Parks and Recreation: Anniversaries (6×14)
Summary: In an attempt to have the town look more favorably on the Pawnee-Eagleton merger, Leslie tries to shine a spotlight on a couple from both cities that have been together for 50 years. Ben’s anniversary gift to Leslie turns into a boy’s day out with Larry. April leaves Donna an anonymous Yelp comment about her service at animal control.
This might be one of the nerdiest episodes of Parks and Recreation ever. And not totally on purpose. Or maybe totally on purpose.
Also, Retta is in the main credits now. Get it, girl.
Leslie and Ben are getting ready to celebrate their first wedding anniversary and make the promise not to get each gifts. Of course, that’s a lie. Leslie can’t stop herself from getting gifts for other people, so Ben plans to surprise her a day in advance.
Of course, the day before their anniversary happens to fall around Leslie trying to change people’s minds about the Pawnee-Eagleton merger after a disastrous interview on public radio. By the way, John Hodgman as the Eagleton NPR host? Inspired. I could have an entire show of him and Dan Castellaneta as snippy public radio hosts.
Needing a win for the merger, Leslie gets the idea to shine a spotlight on a couple from both Pawnee and Eagleton that has been together for 50 years in order to show the town some unity. Unfortunately, the couple kind of hates each other. Well, not kind of. They hate each other a lot. Despite Tom and Andy advising her that maybe they’re not the best idea, Leslie pushes forward and has the two appear on Pawnee Today. She asks them to show unity on the show, but in true Pawnee Today fashion, everything blows up and Leslie ends up looking like a fool.
While this is all happening, Ben is trying to get Leslie to be surprised by the enchanted couple day he had planned for them, but she ends up being too busy. He decides to spend it with Larry instead in a wondrous montage of the two of them in a horse drawn carriage, in a cooking class, and dancing the tango. I laughed hard than I have at a show in a while at the tango scene. Holy crap, Jim O’Heir and Adam Scott are wonderful.
At home that night, Leslie muses over Ben’s polenta (that he learned to make with Larry earlier that day) over what to do next. Ben agrees with Tom and Andy about the couple, which gives Leslie an idea. The next day, she puts together the Pawnee-Eagleton Youth Committee, which consists of April, Andy, Tom, Craig and his friend Madison. She asks them to come up with ideas to help the two towns get along and they come up with a three day music festival. Leslie gets emotional over the idea, which means it’s a good one. Also… GINUWINE’S COMING. I cannot wait for that.
Ben gives Leslie his gift, which is a scrapbook of him and Larry doing everything he planned for them. Leslie is touched, but she definitely ups the ante as far as gifts: she gives Ben a replica of the Iron Throne. Ben naturally loses his shit as any good Game of Thrones nerd would in this situation (I was very similar when my mom gave me my Battlestar Galactica uniform) and immediately starts acting like a Lannister when he sits on it. He knows he looks stupid, but no fraks are given by Ben Wyatt this day. Of course, poor Leslie doesn’t get it and it dulls Ben’s fantasy a little. Oh c’mon girl, he called you ‘khaleesi’ once. Surely, you’ve seen an episode.
You know what, never mind. I’m clouding the issue with logic. NERD AWAY, BEN.
Meanwhile, Ron goes to adopt a dog from animal control and April helps him find a lovely one. However, when it comes time to fill out the paperwork, Donna is nowhere to be found because she’s left work to go shopping. April is understandably annoyed, but she still feels awkward reprimanding Donna about it. What does she do? She ignores Ron’s advice about speaking with her directly and leaves Donna a negative review on Yelp.
Donna isn’t one to leave it alone though. She threatens to find whoever left the review and “come down on them like Mjolnir.” Mythology buff, comics fan, or just loves the movies? I don’t know and I don’t care because that scene was freaking amazing.
After some tense moments and seeing that Ron is leaving his name on all the negative letters he’s sending out inspired by Yelp, April tells Donna that she was the one who left the review. Donna tells her that she knew and was trying all the scare tactics to draw her out. The two agree to be more honest with each other in the future except for terms of appearances. I’m still glad to see this relationship with April and Donna continue to develop, even with negative spots.
This episode was so much fun. There were lots of great laughs and character moments and I loved getting to see Ben go full on nerd at the very end. Happy anniversary, Ben and Leslie! Here’s to many more!