Parks and Recreation "Ron and Diane" Review: Jerry Christmas, Everyone, There's Ron-mance in the Air!

By Michael Svoboda

Dec 07, 2012

Parks and Recreation S05E09: "Ron and Diane"

If you've been wondering whatever happened to Ron’s new flame, Diane (Lucy Lawless), who we haven't seen since Halloween, take a deep breath: The ron-mance is back. Which is a good thing, since Ron has been under-utilized in the last few episodes. Parks and Recreation always shines a little brighter when Ron is front and center, story-wise. And much was revealed when Ron, Diane, and Leslie attended the Woodworking Awards, where Ron was nominated for “Best Chair.” The awards ceremony itself was a very funny, almost Christopher Guest-like lampoon of the Oscars—complete with an “in memoriam” section featuring those who'd passed paired with pictures of the coffins they made for themselves—and served as a great backdrop to some inspired lunacy.

This episode could also have been called “When Leslie Met Diane,” as it was the first time the two came face to face. And because Ron is an emotional cipher, Leslie had to grill Diane hard. Leslie eventually gave Ron the thumbs-up on his ladyfriend, which of course Ron said he didn’t need, but then gave us the weirdest under-stache smile EVER when she insisted. Ron and Leslie are such an interesting sitcom pair, non-romantic but still a sort of Sam and Diane a la Cheers—always sparring, but with an undercurrent of love and respect. Their relationship continues to be one of the most comically complex in the world of current half-hour TV.

But the sh*t hit the fan when, Ron’s ex-wife (or “sex”-wife) Tammy 2—played by the always insane and amazing Megan Mullally—arrived to throw a lathe in the works. (Yes, that was a woodworking joke.) Tammy 2 said she was there because she needed something “drilled,” but it was obvious that subterfuge was the only thing on her sexy sexy mind. And in a great running joke, Tammy 2 staged a killer Basic Instinct leg-uncross when Ron was took to the stage to accept his award. The pixilated crotch of Tammy 2 struck me as a great “going there” moment for a show that, as of late, has seemed to be pulling its punches, sticking with the sweet instead of the raunchy. And in a wonderful turn of events, it was revealed that Diane was not threatened by the hyper-sexaul Tammy 2; she was threatened by Leslie, who seemed to know everything intimate about Ron that Diane wanted to be let in on.

In true Leslie form, she took a bullet for a friend and distracted Tammy 2 in a very funny fight scene involving a dumpster, handcuffs, and a hatchet so that Ron could go after Diane. And in a very rare and satisfying Ron-emotional moment, he explained that while Leslie is an important friend, he “would rather visit Europe” than go on a date with her. Then he gave Diane the ultimate gift, revealing himself as his jazzy alter-ego Duke Silver and calling her his duchess.

And speaking of reveals, we got a BIG ONE in the B-story. April, Andy, Donna, and Tom, we found out, have their own version of New Girl's Douchebag Jar, putting in a dollar every time they say something mean to Jerry—which, as we know, happens all the freaking time. Then, at the end of the year, they all go out to dinner with the money... without Jerry, natch. But after reminiscing over all their favorite “Jerry moments” of the year, i.e. when Jerry ate a bowl of glue, or when April switched out Jerry’s soup for a bowl of glue and he didn’t notice, Donna had a change of heart and made them turn the car around to go pick up Jerry. But the Gergichs were busy hosting a holiday party, and the bullies hadn't been invited. As they peered through the window, looking like street urchins in a Dickens novel, the self-centered jerks saw the warm and inviting party they were shut out of, and in a bit of funny soul-searching, decide to give Jerry the money, saying it was for the hospital bill he racked up when he almost “farted himself to death.” A nice sweet/salty “holiday” touch. But the REVEAL...

Mrs. Gergich! Who was none other than super model and “uptown girl” Christie Brinkley. At first I thought this was just a bit of cheap stunt casting, but as soon as she opened her perfectly wrinkle-free mouth all sorts of funny came out. Brinkley delivered a really smart, Donna-Reed-'50s-era-sitcom-schmaltz turn and kinda hit it out of the park.

