Saturday, September 26, 2009

Parks and Recreation - The Stakeout, or Marijuana Carrots

So many questions to be answered! Will Ann and Mark have a second date? Will Leslie and Policeman Dave go out? Will Tom change back to his birth name? Do the tops of carrots really look like marijuana?

After tackling gay (penguin) marriage last week, Parks and Recreation took on an equally controversial subject this time around: marijuana. Specifically, someone decided to start growing the fragrant weed in the community park located in The Pit. In order to avoid bad publicity, Leslie wants to take care of it in-house. And what better way to get to the bottom of it without creating a fuss than by having a stakeout? I'll forgive the Parks and Recreation writers for this artificial little construct, if only because Leslie came so prepared. Mixed CD, candy necklaces, GORP, a shovel, and manure. Oh, and a camera and a black hoodie for Tom.

Leslie did have an ulterior motive in the stakeout. After clearing it with Leslie, Ann decided to go out to a movie with Mark. Conveniently, Ann's house is right next to The Pit, in prime stalking location. It was quite the party out there, with Andy, Ann's ex-boyfriend, living in The Pit, and having a run-in with the whole gang before passing out from either sugar saturation or shock that Ann has moved on from his slacker self. The stakeout showcased Leslie's naive exuberance about the world around her. Perhaps the best example is after Andy asked her about her huge plastic bag full of candy necklaces: "It's a necklace! Made out of candy! Want one?" As if no one knew the wonder of jewelry that will give you a sugar rush, there's Leslie Knope, ready to share her magic with everyone.

To make a long story short, Mark calls the cops on Tom after Tom locks himself out of the stakeout van. Tom makes matters infinitely worse after telling the cop, "I'll step out of your momma's van," which lands him a trip downtown. Of course, when trying to bargain Tom out of jail, Leslie drops the bomb about the marijuana. They go to check it out, but the marijuana is gone! Someone's taken it! Or, it was carrots all along.

I'm unclear if there really was marijuana, and it was stolen (leaving room for further investigation into the disappearance), or if both Leslie and Tom mistook harmless carrots for something more sinister. For the record, though, carrots and marijuana do look kind of similar.

The plus side of the situation was an excellent cameo by Louis C.K. Let's hope he continues as a love interest for Leslie in coming episodes.

There was a throwaway storyline about Leslie's boss having a hernia, and judging by the fact that I had to Google "Parks and Recreation characters" to find out what his name was, it wasn't the best use of our time. I would have loved to see more of Mark and Ann's date - Ann was definitely bringing the snark at the beginning, but had seemed to relent at the end, allowing Mark to kiss her - on the cheek! What a gentleman! For those of you unaware, check out Paul Schneider's best work in Drunk History, Volume 4. You'll never look at Paul, or our ninth President, William Henry Harrison, the same way.

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