions about her physical appearance and about her children, while Ben is never asked anything like that; how she chooses to work but still loves her family, and in fact, any woman should be free to work, or take care of her family, or both, and all that matters is that she’s able to make the choice for herself.  Ultimately, Ben says that it’s a good thing that his wife doesn’t fit the idea of what a candidate’s wife should be, because there shouldn’t be one limited model of what a candidate’s wife should be.

It’s such a great speech, one that immediately landed itself in my list of top 5 best Parks scenes ever.  Because it’s just pure, unadulterated Leslie Knope: she’s never let herself be defined by her gender, and what’s so beautiful about this show is that they’ve never put her in a position where she’s going to have to work harder because she’s a woman.  So when she does come up against that opposition, as rare as it is, it feels huge and pointless.  Not pointless in a narrative sense, but pointless that something so petty and inconsequential could actually ever be used against Leslie Knope.  It’s especially incomprehensible here – we’ve seen Leslie as a candidate, as a political figure.  We know how smart she is, and what she’s capable of; moreover, we know what Ben’s capable of, and how supportive she is of him.

But for as wonderfully feminist as Leslie and Ben are, it’s really, really interesting to watch her be excommunicated by the IOW, a pro-women’s rights group that Leslie has always admired.  We know why Leslie chooses to compete in the Pie-Mary; we know how much of a feminist she is.  And we know that the two aren’t conflicting for her.  But it’s a really interesting (and refreshing) choice to see that Leslie isn’t automatically working with the IOW.  I think when it comes to representing feminism, people jump to put all the feminists together, like they’re all united and share the same vision when it comes to imparting their philosophies.  But sometimes, that’s just not the reality.  Women don’t have to view everything the same way, even when they share the same goal.  Something one woman views as a huge issue might be inconsequential in the life of another woman – it’s not that their priorities are out of order, it’s just that you can’t assign meaning to someone else’s life.  So for Leslie, as opposed as she is to the Pie-Mary on the grounds that it’s misogynistic, she knows that her participation is ultimately meaningless and harmless.  But Elise and the IOW disagree completely.  Choosing to participate doesn’t make Leslie any less of a feminist, or mean that she’s letting her values be dictated by her husband’s life; it just means that she’s the one living her life, and the only one qualified to make choices that affect her life.  The standard depiction of a feminist can often be a woman who lets her feminism dictate her life, but that’s just not realistic.  Life has to come first, not philosophy.  And that’s exactly what Leslie does: she lives her life and lets her philosophies influence her decisions, not the other way around.  It’s the most realistic depiction of a feminist, or really anyone with some sort of deep belief system, and yet arguably the depiction most infrequently represented.

Meanwhile, April tells Ron about her new job working for the American Service Foundation.  He’s happy for her until she mentions that the job requires moving to D.C. – then he shuts down and asks her to return the spare key to his house he gave her years ago when she was his assistant.  It turns out that April hid it in the parks office (under Andy’s desk), but when she goes to retrieve it – plot twist – she discovers that she actually moved the key at some point, and left only a note, four teeth, and a movie ticket in its hiding spot.  She tells Ron the truth right away, which seems like a very un-April move.  For as much as she’s been complaining about how she’s gotten older and matured, almost all of the changes she’s undergone have been overwhelmingly positive.  Ron and April has always been one of the more interesting dynamics at the core of the series, and part of what makes it so great and special is that it’s so often unexplored.  Not in terms of screentime, but in terms of either character actually expressing how they feel about the other.  Look at Leslie, who eagerly expounds upon the value of all of her friends whenever she can.  That’s not who Ron and April are.  They’re quiet, they’re stoic, and that’s exactly why they’re able to get along so well.  So for April to go to Ron right away and own up to her mistake?  It’s huge, and I don’t think it’s something she would have done at any other point in the show.  Telling him the truth, sure, she’d get there eventually, but I don’t think honesty would have ever been her first instinct.  After all, telling Ron Swanson, the man who doesn’t trust anyone with anything, that she didn’t take good care of something so personal to him?  That’s the exact kind of thing April would have run away from when she was younger.