Ben and Chris also got some quality time in together in this episode—another great pairing we haven’t seen enough of this season. They work so well together as characters, and Chris’s lines landed both emotionally and comically with Ben as his foil/wingman. Chris’s emotional progress was put to the test when he ran into his ex-girlfriend, Jerry’s daughter Millicent (Sarah Wright), with her new beau, a hot young buck who Chris referred to as having “the chiseled jawline of a young me.” But Chris didn’t freak. He stayed in the moment, rejoicing in the happiness of others and showing some real growth.

Merry congratu-Christmas!

Pawnee Chit-chat:

1. Ann’s announcement that she's thinking about doing stand-up comedy was sorta brilliant right? Ann: “Hey April, Matlock called, he wants his cardigan back.” April: “Who’s Matlock?”

2. Donna’s, “Look at that gingerbread man... no, I mean the jacked-up light-skinned dude,” made me literally LOL. What lines from the episode made you do an egg-nog spit-take?

3. Could April faking having a baby to get inside Jerry’s party be a little foreshadowing? Wouldn’t it be great to see Andy and April be parents!?

4. What was your favorite “Jerry Moment” this year?

  • Comments (27)
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  • asianmojito Mar 12, 2013

    Everything in this episode was brilliant, but my God the moment the announcer said (to paraphrase), "Now let us remember the woodworkers that we have lost this year, photographed with the coffins they built for themselves," I totally spewed egg nog.

  • TypeB Dec 12, 2012

    I can watch Parks and Rec episodes over and over, yet I still laugh. I might have a problem.

    Who's Jerry Filter? ~ Andy

  • bicelis Dec 10, 2012

    This episode was friggin' perfect! Extremely funny and it even fixed the Chris storyline because his depression started to feel a little too sad and annoying instead of funny. Way to go writers!

  • Kids_Table Dec 10, 2012

    I'd be worried to see Amy and Andy as parents because it might force them to grow up a little, and they Must. Never. Grow. Up.

  • BeBopBigShot Dec 10, 2012

    For the love of God, who won "Best Table"... And for those that don't know, Ron Swanson and Tammy 2 are married in real life, also Ron is a master woodworker.

    Favorite Lines:
    Merry Christmas Bitches! - I'm going to Kill you__- and I've put alot of thought into it, and there is no logical explanation.. It's Christmas don't you want to be nice? Tom: Not really, Amy: NEVER!

  • JustinJohnson9 Dec 10, 2012

    OMG this episode had me rolling LOL!!! Tammy 2 was hilarious as usual, and DAMN was Jerry's wife fine!! Ben's expression when he found out was priceless!!! I would've looked the same way. Honestly, I wouldn't like seeing April and Andy as parents. Better to keep them as a funny, immature couple without kids. Not every couple needs kids to improve themselves. Just enjoy the fun ride with April and Andy period. I also loved that Christmas song by Jerry, Mrs. Gergich, and his other two daughters (who are hot as well)! This show is so damn funny LOL!!

  • Gilda Dec 08, 2012

    by far the best episode this season :D it made me laugh the whole time. I dont think you can go wrong with an episode that features Tammy2. And all the stuff at Jerry's house was great too.

  • mochadude Dec 08, 2012

    is no one going to say anything about Ron squealing like a school girl? I laughed out loud when he did that

  • Andurill Dec 08, 2012

    He always laughs like that. I love it!

  • mochadude Dec 09, 2012

    really? i can't believe i've missed those amazing giggles

  • riku157 Dec 10, 2012

    I think someone made a collection of the scenes with him laughing on Youtube before.

  • TeddyBearZA Dec 08, 2012

    Tammy 2 flashing Ron and then again when she went into the dumpster made me LOL

  • Andurill Dec 08, 2012

    Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought the guys put a dollar in the Jerry-Jar (or whatever) when HE did something stupid that made them laugh. Tom just told Jerry at the end that it was when they said something mean to/about him. Sort of making them seem more likeable.. Did I get that wrong?

  • lilgoode2shoes Dec 08, 2012

    You're right!

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