Parks and Recreation 4-03 ‘Born & Raised’ Recap

In this week’s episode of Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) has written a book about Pawnee, Indiana, the greatest town in America. She hopes to get it in Joan Callamezzo’s (Mo Collins) book club, so it will become a bestseller. However, Tom (Aziz Ansari) learns that Joan received a tip that the book has a factual inaccuracy.

Shocked, Leslie makes the entire office search for the mistake “that doesn’t exist” and call her if they find it before she goes on Joan’s show, “which they won’t.” Ron (Nick Offerman) and April (Aubrey Plaza) are less than thrilled when they realize they have to work with Ann (Rashida Jones), who’s going to try her best to make them small-talk with her. For five minutes. Actually, she’d be happy with one.

Tom meets with Joan backstage, serenading her with an Akon song and dance. They are hands-down the best couple in the show’s history. Ben (Adam Scott) is understandably concerned.

On the air, Joan is about to put her sacred book club sticker on Leslie’s book, when she reveals her “gotcha” moment. Leslie wasn’t born in Pawnee! Leslie claims that this is ridiculous, of course she was! She loves Pawnee more than anybody in the world! But once Joan brings out the “Gotcha!” dancers and the people of Pawnee stop trusting her, she realizes she has to get a copy of her birth certificate if she wants a city council seat.

Ben and Tom take Joan to dinner so they can convince her to give Leslie the sticker. She quickly gets impressively drunk, singing and sharing her plans on taking both of the boys home and doing weird, unspeakable things to them. They wind up just leaving her passed out on her bed, but not before we get to see Joan’s home decor, which involves a lot of animal print and sexy paintings of herself. Nice.

Meanwhile, Leslie takes Chris (Rob Lowe) and Andy (Chris Pratt) to stupid, snobby Eagleton to get her long-form birth certificate from the county office. Andy has thankfully revived his alter-ego, Burt “You thought he was dead. So did the President’s enemies” Macklin, and he’s on the case. Burt breaks in and snatches the birth certificate, and Leslie learns she was born in none other than… Eagleton, Indiana.

The next day, Ann finally gets her moment with Ron and April, by telling them medical horror stories. Don’t know what took her so long to figure that one out.

Leslie wonders how she can hide the truth from the citizens of Pawnee. Who else is from Eagleton? Voldemort, probably. But after Chris gives her an inspiring speech, Leslie goes back on the air with Joan and reveals her secret. You see, it’s not where you’re born, it’s where you’re from. And Leslie is from Pawnee, dammit.

I know I’m a total fangirl, but this was yet another great episode of Parks and Recreation. The cast is just fantastic and they work so well together. Aubrey Plaza and Nick Offerman in particular have great comedic chemistry and I always look forward to Ron and April’s bonding scenes. And who can forget Amy Poehler? She is outrageously funny and deserves so much more recognition for this show than she gets.

Also, I was very pleased to see both Joan and Tom’s “friendship” and Burt Macklin return this week. It’s the little callbacks that make this show great and that remind me so much of Arrested Development, which is still one of television’s best shows.

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