But it turns out that April didn’t need to be worried, at least not yet.  The items she swapped with the key are clues to what appears to be an unsolvable puzzle – and Ron loves puzzles.  So he, April, and Andy set off to follow the first clue – the movie ticket, which was to New Moon, which Ron figures must be pointing them towards Donna.  Donna tells them that she and April saw New Moon together, but only because April had just gotten her wisdom teeth out and agreed to go while high on her pain medication (so it turns out the four teeth April found in the box?  Yeah, they’re hers.  I may have gagged).  Then she points them toward their next clue – before the movie, April stopped by the shoeshine stand to leave a note for Andy.  Because she had a big crush on him, Andy points out, and giggles.

They head to the shoeshine stand, but it’s gone.  City Hall was remodeled at some point in the last few years, and Ron figures they must have put the stand in storage.  So they run down to the basement, where they find Brett and Harris (who definitely aren’t living in the basement), but no shoeshine stand.   Brett says that a week before, a black-haired ghost with see-through skin came down to the basement and took the stand.  This quickly leads Ron to Councilman Milton, who now has a very realistic and not at all obvious black toupee, who put the stand in his office.  They find April’s letter to Andy, but it doesn’t point them towards another location.

April is devastated, and tells Ron that she knows she let him down.  But it turns out that Ron has his locks changed every sixteen days (because of course he does), so the key has been useless for years.  The important thing, he tells her, is that he trusted her, and that he’s going to be sad to see her leave.

And somehow, talking to Ron helps April realize where the key is hidden.  Her note to Andy said “woof woof,” which leads her to a particular tree (woof, dogs, bark of a tree, get it?) under which she buried the key.  When Ron asks why, April explains it’s because the tree reminds her of him – it’s strong, quiet, and always there when you need it.

It turns out that Ron was right to trust April, and to feel connected with her, because he buried gold under the same tree.  Er, allegedly.  There’s no gold there.  Don’t worry about it.  Gold?  What’s gold?

My review of “Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington” probably makes it abundantly clear how excited I am that April has figured out what she wants to do, and how great it is that she, Leslie, Ben, and Andy are almost definitely going to end up in D.C. together.  In a way, it helps lessen any sadness about the show ending, because it sets up very clear ways in which these relationships are going to continue.  But moving to D.C. means leaving Pawnee behind, and leaving behind all the memories these characters created there.  And for Ron and April to be so far away from each other…?  That’s not a happy ending, even if they’re able to stay in touch.  And that’s the thing that sucks about endings.  So far, the season has been mostly uplifting, making you feel excited for these characters’ end paths to be revealed.  But in doing so, it’s masked the fact that not all change is good.  Any decision, no matter how important or right it is, has its drawbacks, and if characters are moving and changing jobs, it means that the job they’re leaving, the place they’re moving from, are gone.  It means that the important things associated with those jobs or places are only memories; new memories can be created, of course, but not in the same way.  The thing is, it’s impossible for a show to end with universal happiness.  Now, obviously what’s happening isn’t tragic; it’s not like April is going to die before the finale, or anything.  But for a show so heavily based on the idea of friendship, and its importance and permanence, it’s sad to realize that such an important friendship is going to have to be altered so greatly.

That idea is the core of the storyline between Donna and Garry in this episode.  After helping Ron and April with their scavenger hunt, Donna walks outside to see Garry reaching down a sewer grate.  It turns out that he dropped his wedding ring down there.  Again.  Donna’s thrilled by this development, and she asks if she can sit and watch, because it reminds her of old times.

They spend all night in the courtyard, catching up about some of the mistakes Garry has made, and reminiscing on all of the memories they made working in the parks department.  The next day, Donna drops by Garry’s house to give him something: a bag filled with all of the things he’s dropped down that sewer grate, including his wedding ring, replacement wedding ring, and heart medication.  She had a maintenance man open the grate for her because she wanted to thank Garry for giving her the opportunity to reminisce.  And that’s the thing – Garry is still in her life, still important to her, still around for her to make new memories.  But you can’t go back and change things, or relive moments.  For as much as they can look back at their time in the parks department, they can’t live that again – everyone who used to work there, who were vital parts of the department and of the memories created there, moved on to other jobs, new relationships, new dreams…None of them are the same people they were back in season one, let alone season six.  They’ve all become someone else because of who they once were.  None of these characters have ever stopped growing or adapting around their circumstances, but the biggest difference between where they are now and where they were when the show began is that who they are now is a direct result of spending so much time together.  They’ve all been influenced by each other, so for as sad as it might be to watch them move away, or to stomach the thought of these characters never working together again, ultimately, it’s okay.  They’re too important each other to ever drift away completely.  Even if we don’t know where they’re going once the curtain drops on this show, we can be content knowing that somehow, they’ll all be together.

