On tonight’s Tacoma FD, Terry is preparing for a big city council meeting. After reacting to some teasing from Eddie, the chief throws his back out and must take some medical leave. As a result, Penisi takes over the position on an interim basis until the boss is recovered. Now that he has the top job, Eddie has some of his own ideas on how to run the station.
“Eddie the Chief” is another take on the classic switching places plotline and be careful what you wish for but with the show’s comedic spin. It’s pretty formulaic with Penisi trying to be the cool dad and enact fun policies but eventually becomes overwhelmed by the responsibilities. For his part, McConky gets to be one of the guys again but learns he needs to lighten up as well. Both of them receive a greater appreciation for the other.
There are some funny comedic moments including Eddie’s transformation into the chief complete with a butt crack and pot belly. Some of the new procedures fit right in with the random silliness of Tacoma FD such as performing the wave for a vote of approval during their meetings. Other jokes take a while to fully develop but are worth the payoff including Granny’s obsession with the Tetris-like game, Blockazoids. Arguably the best bit comes in the closing credits and takes the station’s Dalmatian to a sinister place.
Unfortunately, not all the comedy hits this episode. With Penisi in charge, he anoints Ike as his second in command, or his hand, but it’s more so he has a snitch within the rank-and-file members. There is a running joke of Ike’s “hand job” that comes off as immature and dumb and gets worse each time they go to it. Also, Andy is once again the butt of jokes in the station and the ribbing he receives as the grocery shopper is just mean.
With Eddie the chief, someone has to be interim chief and we have Nat Faxon’s Frenchie return. It’s amusing to watch him and Ike bicker over who’s the next in command and they develop quite a rivalry. It’s a testament to Faxon to make the character a gigantic unlikeable a-hole but Frenchie isn’t one of my favorite ancillary characters for Tacoma FD. At least it’s sweet when he finally receives what’s coming to him.
“Eddie the Chief” has some inconsistent laughs while following a formulaic plotline.
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