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Parks and Recreation - Episode 4.02 - Ron & Tammys - Review

It’s become a tradition in Parks and Recreation to have at least one Ron and Tammy episode per season, excluding the super short first season. These episodes are automatically instant classics, and I felt that tonight was no exception. After all, if one Tammy was amazing, then three Tammy’s should be super extra special amazing. Try telling that to my boyfriend, who as soon as the episode was over declared that it was terrible and that this season had already jumped the shark. Blasphemy, right? If we hadn’t been together for six years I would have thrown him out. His point was that the characters and the situations weren’t realistic, like the old-fashioned drink off and Chris going insane with the diabetes commercial. Now if Parks did this every episode I might agree with him, but it’s a fairly rare occurrence when the writers tend to veer into insanity territory. And that’s what makes these infrequent episodes classics, we’re used to a straight-laced Ron, which is why it is so funny when he shows up without his mustache or in cornrows. I greatly enjoyed this episodes foray into craziness, but I expect next week to see everyone back to normal, including Ron’s mustache which no doubt grows at superhuman speeds.

The main plot this week centered around Tammy One who is incredibly evil and manipulative in ways that I didn’t think were possible, making her my favorite new villain on TV, ever. Move over Ben Linus, because Tammy One is here to do some damage. And of course I have to give credit to the amazing Patricia Clarkson who absolutely sold this character to me and created something uniquely special. Despite her defeat at the end of the episode, and my fear for Ron’s soul, I genuinely hope that we will get to see more of her later in the season. The same can be said for Tammy Zero, Ron’s mother, who is perfectly cast as a backwoods anarchist gun nut. Try as Leslie might she really can’t hold her own between these two powerhouse women and their moonshine. In the end we find out that Tammy One just wanted to get close enough to Ron to find the location of his gold, but don’t worry because according to Ron that’s just decoy gold.

The main storyline was so strong I feel like the entire episode could have solely revolved around Ron and the Tammy’s, but for some reason the writers tried to throw in two sub-plots. The largest of the two is Ben and his attempts at reigning in Entertainment 720. I had the most issue with this because despite being funny it definitely felt like a rehash of last season’s Ben-teaches-April-and-Andy-to-be-Adults. Ben’s original job was going from town to town fixing towns that were in debt or mismanaged, and his new job in Parks appears to be going from character to character doing the same thing. Now that Ben and Leslie have broken up it must be hard finding things for Ben to do, but something that’s not Life-Advice related would be nice. Despite all this the storyline was a funny way to setup more jokes about the lavish world of E720, which is always hilarious.

The other story of the night focused on Ann and Chris, who are brought together under the premise of shooting a diabetes commercial. Chris’ slowly snowballing insanity gives Ann a moment of clarity on their prior relationship, but in the end we’re left with the feeling that she still likes him. My guess is that we’ll see plenty more of this will-they-wont-they-again tension this season, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. It might be funny if we see a rehash of the Leslie/Ben relationship, but instead with Ann and Chris sneaking around City Hall, especially since it’s Chris’ own rule. Also I think I prefer Ann when she’s being cynical and not in puppy love mode.

Overall this was another amazing episode, and a strong start for the season. We veered away from the Leslie-Running-For-Office, but I think it was worth it. Next week I’m assuming we’ll return to that, but I can’t seem to find any info about next weeks episode other than the title. As always thanks for reading and please leave me comments at the bottom!

Random Thoughts:

  • Shame we never got to see the ‘Battle Royale’ mentioned in the opener, Ron insulting other departments would have been hilarious.
  • Yeah a calculator and a rolodex aren’t even vaguely similar, oh Andy how I love you.
  • I’m surprised with all the diabetes jokes that no one popped out a Wilfred Brimley impersonation.
  • The scene where Jean Ralphio is lifted up to make the dunk shot absolutely made my night, I’m pretty sure I can die happy now.
  • Also hilarious; the scene where Ron is telling Andy/April/Leslie about how he met Tammy One, and all three of them are having very different reactions.
  • It’s amazing what a week with Tammy One will do to Ron, the sight of him without that mustache is just plain wrong. Just wrong.
  • My office at work totally needs a party button, also caterers and professional athletes.
  • I love how Ron acts like a little boy around Tammy One, like she’s his mother. Pushing in the chair, asking to go to the bathroom. He even sounded like a little kid at some points, great acting.
  • The gunroom is painted purple. Purple, people!
  • I don’t know what’s in that moonshine, but damn do I want to try some.
  • Oh April, your Puerto Rican-ness is no match for the Swanson Swill.
  • And like Popeye with his spinach, the moonshine powers up Ron so that he can banish the evil Tammy One. What problems won’t alcohol fix

Favorite Quotes:

  • “I’m being audited by the IRS.” “No! You’re worst nightmare!”
  • “This one says I bought supplies, 2007.”
  • “I’m heavily invested in gold, which I’ve buried in several different locations around Pawnee. Or have I?”
  • “Your new nickname is Jello Shot. What do you think about that J-Shot?”
  • “Alright Ben if you need anything one of these models that we pay to hang around here will get it for you.”
  • “Is this true, you only spent forty-dollars on clothes in the past five years?”
  • “She did however teach me everything I know. Sunday school, sex, she was my math teacher in middle school, my baby sitter, and she taught me drivers ed.”
  • “Well I’m sure Ron will remember the meeting fondly while he makes toilet wine in a federal prison in Terra Haute.”
  • “She’s the cold, distant mother I never had. I love her.”
  • “Hey Jerr, hump day am I right buddy?”
  • “Let’s do one more, then five more, then twenty in a row.”
  • “Leslie, please. The government knows what it’s doing. I’m confident that…” and SMACK! “Ouchie.”
  • “When Ron falls for Tammy Two he turns into a demonic sex maniac. But this? Neutered wimp? This is worse.”
  • “He wants me here. He invited me. Na na na na na na nah.”
  • “You gold digger! You are literally a gold digger.”
  • “Don’t forget to grab a free iPad on the way out.”
  • “I cannot believe I dated him. For a long time! And he broke up with me!”
  • “We need to break Ron from her spell. Can’t you just move your but around, or wear a dress made out of meat?”
  • “Tammy was my Sunday school teacher two. She can pinpoint your weaknesses and destroy you with just a word. And a jar of acid.”
  • “There’s a room full of just guns!”
  • “Ahh, an old fashioned prairie drink off.”
  • “Its only legal use is to strip varnish off of speed boats.”
  • “Leslie don’t drink that, we use it to burn warts off of mules.”
  • “Poison!”
  • “Had enough?” “Of this watered down baby formula? Not even close.”
  • “Ok, first thing you need to do, get rid of four of those accountants.”
  • “Everybody pants now! Pants, pants, pants, pants.”
  • “You think I’d leave me gold in a locked safe buried underground where anyone could find it? You don’t know me at all.”

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