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'Parks and Recreation' Recap: "Emergency Response"

February 14th, 2013 11:23pm EST

ben leslie "I've only seen three movies in my lifetime, 'Bridge on the River Kwai,' 'Patton,' and 'Herbie: Fully Loaded.'"
This week's episode of "Parks and Recreation" was the perfect example of how great this show can be when everything comes together, and specifically when every character on the show is played to their utmost strength.
Leslie finds out that she needs to raise $50,000 dollars to turn lot 48 into a community serving park, and decides to have a gala to raise the money. However, she is almost immediately taken out of the process of planning the gala by a government test of Pawnee's emergency response.
Avian flu is the disaster that Pawnee must deal with in a trial test, and this leads to much hilarity. Leslie asks animal control to kill all the infected birds, and this confuses them greatly, not sure of whether or not it's part of the test or not. They also offer to drown all of the birds, proving once again how loveably clueless many of the residents of the town are.
The test quickly goes south and Chris Traeger is one of the first victims, but because of his therapy he is ok with facing his false mortality, and proves to be hilariously optimistic despite being warned to "prepare for the diarrehea."
Leslie quickly learns that the emergency test was all a plot by Councilman Jamm to interfere with Leslie's gala so that he could open a Paunch burger on lot 48. Leslie quickly decides to destroy the town in order to have her gala, and she hilariously demands that all dead birds get C.P.R.

Meanwhile, Ben is in charge of organising the gala in Leslie's absence and has a difficult time being leader. Donna is tasked with getting chairs, and she returns with one and promises that she has "a lead on another." Tom is kicked out of every restaurant in town despite his epic food puns (including a reference to Go-Gurt!) Jerry panics and believe that a disaster is actually happening, and runs off to warn his kids, and nobody bothers to tell him that it's a test, because, well, it's Jerry.
Ron, however, really stole the episode when he had to host Pawnee Today after Joan Callamezzo passed out because of the hangover she was suffering from. Ron proved to be an exceptional television host, and told viewers to please call if they wanted to discuss "woodworking, novels about tall ships, me. That sort of thing." Ron proved to be a hit on television, and this could lead to a new career opportunity for Ron, who rejected Chris's offer last season to be assistant city manager and clearly seems unhappy working for the parks department.
Elsewhere, Andy finally took his cop examination, and ended up getting a perfect score on the written, but failed the personality test, unsurprisingly given that he stated that he would give a kid his gun. Chris seems upset when he learns of this but looked like he has some other idea of how to get Andy into the position of being an officer, so Andy's dream is clearly not crushed yet.
The gala went off perfectly, with Tom managing to get all the fast food restaurants in Pawnee to cater (black tie and chicken tenders), Donna securing many chairs, and Ben managing to get almost the whole town there. Mouse Rat returned in one of the shows longest running layered jokes, this time performing a version of their "hit" song "The Pit" with new lyrics to reflect the occassion. Seriously, Andy's singing will never get old, and the show seems to know how to use Mouse Rat perfectly.
The episode ended with Leslie pondering why her and Ben couldn't just get married now, and Ben deciding that the two should just get married at the gala. This is not new ground for the show, considering April and Andy's impromptu wedding in season 3, but Ben and Leslie's promises to be the television wedding of the year. Too bad we have to wait until next week to see it.
All and all, another fantastic episode of the show.

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Photo Credits: NBC Universal, Inc.

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