Parks and Recreation Season 5 Episode 3

By Jemile Nesimi,
“How a Bill Becomes a Law”

This episode begins with Ben and Leslie on video chat from Leslie’s new City Council office. Leslie shows Ben her wall of inspiration which consists of powerful women and her clocks with Pawnee time and Washington D.C. time. Leslie proceeds to show Ben her bathroom and opens the door which is clearly occupied by a Councilman Jam. He is upset that she has a private bathroom and wants to use it, Leslie promptly says no.

Meanwhile, Chris announces to the staff that he is in intensive psychotherapy and how excited he is about having someone in his life to call. Chris then tells the staff that he wants the city to have the same experience and wants Pawnee to have a 311 line to call with any problem they may have. Andy loves the idea, Chris thanks him and because his therapist said he must be more vocal appreciating himself; he says, “Thank you Chris. You’re welcome, Chris. That’s not insane. I’m going to go talk to my therapist.”

Later, on Pawnee Today; Leslie is being interviewed about the job City Council is doing. The interviewer shows a poll showing only 3% of people think that City Council is doing a good job. Leslie defends the City Council, by stating that she is passing a bill to extend city pool hours called, “Fun in the Sun.” The interviewer throws up her arms, “Can you say big whoop?” Leslie then talks about how the local children’s swim team; the Pawnee Porpoises want the pool open longer for practices.

Back in D.C., April asks Ben if he wants to take a spontaneous road trip to Pawnee to surprise Leslie and Andy. Ben is excited to bond with April.

Back in Pawnee, the staff is on the phones for 311 calls. Ron gets a call about a pothole and tells Andy they are going to go fix it themselves. Jerry then receives a 911 call mistakenly, Donna advices him to try to help the caller.

Ben and April start on their road trip, but end up held up in traffic.

Meanwhile, Tom is in at the Dentist whom is also a Councilman. Councilman Jam changed his vote and the extended pool hour’s bill will not be passed. Tom rushes into Leslie’s office while she is halfway through getting a perm and tells her. Leslie jumps into action and declares an emergency strategy meeting and puts her perm on hold. Leslie then disappoints the Pawnee Porpoises and panics that she can’t get anything done while she removes the rollers from her hair. Tom attempts to calm her down. Leslie tries to speak to Councilman Milton to pass her bill while they are force fed Caesar salad.

Back at the pothole, Ron tells a local mother, Diane (played by Lucy Lawless) that he is going to fix the hole in the street. She offers him lemonade and Ron explains how he will fix the pothole. As they talk there is an obvious chemistry between them.

Leslie finally convinces Councilman Milton to vote for her bill and he demands a kiss. Leslie avoids the kiss and he falls over on the floor. As Councilman Milton is taken to the hospital and Councilman Jam tells Leslie that the vote will not be passed. Tom tries her to convince her to give him what he wants.

Meanwhile, Ron gets a makeover from the little girls dressed as princesses. When Diane sees him everyone begins laughing, Ron becomes upset and says, “I came here to fix a pothole, not be mocked.” Ron storms off with makeup on his face.
Back in D.C., traffic is finally cleared and Ben starts the car, but he is out of gas. April and Ben scream in frustration. Later on Ben suggests to April that they fly to Pawnee next weekend.

At the Council meeting, Leslie tells Councilman Jam he can have her office, her parking spot, and dental work.

Back in Pawnee, Andy tries to convince Ron that Diane is awesome. Diane comes by the office and asks Ron out to dinner, Ron accepts. He is happy with the 311 program.

Meanwhile, Leslie announces to the Pawnee Porpoises that the Fun in the Sun Bill is passed. As they stand by the pool, Councilman Jam begins to tell the kids that Leslie bribed him with her office but Tom pushes him into the pool before he can finish. Leslie jumps in the pool and yells, “Yay Democracy!”

The episode ends with Tom and Leslie in her new City Council office, which is also Tom’s Smoke House. Leslie and Tom don smoking jackets and she lights his cigar, Tom smokes and then says, “I do not like this.”



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