Parks and Recreation: Flu Season 2 (6×19)
Summary: Leslie and Andy work together through sickness and big news to help save the Unity Concert when they lose their headliner. Ben gets drunk and angry about his parents to Ron. Tom tries to find a sommelier for Tom’s Bistro during a wine tasting event.
Okay, first off, let’s talk about a good chunk of the reason why I’m rating this episode as five stars: DRUNK BEN. Oh my freaking god, I love drunk Ben. Drunk Ben is the best Ben, especially when he’s drunk off a wine that tastes like jelly. Between his drunken belligerence over his parents and trying to work out his feelings with Ron Dunn, this might be the best appearance of Drunk Ben so far in the series. I’ve watched the episode twice and I have cried with laughter every time. It certainly doesn’t help that Sam Elliot and Nick Offerman were killing it as the two opposing forces over Ben venting his issues. I think I’m going to add “Baby Snow Owl” to my list of pet names.
Now that I’m done gushing about Ben getting mad and drunk over his parents selling their vacation home, let’s get to the rest of the episode.
Leslie and Andy are finishing up work on the line up for the Unity Concert when Leslie starts to get paranoid at the flu going around. They celebrate the fact they managed to get a young and popular country singer Chipp McCapp (Bo Burnham) to headline, but he ends up backing out shortly after he books it. Determined to get him back, Leslie resolves to drive to Indianapolis to talk to him. However, that’s when she starts throwing up. She immediately blames Larry for spreading his flu to her.
On the way out of town, Leslie and Andy stop at a pharmacy to get medicine. Leslie tells the pharmacist that she needs stuff to knock her flu out, but the pharmacist points out she doesn’t really have any other signs of the flu. Of course, that’s when Leslie finds a pregnancy test on the shelf and a lightbulb goes off in her head.
Yeah, you know where this is going. Leslie Knope is pregnant! Which both excites and terrifies me as a viewer. It excites me because YAY LESLIE AND BEN ARE HAVING KIDLETS. NERDY, AWESOME KIDLETS TO EXPAND THEIR NERDY, AWESOME FAMILY. WAY TO GO, BEN AND LESLIE.
However, it terrifies me because what if that’s the reason Leslie decides against Chicago. To stay in Pawnee to raise her children and continue to be underappreciated by the town she serves. Leslie Knope deserves the world and I know out of anyone, she can figure out how to be the most awesome mom and civil servant of all time. She can have her cake and her baby too!
Which I wonder if that’s part of Leslie’s personal freakout is how she’s going to balance that. As Andy tells her though, as her family grows, her and Ben can handle anything. Of course, he tells her that thinking she’s getting a dog instead of a baby. Oh sweet Andy, you big dumb and beautiful puppy.
Oh, and the two give up on Chipp McCapp after realizing how much of a dick he is and after he insults Pawnee. Kudos on Burnham for playing the character to be such an entitled little shitbag since it ended up being rather entertainingly cringey instead of… well… just cringey. This leaves them at a bit of a loss, but they decided to go for a Hail Mary pass and try to book a band named Land Ho. The band is a bit of a Pawnee legend with their lead singer Scott Tanner (Jeff Tweedy of Wilco) still living in town, but they have refused to get back together since breaking up ten years prior. This whole thing made me kind of glad that this was the sequel to ‘Flu Season’ since that episode was all about having faith in people. Leslie worries that Andy is going to mess it up, but with some creative words and a little bit of Johnny Karate, Andy comes through in the end and convinces Tanner to reunite Land Ho. Go Andy!
At the end of the day, Ben and Leslie’s plots reconvene when Ben realizes the reason he’s mad about the vacation home was that he wanted to take his future kids there and that he’s ready to start a family. Leslie tells him that she has some good news for him and the episode ends on Ben’s smile. I may have squeaked a little bit, not gonna lie.
During all of this, Tom takes Donna, April, and Craig to a wine tasting and sommelier certification event to help find one for his restaurant. He has his eyes on a young Brad Pitt lookalike named Xander Trufant, who he describes as “the Bruno Mars of Indiana amateur wine tasting.” However, April and Craig decide to take a stab at it as well. Craig because he takes wine super seriously (probably a little too seriously) and April because she wants to troll rich people while getting plastered. Now that’s a cause I can get behind. Hell, even Donna gets behind it because she decides to bankroll April on this venture. I know I’ve mentioned a million times how much I love April and Donna’s friendship, BUT I LOVE APRIL AND DONNA’S FRIENDSHIP.
I also love April’s wine descriptions. April hasn’t been my patronus for a lot of things, but she is definitely my patronus when it comes to not getting wine. Besides being able to tell what came from a box and what came from a bottle, I got nothing. I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to try some of the blueberry wine that got Ben completely hammered though.
Despite Craig’s best efforts to achieve master sommelier status, Xander is the only one to get it and he is promptly hired by a french restauranteur who will pay him $250,000 a year. Craig laments this since he wants the job at Tom’s Bistro, but Tom tells him that he needs to reign it in. Craig assures him he can do it and the three promptly test him out by insisting they drink red wine with their fish. Minus some “private” meltdowns in the conference room (the producer’s cut has Donna asking if they can hear everything in there), Craig manages to pass the test with flying colors and gets the job.
‘Flu Season 2’ was another one of those episodes that remind me of why I love this series. Big Leslie and Ben moments! Ridiculousness with guest stars and April Ludgate! DRUNK BEN! However, I do have a feeling that the outcome of this episode will either make or break the season going into season 7. Will Leslie give up Chicago or go to start her family there? Either way, I hope Michael Schur knows what he’s doing.