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Parks and Recreation - Episode 6.04 - Doppelgängers - Review

Pawnee and Eagleton officially became one in this episode, under the supervision of the Merger Czar (Leslie, of course). But that wasn’t the biggest event of the episode. That would be Ann finally breaking the news to Leslie that she might be leaving Pawnee. Leslie’s reaction is somewhat tempered by the whipped cream-topped waffles immediately shoved in her mouth, but they only serve to delay her inevitable feelings of betrayal. Not even a picture of Joe Biden shirtless and riding a horse can take Leslie’s mind off of her soul sister leaving her. (Fun fact: a very drunk Leslie sings “Lady Marmalade,” “soul sister, soul sister” to Ann in the pilot).

Leslie clearly avoids Ann and instead takes out her anger on everyone else around her - shunning her Pawnee friends for refusing to commit to the job (aka her) for life, and making the Eagletonians her new best friends, complete with mustard-sugar unity cookies. That’s how hurt Leslie is: she’s willing to be friends with the “stupid fart faces” of the city formerly known as Eagleton.

Ron tries to help Leslie talk to Ann about the potential move, telling her to share her true feelings because geography won’t change that. Oh Ron, you’re such a softie. Leslie practices on Ann’s replacement Evelyn, who is unsure why she keeps getting drawn into situations, but seems to be fairly cool about it. (Though of course she’s not as beautiful as Ann). At the end of the episode Leslie and Ann finally sat down to actually talk about it in the chairs from the Pit; a conversation in which I’m sure a few tears were shed. I’m curious as to how Leslie is going to deal with Ann’s actual departure when the time comes - I can only imagine Amy Poehler will pull out the waterworks and makes us all cry sad/happy tears. Damn you Poehler.

Post-merge the Pawnee Parks Department members deals with their Eagletonian counterparts in a few different ways:
Tom’s technique is to pretend that the efficient computer program that could replace him (E.R.I.C.) is actually an awful person, and then just get him to leave, and replace him with T.O.M.

Donna thinks her counterpart, Craig, while clearly over-intense, is the better one for the job than she is. She doesn’t care too much because she’s got that condo in Seattle and a fiancé in Denver - but don’t get invested, it won’t last.

April, in sneaky April fashion, talks her counterpart, Tynnyfer, out of the job. She imitates Tynny’s Real Housewife persona and quickly becomes fast friends with her, even taking on the adorable nicknames of “Slut” and “Skank.” While getting manicures in the courtyard, April secures her job as she convinces Tynnyfer that she doesn’t even want the job, while at the same time arranging for her to unintentionally break into Dwayne Wayne’s house in Miami. It’s amazing how April can both prove her commitment to her job while arranging legal trouble for someone else. She’s just that good.

Ron’s relationship with counterpart Ron gets off to a great start, with this introduction:
Ron S : Ron.
Ron D : Ron.
Ron S : Last name?
Ron D : Dunn.
Ron S : Is that your name, or are you telling me you’re finished talking?
Ron D : Both.
Match made in heaven, right? Not so much. Ron thinks he found a real friend in Ron, until he discovers that Ron Dunn’s a vegan who promotes communal living and wears sandals. Then he’s the worst person ever. Which of these people could make the world a better place? Probably Ron Dunn. But who’s your favorite TV grouch? Ron Swanson. Or Oscar the Grouch. But definitely one of the two.

Another new addition to the office is Larry, the new filing intern. Of course, this is really Jerry/Gary who was pulled off a cruise and out of retirement to deal with the massive amount of folder currently in the Parks department. Jerry, while trying to rebrand himself with his real name, Gary, ends up with the name Larry (courtesy of April). Larry Gengirch ladies and gentlemen.

Off in the C story, Ben and Chris resurrect their old Good Cop/Bad Cop accountant routine. It was great to see that glimpse of Ben from Season 2, when he stormed into Pawnee with a budget to slash. Although they have a successful day of eliminating Segways, baristas, masseurs, and baristas for the masseurs from the budget, Ben and Chris are wiped when they go out to dinner. The job just doesn’t feel the same at the end of the day as it used to - when Chris would exercise and Ben would re-watch Twin Peaks and look online for Easter eggs. Because of course.

Chris breaks the news of his and Ann’s eventually departure, probably to Michigan where Ann’s family is. (Is this the first episode where this is mentioned? I had no clue Ann was from Michigan). While Ben’s sad that Ann and Chris are most likely leaving, neither of them are lonely nomads* anymore, and they no longer need long days of pun-filled accounting to be happy.

*I’m calling “Lonely Nomads” for a band name. Unless it’s already a band, in which case, I’d like to hear their music.

“Dopplegangers” was a great episode of Parks and Rec that had some light jokes with the newbies, and some emotional moments in one of the longest important relationships on the show. I know Leslie’s going to be sad when Ann leaves, and I know I’m certainly going to miss Rashida Jones’ presence on the show.

How do you feel about Ann and Chris’ eventual departure? Are you okay with them moving on, or have you refused to let go? Do you need a large whipped cream-topped waffle to soften the blow?

Waffle Toppings:
- re: Ann’s departure, “Nice? Edible Arrangements are nice. This is volcanically hot betrayal!” - Leslie
- Evelyn, Ann’s counterpart, pointing out the odd role that Ann’s occupied for the past several years - “I don’t work in this department.”
- one of the biggest issues with Ann leaving? Leslie has to watch the Oscars ALONE with Ben, who had no opinion on Angelina Jolie’s dress.
- Craig and Donna bonding over love for Scandal and hatred of Mellie
- Chris’s “Good Earth Salad” at a Pawnee restaurant, consisting of cheese, toffee, “gummybear worms” (his words), and gumballs. Classic Pawnee with their mega-diabetes.

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