Parks and Recreation Recap: “Ben’s Parents”–Non-Conflict Diamond

Meanwhile, Chris is delighted that his friends have found love but terrified that he’ll be alone forever, resulting in an overwhelming perfect storm of emotion he calls “happy-sad.” Welcome to the world, Traeger! Ann wants to help, but she’s dating herself right now (fillin’ up that Ann Perkins box!) and can’t be pulled into her ex’s vulnerability. She asks Andy and April to cheer up Chris, so they send in their secret weapon: the only member of this cast willing to kiss Rob Lowe’s tears.

Oh no wait, everyone wants to do that.

Not to get all philosophical about a three-legged dog, but I’m pretty sure Champion is everything Chris wants to be. He’s not perfect, physically, but he’s strong and happy. “You are such a brave, good dog. So much spirit. And you have overcome so much. You are the most wonderful dog in the whole world, and I am so happy for you.”

‘Scuse me while I wipe up that puddle where my heart used to be.

Andy and April always seem one step away from adopting Chris into their family. Maybe it’s because they know better than to stand between a man and his dog.  Maybe it’s because the three of them combined almost form one emotionally stable person. To even out Chris’s mood, Andy and April take turns naming off wonderful things and awful things. Dave Matthew Band counts for both.

On the other side of Leslie’s party, we have Ron Swanson, Ben’s dad, and the last bacon-wrapped shrimp. Ron Swanson would go to a party in honor of those Somali pirates if they served bacon-wrapped shrimp.

My money’s on Swanson all the way. Did you see the way he grabbed Jean-Ralphio’s hand when our favorite coiffed clubber went in for one of his shrimp? It was like a Special Forces maneuver. (“Rethink that move, son.”) I am so incredibly glad to have Jean-Ralphio back in my life. Ron is not.

Tom’s taken his big new investment idea—Rent A Swag, where your swag is our business and your business is our swag—straight to his business partner. The two of them arrange a presentation for Ron, hoping to earn some start-up money, but Jean-Ralphio would rather hit the clubs. The Tom of last season would be right there beside him, daggering ladies on the dance floor, but here’s the thing: he’s not that Tom anymore. The failure of Entertainment 720 actually taught him a thing or two. New and improved Tommy Timberlake wants to be taken seriously. He wants his ideas to work. So Tom does the difficult thing, cuts his partner loose, and works a little so he can ball a lot. Ron rewards Tom’s newfound maturity with a loan.

Looks like everybody’s really growing up in Pawnee.

Engagement party snaps:

Leslie: “It’s a non-conflict diamond.” Andy: (disappointed) “Awww”

“There’s no more tissue! Everything ends! Everything goes away!”

“You just googled ‘Amanda Bynes side boob.’ What’s wrong with you?”

Shout-out to Salute Your Shorts. THANK YOU, Jean-Ralphio.

“Tommy T! You just missed the craziest of crazies. Clubs, girls, dancing, naked, MOM? Argument. Police. Fleeing the scene, hiding in a dumpster, coming here, crashing on your couch for a week ‘cause (sings) techincally I’m hoooomeless. Hey moustache! I’mma hit the couch, you know where I be.”

So what did all of you beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk oxen think of this episode? How will this all go south at the wedding? Who got the last shrimp? Twizzlers or Red Vines? I want to hear your thoughts! But for your own safety, don’t mention the Green Bay Packers or the state of Iowa. Ben’s dad will find you.

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