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Recap / Parks And Recreation S 05 E 17

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Leslie: Screw you, Partridge! And a sled is a stupid mascot!

Leslie and Ben travel to Ben's hometown, Partridge, Minnesota. As a gesture of goodwill, the town is offering Ben the key to the city, a distinction given to all city mayors. Ben is pleased that the city has finally gotten over Ice Town and feels at home again. Before the ceremony, the pair visits Ben's sister, Stephanie, where Leslie asks her about stuff from Ben's childhood while Ben practices his acceptance speech. However, Ben suddenly falls down in pain and is taken to the hospital, where it's revealed he has kidney stones. The doctor insists Ben stay at the hospital all day, and Ben is loopy and out-of-it while dosed on morphine. Leslie thus has to go to the ceremony on Ben's behalf.

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Meanwhile, Ron has received a subpoena from Councilman Jamm, who is suing him for punching him during Leslie and Ben's wedding ceremony. April, Andy, and Tom are called as witnesses for the deposition, and Tom and April lie about Ron, to which Ron does not agree. He makes them recant their testimony, and when they tell the truth, it is pretty damning for Ron, as both tell of the many times when Ron outspokenly wished to punch Jamm in the face. When asked to make a statement of his own, Ron declares he regrets nothing.

Ann and Chris take an online compatibility quiz to make sure they'd be a good parenting match. Despite having once dated, they find out their score is a mere 58%, and they begin to question whether or not this is such a good idea.

At the key giving ceremony, Leslie finds the whole operation was one big set-up to mock Ben again. The key was made of ice and has melted into water, and the city has in fact not forgotten or moved on from Ice Town. Leslie gives an angry speech to the assembled citizens. Later, Leslie and Ben meet with the mayor, who refuses to take back what happened.

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Feeling that Ron's future punishment is on them due to their testimonies, Andy, April, and Tom storm into Jamm's office and blackmail him into dropping the lawsuit as the trio found that Jamm's affidavit was not entirely accurate, and then set him up by pretending that he assaulted Tom. Jamm gives in and calls his lawyer to cancel the lawsuit.

After spending the day failing to make up for their poor score, Chris decides to create his own compatibility quiz for Ann, with the only question being "Will you love our child and work hard to see he or she has a good life?" Both come to realize that all that matters is that they will love their child, with everything else being of a trivial nature.

As they sit at a park reflecting on the day's events, Ben bitterly realizes that the people of Partridge still see him as a failure despite all he's done to fix his mistakes and will never get over what happened. Leslie consoles him by revealing she stole the key to the city from the mayor's office. Ben, however, realizes he doesn't need this anymore and throws the key into a lake, cutting Partridge out of his life for good.

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Tropes

  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Leslie caps off her "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the people of Partridge by telling them that a sled is a stupid town mascot.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: How Tom and April get Jamm to drop the suit against Ron. They assemble a file of the lies he told, threaten him with perjury charges, and top everything off by Tom faking an injury in Jamm's office. It may be the only time that Jamm actually admitted defeat.
    Jamm: (On the phone) Yeah, it's me... We got Jammed.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Ben tries to use the bathroom five times in an hour before suddenly passing a kidney stone.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Ben is loopy and incoherent while hopped up on morphine.
  • I Regret Nothing: Ron says this with regards to punching Jamm at Leslie and Ben's wedding.
  • Never Live It Down: In-Universe, it's revealed the Partridge residents still bear a very intense grudge against Ben for bankrupting the town.
  • Not Really a Birth Scene: This happens when Ben gets kidney stones. When Leslie and his sister ask what's wrong, he says that he's giving birth.
  • Persona Non Grata: It's shown here that the residents of Ben's hometown have not gotten over the Ice Town debacle. Ben's sister runs as soon as a crowd points her out as a relative, and Leslie and Ben even get chased out of a local park when a ranger recognizes him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Leslie delivers one to the whole town of Partridge for their collective pettiness.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Chris and Ann take a test to see if they'll be a good parenting match. In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it gag, it's called the "Incandenza-Pemulis Parenting Compatibility Test" (after two characters from David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest).
    • Councilman Jamm's law firm is Gately, Wayne, Kittenplan, & Troeltsch - and all of these are also characters in Infinite Jest.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Ben finds out that the people of Partridge still hate him for the Ice Town debacle. Because of this, he forsakes Partridge and declares Pawnee his new home.
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