What a delightfully enjoyable hour of television. With part of the Pawnee gang heading to London (hence the premiere title "London, Part 1 and 2"), I was a little concerned that the stateside storylines would falter in the process. And while I'm pretty much over anything Mona-Lisa related, she was used in a remarkably sparingly way that actually didn't make me want to claw my eyes out. I was so overwhelmed by this show that I was momentarily paralyzed with all my emotions.
Ron and Diane
Ron finds out that Diane is the pregnant one and instead of panicking, he simply proposes to her as he was planning all along. This show may be a sitcom but it really knows how to hit it out of the park when it comes to believable romances. I maybe swooned a little when he talked about the canoe. Diane knows him so well that she suggests a quickie wedding (which I only objected to because her daughters weren't able to be there) and they even picked up April and a dumbstruck Leslie along the way. And the fact that she teased him that her middle name was Tammy was just spot-on. And while he was off hating being in London and she was home in England, he got a full-on Leslie Knope experience with a trip to Scotland, reminding us that no one does better gifts than Leslie. Ever.
Best Ron line: "History began on July 4, 1776. Everything before that was a mistake."
Andy, Ben (a.k.a Sugarbutt) and Lord Covington
Kudos to the show for addressing Chris Pratt's super-buff new Guardians of the Galaxy body by simply acknowledging that Andy gave up beer and lost 50 lbs. in a month, as he admittedly was probably drinking far too much. Such a quick aside instead of making a whole arc out of it was appreciated. We'd far prefer him spending his time playing with toy helicopters and thinking Hogwarts was real. He and Ben met with Lord Covington (a.k.a Eddy, played by Peter Serafinowicz) to discuss their music program, which amounted to Ben acting like a total awkward professional and Andy and Eddy having a grand old time being goofy oversized children. And Andy somehow landed a job staying in London for a few months setting up the non-profit and probably getting lost in hedge mazes.
Best Andy line: "Do you guys have that here? Ice cream? It's so good, you have to get it. It's like scoops and it comes on a cone."
Best Ben line: "Hogwarts is fictional, do you know that? It's important to me that you know that."
Leslie and the Good Citizens of Pawnee
We always knew that Leslie's endless positivity about her hometown would eventually have to wane, and after going through a host of plans to endear herself to the town and regain their admiration, she finally cracked. She scraped slime and relocated slugs and still they put her as the answer to the crossword puzzle clue: "Who's the worst"? April tried to get her recognition by nominating her for an international award, which she won and that's why they were in London, but while there the town took issue with her globetrotting ways. She cracked once she saw how beloved the other honorees were and delivered and impromptu speech where she called Pawnee a bunch of pee-pee heads. She's not wrong. While not dealing with her struggling career, she was the epitome of Leslie Knope-ness, gamely making paper rice for Ron's wedding, hugging the heck out of crab-Ann when she found out she was pregnant and crying tears of joy when April read her touching nomination letter.
Best Leslie Line: "I need to calm down. Let's walk past Colin Firth's house again."
Here's your MVP of this episode, hands down. Not only did she have that fantastic letter to Leslie, she also gave a sweet speech to her husband encouraging him to stay in London to play with his new friend Lord Eddy. And we could watch her chase that Mongolian woman all day long.
Best April Line: "Did you bring any wolverines?"
Chris and Ann
They are excited about their baby -- well, less so when people seem more than a little underwhelmed about their big news. With most of their actual friends in London, they resort to telling assorted Parks extras, including a highly observant Donna and a mostly creepy Jerry. Even though it's clear that they are setting them up for a sweet departure shortly, it's nice that they are getting a bit of a happily ever after treatment and enjoying a good manicure.
Best Chris Line: "Oh my God, this is real. I assumed you were lying."
Tom, Mona-Lisa, Jean-Ralphio and their Father
While this wasn't our favorite plotline, at least we quickly got to find out who was behind the knock-off Rent-a-Swag business, and we wouldn't have predicted it being Jean-Ralphio's father (played by Henry Winkler). The dad took umbrage with Tom for stealing Mona-Lisa's virginity (Ann and Chris even got a good laugh out of that one as Mr. Saperstein performed their ultrasound) and for cutting his son out of the rent-a-swag business. A desperate Tom did get Jean-Ralphio (and less so Mona-Lisa) to admit that they were lying, but Mr. Saperstein refused to let go of his vendetta against Tom, so we're hoping that this slightly boring storyline pays off in spades in the future.
Best Jean-Ralphio Line: "It's like I always say, 'When life gives you lemons, sell some of your grandma's jewelry and go clubbing.'"
Jerry, Donna, Slugs and Other Miscellany
Jerry was called back from his retirement, just in time to overshare a lot of details about pregnancy with Chris and Ann and to be the bearer of bad news about the Pee-Pee head speech going all over Pawnee to Leslie; Donna helped Tom find out who his rival was and answered the age-old question about Chris wearing boxers or briefs; Heidi Klum did a passable job as a beloved Danish official who was so beloved people carved cheese sculptures of her; the Mongolian wolverine-wrangling mayor is our new favorite person on the planet, so April is right to be in love with her; and then there were the slugs who Leslie went through a great deal of trouble to save and carefully relocate, only to be told she didn't do a good enough job. Damn ungrateful slug lady.
Think you've got game? Prove it! Check out Games Without Pity, our new area featuring trivia, puzzle, card, strategy, action and word games -- all free to play and guaranteed to help pass the time until your next show starts.
MOST RECENT POSTS