I need to get something off my chest: Ann! If you’re trying to meet a dude, why did you show up to the Valentine’s Day dance looking so frumpy? What was that dress? You usually look awesome! Come on, Ann! Get it together!
OK. Now that I have that out of the way, let’s talk about last night’s Parks and Recreation. It opened with “Galentine’s Day”, Leslie’s gal-pal celebration on February 13th that totally should be a national holiday! Everyone at the brunch had a man to celebrate V-Day with – Leslie has Ben, April has Andy, Donna had a guy waiting in her car (she rolled the windows down!), Leslie’s mom has some guy from the Interwebs – except for poor Ann. So Leslie decided to make it her mission to find Ann a Valentine’s Day date. She instructed everyone in the Parks Department to bring an eligible bachelor to the dance. It went as you could expect – I don’t know what was funnier, Jerry accidentally bringing a male escort or April bringing Oren. He’s so weird!
The dance was less than romantic, because Chris was in charge of music – and the music reflected his mood, which was incredibly depressed. Ann leaves, and Leslie is totally bummed out that she failed to find Ann a date – until she sees Ann in her car, putting on lipstick and curling her hair. She was going to a date! And she kept it a secret! And the music had gotten better! She had to be meeting Chris.
Leslie desperately wanted to go confront them, because Ann and Chris dating would be breaking the rule that had cost Leslie her reputation and Ben his job. But April, of all people, convinced her to leave Ann alone. So instead, Leslie went to meet Ben.
Ben was waiting for Leslie at a memorial statue of Little Sebastian, a spot that was revealed to him after solving 25 intricate clues in a scavenger hunt Leslie had put together. And who solved most of those clues? Well, that would be one Ron Swanson. I loved seeing Ron gleefully solve Ben’s scavenger hunt, with a little help from Andy and, of course, Ben himself.
When Leslie told Ben about her Ann/Chris suspicions, he immediately agreed that they should find them and confront them. It was a little moment, but I loved the camaraderie between Ben and Leslie there. Everyone thinks it’s a terrible idea, but WE don’t! It’s the stuff great relationships are built on. Or something.
But when Leslie found Ann, she wasn’t sitting with Chris. She was sitting with TOM. April had set them up, after realizing that the only person who’d made Ann laugh all night was Tom. I really liked this storyline, because it acknowledged the two dueling sides of Tom Haverford. There’s the ridiculous guy with the fake swagger who cries when his “fingy” gets stuck between bowling balls. And there’s a really funny guy who will treat his lady like a queen because he knows he’s lucky to have her. While Tom was helping Ann reject weirdos at the dance, he was funny and natural. Then when they went for a drink, “Suave” Tom came out, possibly crushing any chance he had of having chemistry with Ann. We don’t know for sure that the date ended badly, but I’m not sure the show really wants to explore these two in a relationship.
What did you guys think of “Operation Ann”? Check out some of my favorite quotes and moments below:
- Leslie calling Ann a “beautiful spinster”.
- Martin Starr! That was a fun treat for Party Down fans.
- Ron at the gay bar was just delightful.
- Andy accidentally breaking that glass case.
- Tom telling Chris the music sounded like the end of a movie where a monk kills himself.
- Ron sheepishly telling Leslie that he wants a scavenger hunt for his birthday? Amazing.