Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” To catch up on previous coverage, click here.
Despite some familiar paths being taken in the season three finale of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the episode is decidedly light on its feet, hilariously engaging and is a superb caper for the end of a strong season. I’m not sure I’m ready for the show to be off my screens until fall, but I’m more than ready to see what’s delivered to us at the start of season four because the Nine-Nine just got a huge shakeup.
If the last few episodes has taught us anything it’s that Brooklyn Nine-Nine should introduce more serialized narratives from here on out – which, I guess, they sort of are with the end tag of Jake and Holt in Florida. The serialization of the plot has amplified the stakes that the Nine-Nine have been up against and have given storyline room to breathe, something that’s been a persistent hurdle for the show with their limited running time and four act structure.
My comfort show of the past year and the one that I most consistently look forward to on a given week, while Brooklyn Nine-Nine hits a glitch every once and a while or has an episode where the overall storyline doesn’t land as well as the writers had hoped, it ends its third season on a high note after a remarkably strong season and still touts the best comedy ensemble cast on air currently.
Here are some things I loved about the season three finale “Greg and Larry.”
The Mystery of Rosa
Rosa has always been one of the more unassuming funny characters on the show whose deadpan delivery is a great contrast both to her more animated co-workers but also to Holt who is more like a kindred spirit but with less threat of violence if someone were to cross him. Keeping her an enigma for so long worked to the show’s benefit this week as we, along with her team, learn more about her than we have in the past, much to the bewilderment of Terry. Her apartment looks like it was torn out of a home and lifestyle magazine, with a vase of lemons for a pop of color and a three wick collection of candles. Rosa Diaz might not even be her real name.
That Rosa feels compelled to destroy her perfectly designed apartment after her co-workers have seen it is completely in line with her characters need to have a veil of secrecy surrounding her at all times, but I, like Amy, am now feeling compelled to know everything about this domestic version of the character who smiles a lot at her neighbors and is even too chatty for some of them.
Jake’s Dream Comes True
It’s important to address the fact that Andy Samberg’s impersonation of Captain Holt and Bob was comedy gold at the beginning of the episode, especially as he began to trail off into a tangent of how he and Holt will probably go on a road trip after. What makes the tangent even better is that it’s built off of a lot of character work ever since Jake stopped looking at Holt as an authoritative obstacle and more as someone he looked up to and respected.
It also makes Holt referring to Jake as son not only hilarious (which it was) but also, oddly a little sweet.
Their relationship has developed so much over the course of the three years that they’ve worked together that they can operate under code phrases, and it helps them get Bob to tell them where the file is on Figgis, one upping the man who had so coldly sat through every one of the team’s versions of interrogation.
Their “Funky Cold Medina”, unrehearsed and all, had me in hysterics. Who would have guessed after the first few episodes that this is where their relationship would end up? More on that in a few.
Working as a Team
Minus Amy and Charles, the whole team is working together to find the Figgis file and save Holt, and it’s immensely refreshing not only to have the wonderful ensemble split up into smaller, inconsequential subplots but also to see just how well they all work together. This is a team that has been working together for a while now and just like how the actors are all stronger when they can bounce their comedic strengths off one another the characters are more interesting when their storylines intersect.
Seeing the team fake out Bob and lead him to believe that Figgis is trying to kill him, Gina getting her shining moment while pretending to believe she’s Serena Williams or Terry tackling Bob to the ground while he’s holding a gun to Holt are all examples of why as a squad they need more shared screentime. There is a way to highlight each actor and character even if they don’t always have their own individual plots.
I really did believe that the show was going to end on a resolved note with the team catching Bob and Figgis and enjoying a beer at the bar, Rosa with the knowledge that the safe return of Pimento was next, but then Jake got the phone call from Figgis warning him that he’s coming for him and Holt and the next scene is a month later in Florida. From the looks of it, Holt and Jake are in witness protection as Greg and Larry, playing neighbors, and I really would like to believe that the writers will milk this storyline’s potential for all it’s worth.
Season three has been a wonderful bit of fun over the past year and considering it’s a 23 episode season, it’s a tremendous achievement to see just how high the standard of quality was kept throughout. We’re headed towards what seems like a pretty big development or at least change for the start of season four, and I’m excited to see what this brings for Jake, Holt and the dynamics they share with the rest of the Nine-Nine.
Episode Grade: 8/10
Season Grade: 9/10