I will be stepping in to recap Parks and Recreation’s latest episode while Casey is away but before I begin, I want to say how much I will miss this show when it goes off the air in just few short weeks (Sniff!)
This episode, aptly titled “Donna and Joe” centered around our favourite Pawnians coming together to celebrate their marriage.
We open at the church were wedding planner Craig is going over some of the wedding details and is stressed. To avoid him going full Craig, he asks the couple to avoid any of his anger trigger words that include all the words associated with a wedding and his own name. Donna also asks maid of honour April to help keep her wedding Meagle drama free that includes her younger brother LeVondrious banned from coming. Apparently, the last 4 Meagle Pictionary Tournaments ended up in the hospital and legally three Meagles aren’t allowed on international flights.
Meanwhile, Leslie and Ben are getting ready to attend Donna and Joe’s wedding rehearsal dinner while their three kids are running around being typical three-year olds. The Wyatt-Knope nanny Roz (Rachel Dratch) is all stressed and harried trying to keep watch. Leslie and Ben tells Roz that they are grateful that Roz is their kids caregiver and Leslie even tells Roz that she loves her more than Ben. While packing to go away for the night, a call from Jen Barkley comes in. Leslie thinks that it is Jen calling again to get her to run for Senate or Congress so ignores her call. Just as they are about to leave for the rehearsal, Jen is at the front door and she’s there because the two have been ignoring her calls. The gist is Pawnee’s current congressman is basically an idiot and not fiscally responsible and she wants Ben not Leslie to run against him This scene is highlighted by Jen’s reactions to Ben and Leslie’s kids.
At Tom’s Bistro, the location for the wedding rehearsal, Tom is sharing with Ron the matching blue brocade dress he if giving Lucy that will match his blue brocade suit. Tom tells Ron that he and Lucy are so in synch that he finally has found the woman he wants to spend of life with and he would marry her tomorrow if he could.
Since Ron is in a romantic mood, he tells Lucy that Tom is quite smitten with her and that he would marry her tomorrow if he could. We see that Lucy gets a bit freaked out by this. Later, Tom confronts Ron over what he said to Lucy and wants him to fix it as it seems to have spooked her. Ron doesn’t want to lie and Tom further admits that he does see a future with Lucy and see them running around with their kids on his private island. So Ron needs to fix the situation or no meat for him. Seeing Lucy again, Ron tries to fix the situation but makes it worse when mentioning the private island and kids.
Meanwhile, Donna is impressed that there is no Meagle drama at the wedding reception and we see that April and Andy have kept the troublemakers, which include Ginuwine out in the kitchen. We also see how passive aggressive the Meagles are as we see two snipe at each other over a high score of a video game and April mentions to 80-year olds arguing whether or not it was Lena Horne they saw at the grocery store back in the 1970s.
The wedding reception is also the place that Ben contemplates Jen’s offer and asks Leslie what to do. Leslie tells her husband that she is remaining neutral on this matter but she tells us that she wants Ben to run. So to help Ben decide, Leslie suggests he acts that he is going to run tonight and then tomorrow act as if he isn’t running. Acting like he is running involve schmoozing everyone in the room although they have a hard time doing so with Garry/Jerry/Larry/Terry. When Ben meets Donna’s parents he does make a few blunders but manages to smooth things over. What is helping Ben in all of this is that he is very drunk and he gives a drunken toast to Joe and Donna that is actually sweet but he ends it by dancing pretty badly.
The next morning in their hotel room, Leslie and Ben are horribly hungover wearing their “Willy Wonka and the Policy Factory” t-shirts. Ben opens his phone and sees that Jen released a campaign add. Apparently, Ben left several messages with Jen saying he will run and over at JJ’s Jen tells Ben that one of his message outlined his platform. Jen has set a press conference for the next day to announce his candidacy and he can decide before then if he wants to run or not.
As Leslie and April get ready for the wedding, Donna comes in to give a speech to her bridesmaids and it is sweet and has Leslie in terms. What made me laugh the most is Donna’s speech to her other bridesmaid Michelle about them repairing their childhood friendship. The look on that actress’ face was hilarious. I would love to have been that extra.
At the wedding, Ron is inquiry about the construction of the church when he sees Tom and Lucy being very awkward with each other. Ron goes to them to get them to work it out. Tom admits that he does want all those things with Lucy and we see later that the two will be alright.
At the ceremony Joe and Donna give their vows and they are beautiful. What really got me on that scene is one of Joe’s best men is just staring blankly at the side very stone faced. It was such a distraction and he even didn’t clap after Joe and Donna were declared man and wife.
Outside the church, Ben asks Leslie to what he should do and really wants her opinion. Leslie admits that he should run. The press then comes to them and asks if Ben is running for Congress and what makes him a good one considering the Ice Town fiasco when he was 18. Ben at first doesn’t want to say anything but then gives a speech about how it his job to save money and how he turned Pawnee into a fiscally viable down. Ben then declares that he is running for office.
Inside the reception, Donna thanks April for being her maid of honour but confesses to missing the Meagle drama.
While mingling the tables, Donna asks Ben why he didn’t tell everyone that he is running for Congress. Ben says he didn’t want to turn the spotlight away from Donna and Joe; she assures him that never was a possibility. Donna and Joe toast Ben on his run, Ben in turn toasts the couple and Tom in turn toasts himself. And in what was one of my favourite part of this episode is when April sees the “Garry” place card sign in front of Terry and asks him who is Garry, which he responds that it must be him. Thinking that it is taunting him, April says that is his new name and the table starts to chant “Garry, Garry”. Garry realizes what Donna has done and silently thanks her. Garry tells us that after 30 years his co-workers are finally going to call him by his real name.
The episode ends with the family drama that Donna wanted. Andy interrupts Craig beautifully singing Ritchie Valens’ “Donna” to announce the arrival of LeVondrius (QuestLove), who re-hashes their argument, which involved a 1970s/80s era microwave, which he smashes and declares no one gets popcorn. Donna thanks April for the drama.
We are back to NBC burning off episodes and Casey will be back too to recap those.