Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” To catch up on previous coverage, click here.
After last week’s lackluster episode it’s nice to see that Brooklyn Nine-Nine can quickly reshape things, and “Ava” fits in with what has already been a very strong season for the show. Despite us knowing from the moment that Terry mentions that he and Sharon are going away for one last weekend before the birth of their child that Sharon is going to go into labor, the episode still manages to earn a lot of laughs as well as heartfelt moments, along with some of Jake’s best characterization so far this season.
I love it when Jake is less of a cartoon and more of a well rounded character, and I’ve been pointing out since last season just how interesting I find him to be when he gets to tone down on his silliness. This weeks he still has his goofball moments (his correcting Terry on his Lord of the Rings terminology being a highlight) the episode also makes sure to showcase just how competent he can be and how much shit he can get done when he puts his mind to it. Jake Peralta isn’t dumb, simply naive in unfortunate moments with his using the term “vaginal” too much and referring to himself as the god-husband being obvious examples.
But then he get’s to work in making sure that the precinct doesn’t burn down around them once Sharon goes into labor. Terry is out on a case with Rosa, and despite Terry appealing to the criminals emotions and Rosa being a badass and racing them through the city on a stolen motorcycle, they aren’t quick enough and Jake needs to take control. This means shuffling Amy and Boyle around as they struggle to fill out paperwork by hand after the internet goes down in the precinct and making sure visitors don’t angrily take up space. He convinces Gina to help despite hr aversion to children, keeps Holt out of the way after learning he makes Sharon uncomfortable, and then even convinces Holt to reach out to his ex-boyfriend, Frederick (Nick Offerman!), an OBGYN, to come and help out. This means swallowing his pride and admitting a wrong and it’s always fun to see the rational character forced to listen to logic from the typical childish character. The fact that the wrong he has to own up to is pushing one of Frederick’s wooden ducks off a bridge just makes it better.
It’s the exact kind of argument you’d imagine someone like Holt would get into, and still ludicrous enough to be funny.
I really hope this isn’t the last we see of Offerman on the show, he’s too good for the short amount of time we spent with him and I could watch an entire episode of just Andre Braugher and Offerman talking to one another.
Frederick tells them that Sharon ought to be at a hospital due to the conditions of the precinct however, Sharon and Terry and reached an agreement that they wouldn’t be going to the hospital after the hellish time they had when their twin daughters were born. Sharon though, is in pain, is uncomfortable and all of her plans haven’t worked out, so she looks to Jake to be her god-husband and make the final decision, what would he do?
Jake takes her to the hospital, despite what Terry asked, and it’s once again a step in seeing the growth of the Jake character. He’s evolved so much since the first episode where he was essentially all of Andy Samberg’s quirks with a badge stuck on him, and now he’s a character with a lot to love about him.
Terry isn’t pleased with this news, finally arriving at the hospital after speeding his way through New York and admonishes Jake for doing the one thing they weren’t supposed to. Of course this ended up being the right decision, and after Terry gives his round of thanks to the crew (nice and timely) he brings Jake into their hospital room and tells him that he and Sharon wanted Jake to be the first person to see their daughter, Ava.
It’s, quite frankly, an adorable moment and Samberg sells the scene. The show refuses to get to soft though, undercutting the sweetness of the scene by having Jake hug Sharon instead of Ava after Terry ask him if he’d “like to hold her.”
Jake’s growing up, but he still has some things he needs to work out.