The best comedies are the ones that find their groove and simultaneously stick to its strengths and explore new directions for them to go in. Parks and Recreation has grown from an Office-lite to its own unique show, with a town that is as interesting as the main characters and a set of characters who each have their own unique personality. "Soul Mates" finds the show in its comfort zone, and I mean that in the best way possible.
The episode has two sections: one where Leslie and Tom get hooked up on a dating website, and Leslie takes Tom out on a date to see what it is about him that made them get matched on the site. Meanwhile, Chris challenges Ron to a cook-off, where they will be seeing who can make the best burger. At stake? The freedom to eat and buy hamburgers in the government's stores. Both of these plots work well because the writing is so spot-on that every moment is great, even the Ann moments, which I consider the worst of the show.
I have to give props to Aziz Ansari tonight.. he's usually pretty good, but he was spot-on here. As soon as Leslie admits they were matched on that website, he takes off with the character, including one of the best talking heads I've seen on any show EVER ("I call chicken parm "chicky chicky parm parm." Chicken cacciatore? Chicky Catch.") This plot dovetails nicely with the ongoing one involving Leslie and Ben's crush on each other.
As for Chris and Ron, they always seem at odds with one another because one believes in living a healthy lifestyle, while the other one believes you should be able to eat a turkey leg fried inside of a hamburg patty and not have anybody complain. However, they're certainly not mean towards each other. The competition allows Andy and April to show that marriage will do little to effect their relationship and that April/Ron and Andy/Chris are hook-ups that need to happen more often.
All in all, this was a great episode of Parks, but aren't they all?