'Parks and Recreation': Fluoride (6x08)
What a fun episode. It gave Tom a chance to shine, which was greatly appreciated after the fact that he lost his business in the last episode. Let's take a look at the different plots.
The main plot involved, as the title would suggest, fluoride. Leslie wants to put fluoride in the town's water supply, and she decides to pass through a bill about it before she's officially kicked out of office. However, Jamm once again tries to block her efforts. His reason behind this is because he's a dentist, and cavities are good for business. Fluoride would be beneficial for the health of the town, but Jamm uses fear mongering to make the town refuse to let fluoride into the water supply. Leslie turns to Tom for help. He decides that the only way to get fluoride to be accepted is to make it extremely appealing. Tom re-brands, calling fluoride T'Dazz and getting the town excited about that. But, the plan backfires. Sweetums comes out with a new product called "Drink 'Ems," which is basically water filled with sugar. Leslie attacks "Drink 'Ems," and in retaliation, Ben gets fired from Sweetums.
Now, Leslie has to apologize to Sweetums in order to get Ben his job back. However, Ben tells Leslie that she can't abandon her principles. With another idea from Tom, Leslie turns the town back in favor of fluoride. Ben loses his job as a consequence, but at least the town's health will improve. I liked this plot because of the great opportunities for Tom. It was also good to see Leslie stand up for her principles, and I'm intrigued by what will happen now that Leslie and Ben are both without jobs. However, I still think that Leslie bounced back from the recall election a little too easily. It would have been interesting to see her struggle with all of this a bit more.
Ron and Chris had a fun subplot. Chris is anxious about being a father, and Ron helps him out. When the crib that Chris bought ends up being dangerous, Ron teaches Chris how to make his own crib. Along the way, he imparts advice. The funny part is, Ron is just giving literal advice, but Chris keeps taking it all metaphorically. In the end, Ron gives Chris the crib and tells him that he'll be a great father.
This was cute. One of my favorite things about this show is how it can tease out interesting relationships and shine a spotlight on them. The dynamic between Ron and Chris was really fun to watch. The other subplot also took a look at a mostly ignored relationship: April and Donna.
Everyone in the office is trying to come up with a spirit dog to match their personalities. Everyone's having fun, until April says that Donna can be a poodle, because she likes shopping. Donna is offended, asking April if that's really all she knows about her. April says that they don't really hang out all that much, but that she wants to learn about Donna to pick out her spirit dog. She tries, but at first she fails to find the right dog. She then realizes that Donna is actually a cat, and the two of them are happy to become better friends.
I liked this. There was just one moment that didn't sit right with me - when they're all having fun trying to pick out dogs, Donna gets really mad and shuts the whole game down when April picks a poodle. It was just a bit extreme, in my opinion, and might have made more sense if she had just been visibly miffed but tried to keep going. Other than that, I enjoyed this look at an otherwise ignored relationship dynamic.
So in all, I was pleased. Tom got to shine, Ron and Chris had some sweet moments, and Donna and April's relationship grew.