Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” To catch up on previous coverage, click here.
While there were some naysayers of last week’s episode “9 Days” which I found hilarious, the show has had remarkable string of episodes where everything that’s great about the show has been highlighted, and this week proves that Brooklyn Nine-Nine on top of it’s other successes knows how to employ a guest star better than most.
An example of the show utilizing it’s three act structure to it’s greatest effect us in display with Rosa and Boyle’s storylines in this week’s episode. While often this structure has resulted in the C plot feeling thin, the episode instead allows for the storyline to flourish because it never tries to be more than it is. The plot is simple-while investigating the death of an elderly woman, the two fall in love with the now vacated apartment and decide that they will both want to try and rent it. The two are so inherently different in their personalities and their approach which makes their common goal and competitive natures coming to a head so fun to watch play out.
Both are vying to butter up the landlord to win points and Boyle does this in typical fashion by cooking the man rare food while Rosa, in the bit that had be laughing the hardest this week, smiles painfully and offers him a mint. Stephanie Beatriz’s terse, awkward grimace along with the abrupt cut away of the scene is the show at it’s wittiest.
The fact that neither of them get the apartment isn’t all that surprising but having the landlord be behind the murder of the former tenant in order to raise the value is a good twist.
It’s Holt’s storyline that suffers the most from the structure this week but only because the moment his sister is introduced, played by the wonderful Niecy Nash, I could have watched an entire episode of just the two of them in the fort he makes for her. Holt’s character continues to be developed, even in the middle of season three when you’d think we’d know as much as we could about the character. His annoyance at being called fun, his reliance on two cans of seltzer being Terry and Gina’s indicator that he’s agitated and his petty avoidance to dram\a (including exclamation points) further fleshes out an already amazing character. That it ends on such a sweet note is unsurprising for a show that wears it’s heart on it’s sleeve, but it makes us audience members hope that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of the two Holt siblings together. Especially when Andrew Braugher and Nash are as good as they are.
It’s a big week for guest stars on “The Cruise” as Craig Robinson returns as Jake’s enemy the Pontiac Bandit who has escaped Jake twice now in the series run. I was more surprised that Jake and Amy went on the cruise in the first place than I was of Robinson’s return but that was quickly helped when we learn that it was the Bandit who set up the cruise tickets for the two. Both the cruise and the Bandit were smartly played out as both helped develop Amy and Jake’s relationship which has taken a backseat for the past couple of episodes.
Robinson is always a welcome presence on the show, as is his unflinchingly charming character, and he and Andy Samberg have a playful rapport that works well with the characters dynamic where Jake can’t ever decide if they’re best friends or arch enemies.
This time he’s lured Jake to the cruise where he’s been working as an entertainer in order to help protect him from someone sent to kill him. Jake and Amy are reluctant to get involved, Jake because of their rivalry and Amy because of her want to actually enjoy her vacation-but are eventually convinced to help.
The Pontiac Bandit is used mainly as a commentator on Jake and Amy’s relationship and how the former is failing at it, telling Jake he needs to open up and be more receptive to Amy’s hobbies (itinerary and all) in order for their romance to survive. We see more and more examples of this as Jake, unsurprisingly, becomes obsessive in his new case that he ignores any chance to relax with Amy. This lasts until the end of the episode hen after saving his life, the Bandit escapes and Jake, seemingly realizes his error with thankfully little drama and offers to go to a salsa dance class with Amy.
While there Amy tells Jake that she loves him and for one, near dumbfounding moment, we think Jake is going to play it off, closed off from adult emotions, before he tells her that he loves her too.
It’s a big step for the main couple and in typical Nine-Nine fashion, doesn’t allow the episode to end on anything other than a laugh as the two realize they’re at a class for widowers.