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Recap / Parks And Recreation S 04 E 02

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Ron: Why do I only date brunettes? You know sometimes you eat chicken and you get food poisoning and then even the sight of chicken makes you sick? Tammy One is my blonde chicken.

Leslie is excited for the "Battle Royale", the yearly budget meeting where each city department argues for its budget. Leslie's secret weapon is Ron, who stares down members of other departments during their arguments until they back down. However, when she goes to see him, he tells her that his first ex-wife, Tammy 1, is auditing him. He says it's just another way for her to control him. Nevertheless, Leslie recruits April and Andy to help her help Ron.

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Tom asks for Ben's accounting help with his business. At Entertainment 720, Ben is appalled at the way Tom and Jean-Ralphio are burning through their money on frivolous office decorations, giving employees high salaries with full benefits, and paying basketball players to just hang around and party with them.

As Leslie and the others go over Ron's purchasing history, Ron expands on his history with Tammy 1. She had been present throughout most of his young life: she delivered him as a baby, was his teacher, and she even took his virginity. However, she was cold and controlling, which forever turned Ron off to blonde women after their divorce. Tammy 1 shows up and gives an intimidated Andy and Leslie orders and tells Ron that she will need control of his accounts in order to help him.

Ann wants to shoot a public service announcement about diabetes and enlists Chris' help. She wants him to appear on camera, as he is healthy and telegenic. He is very excited about the idea.

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A week later, Ron shows up to work with his mustache shaved. He explains to Leslie that Tammy 1 has moved in with him and converted his bank account to a joint account. Even scarier is Ron's new enthusiasm for his job and much more personable and sunny demeanor, as well as how he refuses to do anything without Tammy 1's approval.

Ann has begun working with Chris on the diabetes PSA, but his enthusiasm is getting to her. She just wants to finish, but he wants the shoot to be perfect. He spends all day doing countless takes trying to get the PSA to be absolutely perfect, making Ann wonder why she even dated him in the first place.

Ben meets again with Tom and Jean-Ralphio. He can't get through to them that they have to stop spending so much money. After he looks at the books, he tells them they need to downsize and keep better records, and most importantly, they need revenue; otherwise, they'll be bankrupt in a month. Tom and Jean-Ralphio still don't take him seriously and he leaves.

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Leslie takes Ron out to lunch to talk with him, but Tammy 1 accompanies them. When Ron leaves to go to the restroom, Tammy admits that the audit is not real and that she just wants Ron back under her thumb. She used the audit as an excuse to get to his stashes of gold. Out of desperation, Leslie decides to try to enlist Tammy 2's help in getting Ron back. Tammy 2, however, is just as afraid of Tammy 1 as Ron is (Tammy 1 was also her teacher and attacked Tammy 2 with acid when she first got together with Ron) and can't help. Andy then has an idea.

Leslie, April, and Andy visit Ron's mother, Tamara, and she agrees to help them get rid of Tammy 1. She accompanies them back to the Parks Department, where she proposes a drinking contest, using the highly alcoholic Swanson family's homemade mash liquor. Whoever wins gets to keep Ron. This is not what Leslie had in mind, so she joins in to keep Ron at the Parks Department, but the liquor quickly makes her too drunk to continue. April tries to sub in for Leslie, but she can't even handle one sip. Ron finally steps in to end this, grabbing the entire jug and chugging the remaining liquor in one go. He sends his mother back to the farm and kicks Tammy 1 out.

Chris finally gets a take he's happy with after seven hours of reshoots. He apologizes to Ann for taking so long.

Tom approaches Ben to apologize, having brought in several other accountants who confirmed his findings.

