Parks and Recreation: Sister City
by Kona Gallagher, posted Oct 16th 2009 2:10AM
(S02E05) Wow. I cannot wait to see what you guys have to say about this episode. I've been of the opinion that Parks and Recreation started off shaky, but consistently got better until the season finale, which is when I truly became a fan. Then, the first four episodes of this season were not only hilarious, but allowed the characters to grow and develop.
And then this episode happened.
I really want to give the benefit of the doubt to shows I like, so I'm just going to say that, hey, maybe there's a really important, deep message about Venezuelan/US relations that I just did not get. That is why we had 30 minutes of Fred Armisen insulting both America and really, the people of Venezuela simultaneously. Yeah, that's the ticket.
I'm not saying the episode was without funny parts -- the first five minutes of the Venezuelan crew coming to Pawnee was funny, and I liked the running gag of Raul giving Tom money for every little thing. Plus, I really enjoyed April's disaffected romance with her fellow intern. However, there wasn't anything that truly made me laugh out loud in this episode, and that's a shame. Considering how hysterically funny last week's episode was, I feel very let down.
While I really didn't find this episode funny, there were some character elements that I did like. The backbone Leslie has been steadily growing this season was in effect, which I always enjoy seeing. Yes, she capitulated to Raul and his crew perhaps a bit too much, but she was trying to be polite. When it really came down to it, Leslie stood up for herself and tore that check up.
The best part, however, was the end when Tom took the hundreds of dollars he had made from being the Venezuelan's errand boy and donated it to the park fund. Although Tom is probably the funniest character on the show, he's often a caricature. This small scene allowed him to show his human side, which just makes him more interesting. It was subtle and very effective -- pretty much the opposite of everything else in this episode.
[Watch clips and episodes of Parks and Recreation at SlashControl.]