Gin It Up!

**This post contains spoilers for the latest episode of Parks and Recreation, “Gin It Up,” as well as light spoilers for the series Orphan Black.**

Those Parks and Recreation writers, they sure know what they’re doing.

Last week, beautiful tropical fish Ann Perkins broke the news to Leslie that she and Chris were considering moving out of Pawnee. Leslie’s reaction, while in character, made for a bummer of an episode. (That’s a scientific term, by the way: bummer of an episode.) I found myself dreading this week’s episode as Thursday drew closer, because there’s nothing quite as depressing as watching a sad Leslie Knope. It’s like disappointing Annie Edison, which as we all know, is akin to choking the Little Mermaid with a bike chain.

I shouldn’t have dreaded this at all. I should’ve trusted those Parks guys. I won’t ever doubt them again. What did they do that was so great, you ask? They brought in Tatiana Maslany! And who is Tatiana Maslany, you ask? Well:

Yeah. You’re a little bit in love with her right now, aren’t you?

If you aren’t familiar with the show Orphan Black, well, I’m not judging you, you have a lot going on in your life right now. I understand that it’s on your To Watch list, and you’ll get to it as soon as possible. It’s cool! In the meantime, I’ll just tell you that Tatiana Maslany plays multiple unique characters who discover they are clones. It’s fantastic, and more to the point, she is fantastic.

So basically, we Orphan Black fans were Tom Haverford when she appeared on our screens.

We identified with Tom when he fell instantly in love with Nadia, the beautiful Doctors without Borders representative from Indianapolis, who is trying to reserve a park for free vaccinations. And we completely understood when Tom busted out a fake British accent, because he panicked when he realized that Nadia was out of his league.

Unfortunately, Tom’s antics freak out Nadia, so he uses “the most powerful weapon I have: bureaucratic incompetence” to try to keep her in Pawnee. He even offers to make daiquiris and busts out DJ Roomba. Somehow, even when Nadia says mean things (like “I hope you all get West Nile”) she’s still charming. And Tom is still smitten with her.

At the end of the episode, April does Tom a solid by telling Nadia that he is into her. Nadia decides that Tom was kind of romantic, and that she doesn’t have anything to lose since she’s leaving the country in two weeks, so she asks Tom if he wants to go out with her. Tom, adorably, says, “Yes, please!” And there was much rejoicing!

Oh right, there were other storylines in this episode, weren’t there? Actually, the Tom/Nadia storyline was the C plot, despite what I would have you believe with my enthusiasm.

We revisited the Recall Leslie Knope storyline this week, and Leslie had a brilliant strategy for counter-campaigning: Printing out “Don’t” stickers. That way, the signs will say “Don’t Recall Leslie Knope,” and she only had to pay for stickers instead of signs! (Of course, her original plan was to print out question marks along with it, because she wanted to make the signs say “Recall Leslie Knope? Don’t.”)

Meanwhile, Donna accidentally sends out an explicit tweet from the official Parks and Rec Twitter account. The media hilariously picks up on “Twitter Watergate,” you know, until they can find a snappier name for it. Leslie and Donna deal with the fallout, but not without some collateral damage: Councilman Jamm reveals some less-than-favorable tweets from Donna’s personal Twitter account about Leslie. This causes Leslie to spiral with worry that she annoys people.

Beautiful rule-breaking moth Ann Perkins is noticeably missing from this episode, presumably to dull the pain of last week, but Chris Traeger is still around, spreading sunshine and happiness as he assists Leslie with her anti-Recall Knope campaign. He tells Leslie that her passion and enthusiasm is bound to rub people the wrong way every once in a while. It’s the sort of thing we’re going to miss when Chris is gone. Leslie and Donna apologize to each other, but no apology is complete without Leslie giving someone a basket of their favorite lipsticks and nail polishes, each individually wrapped.


The other storyline revolves around Ron and his lack of a real will. (His current will is a handwritten note that says, “Upon my death, all of my belongings shall be transferred to the man or animal who has killed me.”) This concerns Ben, since Ron is a newlywed with two stepdaughters and a child on the way. He makes it his mission to make sure Ron gets a notarized will to support his family. In the course of events, we find out that Ron is loaded… so loaded that he only needs to leave his kids 5% of his fortune for them to live comfortably. There’s also a particularly sweet scene where Ron tells Ben that he and Leslie are his second choice to raise his kids, should something happen to him. His first choice? Ralph Piakowski, the 90-year-old maitre’d at Mulligans Steakhouse. And he’s not joking.

The rest of the episode involved April sticking question mark stickers all over everything. As you do.


Hmm? What’s that? Oh, you want me to end this post with a stellar gif of Tatiana Maslany? Well if you insist!


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