Galentine’s day is back! Huzzah! Unfortunately this is a hint that there won’t be a new episode next week. Thankfully, this episode was jam-packed so we have a lot to mull over before its return. Anyway, Galentine’s Day. I actually restarted this episode because I was sure that the one from two seasons back had been posted instead. It actually took me until they mentioned April was married for me to get it.
As is Pawnee tradition, the Parks Department is throwing a Valentine’s Day dance at the Senior Center. As is Knope tradition, Leslie is hosting a Galentine’s Day brunch and giving her female friends resplendent gifts such as pillows with their faces on them, captioned with headlines from the day they were born.
This whole scene, besides being a delightful exercise in continuity (if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m continuity’s bitch), sets up the plot of Ann, lovely, tropical fish Ann, being alone on Valentine’s day. She tries to tell everyone that she’s genuinely happy for them as they are all part of couples, but that thing happens where you try and express sincerity yet it comes off sounding like you’re the biggest douchewad on the planet. This problem is only exacerbated via text, specifically on Twitter. What I’m trying to say is: Ann, I feel for you, girl.
Alright, so throughout the episode we have the female contingent of the office (minus Donna. Where was Donna?! I’m going to assume she’s still chillin’ with that boy she left in her Benz, windows cracked, but y’all! I want my Donna! Outrage.) working to set Ann up with some kind of loser. The contenders aren’t great. April brings Orin, the creepy fuck from her wedding. Then we’ve got some guy who’s been to over 300 Phish concerts (were my brother gay, they would be perfect for each other), an amateur juggler, and some dude who’s possibly committed incest and if he hasn’t, wants to. (This last guy – was it Freddy Prinze Jr.? Does anyone know? IMDB and Wikipedia don’t say anything, but I thought they looked alike. Help a girl out: hit the comments and let me know.)
Leslie will not stop trying to cheer Ann up because she is a wonderful friend. She even shares her own embarrassing story, of “A wedding where you used to date with the groom and you’re there by yourself so the bride makes you dance to Single Ladies by yourself.” This moment, the one where Leslie spills her hilariously tragic pre-Ben love life, and I’m calling it now that Chris and April hook up tonight. They’re both sad enough, it could happen. Or perhaps Tom?
Here’s my theory on why it’s not Chris: I’m fine with April trying to get Leslie to not interfere with Ann’s mystery date, but I have to wonder why she’s getting herself involved? If her date was with Chris, would she be insinuating herself because she’s feeling protective of him after offering to hang out with him last episode? Or maybe because he had once offered her a job in Indianapolis so that she could get out of Pawnee? How did he earn her loyalty?
Finding out that the mystery man was Tom made a lot of sense. For one thing, of course April wouldn’t want to interfere on a date that she, herself, helped set up. For another, Tom’s been hitting on Ann since he was still married to Wendy, when Ann still lived with Andy, way back in episode one. When Ann Perkins popped up at that fateful town hall meeting, Tom started trying to get in her pants and has never really backed down. As of the beginning of this episode he hasn’t backed down. To wit, that “Does she have any Indian in her” line (crude and overplayed, but effective nonetheless) and Leslie coaching them not to respond because Tom is like a dog with a bone when it comes to picking up girls. (Of course Jerry ruined it.) Also, as April pointed out, they have genuine fun together. They’ve had pleasant exchanges at the Snakehole Lounge before. This pairing isn’t completely unprecedented. That being said, I’m not sure how I feel about it. Give me the by-week to mull it over, okay? For the moment I’m going to tentatively say that I’m on board. I mean, I’m not going to ship them or anything, but I’m not unhappy with this direction. It gives the show a lot of potential plots to explore. Even if they fizzle, there are storylines galore being born here.
Side note, if we’re setting a precedent for Chris dancing in every episode, I am totally on board with that. I’d love to offer you a clip of this week’s Rob Lowe getting down on the dance floor, but they refuse to cooperate. My apologies.
God, how am I not done with this post yet? Is there anyone still with me? If so, forgive me? I’ll reward you with your very own Yachter Otter – A playboy otter lost at sea. First a stuffed Lil’ Sebastian Doll that Ben made himself and now a Yachter Otter? I’ve never been a bigger fan of stuffed animals than I am now. Ben Wyatt, you have ruined me. Because, really, who is cuter than Ben and Leslie? The answer is NO ONE! She got him a CRYPTEX. The level of awesome that Leslie is at is like… a bazillion. I can’t even.
Right, Cryptex. Long story short, Leslie made a very long, very intricate scavenger hunt for Ben beginning with a A 5-letter code that captures the essence of their 3rd date. And no, the answer is not “fucks.” I do love that that was the initial guess of both Ron and Andy. Hilarious. Also hilarious, Ron’s face when he admits he loves riddles and giggles like a little girl. Fucking priceless. So, basically, Andy knows what a Cryptex is and Ron’s problem-solving skills are unparalleled. Ron unscrambles mural titles such as:
- Cornfield Slaughter
- Lament of the Buffallo
- Needless Slaughter
- Slaughter Gone Wrong
- Eating the Reverend
- It’s Raining Blood
- Death Everywhere
Like it’s the newspaper’s word jumble and comes up with the clue “No food finer, clue 3 at JJ’s diner.” The boys split up and find as many clues as possible. Ron Swanson, if you didn’t know before tonight, is a beast. He also knows Leslie Knope very, very well. Like, uncannily well. It’s wonderful. In the end, Ron kind of just goes on a hunch and tells Ben he’ll probably find Leslie at a place that reminds him he recently conceded to her point of view on something. Thus they are the cutest in front of the Lil’ Sebastian memorial statue.
Notable & Quotable:
- OOOOH. It’s the guy from Freaks & Geeks. One of the Geeks. You know the guy, Martin Starr. He was also on Party Down alongside our beautiful Adam Scott. The guest stars on this show are just top notch.
- “Last week he was supposed to buy gas, but instead he bought novelty cookie cutters. Now everything we eat is shaped like dinosaurs.” – April
- “Millicent Girgich has literally torn my heart from my body and replaced it with a thick slab of sadness.” – Chris
- “Beautiful spinster, I will find you love.” – Leslie
- “Man-seeking-man for casual night of fun.” – Jerry
- “Screw romantic dinners, let’s go rub it in their face.” – Ben
Alright, y’all. I hope your brains don’t feel like mush. Tell me your feelings. You’ve got nothing better to do next Thursday night since there’s no new episode. How do we feel about Ann and Tom? Was the incestual douche Freddy Prinze Jr. or not? Are my run-on sentences annoying? Am I overusing parentheses? What were your favorite moments and quotes? Dear God, give me some validation in the form of comments.