Plot: Leslie finds herself embroiled in a sex scandal with a local politician. Officer Sanderson asks Leslie to move to San Diego with him. Two couples explore the nature of good gifts.
Deep Thoughts: At the end, Leslie lights the holiday tree, and everybody cheers and embraces. Mark and Ann hug. They HUG. Saying they have zero chemistry gives too much weight to the number zero.
Your Related Link For The Day: I was busy getting ready for a trip last fall when this all went down, so perhaps I missed this and nobody else did. But did y’all know that Charles Taylor made a pass at Naomi Campbell and gave her some huge diamonds, and she testified about it at his trial for war crimes, but only because Mia Farrow ratted her out? It’s all here. So in this case Tom is incorrect when he says “Even the super left-wing chicks that saw Blood Diamond and cried, when they get a diamond, they’re like, ‘Yeah, bitch, give me more of them blood diamonds! Make them extra bloody!'” Naomi apparently was confused because these rocks looked dirty, so she gave them to the head of a local charity. Years later he still couldn’t figure out how to unload them and still had them in his sock drawer or something. I love every part of this story.
Donna Is Cooler Than You: Donna doesn’t speak much in this episode, but there is an interesting little character moment when she’s in charge of the singing at the roast/follies. You can tell she’s confident in her singing and coaching abilities and that she is taking no shit from her underlings. It’s a little character nuance you could almost miss.
Somebody Get Tom Some Therapy: Tom’s the therapist in this episode, and he’s spot on when he tells Mark that a computer bag is an insufficient gift for Ann. It’s not necessarily a bad gift, it’s just not sufficient. And the fact that in the end Ann is delighted by it is just crappy writing. And the fact that she’s even more delighted by not having to attend a Pacers game with Mark is either even crappier writing, or a well-hidden self-critical editorial remark by writers who know Mark and Ann are about as exciting a couple as a white bread and mayo sandwich.
Anyway, Tom’s right.
April Is My Patronus: April’s interested in Andy, and I’m pretty sure she knows it. Andy, of course, is completely oblivious, although perhaps on a subconscious level he’s already moving that direction: his friendly high-five-ass-pat combo might not be as innocent as he thinks. And I’m shipping hardcore again. I love these two so much, and I love how the show doesn’t jerk them around and do will-they-or-won’t-they (much) with them. The biggest question is how the writers writing April and Andy can be the same writers handing us Mark and Ann.
There Is Only One Ron Swanson: and he doesn’t like meetings about things. With Leslie in potential disgrace, Ron has to actually do some government work, and rediscovers how essential Leslie is to the smooth running of pretty much everything. Also, Ron is pretty sure there’s no such thing as turtle flu.
The LOL moment: It’s public record that the character of April was created for Aubrey Plaza specifically, and I think she must just be a really deadpan-funny person in real life (c.f. her character in Legion for a not-funny but still very April-esque performance). But she is so incredibly good at developing the character of April with the tiniest thoughts and gestures. The look she shoots the fourth wall when Andy smacks her butt is hesitant but kind of delighted. And then the grin she flashes when Ron finds himself roped into a surprise presentation on local auditing systems is so evilly joyful I literally laughed out loud.
I am Leslie: I would totally, undoubtedly pull my pants down for Joan Callamezzo. If there’s one thing I cannot stand, it’s being accused of lying. I’ll show all y’all any mole anywhere, and then I’ll cry because of the angry adrenaline rush.
I want to be more like Leslie: “I always assumed that [when I was embroiled in a sex scandal] I would be the politician and the man would be accused of sleeping with me. And that man would be the vice president. And I would be the president.”
Also, it turns out Leslie knows how to surf, and is pretty good at it. Leslie is awesome.