TV Review: Parks & Recreation 4.21, ‘Bus Tour’

Leslie is on the home stretch of the campaign in this seasons penultimate episode as her and the parks crew do one last day of campaigning in Pawnee.

rating: 4

Leslie is on the home stretch of the campaign in this seasons penultimate episode as her and the parks crew do one last day of campaigning in Pawnee, but a misplaced comment after a death in the Newport family means all of Leslie€™s hard work could be for nothing. Meanwhile Ron goes €˜alpha mano-a alpha mano€™ with someone under the influence of the Newport campaign and FBI agent Bert Macklin (Andy) returns for his greatest self-assigned assignment yet. After winning the debate last week, Leslie is only two points behind Bobby for the lead in the polls and attempts to close the gap with a bus tour of Pawnee. However Newport€™s campaign manger Barkley has some dirty tricks up her sleeve, namely buying out the fleet of vans Leslie hired to get the seniors of Pawnee to the polls. Donna, Ron and Tom are sent to investigate. Leslie then once again puts her foot in it during a speech in a park when asked about Bobby€™s father, the business tycoon. After some harsh words Leslie is informed on his passing that day. Leslie€™s comments inevitably get taken out of context on local TV. This couldn€™t have been planned by Barkley, but she makes sure to use it to her advantage when Leslie takes her bus to go and apologise to Bobby. Trust Ben to make the €˜Star Wars€™ reference as the bus pulls up to Barkley with dozens of press giving a statement; €˜IT€™S A TRAP!€™ Elsewhere Bert Macklin is investigating who it was that attempted to pie Leslie but missed and hit poor Jerry. Jerry gets even more abuse than usual this week and Andy, or Bert, insists of slow motion re-enactments, which is basically him slowly pushing a cream pie into Jerry€™s face. Andy€™s codenames for everyone in terms of who he has or thought about having sex with were a nice touch. Ben was so grateful to be Eagle 2. Macklin manages to solve the case by finding the culprit was aiming for Ben and not Leslie, pinning the culprit down to €˜sewage Joe€™ (or Blade from €˜Community€™), who is bitter at being fired by Ben at the start of the season. Tom, Ron and Donna make no lead way with persuading €˜the guy who€™s only assets are 22 crappy vans€™ to keep the contract they made with him, he only cares about the $10,000 dollars the Newport campaigned have offered him. Even a man to man moment with Ron doesn€™t help, who believes €˜a man€™s word is sacred.€™ In the end they stoop to his level when Donna backs up into his car and decides to blackmail him by pinning the damage on him. Leslie ends up apologising to Bobby (guest star Paul Rudd) face to face with no press. Bobby gets more endearing as each episode goes along, he really is simple minded and has no malice towards Leslie, particularly as he enjoys virtual bowling because the avatar looks a little bit like him. Bobby admits that Leslie is right and that his Dad was a jerk, as he only entered the campaign to impress him. It€™s hard to know how Bobby€™s mind works as he then goes on to steal Leslie€™s personal story about finishing races and uses it as his own during a press interview, before then endorsing Leslie€™s campaign. Poor old Chris Traeger has gone back to being utterly depressed after Anne€™s rejection last week, and finds solace in keeping busy, and literally doesn€™t stop moving or doing chores the entire episode. Until some alone time, and desperation from Barkley, who is under stress that she won€™t even get paid/win the campaign, leads the two to hooking up as the episode ends. Ooo, dramatic. Is Chris loneliness going to be the factor that loses Leslie the campaign? It€™s hard to see who is clear-cut to win at the moment, both Newport and Leslie seem to be level pegging as the episode ends. Rumour has it that two endings have been shot to end the season, one with Leslie winning and one without. Either way this has been a terrific season so far with consistently strong writing, much better than its sister show €˜The Office€™ which has been dipping in quality this past season. Next week€™s finale with decide on which direction the show is headed for in season five; deeper into the belly of the beast of the government? Or back to organising Harvest festivals? I€™m good with either as long as it involves Ron Swanson and heaps of red meat. Parks & Recreation continues next Thursday on NBC with the season finale €˜Win, Lose or Draw€™.
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