Emma Doherty ‘16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
This week, the Parks department is throwing prom. Ever since the merger, the town is still dealing with budget cuts and the school system was planning on cutting the beloved tradition. Obviously, Leslie (Amy Poehler) would not let that happen, and decided to put together a party planning committee, involving some familiar faces from way back in season four.
It was nice to see some old faces from the show this episode. We got to see Alison, a Pawnee high school senior who loves Government when Leslie and Ben (Adam Scott) took over a model U.N conference. This time she’s helping Leslie and the gang plan prom, and Leslie warms up to her pretty quickly. When Alison shows Leslie her binder of ideas for prom, Leslie is putty in her hands. The two even bonded over file tabs. It seems like maybe Leslie finally found her new best friend.
It was nice to see that everyone’s storyline tied in together and almost all of the characters collaboratively put together prom. It’s amazing to see just how much the characters have grown on this show. When Ron (Nick Offerman) finds out that Leslie wants Alison to intern for the department, he decides he needs to step in and prevent any further destruction. He offers her a job at a sawmill instead, and says that you should have a job where you get paid. The two continue their fight throughout the episode until Leslie finally backs down and reveals what’s really bothering her. Finally, we get to hear more about Leslie’s future plans, and she tells Ron that she’s thinking about moving and wants to make sure the department is in good hands.
April (Aubrey Plaza) and Andy’s (Chris Pratt) subplot was very cute and touching. Andy asked April to go to the prom with him, which she reluctantly said yes to, and she sports a rather lavish halloween-ish black dress and veil. We got to see the show touch upon an aspect of their relationship that we have not seen in a long time. April reveals her insecurities about prom and their relationship: saying that they were so different in high school, and that they would never have gone to prom together if they’d met back then. He assures her that all that matters is that they’re together now, and it was great to see Andy with a brain instead of the stupid opinion-less dummy he’s become this last season. The two proved that they are definitely made for each other when they stole the prom king and queen crowns and got kicked out of the school.
Tom (Aziz Ansari) and Ben’s storyline was entertaining as well, and seeing the two co-DJing a high school prom, much to Tom’s dismay, was a rather rare sight. When the kids complain that the music Tom is playing is not “in”, he freaks out and starts to wonder if he is out of the loop. Apparently his specifically picked “banger” songs are no longer cool. Ben got some redemption for his “Ice Town” days and nerdish qualities and brings up the fact that he used to DJ. He actually plays music the high school students enjoy.
Overall, the episode was highly entertaining and contained some incredible one-liners including when Leslie told Ron to “shut his mustache” and when she says, “if Ron tries to stop me, he can eat a big ol’ bowl of butts!” But the absolute best part of the episode didn’t come until the very last minute when none other than Greg Pikitis (Cody Klop) showed up revealing that he was Alison’s boyfriend. Leslie is furious and immediately deems Alison unworthy of working for the Parks department and storms away, but not before she realizes that Pikitis has got her once again.
Let’s hope that next week’s episode reveals a little more about where the characters are heading and whether or not Leslie is close to making a decision about her future!
Overall Episode Grade: B