Has there ever been a more adorable sight on Parks and Recreation than that of Ron Swanson cooing at his adorable infant son John Middle Name Redacted Swanson? What's that, you say? Ron has a son? Yes, that ever-so-secretive Ron and his wife Diane had their baby and Ron, much to the horror of Leslie, told no one. Unfortunately, it wasn't all cute mini-Swansons: there were also mass bee stings and Leslie getting a black eye. That said, all those instances (as well as an oft-repeated Tom storyline that might actually work this time) lead to something positive in the end… which is probably the first and last time I'll ever say bee stings did anything good for anyone. Damn you, bees. Here are the highlights from last night's light, but effective episode "The Wall":
A Tale of Two Swansons
"Oh Ron, cool baby!" While Andy's reaction to Ron's spawn was a little less enthusiastic than Leslie's (I mean, she was even amped up that Ron also had a new fish in addition to his son), I have to agree with him. Ron's baby was, in addition to being so totally adorable, a cool baby. John, who will never wear a "Property of Pawnee Government" onesie (dammit, Gerry/Gary/Larry!), kept his papa company when he sought refuge on the abandoned third floor. Rather than deal with fawning coworkers (or coworkers at all, really), Ron took it upon himself to remodel and fix the entire third floor. And being the cool baby that he is, John barely flinched or cried as his dad fixed radiators and used a variety of loud power tools. He is his father's son, that is for certain. Ron will always be stoic Ron ("Most people in this world, John, are assholes" he told him), but he's always had a secret soft side and John will only bring that out in him more, especially when he thinks people aren't looking.
Bees! I'm not quite sure what it is that makes bee jokes so damn funny (I think just the word "bee" itself is inherently amusing) but Parks and Rec got in on the bee action in "The Wall." When Leslie and her Unity Concert Youth Committee decided to hold a press conference about their upcoming event and to show that the merger was actually a good idea, it was all thwarted by bees. Well, bees and Jeremy Jamm. After Leslie, doing her best Ronald Reagan impression, urges to "tear down that [graffiti] wall" that separates Eagleton and Pawnee, both sides get a rude awakening when hundreds of bees come flying out. As Leslie's fate would have it, most of the people stung were Eagletonians and trouble-starting TV news anchor Mike Patterson started calling it a "bee prank." Leslie had to fix her "bee hole disaster." (Okay, that joke was totally juvenile, but I laughed especially hard at it.) After going to visit the sting victims in the hospital (of which included Jeremy Jamm, who got stung in his mouth because he was laughing at all the bee chaos), a fight erupted, and poor Leslie accidentally got slugged by Mike, leaving her with a nasty shiner. This town is now officially punching her while she's down.
Leslie's Wish is Grant-ed
As if the bee stings and the black eye weren't bad enough, Leslie had a meeting set up with Grant Larson, director of the Midwest branch of the National Park Service, to discuss the possibility of turning Eagleton Hills into a national park. In order to distract from her shiner, Leslie wore a tie-dye shirt and some especially crazy jewelry. (Maybe I'm crazy, but I still think she looked totally awesome.) While Grant turned down her proposal, he had one in return for her. Apparently, her detailed proposal to clean up the Pawnee River was "legendary" and Grant offered Leslie a position at the National Parks Service in Chicago. As much as I wanted Leslie to take the offer on the spot, being the devoted Pawneean that she is, despite its many flaws ("You enjoy fixing this town…you enjoy the struggle," as Ron so succinctly put it), she couldn't leave without knowing it's in good hands. Grant, for his part, told her, "You have a little time, but you can't wait forever." As much as I sincerely doubt the show will move Ben and Leslie to Chicago, I just want to see her succeed. She deserves it. And think of the cool new banner she could make!
The Bistro Boys
After Tom made a big impression at a unity concert sponsorship meeting, the owner of a white strips company asked him to come in for a meeting and pitch him his hottest idea. With the help of 52-year-old "dorkasaurus" Ben, Tom tried to think of something that would wow the businessman. Unfortunately, all he could come up with was Lasik fingernails and saltweens (saltines marketed towards tweens). Eventually, Tom came up with his most mature business idea yet: a restaurant. Ben urged him that restaurants were too risky a venture, and he should invest in something more solid like dry cleaning chemicals. While Tom compared the dry cleaning thing to "listening to a TED talk by the color beige," Ben assured him this would make him money. When the day of the meeting rolled around, Tom went with his gut and instead pitched Tom's Bistro, an "old world Italian restaurant in a small town setting" with a brunch menu that included fluffy scrambled eggs that would act as "little pillows for your bacon." Though Tom had sorta thrown Ben under the bus, his boss stepped in to assure the investor there's a "massive demand for affordable dining that feels high end." And with that, Tom had an investor (and a symbolic one in Ben) and his very own restaurant. Until then, he had to get back to Parks and Rec work or Ben would seriously fire him. I think this is finally the business model that makes Tom a success, don't you? This idea is a mature one (instead of say, past ideas like Snake Juice) and now he knows what makes and breaks a successful business.
Thanksgiving 2004, Crazy Craig's House
I personally love Crazy Craig (almost as much as I love Billy Eichner) and his penchant for yell whispering. Crazy Craig was so upset about the whole bee debacle that it reminded him of the traumatic Thanksgiving of 2004. No one ask him about it, but you should definitely comfort him regardless. Never change, Crazy Craig.
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