Veep Joe Biden finally makes his welcomed cameo, but in an episode stocked with career shake-ups, office rivalries, and Orin’s people farm, his visit is probably the least surprising event this week.
Let’s bitch it out…
After a few episodes of navigating their new city council surroundings, the writers have finally figured out how to use it to their best advantage. Leslie (Amy Poehler) is ecstatic to see April (Aubrey Plaza) actively engaged in pursuing a cause, building a dog park in Pawnee. But she balks when she discovers April’s wants to build her snazzy new park on her own Lot 48 and that she’s pitching her idea to the city council for funding.
This new story arc force Leslie to get a little down and dirty, even sandbagging April at the meeting, and also makes April a more active character. She’s always funny, and her cynicism makes her endearing in a way. But she’s hasn’t really pursued anything since she and Andy have tied the knot, and its more interesting to see her fight for what she wants.
The biggest problem with the twist that Councilman Jamm is now their common enemy (since he wants to build a Paunch Burger in Lot 48) is that while he’s slightly amusing, he’s too much of a jerk. He needs a little more dimension if he’s going to be back week after week and be remotely inteeresting.
Speaking of needing more dimension, poor Anne (Rashida Jones) is relegated to just hanging around pointlessly without having a real role in this episode. It makes sense that she would want to have a say in any new plans for Lot 48 and would get involved in Leslie and April’s fight that way. But when she just follows them along on their tour if other potential dog park lots and moderates their fight at the end, it feels as though Anne is just there because the writers don’t know where else to put her.
This week set up some intriguing new career objectives for the supporting players, too. It’s a shame that we won’t get to see Andy (Chris Pratt) fulfill his dreams of being be FBI agent Bert Macklin, but he (and therefore we) will probably have much more fun watching him chase down punks at city hall as the new security guard. And not only is Tom’s new Rent-a-Swag business taking off, but he’s teaming up with Ben (Adam Scott) as his new partner. Tom is great at pulling Ben out of his comfort zone, and I’m already giddy at the thought of seeing them hang out with Donna again for another Treat Yo Self day.
- Leslie Knope 2024! So who’s going to start organizing this campaign, because I am already on board for making buttons or handing out flyers…
- Joe Biden’s cameo and Leslie’s response are simultaneously completely surprising and everything I have hoped it would be. Of course she assumed they would call her to be the next Secretary of State. But the best line comes when she reminds the Secret Service guards to protect him well: “you don’t let anything happen to him, you hear me? He’s precious cargo!”
- The jokes about the slow-moving ecological disaster that was the explosion at the Sweetums molasses factory are perfect, and Adam Scott’s deadpan delivery make them even funnier.
Your turn! What do you think of the Veep’s cameo? Is your favorite part of Orin’s human farm the heavy handedness, too? Sound off below!
Parks and Recreation airs Thursdays at 9:30 EST on NBC.