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Parks and Recreation – The Fight

Every now and then P+R likes to repay its small, yet fiercely loyal fan base by giving us an episode with so many hilarious lines and moments it reminds us exactly why we're fans. “The Fight” may cause you to hyperventilate with laughter, but it's worth investing in an oxygen tank, and with P+R you know you'll get your money's worth down the line.

Amy Poehler deserves double credit for not only putting up a hilarious performance in front of the camera, but also for writing this fantastic episode. It was a wise decision on her part to focus “The Fight” on Leslie and Ann's relationship, providing Ann's character some much needed progression. In fact, Ann being devoid of any kind of development was actually worked into the plot and was part of what led to their argument. Ann's lack of drive, casual dating, and refusal to go after a job at city hall, all have Leslie fuming at her and results in their first fight of their friendship. Adding to the realism of their dispute was Leslie's overblown expectations of Ann being as excited by the prospect of working in city government as she would be, meaning Ann wasn't the only one in the wrong. (There was also Leslie's refusal to do anything about her own feelings for Ben.) Managing to turn the negative of Ann being so stagnant in the past few episodes into a positive with a believable and well-executed storyline was not only impressive but refreshing for broadcast comedies since so many of them don't seem concerned with having their characters grow and change. It also made Leslie's line, “If I don't push you in the right direction you end up standing still,” and the fact that Poehler wrote the episode where Ann finally stopped standing still, eerily coincidental. While their fight itself wasn't a big source of humor, it was well written and helped build on their relationship. Luckily, just about everything else was an excellent source of comedy.

The episode did start out a little rocky; the first few minutes not garnering many laughs besides another word being added to the Tom Haverford dictionary (“Dunzo”), but the episode picked up quickly after that. Chris's signs from the former Public Relations Director of the Health Department were the first of many uproarious moments and it was nice that they found a way to make Chris funny without only relying on his delivery and physical humor (“Re-elect Jan Cooper Mayor of Whoreville.”). After Tom invents a new luxury liqueur, which may contain equal parts of caffeine and Demerol, he decides to get the gang from the Parks Department to talk it up at the Snakehole Lounge so he can move more of his product. Andy and April use the opportunity to spice up their relationship with a little role-playing and in doing so provide some of the funniest moments of the episode. Move over Clive Bixby and Juliana (Modern Family), because Bert Macklin and Janet Snakehole have set a new standard for fictitious, role-play couples. It was nice seeing them both reprise the characters they each created in previous episodes but they took them to a whole new level with costumes. As the “Snake Juice” started flowing, the laughs were pouring out just as quickly.

Ron, who always brings the funny, also managed to top himself this episode. Even with a Swanson's tolerance for alcohol, Snake Juice proved to be too much for Ron and he ends up willingly trying to pitch the powerful brew to some of the night clubbers in an amusing scene. He also gave us one of the single funniest images of the series (in an episode that had several of them) with his drunken dancing. How do you make a good episode of P+R better? Add some Jean-Ralphio, which is exactly what they did. His rhymes that ran on one word too long were great and just his on-screen presence is humorous. What made “The Fight” so much fun was that everyone had the chance to earn a laugh, especially in the montage revealing how wasted each of them were. As mentioned, Ron's dancing took the cake but Andy's singing and Ben's “baba booey” were good as well. The gang cramming themselves into Donna's Mercedes was also amusing and Jerry sprawled on the roof gave new meaning to the phrase “You know you're drunk when...”

There were still some laughs to be had in watching everyone deal with the next morning's hangover. Andy in particular was excellentany time you can make puking funny, and I mean funny for anyone over the age of ten, you've succeeded. In addition the storyline between Ann and Leslie was wrapped up in the final minutes. Having Ann take the job, thereby giving her more of a reason to be hanging around city hall all the time, was a nice way to advance her character's story, while increasing its believability. Fans can hope this will mean she's back to spending time with the whole P+R gang and not just Leslie. Tom unfortunately has to give up on his dreams of being a drink mogul and his shares in the Snakehole Lounge as it conflicts with being a city employee, but he seems content in knowing Snake Juice was a success, even if it was only for one night.

A little character development and a ton of laughs made this episode one of the best they've done thus far. With only a few episodes left in the season it was nice that they put up such a brilliant episode, even if it only served as another reason to miss it over the summer. After this episode of Parks and Recreation, if you're still not a fan, then we're “dunzo.”



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