Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” To catch up on previous coverage, click here.
What an episode! The last episode until January 5th, it’s a great way to end things while also leaving fans wishing that the wait wouldn’t feel as long. A Christmas episode that Jake would approve of, the episode earns a lot of laughs while focusing in on two storylines, rather than the typical three.
The best episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine work on a number of levels. The first, and most important one to this series in particular, is the work place dynamics between the characters and there are no other casts on television that have the effortless chemistry that the actors of the Nine-Nine have that’s always getting, unfathomably, stronger. The second is the humor. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a comedy first and foremost and we want to laugh while watching it. The third is making sure that even when the show gets caught up in typical sitcom cliches that there is always an element about the show that allows it to feel fresh faced and lively.
“Yippie Kayak” does all of this along with some excellent character work. The set up is fun, with Jake realizing he hasn’t gotten Charles a Christmas present due to extending all of his efforts on getting Amy the perfect gift. HE enlists Gina’s help in going out for some last minute shopping until Boyle forces himself along, when Jake covers his tracks by saying he’s forgotten Amy. Gina promise that she’ll distract Boyle by asking him questions in the home and kitchen sections while Jake runs and gets the gift. It’s such a small string of scenes but they all work wonderfully in demonstrating how fleshed out the characters are. From Boyle getting Jake a personal Christmas gift and Jake forgetting, to Gina and Jake’s odd friendship where he would promise her a picture of Terry getting out of the shower in return for help, very little surprises us about the characters, but their actions are still hilarious.
This all leads to the heart of the episode which lies inside the store where Gina, Boyle and Jake have sneaked into to be able to shop. Soon though things turn dangerous when the three witness gunmen taking the security guards hostage in a highly organized fashion. Despite Jake’s unfiltered glee that it’s playing out like Die Hard, a dream of his, his and Boyle’s first concern is to call someone from the Nine-Nine and to call dispatch.
The only one they’re able to get from the Nine-Nine is Terry, who is the middle of his Holiday dinner with his family. He can’t stay angry for long though once he realizes the severity of the call, and tells Jake that his first priority is to take care of Gina, the only civilian of the three. He runs to the crime scene where a police team is waiting outside with of all people, the Vulture at the head, wanting to rush in now and risk Jake, Boyle and Gina’s lives rather than allow Jake a few minutes to assess the situation.
However, while Jake and Boyle are working on logistics, Gina sneaks out to try and execute her flame thrower plan when she’s captured. This puts Jake and Boyle on a stricter deadline and the arm themselves with whatever gardening and other house good equipment they find to take on the gunmen. We of course know that there is no real danger here, but Gina being taken hostage certainly ups the stakes because like Terry said, she’s the only civilian, totally untrained to deal with a situation such as this.
Terry meanwhile is waging his own battle against the Vulture which results in him physically carrying him away from the crime rather than let him risk any other lives like he is want to do. Terry loosing it is always fantastic to see, especially since so often he’s painted to be calm. But his buttons are all pushed by his family being in danger and isn’t putting up with anyone’s nonsense.
Jake and Boyle make good time in apprehending the gunmen and tying them up while also stealing their guns. To Jake’s dismay, they’re all Canadian, opposed to the typical film villains who are German in Die Hard, and the leaders name is Matt. They use their walkies to find Gina but right before they’re able to save the day, they cause commotion which sends more men outside to see what’s going on. Jake pushes Boyle out of the way to both not get caught and to also sneak into the air vents to be able to get them all free, and Jake is taken to where Gina and the others are being held. Gina tells him she’s scared and right as Jake is trying to assure everyone that they’re all going to be fine, the leader walks in, knowing Jake is a cop, and is about to shoot him when Boyle jumps in and gets to have Jake’s Die Hard moment, although he terribly botches it.
Throughout all of this there was the B plot which had Amy trying to meet Rosa and Captain Holt’s standards by doing the Polar Dip with them. While it’s nothing all too substantial, Melissa Fumero is great with the physical comedy opportunities it lends her. It all leads up to the point where she’s standing dejected on the beach with Rosa and Holt in the freezing water when she finally see’s Jake’s texts about the hostage situation, forcing her into the water to tell the two of them that they need to leave now.
Amy rushing up to Jake to kiss him not just because he’s safe but because he’s warm is a perfect summation of their relationship.
Jake tells Boyle the truth about his present fiasco and Boyle tells him he’s forgiven, especially since he put Boyle out of harms way and let him have his dream moment.
The episode ends on Gina finally getting flame thrower moment and really, what better way to end the show for the three week hiatus?
The Nine-Nine will be back January 5th.