Shepard Price ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
“Tactical Village,” aired on March 4th, focuses mostly on relationships. As the team bonds over a police-mandated day of training, the episode also goes deeper into one-on-one relationships, including Peralta (Andy Samberg) and Santiago (Melissa Fumero), and Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) and Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz). The episode also focuses on the only two people remaining in the office, Holt (Andre Braugher) and Gina (Chelsea Peretti).
The episode pulls the field agents together as a unit, as the group tries to take the best course score from another precinct. They have to work as a group to win, which means cooperation becomes a larger factor in the dynamic. The cooperation on the course helps them become closer than ever before.
The episode’s main focus, however, in terms of relationships, is Peralta and Santiago. It has been learned that Peralta has developed romantic feelings for Santiago in an earlier episode. Those feelings are brought back up in this episode, and we see Peralta become jealous of another cop at the Tactical Village, Ted (Kyle Bornheimer), who had previously dated Santiago. This jealousy helps spur him on to beat the course record that Ted’s unit set. Boyle tells Jake—in his newfound wise way that has become apparent in the last 5 episodes—that the only reason Ted is the current apple of Santiago’s eye and is going out with her is that he actually asked her out. Peralta realizes that this is the truth, and determines to actually ask Santiago on a date, which he later chickens out on because Santiago has a second date with Ted.
This sets up the rest of the season (which will probably be between two to four episodes) to see what happens between a newly focused Peralta and Santiago. The relationship should happen, because Peralta and Santiago have chemistry, and the relationship the viewer was supposed to have faith in (Boyle and Diaz) fizzled out with Diaz permanently rejecting Boyle, and Boyle getting married to someone else.
The second relationship that is focused on is Diaz and Boyle. When Boyle gives out STDs (Save the Dates), he has not given one to Diaz. Diaz talks to Jeffords (Terry Crews) about her feelings, but says that she will save the confrontation for her deathbed—a tool she uses in all arguments—and that she will win seventy-eight arguments by having the last word. Diaz realizes that this conflict may be because Vivian (Marilu Henner), Boyle’s soon-to-be wife, has issues with their relationship because of Boyle’s former love for Diaz. When Diaz confronts Boyle about it, Boyle tells her that her suspicions are true, and that it may be too much for Vivian to handle. Diaz says that she understands, but that it still hurts. While coming back from Tactical Village, Boyle gives Diaz an STD, and says that he talked to Vivian and she wants Diaz to come to the wedding, which Diaz says she looks forward to it. When she thanks Vivian at the end of the episode, however, she discovers that Boyle has been lying to Vivian, and has not told her that he used to have feelings for Diaz.
The last part of the episode focuses on Holt and Gina. Gina has become addicted to a Candy Crush-like app, Cwazy (with a backwards “W”) Cupcakes. When Gina’s work begins to be impacted by her addiction, Holt has to try to stop her playing the game. But when she says the name of the app, Holt begins to play it as well, and when she discovers that he has been playing, she tries to intervene. Holt begins to lie about playing Cwazy Cupcakes, but Gina catches him playing it, making her very angry. Holt admits that he usually has good control even when he enjoys certain things, and explains that even though he loves milk he hasn’t had any for nineteen years because he is lactose intolerant. But, he can’t kick the Cupcake habit, and it has begun to impact his work. Gina is able to help him lose the habit by showing him that Hitchcock is on the same level, and that they have a lot in common.
This shows more of Holt’s character than we have seen before, because we learn that he has incredible self-control—something that was hinted at numerous times—but that he also can get addicted to things, and when he does, he needs help. Instead of the robot that Peralta makes him out to be, Holt can be just like everyone else. Gina’s character is also developed in this episode. She is willing to be helpful, and again is shown to genuinely care about members of the precinct, in this episode specifically Holt.
Overall Episode Grade: B