Ben and Leslie got married on “Parks and Recreation” Thursday night (Feb. 21), and it was everything you could hope for in a wedding arranged in two hours and interrupted by a bitter, stink bomb-throwing nemesis.
In short, it was great. And “Leslie and Ben” was followed by a second, very funny episode in “Correspondents’ Lunch.” Here are 11 of the best moments from a fantastic hour of TV.
1. The dress. Leslie’s dress for her planned May wedding wasn’t done in time, much to her dismay. Fortunately, Ann is a “Project Runway” fan and pulls together a challenge-worthy skirt made from bills, newspapers and other memorabilia from Leslie’s career.
2. Falcon and Turtledove. The way Ben and Leslie avoided each other (and got to be a little handsy in the process) was appropriately nerdy/adorable for these two weirdos.
3. The punch. Councilman Jamm, drunk and bitter over losing the Pawnee Commons deal — mostly because he would’ve gotten a piece of the Paunch Burger franchise, which is all kinds of illegal — tries to stop the wedding. Until Ron stops him with a short right to the mouth. It lands both of them in jail, but Ron gets bailed out, leaving Jamm to brag to no one about his five bathrooms.
4. The vows. The benefit shuts down, but Ron escorts Leslie through City Hall to the parks office, where he tells her, with as much emotion as Ron can muster outside the presence of Li’l Sebastian, that he values her friendship and she looks lovely. Inside, Ben and Leslie say vows that we all wish we could say as black-and-white flashbacks take us through their relationship, including the “Freddy Spaghetti” scene that co-creator Mike Schur said convinced him Ben and Leslie were due for the long haul.
5. Donna sings! In addition to being incredibly funny, Retta is apparently a classically trained vocalist.
6. “5,000 Candles in the Wind,” acoustic.
7. “Any moron with a crucible, an acetylene torch and a cast-iron waffle maker could have done the same. The whole thing only took me about 20 minutes. People who buy things are suckers.” — Ron Swanson, on forging Ben and Leslie’s wedding bands from a sconce on Ann’s wall.
8. The honeymoon. “Correspondents’ Lunch” opens with Ben and Leslie returning from their honeymoon in Hawaii, where of course they visited Honolulu City Hall.
9. Ann and Chris. Rashida Jones is rarely funnier than when Ann is at a loss, as she was with her hemming and hawing about Chris being the father of her baby. Perd Hapley’s take: “The story of this meeting is, it’s extremely personal.” The story also allowed for several Ann-Ron scenes, which have become reliably very funny.
10. Midi-chlorians. The e-mail hacking story came and went pretty quickly, but the trap Leslie and Donna set for the Pawnee Sun reporter was baited with “Star Wars,” and that’s all right.
11. Andy’s new gig. Andy was depressed after finding out he didn’t pass the police exam, but he demonstrates a natural affinity for charity work — which is good, since Ben is now running the Sweetums Foundation. Ben and Andy (Ben and any of the show’s broader characters, really) is also great comic territory, so it will be fun to see where that goes.
What did you think of “Parks and Recreation” this week? Did you tear up a little bit at Leslie and Ben’s vows?