This was a very un-Halloween-ish Halloween episode. In that sense, I found some elements of it to be a tad disappointing, because I wanted more of the jokes and the situation comedy to come from the fact that it's Halloween time. Regardless, there were great things about this episode.
Leslie and the rest of the group are planning a haunted house in the Parks department. However, while they are decorating, the recall election occurs, and Leslie learns that she has been officially voted out of office. This sends her into a spiral of depression. She gives up on life, basically, and it's up to Ann and Ben to try and cheer her up. They are not successful - in fact, at the Halloween party, Ben comes to the realization that he peaked at the age of eighteen, and thus he joins Leslie in her depression. The two of them get extremely drunk, and go to a pawn shop to get tattoos. Ann stops them just in time. She has Leslie read a note in her own voice so she can start to process what happened. The note says basically as follows: "I'm Leslie Knope, I lost the recall election. But, I'm still awesome, and I still have thirty days in office to finish serving the town." Leslie gives a gracious concession speech in which she promises to keep helping out just as long as she can while she's still in office.
The subplot involved Tom's business, Rent-a-Swag. It's going out of business due to competition from the store across the street. When Ron catches the eye of Annabelle Porter, a lifestyle coach, Tom wants Ron to use his connection to her to get her to endorse Rent-a-Swag. Annabelle is not interested in Tom, however, focusing all of her attention on Ron and his custom made chairs. In the end, Tom sells out to his competition, but he gets a fair amount of money out of the deal by threatening to withhold the name "Rent-a-Swag," thus giving him seed money for his next venture.
I think there were good things about both of these plots. In the main plot, Leslie was really funny as an utterly defeated drunk. Her scenes with Ben were hilarious. I loved their Wesley and Buttercup costumes, and I loved their tattoo misadventure. It was also satisfying to see Leslie bounce back and deliver such a gracious concession speech. That's all the good stuff. However, I'll admit I do have a bit of a problem, here. I think it would have been way more interesting if Leslie hadn't been able to bounce back so immediately. She's always so cheerful, so positive, that it might have been an interesting twist to see her struggle a bit more. Still, for what we were given I enjoyed it.
The subplot had its problems as well... once again it's more an issue of something I wish would have happened. I always really liked the Rent-a-Swag stuff, and I'm worried that without it, we'll get a backslide with Tom's character. I hope they have a good idea of where to send him next, because I would hate for the entire store to be a wasted plot thread. However, that being said, I thought the character of Annabelle Porter was absolutely hilarious. Every single word out of her mouth had me smiling. Overall, therefore, this plot had more high moments than low ones.
And that's pretty much what you can say about the episode as a whole. While I did have some rather large problems with the fundamental plots at play here, there were still a lot of great moments and fantastic jokes, and sometimes that's all you can ask for.