Now that’s more like it. After last week’s slightly disappointing episode, “Gin It Up!” was Parks and Recreation at its finest. The love was spread evenly between a trio of divergent plots, with only Ann (and Andy, obviously) left out, and all three were based on a solid idea. In a mixture of real-life and fiction not seen on NBC Thursday nights since Creed Bratton picked up a guitar, Donna’s tweeting prowess is revealed; Ben makes Ron get a will that isn’t scribbled on a piece of paper in his wallet; and Tom falls in love with Tatiana Maslany, as one is wont to do.
Donna, in particular, was in top-notch form, which she kind of has to be; with that beautiful morning dove Ann leaving Parks later this season, the role of “Leslie’s best friend” will be wide open, and Amy Poehler and Retta have a strong enough comedic relationship that maybe Retta can fill it. Or at least fill it until she gets tired of #BitchBoss and goes back to hitting on dudes with washboard abs. But really, even if everything else had been awful, this episode would have gotten at least a B+ for appearances from Jamm, Perd, and most importantly, Ethel Beavers.