1. “AVIAN FLU” HITS PAWNEE.
Just as Leslie’s trying to plan her gala to save the park project, she’s hit with a state–mandated emergency–preparedness drill. Chris “dies” from a fake avian flu and no one tells Jerry it’s fake, but the real star is Leslie, who pre–records a fake newscast for all emergency scenarios AND IS HILARIOUS, switching from news anchor to reporter to doctor in a flash of SNL–era Amy brilliance.
2. PAWNEE TODAY WITH RON SWANSON!
Ron decides to take Leslie’s place on Pawnee Today to talk about the fundraiser and ends up hosting the show while Joan Calamezzo is PTFO. He totally loves it, dispensing advice about fixing tables and his favorite movies, which include “Herbie Fully Loaded.” Far and away one of Ron’s best bits in an already strong season for him.
3. ANDY FINALLY TAKES THE POLICE TEST.
The Andy–becoming–a–cop subplot finally gets off the ground this episode when he takes the police exam. We get some classic Andy struggles but also a nice surprise later in the episode: he somehow fails the personality test, but gets a perfect score on the written exam. I’m thinking this can’t be the end of Andy’s law enforcement dreams.
4. TO BE CONTINUED.
The TBC bomb is rarely dropped on Parks, but this week’s episode ended with a top–notch “WAIT, WHAT?!” moment. At the black tie fundraiser for Leslie’s park—which the gang miraculously pulls off at the 11th hour—Ben suggests that he and Leslie get married right then and there. Leslie is flabbergasted but clearly very excited. END SCENE. TBC. Annoying, yes—but it was a well–done way of bringing in some unexpected suspense to a storyline we thought would be predictable.
5. THIS WAS JUST A GREAT EPISODE.
It refocused on the central storyline of the season (Leslie and Ben’s wedding), developed a struggling character plotline (Andy) and produced some classic Leslie and Ron moments along the way. We wait with bated breath until next week, when we find out if Ben and Leslie decide to get married on the spot at the gala. Get that Kleenex box ready, just in case.