TV Recap: Parks and Recreation, “Fluoride” & “The Cones of Dunshire,” (6.8-6.9)


Parks and Recreation - Season 6

11/21/2013, 8PM, NBC

“Fluoride”: Leslie spends her last few months in the office accomplishing some of her long-term goals, chief among them getting fluoride into Pawnee’s water supply. The ensuing battle with Senator Jamm causes her to realize that her actions have absolutely no impact upon her career now that she’s been recalled, allowing her to be as blunt as possible with the public – and Jamm to make a deal with Sweetums to provide the town’s water, which, when Leslie raises a protest about it, promptly crushes Ben’s career. Meanwhile, Tom deals with Rent-a-Swag’s collapse by helping Leslie win the hearts and minds of her constituents over the fluoride issue. Chris and Ron try to bond while building cribs for their offspring; the gang uses their new animal shelter website to play ‘find your spirit animal’, causing April to accidentally offend Donna.

“The Cones of Dunshire”: Ben takes a new job with an accounting firm filled with nebbish types who worship him. Leslie clashes with Councilman Jamm over the funds she needs for her dream project, Pawnee Commons, and stages an all-night sleepover at his home with Chris when Jamm refuses to freeze the funds she needs to build; Chris tells Leslie about his and Ann’s planned move. Ron cleans out one of the many cabins he owns with April’s help, selling the property through Donna and Tom’s new real-estate firm – and finds himself at odds with Donna and Tom’s redecorating ideas.

NUP_158591_0725 squareThe more I watch this show, the more I wonder why it’s a traditional underperformer. Amy Poehler commits so thoroughly to Leslie Knope’s personality that it’s impossible not to enjoy watching her take the woman through an entirely new phase in her life – a time of uncertainty. Since Leslie faces everything with a touch of pluck and her typical can-do attitude, it’s unsurprising that she’s facing down the prospect of unemployment and the looming loss of Ann and Chris with her typical sticktutiveness. Thankfully, the writing has been more than up to par lately, managing to wring a little bit of pathos out of the oddest moments. But the laughs run thick and strong; one of my favorite jokes featured Councilman Jamm directly saying “Jenny McCarthy” while trying to start a panic over fluoridated water.

The countdown clock ticking away to Ann and Chris’ eventual departure sped up this week, and it’ll be disappointing to face a Pawnee without them. The show’s utterly unabashed about the importance of Ann to Leslie, and the importance of their sismance to the show. One almost wishes her hope of a speed-rail system between Michigan and Pawnee will come true sooner rather than later.

Over in subplot land, it’s nice to watch Tom rediscover his purpose. The guy would make a great commercial director, but as he puts it, he’s good at Parks stuff AND at other stuff. Donna is pretty much an allstar in these two episodes; her chemistry with April is utterly perfect. But really: Another set of funny and beautifully written episodes. Parks and Recreation is one of the funniest shows on television. Why aren’t you watching it?

The Roundup

  • Some of the Eagletonian Public Works people continue to hang around, even though Leslie had apparently planned to axe them; “Crazy Craig” appears to still be Donna’s assistant.
  • “I’m like a white, male US senator!”
  • ”I just can’t justify owning four cabins!” Only Ron.
  • Bff slide show! Awwwww!
  • Next week, the citizens of Pawnee start another long hiatus. See you in January!

[notification type=“star”]90/100 ~ AMAZING. Parks and Recreation is one of the funniest shows on television. Why aren’t you watching it?[/notification]


About Author

Staff Television Critic: Lisa Fernandes, formerly of, has been watching television for all of her thirty-plus years, and critiquing it for the past seven. When she's not writing, she can be found in the wilds of the Northeastern United States.