Juvenile and silly it may be, but Tacoma FD showed its own self-awareness in “Cop Wars” to enjoyable effect.
This Tacoma FD Episode 2 recap contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
A week on, and it turns out I’m still a complete sucker for the stupid silliness of Tacoma FD. I was unsure until the opening scene of the latest episode, “Cop Wars”, in which Myawani (Eugene Cordero) and Crystal (Gabriel Hogan) respond to a blatantly dishonest woman who claims to be locked out of her own house. Because she’s hot — and that’s real-life hot, not firefighter hot — they help her break in regardless and idiotically discuss the potential of a “Shazam, but for faces” app as she drives the owner’s car out of the garage and sets it alight.
The burned-up car turns out to belong to a local police officer, which is an issue because the FD and the PD are bitter rivals. Naturally, a gradually escalating war of pranks begins. (One of the police officers used to date Myawani and now calls him Pikachu, which he thinks is “mildly racist,” but he “isn’t quite sure”.) Captain Penisi (Steve Lemme) wants to retaliate, but Chief McConky (Kevin Heffernan) wants a new ladder-truck and knows the department won’t get one if Linda Price (Suzy Nakamura) finds out about inter-departmental prank-offs. As with last week’s premiere, we shouldn’t be surprised that the Chief’s attempts to run things are pitiful failures.
The funniest underlying joke in “Cop Wars” is how what basically amounts to a childish back-and-forth is treated with absolute seriousness by the characters, who refer to previous such prank exchanges with great reverence, like they’re discussing crucial battles in a real-life conflict. Another funny gag is Myawani’s ex, Lt. Salazar (Maria Russell), doing the whole high-school jock bully routine; a neat gender reversal that implies Tacoma FD has much more of an idea what it’s doing than it’ll likely be given credit for.
As paranoia starts to mount in the FD public relations suffer; a mother and her daughter who deliver thank-you donuts are accosted by Crystal, who thinks they’re working for the cops. His hilarious overreaction when he realizes he’s wrong — including retching in disgust at his own actions and screaming — is exactly why “Cop Wars” works as a self-aware idea, and it’s a relief that Tacoma FD realized that this stuff is way funnier than any of the pranks.
The inevitable sit-down ceasefire being framed as children being scalded, with Shuck’s emotional breakdown and Myawani standing up to Salazar on the advice of Smith (Marcus Henderson) even though he’s into being manhandled anyway, was a perfectly fitting resolution to it all. And of course, it coinciding with Chief McConky going ballistic and trashing the PD was just icing on the cake.
Juvenile? Sure. But fun and funny? Absolutely. I’ll be back for more shenanigans next week.