Parks And Recreation: "Galentine's Day"
B+

Parks And Recreation: "Galentine's Day"

B+

Parks And Recreation

"Galentine's Day"

Season 2, Episode 16

I've mentioned before that it's nice to see moments where Leslie can excel at her job. If people welcome her expertise with open arms, they're much more willing to put up with her many, many eccentricities: Her mosaics of their faces made with crushed bottles from their favorite diet sodas—totally random example. Tonight on the great "Galentine's Day," we see Leslie as someone who's great at reading people. She's a straight-shooter that'd make John McCain blush, seeing right through bullshit and assessing the situation at hand.

So even though she's bought right into her mother's amazing love story each and every time she's heard it ("It makes The Notebook look like Saw V"), she just can't look past the uncomfortableness of the man they pick up. Frank (aka John Larroquette, aka Roan Montgomery) is an unemployed kook who suffers from vomitous nerves, lack of appropriateness when it comes to old photographs, and a propensity for flashing the lower part of his very-much-clothed body in public. But this was the love of Leslie's mother's life, and Justin of all people is passionate about reuniting them. He sees the beauty in bringing these two lovebirds back together, and is blinded to all else. I began this episode on Justin's side—it's been so long, how great would it be to at least see if any sparks fly?—but something was bothering Leslie about the whole thing, so she calls it off. Justin ignores her.

And even though I wanted Leslie and Justin to work out, it all boils down to this: Justin is off in his own little world, and Leslie is decidedly in this one. She's just so damn passionate about it. Of course, it turns out she's right, and as a result puts one in the lose column for Mr. Perfect Justin. The rest of the office might love him, but Leslie's beginning to see the cracks (and in a nice shared moment, so is Ron Swanson, aka Duke Silver, aka my hero).

Speaking of fantasy, though, I was equally thrilled and frustrated by Tom Haverford this time around. He puts up such a front around people that it's nice to see him get real, so to speak, like moments of quiet sadness when anything Wendy-related comes up. So while I was happy he finally confessed his feelings to Wendy, I was taken aback at how dickishly he did it—sexy music, sexy champagne, the sexy phrase of, "Just think about how much better our friendship would be if we added… doin' it." It seemed perfectly in character with the Tom we see all the time, yet totally out of character for the "real Tom" that shows himself occasionally. I thought he'd be more honest and down-to-earth with Wendy, and I was bummed he wasn't—though, of course, Aziz is always entertaining to watch. Him suing Wendy for alimony in order to blackmail her into going out with him? Now that seems like the brattish Tom I know.

But love makes people do silly things, like finally work up the courage to dump your two gay boyfriends (yes, even calling off any future drunk make-out sessions) for a shot with a boy so sweet and simple, he's completely oblivious to your feelings or who the hell Louie Armstrong is. They make you get jealous of an old lady "hitting" on said boy, who, again, is just really naive and thinks he's receiving the old person's version of getting flashed, which is surprising because his band Mouse Rat didn't even get to play their new hit "Sex Hair," about how you can tell when people have just had sex because of the way their hair stands up. Or, maybe (now I'm talking about different people), you ask your girlfriend over and over if you are doing well in the relationship because that's a good idea always and won't make her really insecure and uncomfortable around you which will in turn make you act all weird, which will turn her off, which makes you ask her more how things are going, then later…

Wow, this episode just got real. Real to my life.

Stray observations:

  • "5-9" "Am or pm, cuz they're old. Am I right? Justin! He's not here."
  • So… a nooner."
  • Mark getting Ann all the cliche gifts was a bit silly and didn't have much to do with the rest of the story, but I like when Parks & Rec throws in little touches like that.
  • Happy Valentine's Day, y'all, the fakest holiday since Tu B'Shevat. Boom! You just got served, uh, trees.

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