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Parks and Recreation Review – 4.15 ‘Dave Returns’

February 17, 2012 | Posted by Dimitri Dorlis
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Parks and Recreation Review – 4.15 ‘Dave Returns’  

Again, I want to thank everyone who had nice things to say about the redebut of Hidden Highlights over in the Wrestling Zone. Haven’t read it yet? Well you should have.

Also, thanks to everyone for not getting on me for mixing up names and calling Mellisa Millicent. No wait, that’s what happened. Oh well, we all make mistakes.

Although I did that on purpose and you can’t prove that I didn’t.

Parks and Rec has done a good job this season of intermingling Leslie’s campaign with her relationship with Ben. Yes, there have been a few roadblocks along the way (mainly those few weeks where they weren’t dating) but the two have managed to come out stronger because of it. Typical sitcom fare, but good nonetheless.

That brings us to tonight’s episode, where one of Leslie’s former boyfriends returns, with Louis C.K. reprising his role as Dave, the police officer. I have to admit that I wasn’t enamored with Louis’s Dave character when he was first on the show, but to be fair, the only guy I’ve legitimately liked has been Ben. That being said, Dave’s awkward police officer act got to me this week. This may have to do with a void left in my life since Steve Carrell left the Office, but I’ve missed seeing super-awkward characters on my television. Plus, this was a great way to take a look at how strong the bond between Leslie and Ben has become. Leslie was willing to give up the endorsement of the Pawnee police chief, an endorsement she really needed, in order to stop Dave from trying to get between her and Ben. Ben also overcomes his fear of police officers. To a degree. Actually he doesn’t overcome his fear at all, but it was good to watch Ben stand up to Dave’s thinly-veiled antics.

I’m going to go to the B-plot now, because I enjoyed it much more than the A-plot (although the A-plot was still very good). There was a lot going on in the B-plot, which featured Andy bringing the rest of the department together to record a song for Leslie’s campaign. Andy really wants to do a good job on this, which makes his downward spiral even funnier. Meanwhile, the studio that Andy picks out for the recording session also happens to be the home of the Duke Silver Trio, a band in which Ron is the lead saxophone player. Ron is mortified by the idea that any of his coworkers could find out about his music career, so he enlists the aid of April in destroying any evidence in the studio. This plotline was just wonderful, as it builds upon things we know, such that Andy is willing to go all out for something and that Ron has like 5 different alter-egos or something at this point.

Also going on at the recording studio was the continuation of the Ann and Tom romance, although romance might be a strong word to use. Courtship, maybe? Tom’s overeager nature is extremely off-putting to Ann, who gets something to do for the second straight episode. Meanwhile, Chris is dismayed over Ann and Tom’s burgeoning romance, as he apparently still has feelings for Ann (called that one). I love that the Tom/Ann storyline wasn’t a one-off like it could have been, although I can’t see anything truly come of it in the end.

Stray Observations
– Tom trying to get with Ann is so wonderful.
– “Am I in a relationship? *click* It’s complicated.” So smug.
– “I’m not afraid of cops. I have no reason to be. I never break any laws ever because I’m deathly afraid of cops.” If you were wondering, Ben is definitely afraid of cops.
– Daaaaaaave is back. Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave.
– Of course Ron used to play sax in a band called the Duke Silver Trio.
– “I’ve heard of him. I heard he makes mature women swoon when he plays.”
– “Hey, when you two spoon, who spoons who?” Donna asks the real probing questions.
– “Was that a joke? Were you joking just now? Because if so, that was hilarious….ly awful….ly funny!…how bad that was.” Andy for best director.
– “Caught a lot of bad guys……about six bad guys.”
– “I don’t want to brag, but I have a ton of experience with women being mad with me.”
– I want Chris’s rendition of Take Me Out to the Ballgame to be sung at every baseball game from now on.
– “I never thought I’d say this to you, son, but you may be overthinking this.” The continuation of the Ron/Andy father-son relationship.
– “The four sweetest words in the English language: you wore me down.” Never change, Tom.
– One last time: Ben is afraid of cops.

The 411: Sorry that this is a rather truncated review, but I really did enjoy this episode. Both plots were great, and having Louis C.K. back on the show, albeit for one episode, was something that I was all for. It was a strong showing, and in the overall scheme of things this episode was mostly fluff, but it was a harmless fluff.
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Final Score:  8.5   [ Very Good ]  legend

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Dimitri Dorlis

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