Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” To catch up on previous coverage, click here.
Have I spoken before on how Captain Holt and Jake are by far my favorite pairing on the show? It might seem like an obvious choice considering the show was built off of their differences at the start but since then the show has switched up their acting pairs to such an extent that it’s easy to be drawn from the shows original structure, especially as other actors got their moments to shine. However the appeal of the of two working together never changed because of how different they are on the outset and how similar they are in their sheer enthusiasm over their jobs.
This makes their story this week hilarious not just because it highlights what I mentioned but because the show brings it to such extremes we’ve never seen before on the show with Andre Braugher getting the chance to be animated in a way only Andy Samberg usually gets to be.
Kevin is away in Paris and the precinct believes that Holt is low because of this and while they all have their own suggestions in making him feel better it’s Jake’s option that speaks the closest to Holt’s heart and interests, even if it all a sham. Jake digs up an old closed case of his and tells Holt there is new info on the street about the man he’d been targeting and asks him to work weekends to help him solve it. It’s a selfless task of Jake to do but it’s also one that plays into his compulsive need to work.
The case very abruptly goes off the rails when a witness gives them the mumps.
Jake’s “are we gonna die” while he and Holt learn that they’ve contacted it is one of the best line readings of the night (the best I’ll mention below). Amy is unsurprisingly immune as she brags about all of the vaccinations she’s had and offers to stay with Holt before Jake offers that he and Holt stay quarantined together in order to continue to work on the case, another idea that Holt is drawn to.
I think the episode would have been better if we’d just gotten a bottle episode where the two are stuck in Holt’s house for nine days as they slowly but surely grow increasingly delirious both due to their fevers and cold medicine intake.
There’s a lot of visual comedy that goes into the episode that was just a step away from landing into too broad territory but was just the right amount of cringe inducing to avoid it, with the lumps that Jake and Holt grow on their faces only adding to the absurdity of their situation. Them believing they stood any chance in staying completely lucid throughout their quarantine soon vanishes.
The best line of the night that had me laughing well into the commercial break was Braugher’s delivery of “Balbazor’s a thirsty bitch”. What an actor.
They continue to believe that they’re gaining ground on the case, with Jake forgetting that it was fabricated in the first place, until Amy shows up right before they’re about to break their quarantine with the aid of snowsuits and masks in order to go search down another potential witness. Amy tells Jake that he needs to quit it and tell Holt the truth before they end up letting the stubbornness kill them.
This of course goes poorly and Holt accuses Jake of lying to him out of pity and the two end up arguing to the point where they don’t even want to talk to one another. The image of Holt and Jake desperately trying to hit the others facial sores is one of the oddest, funniest bits of physical comedy I’ve seen on TV in a while.
The two apologize with the aid of Amy’s terrible cooking when they really do manage to solve the case. Ending the episode on a sweet then funny moment is what the show does best, never wanting to become mushy but it’s the show and the characters earnest nature that makes them so winsome. Holt apologizing to Jake about yelling at him, thanking him again for getting his job back at the Nine-Nine and then giving him the sour candy he’d been deprived of was the perfect way to end the episode.
It’s a shame that it’s another one of those cases where the show would have done better-as much as it would pain them to omit one of their great characters for a week-to sideline their C or even B plots. Rosa getting a dog and growing attached was funny due to what we know of Rosa but Boyle abandoning an active case to mourn his dog seemed a touch too far. Terry’s storyline fared better but only because he and Gina are another fantastic pairing. It’s was undoubtedly a hilarious episode of the show but it could have been made stronger with some trimming.