Parks and Recreation Recap: Boy’s Club

Friday, May 1 by

The episode opens with Leslie and Tom driving out to a hiking trail where, as Tom informs the camera, teenagers are thought to be digging out bags of dog poop out of the garbage and throwing them at each other, as a game. Knope is skeptical, but she and Tom quickly find out it is a harsh reality, as Leslie is pummeled by multiple bags, defending herself with a trash can lid, while Tom takes refuge in the car. Leslie quickly changes her attitude regarding the fighting as she begins to defend herself, hurling back the bags with vigor. Welcome to Pawnee, everybody!

We rejoin our heroes in the office, as Leslie is chastising her coworkers for accepting a gift basket, “for corruption reasons,” and Tom goes on to describe, in an interview, how he would never abuse his power, likening himself to “a brown Superman with a beard.” However while he says this, we see footage of him shaking down a hot dog vendor for free food by flashing his Parks and Recreation badge. Then Knope invites them into her office, along with Ann, to reveal the Facebook profile she had April create for the pit. It already has 6 online friends, including Mark (who has populated his profile with risqué pictures of beautiful women, much to Knope’s chagrin).  Leslie then goes on to complain about the phenomenon of “boys’ lubs” in politics, standing in front of a wall of 30 years worth of city council members; all men (who she perceives to be staring at her chest).

Leslie decides to crash the men’s fraternizing, heading out into the courtyard where Mark and his friends are socializing and having a beer with them, Ann in tow. She proceeds to knock over their table, spilling and breaking several bottles of beer (though she calls it the sound of the glass ceiling breaking), and in her interview calls the men bitches for cleaning up after the mess she’s made. Then Ann calls out Mark for the women depicted on his Facebook profile, and he becomes mildly defensive, and Leslie, awkwardly commentating on the conversation, criticizes his banter as “weak sauce.” As the gathering winds down and they run out of beer, Leslie must make a difficult moral choice: let the men leave, possibly excluding her from the next meeting of their impromptu boys’ club, or take the wine and food from the contraband gift basket and continue the party, as well as her social bonding? Obviously, she takes the wine and cheese from the basket, in an act of hypocrisy and possible corruption, according to her earlier speech.

As we return from commercial, Leslie is making a strange speech directly into the camera, concerning her violation of the government ethics code (eating the gift basket food), wherein she takes time to apologize to every woman in government, in alphabetical order. Thankfully, the camera cuts away midway into the B’s, sending us over to Ann’s home. After the camera catches her emptying her trash into the pit, she asks Andy to clean up around the house while she’s gone, and he tells her not to expect much, which seems to be the name of the game with Andy. But as soon as she’s gone, he confesses to the camera that he “seriously love(s) her… hard,” and begins to clean to house, as his painkillers start to kick in.

Leslie decides she has to tell her coworkers about her indiscretion, and, after thanking them in advance for their support and forgiveness, Tom tells her she should go to jail and think about what she’s done. Ron then enters, and she tells him she has a very important, and very long story to tell him about the incident. She explains the situation to him, while wistfully gazing out his window at the courtyard of her discontent. He balks at her idea of covering it up, and the camera cuts to her making another bizarre speech to the camera concerning making amends, including e-mailing a confession to every member of the Indiana government (as well as a link to the pit’s facebook page). Little does Knope know, however, that April has posted a video of herself drinking the aforementioned contraband wine on the pit’s webpage. Ron informs Leslie that there will be a disciplinary meeting concerning their actions, and she, on the verge of tears, begins to have some kind of nervous breakdown, then complain that the bench in his office is very uncomfortable as she goes into the fetal position on top of it.

She comes back onscreen in yet another, this time tearful, apology video, saying that she simply no long wants to talk about the incident. While this is going on, the crew checks back in on Andy, as he cleans up multiple trash bags worth of his leavings, and then hurls them into the pit, while greeting his neighbor (also throwing garbage into the pit).

After another commercia break, Tom is in Leslie’s office, preparing her for her deposition-style hearing by asking her bizarre personal questions about her drinking, sex life, and even accuses her of having a recurring dream of making love to a part Ron, part animal centaur, who is wearing a football uniform, is covered in Powerade, on top of a couch shaped like his mustache. He informs her that this is a worst case scenario, as she is once again on the verge of tears. Ron accompanies her to her hearing, where she makes an impassioned speech to several governmental higher-ups, who seem more interested in April’s drinking than Knope’s indiscretion.

Meanwhile Andy is finishing his cleaning by bathing himself, in a kiddy pool in the yard, with garbage bags over his casts, while he explains the awful music he is listening to is a song he wrote for Ann. His neighbor Lawrence (who complained about his band during the public meeting about the pit, last week) enters his yard and absconds with Andy’s boombox, after telling Andy to turn down the music. Andy gives chase, naked but for his casts, through the streets of his neighborhood.

We rejoin Knope’s hearing, already in progress, as Ron, after establishing that this is in fact America, and not communist China, defends Leslie, saying that she’s never broken a rule in her life, to the point of it being annoying, and that if they wanted to penalize her with anything more than a slap on the wrist, they’d have to go through him first. Then he curtly walks out the door, Knope following closely behind, beaming. She ends up with a letter in her file, and Ron explains to the camera that he did it not for Knope, but out of his hatred for bureaucracy, and that the only choice the government should have to make is “who to nuke.”

Ann visits Leslie at her office to see how the eharing went, and Leslie confides in Ann that she broke the rules for Mark, which Ann feels is perhaps not the best cchoice in men. Speaking bad choices in men, Ann comes home to find Andy has cleaned the house, as well as himself, relatively thoroughly (outside of some wounds he sustained during his chase when he fell “in some prickly bushes”). He then informs the camera that “somebody is getting gently laid tonight,” cementing him as by far the funniest character on the show.

The episode closes with Mark coming into Knope’s office to console her with a beer. He tells her that he has 7 letters in his file, and that nearly every guy in city planning has letters in his file. He celebrates her entry into “the team” with the clink of a beer, and their inevitable rekindled romance draws one episode closer.

Recap by Evan Stewart

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