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Episode Review: Parks and Recreation - 5x4

By Shannon Horte
On November 30, 2012

Can we all just take a minute to thank the writers for ending the Ann and Tom plotline, because both characters are significantly funnier in Season Five's 4th episode, "Sex Education". Both Ann and Tom play significant roles in the two plots that coexist within the latest episode. The writers also, seemed to be focusing on pairing up duo's rather than focusing on group plots (probably easier with Leslie being a Councilwoman) and this trick is working fairly well thus far.

Tom, who is on a "technology timeout" after he crashed into a fire hydrant while tweeting, is secluded in the woods with Ron for part of the episode. The funny thing about Tom without technology is that even though it's meant to be satire, almost everyone knows someone who is close to Tom's addiction. Tom and Ron have always been one of my favorite dynamics throughout the series and this episode proves they're still a solid match. Tom rambling on about his everyday internet usage, while Ron carries on with his wilderness lifestyle, was a highlight of the episode.Though the plot was probably meant to be the secondary conflict, it was the most entertaining.

 Leslie and Ann are the second of three duo's to be matched together in the episode. Fighting for a change in the "abstinence only" law, the two do their usual back-and-forth, disagree then agree, bit that we've seen since mid-season 1. The interrogation scene of the team asking Ann inappropriate questions about old age was a highlight of Leslie's plotline, as well as the elderly yelling out everything you never wanted to hear an elder say. The conflict was entertaining at first but seemed a bit forced and contrived when Leslie, following her gut as always, apologizes for such a ludicrous law. While ceating laughs early on in the episode, the plot fell short towards the end and the writing for Leslie's character is starting to feel repetitive.

The match up of Ben and April has been a personal favorite since the season premiere. The two bounce off of each other well, and seeing Ben's silly side is always nice, after the grumpy-campaign manager Ben we saw last season. Though the plotline of their boss potentially being a robot seemed promising, it fell short of going anywhere, really. However, it did not stop the duo from creating some of the best laughs of the episode (Ben apologizing for his nerdiness, the boss mechanically staring at the wall, etc.).

Not the best episode of the season, and definitely not a stand out for the series, Episode 4 was satisfactory. It had potential in it's elders with chlamydia plot, but Tom's technology black out surpassed both Leslie and Ben's conflicts. 

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