Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” To catch up on previous coverage, click here.
Despite the common sense scratching at the back of my mind, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has managed (yet again, mind you) to stress this critic out in its season finale as characters are put into some for of jeopardy. Season one had Jake going under cover, season two had Holt being transferred, season three had Jake and Holt in witness protection in Florida and now, in season four Jake and Rosa are facing jail time after being set up for a crime they didn’t commit.
And that’s the way they END the season. There is no happy ending twist, no last minute solve. Nope, we’re going into a season five where both Jake and Rosa might be behind bars. Sure, it won’t be for a long time knowing the nature of sitcoms (and specifically how this shows narrative rolls) but it’s always odd when a show so steadfast in its optimism and humor ends on a slightly dour note.
The squads chemistry (and the way in which the pairings are mixed and matched each week) is possibly the shows greatest strength, possessing the ability to allow character history to dictate how a certain scene or storyline plays out. In this case, we get Rosa and Jake together for the majority of the past three episodes and it works beautifully. Polar opposites in demeanor in a similar way of Jake and Holt but with a history of friendship between them, they’re scenes carry more depth than someone might think when reading the scene on paper. Since we know so much of their cadet days together and their early years in the force, it makes the most sense that they’d end up where they are together since they’re both so fully committed and in love with being detectives. We’ll have to wait and see what happens post them being exxongerated (because it will happen) and if there’s any real fall out from their conviction, but until then we’ll all have to join Jake in his increasingly panicked mantra of “cool, cool, cool, cool, cool”.
The return of Pimento was another example of just how well this show works with its guest actors, even when they’re as extreme and tonally different as Pimento is. Jason Mantzoukas is a joy whenever he appears onscreen as the character and his gleeful response to Jake having to beat him up to convince Lieutenant Hawkins of his and Rosa’s dirty cop leanings was a highlight of the episode.
It’s become a bit of a thing with Brooklyn Nine-Nine that each season ends up with Jake in some sort of peril and while some might sense it as being redundant, the storylines always pay off in some form of hilarity and there’s nothing stopping us viewers from believing that now. One of the best and brightest sitcoms on television, it will take more than a familiar ending to scare me away from this series. Happy and well-meaning in a way that a lot of comedies are not the show is a highlight in the week to week viewing cycle. These characters are all so fond of one another that the conflicts are harder to find within the circle of their dynamics which is why Dan Goor and co., reach elsewhere. With what we know of them, there isn’t going to be some huge blow out between Jake and Amy or Jake and Charles, so rather than build conflict from the relationships we cherish, they instead bolster the moments of drama with what we know of the characters. Charles going completely decrepit and gray at the idea of not being able to help Jake, Rosa using her bizarre valley girl voice to get evident, Amy taking a private stress smoke, Holt doing increasingly odd jazzercise type exercise class and of course, Jake making a “title of your sex tape” joke at a wildly inappropriate time are all such beautiful in character moments. These last few episodes of the season that have brought these moments to light have just cemented that season four may have been the series best so far.
I for one can’t wait now until season five to be back in the precinct with this group.
Episode Grade: 9/10
Season Grade: 9/10