Synopsis: Gryzzl finds themselves at the receiving end of Pawnee’s hate for once in their career when it’s discovered that they’re data mining and using that info to infiltrate the people’s lives as much as possible. The gang gets together to defend JJ’s- the best and only breakfast place in Pawnee after Gryzzl declares it will tear it down.

Rating: ?????

This week was just pure catering to the fans- from Donna and Tom’s excellent adventure to Leslie and Ben going on a ridiculous trip “undercover”- but it didn’t hit the high notes that the previous weeks had. Trust me, the laughs were there and the characters are great, but with seven episodes left, I wonder how they plan on extending the season. I mean, the main story lines have already been resolved!

Wait... I've seen this before... [NBC]
I can’t even begin to describe how “true-to-life” this motto is.  [NBC]
I’m going to be honest here, the first episode of the evening “Gryzzlbox” had some pretty great moments, especially for someone who works in the tech industry. I’m smack dab in the middle of the Silicon Valley, and these types of people like the VP’s of Gryzzl really do exist. The episode focused around the issue of data privacy, and the public’s general worry that companies know way to much about our personal lives, and with “National Data Privacy” the day after this episode premiered, it couldn’t be more timely.

When Donna finds a gift from Gryzzl left on her front porch by way of quadcopter (another hot button issue after the government worker crashed one on the White House lawn), she’s excited at first, until she realizes that the gifts include references to pet names that her and her fiance Joe use with one another only through text or email. Donna becomes furious at this breach of privacy and brings it to Leslie and Ben’s attention, since Ben was the one who was in charge of striking the deal between Gryzzl and the city on the introduction of free wifi and gadgets. They try to infiltrate the office but they are found out since the company can keep tabs on where everyone is, which is so totally creepy and as Ben said, “Not chill.”

Ron, of course, doesn’t want to get involved, stating that private companies have their way of doing things and the government shouldn’t get involved. But lo and behold, he shows up at Leslie’s home late at night with a drone of his own- one that he shot out of the sky that had a gift for his son. His son, who doesn’t own a single gadget and is only four. The ever private Ron loses it over this and they all take  it to The Perdle’s Court, where they discover that they legally can since they slipped in a roundabout clause into the contract that gave them permission to use everyone’s data when Ben was distracted by a Star Wars premier, which is just plain embarrassing on his part.

TREAT YO SELF 2017! Nothing else needed [NBC]
TREAT YO SELF 2017! Nothing else needed [NBC]
While the first half of the night was some exposition, the second half was pure fan service, beginning with Treat Yo Self 2017, the most important day of the year! Donna and Tom are off to Beverly Hills for some well deserved R&R with the bride and her “butler of honor”. TYS is probably one of the most iconic things the show has produced (even if you aren’t a fan, you’ve definitely heard it) and seeing it as a glorious limo ride to Beverly Hills where they eat sushi that was previously owned by celebrities and exchange gifts (Tom loved his shoes that Jaden Smith work in Hitch 2: Son of a Hitch) and wise words. Tom’s feeling down about asking Lucy to the wedding, even though she just recently broke up with her boyfriend. Donna gives him the best advice possible though, “Treat Yo’ Self,” and that good things will follow.

But even though Gryzzl is going through some horrible PR scandals now, they jump the gun and raise their offer for the land to $125 million which is instantly accepted without a hitch. This leaves Leslie a wreck, as she still desperately wants to build a park. The crew goes to their favorite place to drown their sorrows in breakfast food, but their bad day is about to get worse when they discover that JJ’s has been sold!

Release the hounds! [nbc]
Release “The Hounds!” [nbc]
The crew rallies to save it from the claws of perfume magnate Dennis Feinstein, and Andy takes on the persona of Johnny Karate’s older brother Jonathan to try and thaw his icy heart. While that doesn’t work, and Feinstein decides to spray the crowd with his rejected scent “The Hounds”, April comes up with the idea to move JJ’s to the neighborhood that her and Andy live in now- even though it’s dark and dirty and covered with graffiti and… hey… didn’t Gryzzl want to hire Banksy to put graffiti all over their place?

Leslie goes to Gryzzl with the proposal that they buy the already intact area that would cut down on their costs, donate the land to save their image, and essentially save JJ’s in the process. While they seem ambivalent at first, they come through in the end and agree to the plan. The land is Leslie’s and everything seems to be coming together!

Overall, there were a few really good moments in the episodes, but where the story goes from here I don’t know. The side stories just aren’t incredibly interesting; April’s quarter-life crisis is getting a little tired, Tom and Lucy’s “Will they, won’t they” is already apparent, and the main problems presented in the first four episodes are already resolved- and pretty nicely it seems. I don’t doubt that the data privacy will come into play again, but I just don’t really know where the rest of the season is going to take us, and I’m kind of excited.

This last season really has been a gift to the fans by a network that had been trying its hardest to get rid of it since its beginnings. The in-jokes, the references and throwbacks, everything is going great. Leslie is depicted as “having it all without really trying” and while I love this take on a workplace comedy where the work stays at work and home at home, I am really wondering about what’s going on there. I would love to know the kids’ names, see what a generic day with the family is like, and essentially see Leslie really having it all. That’s my biggest hope for the rest of the season, but I can’t wait to see where the lives of the residents of Pawnee end up!

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