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Bailout

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Thank you Mr. Swanson for your absurd opinion which you share with no one.
Leslie Knope

"Bailout" is the sixteenth episode of season 5 of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation. It originally aired on March 14, 2013 to 3.00 million viewers.

Storyline Edit

Tom Haverford company, Rent-A-Swag, is in full swing. Due to the high demand, he is forced to hire an assistant. He brings on Mona-Lisa Saperstein, the twin sister of Jean-Ralphio. Mona-Lisa slacks off on the job, and Tom lets her walk all over him.

Leslie Knope is shocked to learn that Pawnee Video Dome, owned by Dennis Lerpiss, is closing. This really shouldn't come as a surprise – video stores are going out of business left and right, and the Video Dome doesn't even carry any mainstream films. But Leslie's determined to keep the business afloat and petitions the city council to declare it as a historical landmark. This sends Ron Swanson into a tailspin, because there's nothing he hates more than the government meddling in private matters. Ron shows up at the city council meeting to express his feelings, stating that this is nothing more than a thinly veiled government bailout.

Chris Traeger voices his concerns about Ann Perkins asking him to be a sperm donor to Ben Wyatt. Though the thought of being a father excites him, he's worried he's not qualified to be a parent. Ben suggests that Chris practice his parenting skills on Tom and help him work out his issues with Mona-Lisa. Meanwhile, Ann is completely on edge waiting to hear back from Chris about whether or not he'll be her sperm donor.

April Ludgate begrudgingly comes to Ann, asking for a favor. She's applying to veterinary school, and she needs a letter of recommendation. Ann is thrilled to finally have the upper hand in her relationship with April; she agrees to write the letter for April, under one condition. April has to be her friend for one whole week and do everything she says. April has no choice but to agree to Ann's terms and takes part in Ann's parade of girly activities, like manicures and boy talk. Later, April senses a strange vibe between Ann and Chris and finally forces the truth out of Ann about the sperm donor debacle. The two share a surprisingly warm moment, and Ann is thrilled to finally have a breakthrough with April.

Chris takes his fatherly advice to Tom, advising him to lay down the law and tell Mona-Lisa that he won't be disrespected. Tom takes the advice and stands up to Mona-Lisa, threatening to fire her if she doesn't do her job. Tom's assertive behavior has a surprising effect – Mona-Lisa thinks it's sexy when he's bossy, and the two quickly become a very dysfunctional "item."

Leslie's initiative passes and the Pawnee Video Dome receives government funding as a historical landmark. But Leslie is horrified to see the outcome - Dennis has transformed the store into a pornography rental service, giving the people what they wanted. Pawnee's infamous porn star, Brandi Maxxxx, is there to celebrate the opening and encourages the crowd to join her in thanking Leslie for reinvigorating the porn industry in Pawnee.

After learning about Tom and Mona-Lisa's relationship, Chris worries that he just made everything worse. But Jerry Gergich jumps in with some surprisingly wise words – every parent makes mistakes; it's the small victories that keep you going. This encourages Chris to commit, and he informs Ann that he's in.

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