A review of last night's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I cover my emotions under a very thick layer of Axe body spray...
"The Fourth Floor" was, by design, more melancholy than some recent episodes, but it did the necessary job of humanizing Tom and following up on his final moments in "Greg Pikitis" (when he realized how much he enjoyed his fake marriage, and how sad it was that Wendy was the only thing most people liked about him). Nice to see that Aziz Ansari could tone it down and play a quieter, sadder Tom for once.
And with Ansari not available for comic relief, the laugh burden fell on the able backs of Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. The Glitter Factory scenes(*) were a particular highlight, with Leslie horrified by the reality of stripping, and Ron once again extolling the virtues of strong women and breakfast foods, then dancing around the buffet.
(*) I have a very complicated love-hate relationship with "Unskinny Bop," the first song played in this sequence. On the one hand, like "Jersey Shore," it brings back horrifying memories of a certain time and/or place in my life, and it reminds me of how low humanity's ambitions can sink. On the other hand, it's a damn catchy song, and the perfect accompaniment for both pole-dancing and breakfast buffet-enjoying.
Also, the pre-credits sequence with a terrified Leslie making a trip up to the infamous fourth floor was wonderful. I know we've seen this joke before on "30 Rock" (when Devin demoted jack), in "Being John Malkovich" and elsewhere, but if the execution and the details are there - as they were here with the different lighting, the use of the shaky-cam, the blood stain on the floor, and the perfectly-timed arrival of the popcorn man - it doesn't matter how many times.
The Mark/Ann/Andy non-triangle wasn't as funny as it's been in some other episodes, but that was the only thing resembling a downside this week. Heck, they even threw a bone to continuity fans by having the back of Ron's hair still not filled in after he get shot in the head by Tom.
What did everybody else think?