Parks and Recreation season premiere recap: Taking Knope for an Answer | EW.com

TV Recaps | Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation season premiere recap: Taking Knope for an Answer

Leslie must choose between her political career and her relationship with Ben

Parks Recreation Knope

KNOPE, SHE DIDN'T! Leslie makes one tough decision by episode's end

(Ron Tom/NBC)

Parks and Recreation

Season 4, Ep. 1 | Aired Sep 22

The fourth season of NBC’s only low-level-government-employee comedy kicked off Thursday night, which meant fans across Pawnee nation were issuing a Jerry-esque thumbs-up of relief and a series of Yayyyyyy!s. We picked up the action where we left off (Ron’s fire-ravaged eyebrows thinner than his patience for leafy greens), and ended up in a surprisingly touching place. After much hand-wringing and eclair-eating, Leslie decided — or Ben selflessly decided for her — to make a run for public office at the expense of losing her soul mate. (Did you ever think that a “KNOPE 2012” button could push yours like that? Amy Poehler and Adam Scott delivered the emotional goods in that scene.) The looming question: When they divide up their possessions, who gets to keep C-SPAN2?

“I’m Leslie Knope” was a solid start to the new campaign that prioritized the heart over the knee(slappers), as Ron — who literally and hilariously ran away from another ex-wife problem — gave Leslie the poignant nine-toed pep talk she needed to hear. In other news: Ann fended off a bunch of lewd dudes texting pictures of their junk after she diagnosed one perv with mumps. (Did Parks just get topical all over our asses?) April assumed the reins of Andy’s life as his manager. (In her first counseling session, she wasn’t even trying to steer the horse, but later parked him in a nearby stable as Leslie’s new assistant.) Instead of focusing on the critical operations of his new business, whatever those might be, Tom spent time chilling at his former office, tossing out a wide assortment of 720 Entertainment tchotchkes to the Parks gang and attempting to recruit Andy. (Speaking of props, he deserves a whole mess of them for those leopard-print slippers. Tip of the pimp cap.) Chris Traeger was having an interesting hair day. And back to Ron, who may be facing many bad days in the future as the life-ruiner and breast-lifter called Tammy 1 (guest star Patricia Clarkson) dropped the scariest package of the episode on his desk: an audit.

But I think we can all agree that the night’s biggest plot development occurred toward the end of the episode, when we discovered that Jerry’s penis is the stuff of medical marvel. I’m so pleased that the Gerg was allowed this tiny huge victory. Say what you will about him, but the sad sack doesn’t have a sad sack.

With that out of the way, why don’t we build a fire, roast the fish we shot, and celebrate the 10 funniest lines from “I’m Leslie Knope”?

NEXT: “I don’t know what you mean, but it had the cadence of a joke.”

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