‘Parks & Recreation’ recap: Episode 7, ‘The Treaty’
It’s more Leslie and Ben drama as their mutual political nerdery meets with their still lingering attraction in the Pawnee High School model UN. And Tom’s back, yay!
Leslie shows off her complete collection of all 193 national flags, which she has at the office because she’s been asked to run the model UN at the local high school. Claiming Denmark for herself, she quickly recruits Ben (who didn’t do Model UN in high school, he “super did it”) for Peru, Andy for Finland (who goes on to trade all of the country’s “boring stuff” for the other country’s lions), and April for South Africa (and secretly the Moon.)
Leslie gets the Model UN started and says she and Ben are fine being friends because “friends help you move and drive you to the airport. Boyfriends just love you and marry you.” Ben is fine with it too. “It’s fun,” he says. “It’s fun. It’s fun. It’s fun. It’s fun.” This, of course, means they are both about to go completely mental about hanging out, again.
After a series of perceived slights, the entirety of the local Model UN is disintegrating in the wake of their forbidden love-fueled faux war. After Leslie says that she will never surrender and will instead wave Ben’s decapitated head on a stick in front of his weeping mother, and Ben calls Leslie/Denmark a “gang of thugs,” the high school kids have had enough and expel Peru and Denmark from the Model UN. Leslie and Ben have ruined everything.
Back at the office, Chris stops Ann in the hallway to ask her if she has any insight as to why Jerry’s hot daughter Millicent is blowing him off after just four dates. Ann sarcastically says that Chris should launch a full-scale investigation, which Chris recognizes as sarcasm, but decides to go ahead with anyway. First on his list is Jerry, against poor Jerry’s will. Donna butts in and says that Chris is too accessible and that he needs to dangle the carrot, both literally and metaphorically. Chris then assembles his dream team of Ann, Jerry, and Donna to talk about his feelings (his favorite!), which leads Ann and Chris talking in detail about their former relationship— to Donna’s endless delight and Jerry’s misery. After a day of TMI (like Chris talking about eating food off of Ann’s body in an Eagleton hotel room), Ann ultimately tells him to back off Millicent and everything will be fine.
Meanwhile, Ron is trying to hire Tom back for his old job. Unfortunately, after the failure of Entertainment 7wenty, Tom is too proud to take the job back. He says he’s too busy being an entrepreneur—in reality he’s spraying cologne at the Pawnee Macy’s. Ron has Tom sit in as Ron interviews a series of increasingly terrible applicants (Gary from Gary, Indiana, Keith who just wants one month’s worth of money), to try and force Tom to realize he’s the only man for the job. Eventually they plan a way for Tom to come back without being embarrassed: Ron brings Tom into the office and begs him in front of Jerry, Donna, Ann, and Chris to come back, which Tom then declines and leaves. Ron chases him down, drags him back in and makes Tom ask for his job back. It works, and Tom Haverford is back where he belongs.
In the end, April and Andy bring Leslie and Ben back together, telling them to work it out. Leslie tells Ben that the thought of them not being friends is too crappy for her to handle. In the spirit of the day, they agree to a treaty that stipulates that the two of them have a fun conversation for five minutes every day. And to make it up to the Model UN kids, in a joint effort between the Parks & Rec department and the city managers’ office, they will be holding a statewide Model UN in the nicest room at City Hall. Because as Leslie voiceovers while looking longingly at Ben, being passionate about something is important. (So yeah, it ain’t over with these two yet. Not by a long shot.)