Parks and Recreation review – 5×03: ‘How a Bill Becomes Law’

Courtesy of NBC

Ron has a new girlfriend! Ben and April Bond over Star Trek fan fiction! And Councilman Jamm has Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Either way, the cast and crew of Parks and Recreation have delivered another fantastic episode.

So fellow Pawnee Porpoises, let’s gather round dive right in to this week’s episode…

Only three episodes in, and Leslie (Amy Poehler) is already pursuing a new city cause: extending the public pool hours for the youth swim team the Pawnee Porpoises. Alas, not every city council member is on board, as Councilman Jamm uses his vote as leverage to get Leslie’s new office and private bathroom, and the elderly and incredibly racist Councilman Milton assumes kisses from Leslie comes with his vote.  What’s great about Leslie’s arc so far this season is that she’s learning just how hard it is to maintain her principles, from possibly increasing unemployment to making unsavory backroom deals. I doubt that the writers are going to dig into any real darkness in Leslie’s character, since it’s pretty obvious they would be hard pressed to find any at all, but it’s good that they show her struggling with the compromises she needs to make sometimes.

April (Aubrey Plaza) too is learning to compromise and invites Ben (Adam Scott) to take a ten-hour road trip up to Pawnee with her to see Andy (Chris Pratt) and Leslie. It’s an overdone sitcom set-up, forcing two opposite characters in a small space and not giving them a reprieve, and it would’ve been nice to see them in action working on their campaign. But the moments between April and Ben in the car are now some of my favorite between them yet, like the look on April’s face as Ben reads his Star Trek fan fiction.

It looks like we’ve finally hit on a love line for Ron (Nick Offerman) in this episode, and one that might not actually land anyone in the police station or in the hospital with alcohol poisoning. Middle school principal Diane Lewis (guest star Lucy Lawless) asks Ron out to dinner after he fixes a pothole in front of her house. It’s a great next step for Ron’s character, having a relationship with a woman who has substantial responsibilities like raising kids. And if his five minutes with her daughters in this episode is any indication, Ron is going to go through hell for our amusement. How does one put into words the joy at seeing Ron’s epic mustache covered in pink powder and sparkles?

Courtesy of NBC

Other considerations:

  • After seeing how good Andy was with Diane’s daughters, I’m becoming more and more attached to the idea of Andy being a father. Am I alone?
  • Andy also gets the line of the night. “Ron and Diane, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I. Do you hear that bird?”
  • Close second and third? Leslie, when she talks about her perm: “When the Anne’s away, the mice get perms.” “The perm must wait, Autumn. The perm. Must. Wait!”
  • Aside from Salt N’ Peppa’s “Snoop,” what else do you think is on “Benji’s Cool Times Summer Jamz Mix”? I’m betting ten bucks that 5ive’s “When the Lights Go Out.”

Your turn! Is Leslie going to be pushed to compromise even further in her role as councilwoman? And how gorgeous can Ron be made to look? Sound off below!

Parks and Recreation airs Thursdays at 9:30 EST on NBC.

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