“Ron and Jammy” feels more like our old Parks and Recreation, mostly because it provided far more laugh out loud moments for me (Andy proclaiming “Chicago! The Big Apple!” in his usual clueless way; Ben’s “I’m scared of death” was pitch-perfect delivery by Adam Scott; Leslie’s awkwardly silky impression of Tammy was a wonderful Amy Poehler moment; and Joan Callamezzo is always amazing — the hardest I laughed was her very casual “I think that America should have a Purge night”). It was more on the silly side, and even had Ron and Leslie sort of working together, even if they’re still at each others throats.
The centerpiece of the episode is Jam and Tammy (Megan Mullally is back!) who are now in a relationship although Tammy is still trying to get Ron back. True to her succubus ways, Tammy has completely destroyed Jam while simultaneously trying to turn him into Ron, and it’s so awful and pathetic that even Leslie temporarily puts aside her distaste for Jam to help him out. Ron joins in, too — he knows the horror of falling victim to Tammy firsthand — and the two deprogram Jam in a series of hilarious scenes.
There’s more silly stuff happening, notably Joan’s induction into the Pawnee walk of fame. She’s a reliably crazy character and has only gotten crazier in the last three years: a stint in rehab, a show from rehab, a show where she called her ex-boyfriends while sitting on top of a washing machine, a ninth memoir titled A Fame of Joans (amazing), and so on. Now she thinks she’s Batman and would like Buddy Holly to perform at the induction ceremony. April, predictably, adores this walking, talking mess of insanity but Joan’s crazy speech sends April into a career spiral. It’s not so much that she thinks she’s unhappy at her job, it’s that she’s not even sure if she is. This career crisis leads to April thinking back to what she wanted to do at age 10: Work in a funeral home. Her and Ben take a trip to one (Ben, of course, is absolutely hilarious in these scenes) but that’s not what she wants to do, either. It’s an odd plot for April but I can’t wait to see where it goes and I do love that Ben has reached a point where he’s so happy with his career that he’s eager to help out April (and their friendship is super sweet).
Also having a personal crisis is Tom, who has a budding career and has made it onto those coveted 35 under 35 lists but now wants to find love. Isn’t that always how it goes? He’s still not over Lucy (Natalie Morales!) so he and Andy take a drunken cab ride to Chicago to woo her. But Tom can’t go through with it, instead panicking and offering her a job in Pawnee — right before learning that she has a boyfriend. But she takes the job, setting the two up to fall in love, as Andy says. Parks and Recreation isn’t reinventing the wheel with these episodes but it’s clearly a show that knows how it wants to end and it’s going to get there on its own weird little terms.