29
Sep
2011
Parks and Recreation: Season 4, Episode 2
Ron and Tammys
Sam Lindauer
The Ron and Tammy saga continued this week as Patricia Clarkson made her proper debut after briefly appearing in last week's tag. It turns out she's auditing everyone's favorite human, Ron Swanson. After the wild success of "Ron and Tammy" I was worried that the whole thing would become played out. We'd get more episodes with Offerman's wife, Meghan Mullaly as the evil Tammy (like staring into Satan's butthole). But there were two more Tammys for the show to share. All three appear in this episode and instead of being Tammy overload it was one of the shows best. There was no shortage of laugh out loud moments in this week's show.
This week's success had everything to do with the genius performance of Nick Offerman. I would say that this episode should be submitted for Emmy consideration except that it actually requires that you know who this character is in order to fully appreciate how wonderful the performance actually is. Judging by his lack of nominations, the academy likely has no clue who Ron Fucking Swanson is. Give the man a goddamn Emmy. Sorry I had to throw that out there. Back to the show.
Trying to save Ron from jail ("Jail Ron, jail, jail, Ron jail") Leslie needs to go through his past expenses. This trip down Swanson's purchasing history must have been just a field day for the writers. They find little to no receipts but what they do find is gold, literally and figuratively. There's a hand written receipt saying "I bought supplies, 2007", there's a photo of a gentleman's agreement involving a hand-built kitchen table, tens of feet in copper pipe and a half-pig. Also, we learn Ron sends shotgun shells and cigarettes to his mother once a month. Yes.
While the Ron/Tammys storyline won the day, there were two mildly amusing B-stories that seemed to be in the show just because you couldn't have the full 22 minutes be the Ron and Tammy show (I wish it was). We see Tom trying to get some help from Ben at his horrifically mismanaged company. We also have a story with Chris and Ann working on a new diabetes PSA. The Tom story had some laughs and Adam Scott did a great job as the straight man. Chris and Ann's story failed to get funny moments out of Chris who kept trying to have the perfect take but managed to remind fans that Ann is now employed in the city government and must be given things to do.
Regardless of the missteps of the lesser stories are easily brushed away by Ron and Tammy. We find out that Tammy 1 has known Ron since his birth and has a really creepy control over him. Turns out the whole audit thing is a sham just to get Ron back into her clutches. The last act of the show with mustache-less Ron was really years in the making. Developing characters we know and care about ("Full Hearts" for anyone who read my Friday Night Lights referencing Terra Nova review) is half the battle with making a good television show. Since we know Swanson so well and care about him being him, seeing his neutered state is at once hilarious and a little bit upsetting. Ron describing things as "cool beans" and saying "Oh gosh, I'm in a pickle now" shook me to the core. I love how Ron is always morphed into a different creature depending on which Tammy he is with. After failing to enlist Tammy 2 ("To beat Godzilla we need Mothra") the team turns to Tammy 0, Ron's mom. In a cabin, she looks just how you'd expect. She even has a room full of guns that Leslie asks about. Tammy gives a Swanson answer of "This is America isn't it? Then I don't have to answer stupid questions while standing on my own property."
The grand finale to the show had Tammy 0 and Tammy 1 sit down to an old-fashioned prairie drink-off with Swanson brand grain alcohol ("It's only legal use is to strip varnish off of speed boats."). Before things got ugly (and an intervening Leslie killed herself from trying to drink the booze) Ron put an end to everything by drinking all of the liquor and casting Tammy 1 back to hell. It was one for the ages and I think I'm going to watch it again because I want to hear more about Ron's gold.

A

Notes:
-Can we talk about Ron's gold collection: "I've heavily invested in gold and buried it in various locations throughout Pawnee"¦or have I?"
-Tammy 1 is impressed by how much gold Ron has acquired and manages to dig up an underground vault full of gold. As Leslie points out, she is an actual gold digger.
-Nice to see Chris and Ann starting to get the "Will they" train going, even if I didn't think they really hit the mark this week.
-Listening to Andy respond to Tammy 1 further links him to a puppy dog.
-"New" Ron mentions Humpday and says "Ouchie"
-Tammy 2 was only briefly in the episode, but for good reason. Tammy 1 threw acid on her foot.
-Drunk Leslie continues to be amusing and this show knows it. Poehler has played drunk many times for Parks and Rec.
-"We use it to burn warts off of the mules"
-"It will melt the shell off a garden snail"
-April's violent reaction to trying the booze was funny. Still waiting for her to have an episode, but its early yet.

Tags: Parks and Recreation
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