Parks and Recreation: The Stakeout
by Kona Gallagher, posted Sep 25th 2009 2:20AM
(S02E02) This week's episode wasn't as great for me as the premiere was in terms of story, but there was still some really nice character development. I mentioned last week how it was nice that Leslie was becoming more than a one-dimensional bumbling fool, and that continued this week. People are actually treating her as a person instead of just someone to mock.
Some of the best comedy in Parks and Recreation has come from Leslie and Tom's interaction. Aziz Ansari and Amy Poehler are the funniest people on the show by far, so every time they get together is golden. What was so great about this episode though, is it wasn't just Tom making fun of her. The stakeout gave them the opportunity to get to know each other as people, instead of just annoying co-workers.
As I suspected, Leslie isn't completely cool with Ann dating Mark, but she's being reasonably mature about it. She didn't make up the story of the weed just to check up on them, as the cop suggested, but who can blame her for snapping a few pictures as they happened to come in range of her lens? Sometimes curiosity is just too powerful to ignore. She's only human, after all.
While we have seen Mark show some kindness to Leslie, you definitely get the impression that he's spent much of the past six years since they've slept together basically treating her like crap. However, when Tom actually pointed that out and told Leslie that she could do a lot better than him, I was kind of surprised. Tom wouldn't have said that to her even three episodes ago, so it's a testament to the more realistic direction the show is going, in that the moment between them even happened at all.
The cop was a little weird to me, though it's nice to see someone take an interest in Leslie. I wonder if he'll actually be showing back up and courting Ms. Knope, or if his attraction to her was solely to illustrate that men in Pawnee can find her attractive.
My one problem with the episode was Ron and April. Their scenes were mildly funny at best, but mainly just boring. It felt as though the writers couldn't think of anything for them to do, but wanted them to be in the episode, so they shoehorned in the snoozer of a hernia storyline. I really enjoy both these actors and characters, so I want to see more of them -- just not like this.
Overall, the second episode wasn't as good as the premiere, but I still love the direction in which the show is heading. What did you think about episode two?
[Watch clips and episodes of Parks and Recreation at SlashControl.]