EJ: “Swing Vote” – I’m biased because I’m a big fan of Jon Glaser, but I love episodes about Councilman Jamm. He’s so awful, and the more you see him, the weirder he gets. This episode has Leslie and Ron competing to get Jamm’s vote on a funding issue, which eventually ends up in a game of mini golf. Leslie tries to win Jamm over by laughing at his terrible jokes and letting him win, while Ron stands fast. Ultimately, Jamm proves to be even more of a weasel than anybody expected and Leslie does the right thing even though it it’s the best thing for her (more on that later). It’s one of those episodes you may not think of right away, but it just comes together beautifully. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that just about everything Rob Lowe says while he’s caddying is laugh-out-loud funny. “You’re about to set a new course record… for friendship.”
MYNDI: “Moving Up Part 2” The Pawnee/Eagleton Unity Concert was put on in part to gather signatures to speed up the merger of the two cities and it was a delight. It featured real bands The Decemberists, Letters to Cleo (Ben’s fave) and Donna’s cousin Ginuwine. Pawnee stars Johnny Karate, Bobby Knight Ranger, and the reunions of Land Ho! and Mouse Rat only add to the festivities, which are capped off by the appearance of Duke Silver and a Lil’ Sebastian hologram during a stirring rendition of “5,000 Candles,” always a crowd pleaser. Tammy Two returns to be a pest, but Ron is so happy with Diane (aw) that he can’t be swayed. We also see the successful opening of Tom’s Bistro with his former nemesis Dr. Saperstein (Henry Winkler) investing, as well as visits from Joan Calamezzo and Perd Hapley. And then there’s Leslie’s revelation that rather than move to Chicago for her new job with the National Parks Department, she can use the refurbished third floor of City Hall as her HQ. She argues for this based on cost of living and free wi fi in up and coming Pawnee. The game-changing three year fast forward gives us Jon Hamm as Ed, an employee even more incompetent than Jerry (Terry, Larry, Gary) and a chance to take the show in a bunch of different directions in its final season.