Parks and Recreation, Season Five, Episode 5 “Halloween Surprise”
Parks and Recreation brought the heat tonight, with the first home run of the season (in your humble narrator’s opinion). Sometimes there are moments on television that are magical and you know it from the very beginning. When Ron Swanson, the greatest man that ever (never) lived, is surrounded by children, those moments occur. The prospect of him and Andy going trick-or-treating with Diane (Lucy Lawless) and her children had so much potential and lived up to it. A vice principal emergency left the two girls with the adult men (well, one-and-a-third adults). Andy spent the episode working on police things, including hilarious on the spot observations such as “a tree” and describing non-costumed people. After a rough patch, Diane comes to Ron and apologizes. Ron accepts. Diane wants an apology in return and Ron is Ron. “It wasn’t even a real tiara.” Andy, using his fantastic police observation training, realizes that Ron is really sad – because he did not sell his overpriced table. Ron tries to win her back with flowers and grout cleaner, apologizing to Diane and opening up. Little girls love saws, right? And no way is November 8th too late for a make-up trick-or-treating session.
Chris is a character that I think has overstayed his welcome. I liked the dynamic that Rob Lowe brought when he appeared and he has been pretty solid, but I think they have done all they can with him. I am not a Lowe fan usually, but he has been great here. However, he needs to mossy on to another territory and try his hand at some new stuff.
Ben is offered a reason to stick around in Washington D.C. a bit longer. I feel like this subplot fizzled and it seems like it is ending. We see Ben working his magic on a boat and being asked to run a big campaign. Leslie walks around the house that she and Ben are looking to purchase, as a way to say goodbye as he will not be coming home soon…And then, magic happens. Ben shows up and proposes to Leslie! I did not see that coming!
The chronically ridiculed Jerry has a heart attack and Tom, with his normal grace, mocks Jerry during it. I think the Jerry mocking goes too far sometimes. He is a good person and always mocked. I wish he would occasionally have shining moments instead of being the butt of the joke. Everyone on The Office, for example, had moments where they shined. Parks and Recreation does not do that as well. The fundraiser to help with his hospital bill was sweet and did a good job of showing the personality of all the show’s characters. Jerry shows what is important to him and thanks Leslie sincerely for her assistance. Why can Jerry never win?
Ann continues her evolution past being a product of her boyfriends. Leslie offers up a date with Ann during the auction, as Ann objects in her normal push-over way. A decent looking guy opens up the bidding at 100 hundred dollars and we quickly escalate. After a scary looking guy “wins,” Ann freaks out and ends things, quickly fleeing.
Tom sees a new business opportunity, renting out clothing to teens, tweens and everything in between. Eh.
This was not a Leslie episode, as you can tell by this write-up. Even with the engagement, Leslie was secondary. That is a good thing – I think Leslie works best in smaller doses. She might be the “star,” but she should not carry the show. There is too much depth for any one character to overwhelm. The proposal was pretty touching though and an awesome moment.
A solid A.