DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Central Park episode “Of Course You Realize This Means Ward” is riddled with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril. 

Welcome back, park goers! Central Park gives us another fun outing with “Of Course You Realize This Means Ward.” My only true complaint: Will the Tillerman clan and Bitsy’s stories ever converge again? I’m disappointed that it’s already episode four, and our protagonists haven’t mentioned Bitsy once. They know that her overall objective is to purchase Central Park. At least Bitsy addressed this on this week’s episode. 

My fear is that if the show drags its feet in this regard that it’ll lose viewers. Right now, it’s just a series about folks singing in New York City with no real connection to one another. While Season One took a minute to pick up the pace, there were some stakes. That’s not to say I’m not enjoying this season, though. 

Ready to delve into “Of Course You Realize This Means Ward”? Let’s get to it. 

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Now, we open with Paige (voiced by Kathryn Hahn) making pancakes for Cole (voiced by Tituss Burgess) and Molly (voiced by Emmy Raver-Lampman). Papa Owen (voiced by Leslie Odom Jr.) enters the fray. He’s stressed. Birdie (voiced by Josh Gad), who’s perpetually on the outside looking in, explains that every year the outer-borough schools schedule a field trip to Central Park. 

While this is a point of excitement, Owen is bereft of a speaker for the occasion. He starts to muse whether his idol, Dr. Ward Whitlinger, would be up to the task. This guy inspired Owen to become the park manager. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know where Ward is. Paige, ever the hungry, inquisitive journalist, vows to track him down for her hubby. Cue singing. Odom Jr. has such a fantastic voice. 

Photo of Helen and Bitsy Brandenham in the Central Park episode "Of Course You Realize This Means Ward."

Helen (voiced by Daveed Diggs) and Bitsy (voiced by Stanley Tucci) in “Central Park” season two, now streaming on Apple TV+.

Meanwhile, Bitsy (voiced by Stanley Tucci) orders Helen (voiced by Daveed Diggs) to write her memoir. Bitsy will drunkenly dictate it to her. She does mention here that all of her money will go toward buying Central Park. I think my favorite scenes are of the Bitsy/Helen variety. Tucci and Diggs are a dream team, and watching them sardonically tear each other down is the best. 

Then, we see Molly and Cole meeting up with Brendan (voiced by Eugene Cordero). Brendan is preparing for his indoor kite-flying competition. Yes, indoor. Cole is unimpressed, and he has several notes. The Tillerman siblings launch into a duet about finding Brendan the right outfit for his routine. Burgess and Raver-Lampman sound absolutely splendid together. 

Next, Paige is hard at work finding Dr. Ward Whitlinger. Helen is typing Bitsy’s memoir on a typewriter because computers haven’t been invented yet. Bitsy calls her brother, Ambrose (voiced by Ed Asner), regarding some minute details from her childhood. As it turns out, he’s also working on his memoir. Battle of the Brandenham Memoirs! Coming soon to a theater near you. 

Later, we learn that Paige successfully reached out to Ward. Owen is over the moon. Bitsy discovers that Ambrose is en route to the family publisher. He inexplicably finished his memoir. Bitsy informs Helen that they’ll be leaving to meet with the publisher as well, despite having an unfinished manuscript to present. 

Back at the indoor kite-flying competition, showtime is lingering on the horizon, and Brendan won’t leave the bathroom. Molly and Cole endeavor to comfort him in his time of need. He’s sporting an extravagant costume picked by the Tillerman duo. 

Photo of Cole, Molly, and Brendan in the Central Park episode "Of Course You Realize This Means Ward."

Cole (voiced by Tituss Burgess), Brendan (Eugene Cordero) and Molly (voiced by Emmy Raver-Lampman) in “Central Park” season two, now streaming on Apple TV+.

Meanwhile, Ward (voiced by Keith David) arrives on the scene. Owen is tickled to finally meet his idol. However, Ward has become embittered over the years, and he begins spouting nonsense about the world ending. Cannibalism is nigh! Uh oh. 

Then, the Brandenham siblings are sitting before the publisher. The said publisher notes that Ambrose’s manuscript is utter gibberish. The first page just says “mango” over and over again. Bitsy’s is only a mite better, and it’s not even finished yet. 

Next, Cole and Molly are able to elicit Brendan out of the bathroom. They apologize for helping too much. Instead, they hype him up for his big kite flying routine. One that will be executed inside. Indoors. 

Later, Ward takes the stage in front of the kiddos. He proceeds to spew conspiracy theorist-esque garbage about the apocalypse. Owen decides to intervene. He employs Elwood (voiced by Rory O’Malley) on guitar and Birdie on his violin. Owen will provide the vocals. Ward begins belting out a tune entitled, “Why Bother?”, which essentially discourages youths from contributing to the betterment of Earth.

Still of Ward Whitlinger, Paige, Owen, and Elwood in the Central Park episode "Of Course You Realize This Means Ward."

Dr. Ward Whitlinger (voiced by Keith David), Paige (voiced by Kathryn Hahn), Owen (voiced by Leslie Odom Jr.) and Elwood (Rory O’Malley) in “Central Park” season two, now streaming on Apple TV+.

But Owen jumps right in with his own version of the song. Instead, he encourages the school kids to work hard for a brighter, environmentally friendly future. The rest of the cast also sings. This might be one of my favorite Central Park numbers to date. It’s incredibly sweet. Well, Owen’s message is incredibly sweet. 

Amid the song, we see that Brendan placed at the indoor kite-flying competition. Owen really wins the children over. Afterward, Ward shakes Owen’s hand. He commends the latter for being committed to the wellbeing of the planet. For not growing weary and jaded. Birdie is wholeheartedly convinced that they’re starting a band now. Zero Park Thirty! Park Benatar! Other clever band names with the word “park” in them!

RELATED: Catch up with all the musical madness with our Central Park recaps!

Overall, “Of Course You Realize This Means Ward” is lighthearted and witty — Central Park‘s usual fare. Just give me all the Bitsy and Helen scenes, please. In fact, someone needs to write a road trip comedy with these two characters. I’d watch the hell out of that. 

New episodes of Central Park are available to stream on Fridays, only on Apple TV Plus. 

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