The opener for Parks and Recreation’s seventh season was a very good episode that really set the table well for this season taking place in the future. Of course, the show is airing two episodes at a time this year as the network plows through its final season. That means “2017” was followed by “Ron & Jammy,” which was not quite as successful, in part because they handed so much of the episode over to two guest stars.
The guest stars in question are Jon Glaser and Megan Mullally, who returned as Jeremy Jamm and Tammy II, presumably for the final time. Ron and his business associates need the land up for sale to be rezoned for business purposes, which Leslie doesn’t want, because she hopes to make it a national park. Jamm has the deciding vote. He also has a mustache now, and we find out that it’s because he’s dating Tammy. It becomes abundantly clear that Tammy is basically trying to turn Jamm into Ron, and Ron and Leslie put aside their feud to save him. They succeed, and Tammy goes full frontal in a library.
A lot of people don’t like Jamm, but even those who are OK with him will likely think this is a bit much. This is Parks and Recreation, and a massive amount of time is handed over to a couple tertiary characters, like this is a late period episode of The Simpsons. That show isn’t going anywhere, though. They can send Carl to Iceland all they want. Parks and Recreation only has a handful of episodes left, and this was a clumsy way to spend one of them. Was there some funny stuff? Sure, but most of it came from Leslie and Ron.
Speaking of guest stars, Tom and Andy get drunk and decide to take a taxi to Chicago to see Lucy, Tom’s ex-girlfriend. They hang out, Tom invites her to go work for him in Pawnee, and she says sure. Also, she has a boyfriend. What a twist. It seems unlikely that a ton of people were clamoring for the return of Lucy, even if Natalie Morales is great. But, hey, everybody has got to get their happy ending on Parks and Recreation.
Meanwhile, April gets another storyline centered on her maturation process. She goes to see Joan Callamezzo get a walk of fame star and plug her latest book, because she loves the bonkers ride Joan has been on. And after seeing some flashbacks, she’s right to do so, because it is hilarious. However, whilst presuming she is in Batman’s Gotham City, some of her words still cut to April’s core, and she begins to wonder what she wants to do with her life. Naturally, she wants to go work at a mortuary, but she doesn’t want to do the schooling part, so Ben has to deal with death and horrifying things for nothing. This storyline will likely continue. April will find what she’s looking for.
“Ron & Jammy” is a step down from the season premiere, but it was still a good episode—and still funny. And they likely won’t spend another episode so thoroughly engrossed in seldom-seen characters best used with a light touch. Or maybe they will. It just won’t be Jamm and Tammy, and that’s probably for the best.
Chris Morgan is an Internet gadabout who writes on a variety of topics and in a variety of mediums. If he had to select one thing to promote, however, it would be his ’90s blog/podcast, Existential Parachute Pants. (You can also follow him on Twitter.)