What a disconcerting episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. There have been rumblings in rumor world for the past few weeks about a character leaving the Nine-Nine, but I never thought it could be Captain Holt himself. His dynamic with the characters, Jake in particular, is too important to give up and yet here, right on the cusp of the end of the season, I’m wondering if that’s going to be the big shake up in the season’s finale. It makes for compelling television, especially since I never would have guessed it, but as a fan of the character, I felt a sense of righteous anger at the episode’s end as his storyline remained unresolved, and Holt was left flummoxed and furious.
Andre Braugher deserves an Emmy (for this role) now.
It’s a stellar showcase episode for Braugher, who while not on the outlines has certainly been given smaller storylines this year than in the first but with the return of his nemesis Deputy Chief Wuntch (Kyra Sedgwick), he steps rightfully back into the spotlight and kills it. His delivery is as always on point and his growing agitation at Jake and Boyle’s antics feel familiar without being stale. The three of them are on a big scale case for the department for a crime 25 years in the making. The success of the case could result in the return of millions of dollars. There is no other case as active as this, which leads Holt to believe that Wuntch will reassign it to higher ups.
She instead gives them all the resources they’ll need to solve it. Jake is obviously thrilled, finally able to reenact favorite action movie sequences including–to his delight–a helicopter, but Holt is suspicious of her intentions. He believes that she’s granting them all of this aid because it will make their imminent failure all the more damning and will ruin his career. He assigns himself to the case as well and allows his concern over Wuntch consume him until a nice moment where Jake gets to be the welcomed voice of reason, telling Holt that for once they really are a part of a fun investigation, a definitive one, and Holt has spent the entire time agonizing over the politics. It’s a moment of realization for the character, and he gives into the thrill. They catch their suspect, code names, choppers and zingers included before it all ends the way Holt predicted.
The twist isn’t that Wuntch wanted him to fail; it was that she wanted him to succeed so she could promote him to a desk job. This is a sucker punch of a moment after Holt had confessed to Jake only scenes before that he’d been so excited to work at the Nine-Nine to get away from his desk job, to prove that he was doing something he believed in. In 22 minutes, the show has allowed us to see Holt in yet another light and he’s just as fascinating, just as funny, but now in equal measures, we’re concerned for him as well.
I can’t say I’ll be too pleased if the season finale doesn’t give him a happy ending.
The B storyline is superfluous but allows for the other actors to shine as Terry, Gina, Rosa and Amy host a field trip from a local school where Terry’s daughters are currently applying to. Obviously (as is the sitcom nature), it all goes to hell rather quickly when Terry leaves the room to speak to the supervisor. Amy panics when she can’t relate to the kids and takes Rosa’s awful advice to show the 12-year-olds pictures of dead bodies. The teacher is displeased, but they still manage to win her over and Terry’s twins are no longer on the wait-list by the episode’s end.
There’s one more episode left in season two, and a number of storylines that need to be closed up. Who’s excited?