Parks and Recreation 4-02 ‘Ron & Tammys’ Recap

We last left American hero Ron Swanson, (Nick Offerman)  he was in quite a predicament. His evil ex-wife, Tammy 1 (Patricia Clarkson), has returned with the news that Ron is being audited by the IRS. It’s serious stuff, but Leslie (Amy Poehler) needs him for Pawnee’s annual “battle royale,” when all the government departments get together and argue over budgets. Ron is unsurprisingly the Parks Department’s secret weapon.

Ron tries to shrug the situation off. Income tax, he says, is illegal, after all. This is just another way for Tammy 1 to control him. But Leslie and newly appointed assistant Andy (Chris Pratt) are on the case.

Meanwhile, Tom (Aziz Ansari) has asked Ben (Adam Scott) to hang out with him. His true motive is quickly revealed when he asks Ben to look over all the “nerd stuff” for his company, Entertainment 720. By “nerd stuff,” he means literally all of the company’s financing. Ben agrees, because he’s adorable and loves doing math.

Leslie is trying to do a similar thing for Ron. She and Andy dump all of Ron’s bank statements and receipts on his desk. Unfortunately, the only ones they can find are for Ron’s monthly shopping trips of cigarettes and shotgun shells he sends to his mother, Tamara. She goes by Tammy. Ron explains he doesn’t use banks. He keeps all of his money invested in gold, which he has buried strategically around Pawnee.

Ann (Rashida Jones) asks Chris (Rob Lowe) to star in a public service announcement for Pawnee’s diabetes problem. Chris, of course, is flattered, and happily obliges. He wants a script ready in one hour.

Tom takes Ben over to Entertainment 720’s headquarters, which rivals only Facebook HQ in sheer coolness levels. The hot model secretaries are paid $100,000 per year, and retired basketball star Detlef Schrempf seems to live there, along with Indiana Pacer Roy Hibbert. And they only have to pay them at 75% of their NBA salaries! Jean-Ralphio (Ben Schwartz) quickly gives Ben a new name – Angelo. Seconds later he decides that’s just as uncool as “Ben,” so he changes it again to “Jello Shot,” or “J-shot” for short. Ben is appalled at their outrageous spending – and free iPads.

Ron finally explains the origins of Tammy 1. Not only did she help deliver him at birth, she was his math teacher, baby sitter, and Sunday school teacher. They first got together when Ron was 15, which Andy thinks is awesome and everyone else thinks is gross. April (Aubrey Plaza) says she’s her hero.

Tammy 1 makes an unexpected appearance in Ron’s office. She immediately takes control of the entire team – silencing Leslie and making Andy put all the bank statements in her car. Without her, she says, Ron is nothing. April is considerably impressed, calling her “the cold distant mother I never had.”

The next day at work, Ron walks in with a clean-shaven face. The change is so dramatic even Leslie doesn’t recognize him. He answers citizens’ emails and calls Jerry (Jim O’Heir) “Jer,” so we know the apocalypse has come.

Back at Entertainment 720, Ben asks Tom how they’re making so much money. They print their own, duh! Ben gets down to business. He needs to see all the books – now, and even the basketball players think they need to downsize. But Tom and Jean-Ralphio aren’t having any of it. They also call each other “baby” a little too much.

Leslie’s had enough of the new Ron. After he tells her he won’t be attending the battle royale because “the government knows what it’s doing,” she slaps him.

Meanwhile, Ann is getting fed up with Chris. He wants the PSA to be perfect, which is sweet. What’s not sweet is that he wants to do about a million takes. Ann wonders why she ever went out with him in the first place. Once the shoot is over, Chris thanks her for her hard work, patience, and intelligence. Awww. Now she remembers why.

Leslie, Ron and Tammy 1 go out to lunch, with Tammy 1’s permission of course. When Ron gets up to go to the restroom (also with Tammy’s permission) she reveals her evil ploy. The audit was a trap! She’s going to find out where Ron keeps his gold and steal it. She is literally a gold-digger.

To defeat Godzilla, Leslie needs Mothra – Tammy 2 (Megan Mullally). Even her moronic sex maniac version of Ron is better than Tammy 1’s whipped, spineless Ron. But Tammy 2 isn’t so sure she can help. “Can’t you just move your butt around and wear a dress made out of meat?” Leslie asks. Tammy would, if only Tammy 1 hadn’t proved herself tougher and crazier by throwing acid on her foot. You see, she was her Sunday school teacher too, and she wants no part in it.

Getting desperate, Andy, April and Leslie seek out the original Tammy – Ron’s mother. Andy is impressed by her room full of “just guns.”

Back at the Parks Department, Tamara confronts Tammy 1. They’re going to have an old-fashioned prairie drink-off, complete with Swanson family moonshine. If Tamara wins, Ron comes home with her. If Tammy 1 wins, he stays with her. Leslie decides she wants in on it too – if she wins, Ron stays at the Parks Department. Leslie takes one gulp and is immediately drunk, while Tammy 1 comments that the alcohol tastes like watered down baby formula.

Tom returns to Ben, tail between his legs. He says five accountants told him the same thing, and asks for Ben’s help. First step? Only hire one accountant.

Leslie proceeds to get belligerently drunk, and destroys her office while singing a song about pants. God love her. She finally passes out at the table, and April offers to sub in for her. She can handle it – she’s Puerto Rican. She takes one sip of the moonshine and immediately chokes it back up. Ron can’t take it anymore – he grabs the jug and drains the entire thing.

“Mom,” he says, “you’re going back to the farm.” As for Tammy 1? “You’re going back to hell.”

Tammy 1 doesn’t care. She reveals she’s already stolen half the gold from his safe under the house. Jokes on her though. Did she really think Ron would leave his real safe underground where anyone could find it?

And that just about does it for tonight’s episode of Parks and Recreation. What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments.