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Parks and Recreation – Jerry’s Retirement Review: R.I.P. Jerry

Oh, Jerry. As in, oh, look at Jerry making a fool of himself yet again. That sentiment reflects how he’s regarded on the show. But the beauty of his character is that he never makes a fuss about the people laughing behind his back about his endless faux pas. He lets it all roll off his back, which is a great way to live life, isn’t it? Who cares what people think as long as you’re happy!

As seen earlier this season in “Ron and Diane,” Jerry has a lovely home life with his gorgeous wife and three equally gorgeous daughters, and this episode reaffirms that fact. The Gergiches have a bookshelf full of photo albums with memories of fantastic family vacations to places like exotic Muncie, Indiana, and they sing an adorable song about eggs, bacon, and toast every morning before eating breakfast. And that’s what Leslie discovers by episode’s end. He might be the office oaf, but he’s a stud at Casa Gergich. But let’s take that and rewind a bit.

I refuse to believe that Leslie, she with the steel trap mind, a woman who can recall endless anniversaries with Ben, Ann, and her mail carrier, forgot that Jerry was retiring. That’s just not possible, right? She must have written it down somewhere, not to mention the fact that Jerry reminded people as late as a weep, I mean week, prior to his retirement. Still, she’s as surprised as I am about her forgetfulness: “What the &#%@ is happening right now?”

Jerry’s sort of a sad sack, but it’s charming how carefree he acts. He’s worked at City Hall for 41 years and all he has in his file are a handicapped parking sticker, a failed golf cart driving exam, and a scathing performance review written by Leslie. I have a feeling that he knows he’s mediocre, but he continued to chug along because it was what he’d done for most of his life and didn’t see the need to change. His dreams as a young man embarking on his government career – eating in the City Council private dining room, meeting the mayor, and having a building named after him – are just plain adorable. It’s right up Leslie’s alley to play genie and make all of Jerry’s wishes come true, but this being Pawnee, and Jerry being Jerry, things go comically wrong. My favorite scene is when they pay a visit to Mayor Knudson at the cemetery and Jerry has a full-on conversation with the tombstone (after getting over his nerves, of course). Only Jerry could make meeting a deceased mayor who died amid scandal seem endearing, especially when he squeals “Butterflies!” before kneeling down on the grass. And after Jerry gets his final wish, to get a building, actually a conference room, fittingly named after him, his sleeve catches on fire from the cake candles. What a way to go out. Retire in peace, Jerry. 

While all of this is happening, Ann and Chris finally get started on that whole baby making thing. I know Ann was absolutely turned on when Chris called her his fallopian princess, but really, show? We’re going there? Although I have to admit, the way they ran back to Ann’s bedroom for those “extra pamphlets” was delightful. I don’t deny that they have chemistry, but I’m just not entirely sure I want them back together as a couple because they seemed so wrong for each other during their first go-around. I guess stranger (re)couplings have happened.

Then I had an epiphany. What if Ann and Leslie get pregnant at the same time? Leslie’s trip to the Gergich home made her realize that having a happy family life is more fulfilling than amassing career achievements so it wouldn’t be a stretch for her and Ben to start a family now. Plus, think of all the shenanigans we could enjoy with two pregnant women at City Hall? Double baby showers, a shared suite at the hospital, and joint birthday parties for their kids every year?! That would certainly make Leslie happy.

Notes and Quotes

-- The full title for Leslie’s scrapbook commemorating her first year on city council reads, “A Scrapbook of Reflection: The Journey Begins: or: Time is the Relentless and Cruel Enemy of the Devoted Civil Servant.” You have to love all the extra colons.

-- Leslie has an amazing reaction to the words “mac and cheese pizza.” I’ve had mashed potatoes on pizza, but never mac and cheese. Color me intrigued, Ben.

-- Filo Pilo, I mean, Tom: “One screwed-up sentence and 30 years later, I’m wearing aquamarine sweater vests and listening to Bonnie Raitt and the Da Vinci Code on my iPod.” Thankfully, Jerry isn’t gone for good. Thanks to Ron’s meddling, they can look forward to seeing Jerry at City Hall at least once a week. And Tom can continue to wear dope suits and fur underwear.

-- Donna on Andy: “He’s like a giant puppy with no shame.” Woof!

-- Tom, who pleads his case for an office intern: “It’s like a Jerry you don’t have to pay.”
Ron: “Damn, son. That is one compelling argument.”

-- Leslie has a waffle-shaped purse!

-- In the last episode, it was all about Game of Thrones. This time, Ben nerds out about rewatching season one of Fringe to find plot holes. He’s a man after my own heart.

-- Was Gayle a Russian spy forced by the KGB to marry Jerry as her cover? Inquiring minds want to know.



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