"The Trial of Leslie Knope" had all the makings of a great Parks and Recreation episode, especially if you've been watching the series since the very beginning of Lesliben's romance (also, credit to commenter J for creating that nickname). I appreciated that it wasn't weighed down with B or C plots, and even though it was a mini clip-show, I could sacrifice the few seconds lost by flashbacks (that I've already watched a handful of times), if it means that more people are jumping in to episodes and watching this show.
Frankly, the only thing I can't stand on Parks & Rec these days are the T-shirts and Pawnee memorabilia that pop up every episode, that all inevitably immediately make their way to the NBC Store... though, I wouldn't turn it away if someone sent me a Li'l Sebastian doll. But our beloved show is so guilty of this that it momentarily takes me out of the story every single time.
Otherwise, I give this episode a Yay!, with 18 y's and 44 exclamation points. Let's grade everyone now!
Though I try, I'm not a Parks & Rec continuity expert, so I'm not sure what to think of security-obsessed Ron having no idea how evil Internet ads and cookies work. I did enjoy him throwing out the computer, but besides the short, sweet and silly cold open, Swanson disappointed me last night. I really wanted Tammy 2's evil lying plans to be ruined by something far less practical than Chris explaining the consequences of lying to her, and Ron would have clearly been the man for the job. I'll have to visit him at 9301 Cedar Crest Drive and have a work with him myself. (And no, sadly, I can't find the address on Google Maps or Earth.)
Best Line of the Night: "She's here... my ex-wife Tammy 2. I can smell the sulfur coming off her cloven hooves."
I think I laughed at everything that came out of their mouths last night, but thanks to the A-plot-centric episode, my second favorite couple in Pawnee (sorry!) didn't have too much time to shine. I'm pretty happy that Janet Snakehole (well, her voice, anyways) made a brief appearance in court.
April's Best Line of the Night: Can't decide, so I'll let you pick: "Any woman caught laughing is a witch -- that's true." Or "Ethel Beavers did it!"
Andy's Best Line of the Night: "Is this about the laptop? I didn't mean to steal it. I took it home and I spaced, I forgot. I'm gonna bring it back, it totally works... but I got spaghetti in the keyboard -- Objection!"
It's strange to think that we've spent so much time around Chris that now there's "classic" Chris stuff that I miss and look forward to, but last night demonstrated that is clearly the case. Not only was his character believable last night -- after all, we've seen Chris freak out at the idea of his body going through an imbalance before, back during Pawnee's flu epidemic -- he didn't push it over the top as a villain or victim, and landed in a zone that was just plain hilarious... while radiating pure joy, natch. I was iffy on the plus in my grade until he told Leslie that she is the only person worthy of being Ben's girlfriend.
Best Line of the Night: "That was beautiful. I'm literally crying and jumping. [Crying noise] [Crying noise] [Nose blow]"
Ann Perkins! My Parks & Rec wish for 2012 (besides it being renewed for Season 5 and everything) is that Ann either gets the best story arc of all time, or continues to have cameos in episodes as being Leslie's right-hand-woman.
Best Line of the Night: "He says to look at the monster. I'm hoping you know what that means."
Did Tom do his thing last night well, but not in the funniest, most memorable way of all time? Um, did Tom Ford turn around the house at Gucci?
Best Line of the Night: [On having a romantic relationship with Leslie] "No, that would be like dating my older sister's elderly aunt."
Donna was actually in this episode! Was that so hard, writers? All I've ever wanted was her to laugh at basic white people clothes and be horrified at Pawnee's ugly racist past... or something to that extent. Treat yo self.
Best Line of the Night: "I have ruined my share of hotel rooms, and trust me, nothing sexual happened in that room."
Will I really start calling Jerry Garry now? No, probably not... Garry Gergich is a really terrible name.
Best Line of the Night: "I just didn't think I should correct him."
Look, Leslie's great and all, but she actually wasn't that funny this episode. Under the circumstances, that's fine, considering she did make good use of her time spent watching over 200 episodes of Law & Order. My absolute favorite moment -- yes, even if you include all of the mushy fan service stuff -- was the tiny moment in the courtroom where she pumped herself up by quickly rocking out to her iPod during the scamper to collect evidence in her favor. That, and the movie she made for Ann.
Best Line of the Night: "And by the way, we got the gramps... grants. God, ugh, that was gonna be such an awesome moment."
Ben, on the other hand, had the advantage of very little screen time, making all of his moments that much funnier. Jury's out (pun intended!) about his convenient decision to take all the responsibility for the Lesliben affair -- it seems like too quick a resolution to see our lovers together, but I trust Parks & Rec to show us in the future that Ben simply quitting his job wasn't exactly the easy way out. I don't want to spoil anyone who doesn't follow entertainment news, but let's just say someone is coming back who I always secretly wanted Leslie with.
Best Line of the Night: "Yes, it was. Because I love Leslie. I want to be with her. I don't want to hide the way I feel about her any more. So, yeah, it was worth it because I'm in love with Leslie Knope."
Honorable mentions: Marcus "Old Stoneface" Everett Langley, the wrinkled hideous monster and Pawnee's greatest lawyer at the turn of the century; Sarah Elson Quindel, the human popsicle frozen whore; Tammy 2, who would never jeopardize her job at the library; and of course, Ethel Beavers, one of my all-time favorite Pawnee residents, a firecracker with no ethics who works on the fourth floor... and someone give that wonderful woman a ride home, it's freezing!
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