Some other great moments throughout the episode (and holy crap were there a lot of great moments in this episode):
  • Jen and her poncho to avoid the sticky surfaces of Ben and Leslie’s house.  “PONCHO!” might have been the greatest line delivery in the history of line deliveries.
  • We already know the names of the triplets thanks to the closing credits, but another one was mentioned on the show!  The boy without glasses is Stephen, making the bespectacled Knope-Wyatt triplet Wesley.
  • It was a tiny mention, but April and Andy still have Champion!  No, I didn’t cry, you cried, shut up.
  • “And then I can promote my self-published women’s rights barbeque cookbook, ‘The Feminine Mesquite.’”
  • “It’s an impossible puzzle.  And I LOVE PUZZLES.”  Gleeful Ron Swanson is the reason I wake up in the morning.
  • “Finally, a scavenger hunt worthy of my time.”
  • “I even got two whipped cream cans.  One for baking, one for directly-into-mouth.”  “You know me so well.” #relationshipgoals, honestly.
  • The joke about one of the triplets getting outside while Leslie tried to get them to take a nap, and then after hearing the doorbell ring, commenting, “That might be one of the kids.”
  • Ben’s way of telling Leslie to come bake her pie without knowing Elise was there: “Babe, the oven’s ready.  Chop-chop, time to get baking.  Daddy want pie!”
  • “You only get to see the second Twilight film for the seventh time once.”
  • The ongoing joke about Andy teasing April for having a big crush on him was so wonderful, and such an Andy thing to do.  It got even better when Andy said, “If it makes you feel any better, I had a big crush on you, too,” and when Ron joined in on teasing her.
  • “More importantly, we change the idea of what a pie is.”  “I feel like that’s not more important, but I like the energy that we have, so let’s hear it.”  “Okay, picture this.  Crust on the bottom, filling, crust on top.  What am I describing?”  “A pie.”  “No.  But you’re in the right zone.  Calzone!  Pies are just sweet calzones, honey!”
  • “Talking ‘bout the highway to the calzone zone!”  Guys, I love Ben/Leslie, I love Ben/April, I love April/Andy.  But my true OTP will always and forever be Ben/calzones.
  • “It didn’t like me, but that’s just because I got the soul of a Ghostbuster.”
  • “How’s your pie?”  “I don’t know, I didn’t make a pie.”  “Okay, how’s your dessert calzone?”  “It’s ready.  The question is, are they ready?” 
  • “He loves to cook!  He has five personalized aprons!”  “Oh, so I guess he was asking for it because of the way he was dressed?”  This joke is great for SO MANY REASONS, one of which is that Ben happens to be wearing a personalized apron – one with a calzone on it that says “In the ‘Zone”.  God bless J-Shot.
  • “Men have had a very rough go of it for…just recently, and it ends now.”
  • “I love how independent my wife is and because of that, I will not let her speak.”  I’m still laughing about this joke, btw.  Just in case you were wondering.
  • “You’re ridiculous and men’s rights is nothing.”  THE MOST IMPORTANT LINE THAT HAS EVER BEEN SPOKEN IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION.
  • Leslie’s anger over Ben being named the IOW’s Woman of the Year was amazing, and such a brilliant callback.
  • Tom wasn’t in either of these episodes, which was sad, but I think both episodes functioned really well by focusing on only two storylines.  It’s not that Tom’s storyline wouldn’t have meshed, but given how limited time is this season, I appreciated that they didn’t squeeze Tom in just for the sake of getting to see him.  It also makes me really confident in Tom/Lucy, that they didn’t put them in these episodes and throw in a conflict just for the sake of them having a conflict for an episode.
  • I’m loving all the callbacks to prior seasons and the recurring characters who have been popping up, but where is my sweet prince Jean-Ralphio?  I have gone on the record many times about my deep, intense love for him, and I miss him terribly.  Please come back to me, my beautiful homeless open-minded prince.
That’s it for this week!  Can you believe there are only two weeks of episodes left?  I need to start preparing myself for the show to be over, and I just can’t do it.  Does anyone have any suggestions for how I should celebrate the series finale?  Waffle and bacon party, anybody?


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