Parks and Recreation Recap: “Women in Garbage”–Love in the Time of Edible Refrigerators

Elsewhere in the Parks Department, Ron Swanson follows the yellow brick road.

ron swanson red shoes

I like that Diane has the kind of kids who think playtime consists of painting Ron’s shoes and whacking him with stuffed animals. I like that Ron’s response is just to let them play. I was a camp counselor. I know how hard it can be to just let go and let these tiny humans run through your world and get paint on all of your stuff. Ron does that for Diane, and he does it without losing that steady mustache and no-nonsense tone we all love so much.

Still, when Ron get stuck babysitting the girls for another day, he’s desperate for backup. (“I’m out of activities and they’re playing with my landmine.”) Ann Perkins, who “seems more like a Hanson” and is definitely not a pediatric nurse, turns to what she knows and teaches the girls a few things about her job—because hey, kids love medical tools, what could possibly go wrong? Two very bad haircuts and one Dammit Jerry later, Ron is upset. He’s so upset that he even lets slip why he’s upset. HE LOVES DIANE.

In that moment, Ann Perkins is the face of America.

ann ron loves mommy

Ron loves Mommy!

Nick Offerman’s flustered “I LOVE NOTHING!” is proof that all Emmy voters are wrong about everything. And of course, Diane is perfect and cool and totally unphased, because they’re kids, and it’s just hair, and anyway, Zoe put Ivy in the dryer once. Love is all around.

And so is Michael Stipe. He might not be in the Parks Department or in Pawnee or anywhere in the state of Indiana, but gosh darnit if Ben Wyatt doesn’t have his eyes peeled just in case. Tom knows the fastest way to find Ben is to bait him with a fake sighting, and it works. Adam Scott’s suspicious eyebrows WILL BE THE DEATH OF ME.

ben michael stipe

Tom also lures Andy to his lair, using Skittles (Ben: “Aww, he gets his thing?”), and since Skittles are literally Andy’s only plan for the day (JEALOUS), the men are now free to teach Tom about basketball. Everyone at Rent-A-Swag—which is blowing up, yay!—loves the game, and Tommy can’t schmooze his clients if he only knows basketball players as “Khloe Kardashian’s husband and his friends.” SO Ben dons his sweet elastic sportz goggles and The Greatest Game of Basketball is ON.


Tom Haverford cannot “do basketball,” but he does have some good ideas for the future of the game. (“It’s not fair. I feel like everyone should be the same size.”) He has also totally mastered the pivot, along with the art of shameless self-promotion, so I think he’ll be ok.

Sanitation Snaps:

Chris Traeger sees all the silver linings: “Labels can be bad, BUT they can also be good. ‘Warning, toxic bleach’ is a good label. Shawna Malwae-Tweep has amazing dimples.”

Why is Shawna suddenly supposed to be a flaky, emotionally chill twenty-something, when she’s usually a driven, emotionally-committed thirty-something professional? Does Chris age in reverse? Is it contagious?

April loves old man eyebrows. “Mmm, if I were 300 years older, councilman.”

“Leslie, you’ll never land a beau with that domineering tone”

Pawnee Sanitation Department: Satisfaction guaranteed or your trash back.

“I’m SERIOUS, let’s get rolling, I wanna get into some garbage!”

“You think Joan of Arc needed a hand?” “Doing what?”

Jerry: “Well hey girls!” Ivy: “No.”

Ron and Ann need to get locked in a small space for a day and we need to watch it happen.

“For God’s sake, Hanson, will you please focus on the larger problem?”

“I’ve been a baller since birth, son. Now I’m an athlete.”

So what did you think of this episode? How great are Ron and Mommy? How insane are Zoe and Ivy? What crazy profession should April try next? IS Google Earth always taking pics? Share your thoughts! And I’m sorry that this recap is mad late. Life is busy. I’ll catch up eventually, but until then, just think of this recap as fashionably late to the party.

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