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Brooklyn Nine-Nine: “Tactical Village” Review **SPOILERS**

10 Mar
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: “Tactical Village” Review **SPOILERS**

*Disclaimer: This is a late post, as this episode aired on 3/4/13 and not 3/11/13. Please do not get mixed up by my use of “this week” and refer it to tomorrow’s upcoming episode.*

One of the best things about Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been its awesome cast and their developing chemistry. Episodes like last week’s “The Apartment” brilliantly demonstrate the tight-nit rapport that we have started to become accustomed to as the months go by, which makes it difficult not to go into and out of each installment of this series smiling. So, it’s good to know that there could be rocky waters amongst the group, as it creates intrigue within various story arcs and allows us to relate to them a little bit more. “Tactical Village” takes on the task of building upon those story arcs through Jake’s supposed attraction to Amy, and Rosa’s “STD” snub for Boyle’s wedding.

Let’s make one thing very clear: many sitcoms have tested these same waters and most have ended up either jumping the shark or swimming around in style. In this case, Brooklyn Nine-Nine tip-toes onto the pool and plays it safe while still keeping the nature of these potential pairings interesting.

Jake’s attempts to interrupt Santiago’s reunion with Teddy (an old flame from some sort of police camp) brings us right back to the speculation that he may be intimately attracted to her. Whether it’d be teaching him how to shoot PB&J style (Penis, Balls, and Brains) in front of Amy, or striving to beat his district’s training course time record, the signs are left, right and center on this single notion. Of all people on the show to have noticed this, it made perfect sense that it’d be Boyle, considering he was insanely persuasive with Rosa before. He seemed to have asked all the right questions in this episode, too, especially the one regarding Jake’s curiosity about Santiago’s past with Teddy. Boyle’s assurance that Amy decided to go out with Teddy the same night Peralta invited the gang to celebrate at the bar over their success at tactical village because he asked her out was also a viable point. Brooklyn Nine-Nine really did find a great way of managing Jake’s affections towards Santiago in that regard, since it again opened up his eyes to the disadvantages his childish behavior can bring to his personal life without having him act like a total jackass to get the girl. We now know for sure that he has feelings for her, but has yet to discover a way to prove so. If or when this shows gets to that point, it will have to carefully define a strong connection beforehand that pertains to the makings of an honest, grounded relationship, while avoiding any and all cliches that come with jumping the shark. A couple of installments before this week’s events have proved that to be the case, as Jake and Amy have convinced us that they’re an awesome tandem in the office and on the crime scene. Still, this dynamic should continue to build. The last thing we need is another typical love triangle strung in-between a series of plots and subplots that are going in the right direction.

Such is the case for Boyle’s engagement with Vivian, as we are officially nearing the finish line for this season. At this point, it’s no secret that Rosa shouldn’t be messed around with, but we got to see more of her concerning, inquiring side with Boyle and their friendship this time around. Remember how well they got along in last week’s episode? Apparently it didn’t mean much to Boyle, as he pushed their little instance of fun and games to the wayside as a means to avoid an emotional conflict on the day he ties the knot. Although we’re meant to believe that it was Vivian who felt it’d be awkward to have Diaz at the wedding, she later confirms that Boyle lied to her and stated that she’d be out of town and couldn’t come. Had it not been for his constant eagerness to fall in love for her the entire first half of the season, red flags would be flying everywhere. But it’s actually pretty easy to sympathize with his train of thought, even though it’s kind of selfish to even consider leaving Rosa out of such a monumental occasion. And even despite the fact that he eventually invited her to come, Rosa didn’t learn the truth until afterwards at the bar. So, now the engine is all revved up and drama is ready to ensue within the following weeks. This story arc could go anywhere from here, but hopefully it doesn’t result in any predictable last-second change of heart for Boyle. Suffice to say, I’m excited to see what’s next.

Somehow, in an episode ripe with affections and possible show-bending developments, the most entertaining aspect of it all was the mere five minutes of material surrounding Holt and Gina’s addiction to Kwazy Cupcakes. With glaring comparisons to the real-life Candy Crush Saga game it’s supposed to replicate (right down to the worlds that provide a false sense of progression,) it’s hard to blame Gina for inadvertently luring the captain into the craze. The show did an excellent job in poking fun at the name and the context of its gameplay with an efficient display of gags and hilarious one-liners, while ultimately manufacturing a harmless side-story with some character advancement of its own. These two are usually against admitting to their own flaws, so it was nice to have them realize their addiction to the phone app at the same time. And for those of you who have played Candy Crush Saga and escaped its allure, you will definitely get a kick out of how it’s referenced here.

The Verdict:

I could go on and talk about how uproariously funny the training course was, or even breakdown the list of genius quips at Boyle’s “STD” invitations, but the main plots in “Tactical Village” were what carried this week’s episode. Jake’s feelings for Santiago are practically cemented, and although it wasn’t perfectly handled we got a good sense that this story arc will be handled properly as the season goes on. Ditto for Boyle and his situation with Rosa, although one would have to assume that their friendship has now approached a bridge it probably never had to cross. I may not have said this before, but there’s really little reason not to keep watching at this point.

Rating: 8.5

+Jake DEFINITELY likes Amy, but won’t destroy the nature of their friendship to show it
+Boyle, Rosa, and Vivian: potential love triangle?
+Candy Cru–I mean, umm, Kwazy Cupcakes

Here’s some of the funniest stuff from this week’s episode:

-“Will your fist dance be to “you give me fever?”
-“Sorry, I made a rash decision. I was itching to say it.”
-“It’s the most fun day of the year. Something you wouldn’t understand, because you’re not programmed to feel joy.”
-“Yes, but my software is due for an exuberance upgrade.”
-“Mountain range, it’s the sexiest geological feature.”
-“I can taste my thoughts!”
-“This is no longer a men’s room. It is now a liar’s den.”
-“This was a human being you just killed. Bill ‘Perp’ had a family.”
-“All in a day’s work, ‘Elderly lady.’ All in a day’s work.

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