Season 4, Episode 19, 4/19/2012 (“Live Ammo”)
Jennifer: I’m not saying she’s a dog murder per se. I just think her actions raise some questions, like ‘is Leslie Knope a dog murder?
Yayz! Parks and Recreation is back on! I didn’t even realize it and am only just now watching it, as Up All Night‘s episode last week didn’t feel like a finale. It just felt like another episode where I lightly guffaw and think about how Amy Poehler’s husband could be given so much better material than he is. I mean, normally I would have already watched this episode 10 times by now and forced my husband to watch a “highlight” reel. Anyhows, Parks and Recreation came back with what turned out to be a killer episode. Get it? Killer as in ammo! Hahaha! I heart puns. Except, well, there weren’t any guns in this episode. Just lots and lots of rescue animals…
Where to begin? Oh right, with Leslie’s “sneak about clothes,” which make her look like Carmen Sandiego except blond and black intend of red and brown. Oh and short. And not quiet. Or guileful, which is where the animals come in. See, instead of thinking like a politician, Leslie is still thinking like a Parks Dept employee and by negotiating to keep the Parks budget intact, she creates a snowball effect culminating in the closing of the animal shelter. This provides some humor, with a pig eating Ben’s noise canceling headphones and Andy competing for record of “most cats on him at one time,” and something for April to care about as she fills in for Leslie. Being that Leslie is someone who “smiles 90% of the time,” April obviously hates taking over her responsibilities until she spear-heads an animal adoption fair at the local parks. It was nice to see April doing more than scowling, even if the reason is to reward animals for “not being people.” Oh, April.
Anyhow, after being lambasted as an animal-hater by Jennifer, Bobby Newport’s campaign manager, Leslie finds money in the budget elsewhere… like with Ann’s job. Not intentionally, of course, but so it goes when dealing with “live ammo” as a schlubby and ship-in-a-bottle obsessed Bradley Whitford explains to Leslie. She’s going to have to learn to think differently if she wins the campaign. Oh, and if she loses, since Bobby Newport will be firing Chris for supporting her, leaving Ron without the promotion to Assistant City Manager he earned by standing quietly through six hours of meditation and the Parks Department as enemy number uno.
In a brilliant move, shown by a hilariously brilliant “idea forming” scene, Leslie tells Jennifer that Bobby will be paying for the animal shelter out of his candy heir money. His campaign will pull the animal hating ads currently terrifying small Pawnee children and their pets, or it will be leaked that Leslie is willing to sacrifice the Parks Department to save the shelter. A win-win for Mr. Newport’s campaign and a seeming fail for Leslie. Except, of course, that her department keeps it budget, the animal shelter stays open and Ann doesn’t have to go back to full-time nursing aka shaving penises and dealing with methheads.
Too bad Bobby’s windfall will be short-lived as next week is the debate! Leslie correctly notes she will kick-ass at it and I’m hoping the writers of Parks and Recreation do as well, as I cannot wait for Paul Rudd’s dopey return.