parks-and-rec-ron-and-diane.JPG“Parks and Recreation” has been on a pretty strong run for its past several episodes, but “Ron and Diane” was perhaps the most consistently laugh-out-loud funny episode the show has done this season.

The fact that it also mixed in some pretty solid character-based stories made it that much better.

By deploying a couple of strong recurring characters — including Ron’s sax-playing alter ego, Duke Silver — and reminding us why Jerry doesn’t let all the abuse he takes at work bother him, “Ron and Diane” hit a lot of great notes for these people. The show also pulled a nice twist by having Diane feel less threatened by Tammy 2’s pixellated come-ons than by how close Leslie is to Ron.

RELATED: Our favorite Ron Swanson quotes

As for Jerry, well, the guy has it pretty great at home, doesn’t he? If you were going home to Christie Brinkley each night, and you had a lovely home, a lot of friends and three lovely daughters, you could probably put up with your co-workers making a “Jerry dinner” fund each year too. (Among the other highlights of the Jerry story: Ben’s incredulity at both how well Chris’ 15 therapy sessions each week are working and Donna’s “Merry Christmas b****es!” after Ann invited her inside.)

“Ron and Diane” also let fans see two rarely shown sides of Ron Swanson — the excited Ron who’s giddy over meeting his woodworking idol and testing out jack planes and, of course, Duke Silver. Any fear Diane may have had about Ron not letting her into his life should be gone by now.

Here’s a deleted scene from the episode, with extended wood-based humor from the awards host and a longer look at the “in memoriam” montage. What did you think of “Ron and Diane”?

Posted by:Rick Porter