Okay so I watched a number of episodes without you, Imaginary Reader. I’ll summarize.
0223 – The Master Plan – April turns 21 but Andy seems a little too fond of Ann at her birthday party. Jean-Ralphio is still gross. Ann can’t remember whom she kissed (it was Chris). Leslie spins her wheels as the city cuts back. That guy Ann used to be dating is kind of stalkery and takes it out inappropriately on Shauna Malwae-Tweep and God I’m glad he’s leaving.
No, wait, let me re-summarize that episode. EEEEEEEEEEEE BEN EEEEEEEEEE.
0224 – Freddy Spaghetti – The city shuts down. Tom has a girlfriend. Leslie marshals her crew to throw a kids’ event even without a budget. Ben saves the day even though he doesn’t want to. Foreshadowing of Andy’s future career in entertainment. Oh, and Ann kisses Andy, and of course April sees it, because this show couldn’t be COMPLETELY devoid of stupid romantic plot twists.
0301 – Go Big Or Go Home – The city’s back in business. Ron’s dating Tom’s ex, and everybody else is positioning themselves for Great Loves: April’s mad at Andy, Leslie’s mad at Ben, Ann’s declining Chris’s advances. 20/20 hindsight makes this all adorable. Also, Andy is adorable as a basketball coach who just wants his kids to have fun.
And now for the main event!
Plot: Errrbody has the flu, even Chris, whose body is a finely tuned machine. April makes Ann’s life hell as a patient. Ron adopts Andy as a mentee and replacement admin. Leslie’s super-sick but manages to pull out an amazing presentation anyway. Ben is suitably impressed.
Deep Thoughts: It’s a sad comment on television that this is so noteworthy, but: three men are falling in love with three women here, and in all three cases the relationships are healthy, normal, and centered on the women. Ben realizes Leslie’s amazing way before she returns the favor, and it’s not because she’s hot, but because they have so much in common and she’s a badass. Chris hasn’t really shared why he finds Ann attractive (please, Chris, share, so I can understand!), but he’s pursuing her, and she’s declining because she’s worried about her emotional health and wants some time between relationships. April has legitimate concerns that Andy isn’t over Ann and communicates them using her words. It’s like grown adults having adult relationships that are still squee-worthy. Kind of makes you want to puke. Or no, it makes you want more television like this, actually.
Jerrybashing: Jerry: “Leslie, you look tired and you’re all sweaty.” Leslie: “You look tired and you’re all sweaty all the time. What’s your excuse? You want to go there, Jerry?”
Somebody Get Tom Some Therapy: This episode made me think thoughts about workplaces. I get that there have to be procedures and norms, but there really is a benefit to a manager’s knowing her employees’ capabilities and letting them do their thing. It requires a lot of trust. When Tom says he’s going to the spa instead of prepping for a meeting, it looks like Tom’s being a jerk. But he’s actually networking and brings in a huge donation. And he does stuff like this so constantly throughout the series that it can’t be seen as luck or an accident. It’s just a shame that Tom isn’t properly explaining his intentions, and his colleagues don’t trust him enough to let him do his thing without comment.
Your Related Link For The Day: I’ve thought about this stuff before, not just in terms of behavior, but in terms of actual brain function. This article about employment and neurotypicality stuck with me after I read it several years ago. There’s lots to discuss and think about!
There Is Only One Ron Swanson: Andy introduces Ron to a burrito place, where Ron — who doesn’t like “ethnic food” — discovers “a whole new meat-delivery system.”
The LOL moment: Here, I just found the video for you. I laughed so loud everyone in the gym looked at me.
I am Leslie: I’m really bad at trusting other people to do stuff that I know I could do correctly.
I want to be more like Leslie: Although Leslie doesn’t learn the Important Afterschool Special Life Lesson that she needs to delegate and trust (at least, not in this episode), she does avoid a typical sitcom scenario in which she fails utterly as a punishment for her hubris. And she avoids it because she is prepared, dedicated, and a little bit crazy. I wish I had a cause that made me feel like that.