Parks and Recreation is on a streak of poorly named episodes. It’s at least two, maybe three, I haven’t decided on “Two Parties” yet. It’s functional, yet boring. Be that as it may, Thursday’s episode, “Ann’s Decision,” is a major improvement on last week. The episode opens with Ron ordering a dozen eggs and “part of a dead animal,” an order which does not in the least startle the waiter. And when Ann orders breakfast for both her, and also herself (each one more beautiful than the other), she explains that she is going to be her own soul mate. The episode centers on Ann wanting to become a mom via sperm donor, and this just does not fit into Leslie’s plan for Ann’s life. Leslie explains, “The body is Ann’s, and the woman in charge of it is me.”
Ben, Chris, Tom, and Ron as a whole are greater than the sum of their individual parts. Maybe that wasn’t always the case, but at least in Season 5 it is. They first have to decide who is going to cater Ben’s wedding. Not completely unhelpful is “foodie” Tom, who (in a brilliant observance of young persons’ behavior these days) only Instagrams the food. And he’s the only one who doesn’t get food poisoning. But he maybe shouldn’t have mentioned lasagna in front of three people that do get violent food poisoning. Once the savory pastry, the “delicate little dough pocket filled with tomato sauce and cheese and meat, just a stunning culinary innovation”–once that betrays Ben, he is back to square one. Actually, it was just a mini-calzone.
Also, in a mostly forgettable sub-plot of April trying to be Leslie for a day, she handles the ruthless and disgusting (and ruthlessly disgusting) people of Pawnee. The one take-away from all of this filler is Andy’s reaction to the thought of April putting on a blonde wig. When a healthy Ben, Chris, Ron, and Tom reunite at the diner, the waiter thoughtfully offers Ben free waffles for Leslie. For a moment, he has an idea!
Nick Kroll returns as “the Douche,” Howard Tuttleman. I didn’t like him when he first appeared in Season 3, but in his return, he was mostly hilarious. He is the third of as many candidates Ann has chosen to interview for the position of sperm donor. But they don’t know it. Though bachelor #2 does catch on quickly because it’s far from the first time he’s been..ugh..courted. When Leslie sabotages Ann’s plan by telling the Douche of his true purpose, he proudly broadcasts it on his radio show. Leslie shows up to rectify the situation, and effectively ruins her chance of becoming the President one day. I just don’t think stepping into a tub of jello while imitating Bill Cosby would be cohesive with a successful presidential campaign. But I digress.
Oh, and Ben’s idea is that the diner will cater the wedding. Waffles. Everywhere. Leslie is way on board.
Instead of notes, here is a list of new Swansonisms:
“There’s been a mistake. You’ve accidentally given me food that my food eats.” (related: “Is a gerbil marrying a rabbit?”
“I cracked the bottom of the toilet bowl.”
“I have voided more than Tom’s body weight in the last twelve hours alone.”
“I feel like the emptiness of my stomach is going to lead to a pretty epic breakfast.”