Tropes

  • Age-Gap Romance: Tammy 1 (Ron's wife) was a candy striper when Ron was born... and helped deliver him.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Tammy 1 is far worse than Tammy 2, both in regards to her competence in getting what she wants and getting Ron to be subservient to her. The end leaves it clear that Tammy 1 sees Tamara, Ron's mom, as a threat to her, so Tamara is an even bigger fish.
  • Body Horror: Not shown, but Tammy 2 states that Tammy 1 threw acid on her foot when she and Ron first got together.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Ron's mother Tamara has some shades of this.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Tom and Jean-Ralphio refuse to accept any of Ben's (or the NBA players' for that matter) advice because they opened a business and he didn't, even though they really don't know the first thing on how to actually run a business.
  • Drinking Contest: Tamara and Tammy 1 get into one to decide who keeps Ron, downing glasses of the Swanson family mash liquor. Leslie, and then April try to join in to keep Ron in the department but are quickly taken out of commission. Finally, Ron takes his fate into his own hands, grabs the jug, and downs it all in one go himself.
  • Foreshadowing: Ron mentions about burying gold in Pawnee as a way to not leave his money in the bank, he then turns to the camera and say "Or have I?". The ending shows he has a false gold deposit that he led Tammy 1 to.
  • Freudian Excuse: Ron's dislike of blondes and taste for brunettes come from his disastrous relationship with Tammy 1.
  • Gargle Blaster: The Swanson family mash liquor. According to Ron, it can burn warts off of mules, melt a snail's shell off and its only legal use is to strip paint off boats. Tamara, Tammy 1 and Ron are able to drink it fine, but Leslie (who describes it as tasting like poison after the first drink) gets plastered after a couple glasses and April spits it right out after just one sip.
  • Godzilla Threshold: When Tammy 1 shows up and turns Ron into a neutered wimp, Leslie explicitly says that they're "fighting Godzilla, and we need Mothra" and recruits her arch-nemesis Tammy 2 to fight Tammy 1.
  • Gold Digger: Tammy 1 is literally one since she intends to dig out Ron's gold and get it.
  • Henpecked Husband: Ron turns into a neutered and dorky wimp (with his Badass Mustache shaved off) under Tammy 1's influence.
  • Hidden Depths: Basketball player Detlef Schrempf is a savvy business man, despite what Tom and Jean-Ralphio think.
  • Hillbilly Moonshiner: The Swanson family makes its own homemade liquor.
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: Tammy 1 works for the IRS.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Leslie gets stupidly plastered after a few shots of the Swanson family's homemade moonshine. She probably hasn't been this drunk since drinking Tom's Snake Juice concoction.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: Leslie seems to think Tammy 2 is preferable to Tammy 1 and attempts to get her on their side, but, as it turns out, Tammy 2 also fears Tammy 1 and avoids dealing with her at all costs.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Tammy 1, to truly terrifying degrees. Her mere word is enough to make Leslie scramble to do anything she says, and a week of living with Ron turns him into a brightly dressed, personable, clean-shaven, pro-government dork.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Ron returns to the office a week after Tammy 1 moved in with him, he becomes a personable, brightly dressed, pro-government wimp. Everyone finds it incredibly jarring, driving Leslie to try to find a way to get Tammy 1 out.
  • Operation: [Blank]: Leslie goes through a variety of codenames for her plans to save Ron from Tammy 1, including "Operation: Rescue Ron", "Operation: Golden Dove", and "Operation: Soaring Falcon".
  • Shout-Out: Leslie compares Tammy 1 to Godzilla, and attempts to get Tammy 2 on as Mothra to go against her.
  • The Stoic: Tammy 1 is intimidating and stone cold. April comes to admire her for this.
  • Student Teacher Romance: Tammy 1 was Ron's (and Tammy 2's) Sunday School teacher, as well as his driving instructor and sex educator.
  • Vague Age: Tammy 1 is basically joked about as being Really 700 Years Old, being already a voluntary at the hospital by the time Ron was born, being his and Tammy 2's teacher, babysitter and driving instructor, but she doesn't look a day over 50 at most and her actress Patricia Clarkson is ten years older than Nick Offerman.
  • Wife Husbandry: Gender inverted and implied to be the case with Tammy 1 and Ron.
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