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Recap / Parks And Recreation S 03 E 14

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Ann: Yeah, I snuck an Al Green song in there. I want them to get together, sue me.

Leslie and Ben harbor strong feelings for each other and flirt over documents. When Ann comments on it, Leslie reminds her that she and Ben can't date because of Chris' rule forbidding relationships between government employees. But just as Leslie figures she should keep her distance from Ben, Chris decides to send them to Indianapolis to plead Pawnee's case for hosting the Indiana Little League Baseball Tournament. Leslie gets Ann to help her prepare for the trip and make it as boring as possible to prevent anything romantic happening between her and Ben.

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At the Parks Department, while Leslie is away, Tom gets the other employees to try out his new game show idea "Know Ya Boo", a Newlywed Game-style show. Donna and Jerry do well as a team, but the recently married April and Andy run into problems when April says she doesn't consider MouseRat her favorite band and Andy offends her when he says he doesn't like her favorite music. When April and Andy fail another question, they both storm out of the game separately.

On the trip to Indianapolis, Leslie tries to keep the conversation and music as boring as possible. When she plays the road trip CD mix Ann made, it turns out that Ann sneaked a romantic song onto the CD. Sparks fly between Leslie and Ben until the next "song" on the mix plays, and the rest of the trip is awkward silence from there.

Ron is alone at the Parks Department. A group of kids on a school field trip come to City Hall, and a girl named Lauren Burkiss, who is doing a report on why government matters, comes into the office. Ron talks with her and they hit it off. Ron takes the opportunity to espouse his libertarian beliefs to her and eats Lauren's lunch to compare his actions to those of the government taking taxes. She eagerly accepts his anti-government views and before she leaves, he gifts her with a claymore mine to protect her property.

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Leslie and Ben arrive at Indianapolis, and the little league commission is reluctant to choose Pawnee for the tournament due to its raccoon problem. Ben then delivers a heartfelt speech about the town, impressing the judges who go on to select Pawnee for the tournament. Ben lets Chris know they won the bid. Afterward, Ben suggests they go out to eat, and although Leslie is nervous about the idea, she accepts.

April yells at Tom for causing her and Andy to fight. In addition, Andy has given up making music and sold his guitar to Sewage Joe. Tom tries to mend things by having them play the game again, giving them points even when they get the answers wrong. Andy sees through the plan and leaves in disgust.

At dinner, Leslie and Ben discuss Pawnee. The conversation starts to get romantic, and they both admit their feelings. Leslie takes a break to call Ann. She tells Ann she wants to make out with Ben, but Ann, as instructed, tries to talk her out of it. Leslie rejects it and declares she's going for it, and Ann cheers. However, when Leslie gets back to the table, Chris is there. He was so excited they won the bid that he had to come to congratulate them. He invites them to stay overnight at his place. At Chris' place, things start to get awkward with Leslie and Ben, but they're repeatedly interrupted by Chris going to the bathroom through the night.

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The next day at City Hall, Lauren's mother storms into the Parks and Rec office and chews out Ron. Lauren got in trouble for her report, where she wrote only one single sentence saying that the government doesn't matter. When Ron explains himself, Mrs. Burkiss tells him that as a fourth-grader, Lauren shouldn't have her head be filled with useless ideas, and she's especially angry that Ron ate Lauren's lunch and gave her a claymore mine.

April, feeling down from her and Andy's first big argument, visits Ann to ask for her advice about her fight with Andy. Ann tells her that it's less important that she's right but more important that she's supportive of Andy. April gets an idea.

While Andy is shining shoes, he hears a song he likes in the courtyard. He realizes it's "The Pit", being sung by April while MouseRat plays in the background. April tells him she's living out her dream by playing in the greatest rock band ever. She also got his guitar back, too, having stolen it back from Sewage Joe. Thrilled, Andy reconciles with April, declaring her the best wife in the world.

Leslie decides that doing anything with Ben isn't worth the risk, but when they run into each other at City Hall, they kiss. Leslie is simultaneously delighted and nervous about their future.

Ron meets with Lauren again and tells her she should listen to her teachers, keep an open mind and read all the books she can, and make her own choices for what kind of political views she wishes to follow. He gets her to autograph her original report so he can keep it.

Tropes

  • Auto Erotica: Referenced. Donna's favorite place to "smush" is the back of her Mercedes Benz.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Leslie and Ben, naturally.
  • Brutal Honesty: During the game of "Know Ya Boo!", when Andy is asked what rock star his lady would like to bang, he nominates himself, but April would actually like to bang Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel. This causes April and Andy to have their first major fight.
    Andy: Why wouldn't you pick me?
    April: I don't know. ...You're not technically a rock star.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Ron and Lauren. He treats her with respect despite her young age, and genuinely seems to believe he's being helpful with his whole "government is evil" lecture. In the end, he encourages her to keep an open mind about politics and then asks her to sign the essay she wrote so he can keep it. D'aww.
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Ron thought it was fine to give Lauren (an elementary school-aged child) a landmine after their meeting. Her mother is righteously furious at this.
  • Mama Bear: Lauren's mother certainly gives Ron an earful for filling her daughter's head with libertarian ideas, eating her lunch (as a metaphor on taxes), and giving her a landmine. She actually makes Ron squirm.
  • Moment Killer: Chris interrupts Ben and Leslie's dinner.
  • Odd Friendship: Jerry and Donna know each other well enough to beat Andy and April at Tom's game show attempt.
  • Road Trip Plot: The episode focuses on Leslie and Ben needing to make a road trip by themselves to another town and being unable to deny their feelings any longer.
  • Sabotutor: Downplayed with Ron, who becomes this to Lauren Burkiss, a nine-year-old girl who wanders into the office in the hope of getting some help on her paper about why government matters. Ron immediately starts to lecture her about why it doesn't, and sends her home with his Claymore mine as a present. Her mother is not pleased about this, so Ron qualifies his advice to Lauren, advising her to listen to her teachers, read a lot of books and keep an open mind.
  • Shipper on Deck: Ann for Ben and Leslie, to the point that she secretly put a song from Al Green into the CD for their car drive to Indianapolis.
  • Think Unsexy Thoughts: Or rather "Act as unsexy as possible", as Leslie is determined to keep her and Ben's trip to Indianapolis boring and awkward to prevent anything romantic from happening between them.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Discussed in-universe and rejected by Andy, who believes music should be happy and fun.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Ben and Leslie have it, in copious amounts. Ann comments on it.
    Ann: Wow. That was the most sexual tension I have ever seen in a conversation about documents.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Ron gets chewed out by Lauren's mother for filling her daughter's head with libertarian ideas, eating her lunch (as a metaphor on taxes), and for giving her a landmine.
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