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‘Parks and Recreation’ Review/Recap: “Donna and Joe”

Emma Doherty ‘16 / Emertainment Monthly Executive TV Editor

Retta and Keegan-Michael Key in the Parks and Recreation episode "Donna and Joe." Photo Credit: NBC,
Retta and Keegan-Michael Key in the Parks and Recreation episode “Donna and Joe.” Photo Credit: NBC,

Tuesday’s episode of Parks and Recreation kept up with the consistent stream of A+ episodes the writers have been dishing out for the final season. They are pulling out all the stops and really bringing back as many people as they can, and as sad as it is, they’re also really wrapping up the characters we have grown to know and love. Unlike the last few weeks, there was only one new episode instead of the hour block NBC has given them as a time slot. Nevertheless, there were as many jokes and heartfelt moments packed into that 30 minutes as possible. It would take much too long to talk about how great the episode was, so here are the top ten moments of the night from Donna and Joe’s wedding episode.

  1. Donna and April– Seeing that Donna (Retta) picked April (Aubrey Plaza) as her maid of honor was truly sweet and because it’s the last season, the sappiness of Donna calling April one of her best friends did not seem out of place. Their relationships is one of the lesser ones explored on the show but when they are together, it is magical and that was shown tonight as April helped run Donna’s wedding.
  2. Ron and Meat– It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen Ron’s (Nick Offerman) devoted love and passion for meet in an episode, so seeing him pull a sack of meat out of a plastic grocery bag and slapping it onto the table was everything Ron’s storylines have been missing recently.
  3. RACHEL DRATCH– seeing the two SNL alums, Poehler and Rachel Dratch act together again gave comedy fans the feels as we got to see Dratch play the nanny to Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ben’s (Adam Scott) triplets. She, as usual, plays frazzled and flustered spot on and Leslie trying to console her saying that she would be able to get over Ben leaving her but would not be able to recover if she did was a priceless moment.
  4. Lucy– Throughout the seasons, Tom (Aziz Ansari) has been one character that has consistently struggled with finding that perfect somebody. The tension between the him and Lucy this episode didn’t prove very effective because we know that there’s no way they will not end up together. It is wonderful to see that the chances of him finding his better half are almost certain and Lucy is the best fit for this exuberant and excessive, yet sweet and sensitive man.
  5. Kathryn Hahn– No explanation needed. This comedic powerhouse graced our screens again bringing back Jen Barkley the insanely confident but questionable political guide that is back to encourage Ben on his next step in his career.
  6. Ben’s Decision– When Jen showed up at Leslie and Ben’s house, it was a surprise when her political goals were set on Ben and not Leslie. This was a wonderful twist seeing that the focus has been on Leslie lately when it comes to their careers. It will be sweet to see the roles reversed again. Leslie’s decision not to push him into deciding what he wants, and helping him figure it out on his own even though she has a strong opinion of what she thinks is best, shows amazing growth for her as a person as well.
  7. Drunk Ben and Leslie– This show has proven over and over again that the only thing better than these characters, are these characters drunk. We’ve gotten to see Leslie and Ben drunk on many occasions so when they are drinking together it is a moment to be cherished. Not to mention, they dance as well. And what’s just as good as drunk Ben and Leslie? Hungover Ben and Leslie. That’s what. Hearing Leslie say that she called “8675309” 100 times may have been the best line of the night.
  8. Genuwine– This episode continued to shine with the great guest appearances and seeing Donna’s cousin Genuwine (famous R&B singer) get yelled at by April in the back room of the wedding venue was genius. Seeing Andy (Chris Pratt) consoling him and telling him not to cry was even better.
  9. Ben’s Speech– Seeing Ben pull himself together and not only stand up to the camera crew that bombarded him and Leslie, but really present himself in a positive and empowering way, makes it hard to remember the man who couldn’t hold it together on “Ya Heard With Perd”. Ben has truly come full circle and seeing him have the confidence (with Leslie’s support and love) to make this huge decision to run for Congress is definitely not something viewers saw coming.
  10. Gary– The second to last scene of the episode not only had all of the cast together at one table celebrating the good things happening in their lives but Jerry/Larry/Terry/Gary (Jim O’Heir) shared a sweet moment with Donna. Donna made sure that everyone starts calling Jerry by his real name and it paid off when he said “After 30 years my coworkers are finally going to call me by my real name. Aw boy I’m blessed”.

Parks and Recreation airs at 8/7c Tuesdays on NBC.

Overall Episode Grade: A

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