Brooklyn Nine-Nine has had some abrupt endings recently, but few have seemed so dedicated to the three-act format as tonight’s “The Defense Rests.” It was a solid, funny episode that once again moved the plot forward without any major stumbles, but boy did it feel brief. I couldn’t believe the episode had ended when the credits rolled and I can’t tell if that’s simply due to how much I enjoy these characters and their storylines of if the functionality of their pacing is beginning to weigh on the outcome.
This week we revisit some past storylines and faces, such as Captain Wuntch (Kyra Sedgwick), Captain Holt’s adversary who needs Holt’s recommendation to be promoted to Police Chief at the Boston Police Department. Holt at first wants to exact revenge but Rosa (and mother Terry apparently) both think it’s a bad idea and that Holt should take the higher road. Despite his hatred for Wuntch he follows their advice. Of course, this backfires on him when he learns Wuntch had only done it to get a promotion in New York City. Holt believes he gets the last laugh when he changes her phone’s auto-correct so that he last name is written “butt.”
Holt is the show’s best character. I love the ensemble and there is no weak link among the cast, but what Andre Braugher is doing as Holt and his interactions with the rest of the cast is something special. His work makes Holt’s dalliances in immaturity all the more hilarious to watch because it’s just outside the norm for him but never reaches so far outwards that it seems like an entirely new character. Holt is a character we know well, so while we’re not surprised that his revenge would be gifting Wuntch with tickets to the Boston show of Wicked, we’re still delighted to see him present them with such glee.
The slimmest storyline goes to Boyle, Gina and Amy, all characters who have been wonderful this season and given a storyline that uses them to the best of their abilities. Gina is annoyed that Boyle has backed out of their plan to break their parents up, and Amy finds this to be a prime opportunity to showcase her conflict resolution skills. Boyle tells Gina that he doesn’t want to break them up anymore because now they’re serious, and Boyle’s dad wants to ask Gina’s mom to marry him. Boyle gives Gina a list of promises of things he won’t do in her presence if they’re forced into a shared familial orbit and she agrees to talk to his dad. When all is resolved (thanks to Amy’s nifty skills), the three of them plus Rosa make wedding plans and it all seems fantastically absurd in the way only a Boyle and Gina wedding could.
We spend most of our time this week with Jake and his girlfriend Sophia (Eva Longoria). She tells Jake at the start of the episode that her boss (Chris Parnell) isn’t giving her any of the good cases anymore because she’s dating a cop. She asks Jake if they can press pause on their relationship for awhile so that she can try and figure things out. He accepts this until Terry points out that it sounds like a bigger problem than she’s leading on. Jake isn’t one to simply sit and allow things to move forward without any foolhardy but good-natured intervention, so he decides to go to the gala being held for the public defense attorneys where Sophia and her boss will be. His plan is to try and charm her boss so that all is solved and right with the world.
Of course this doesn’t pan out.
For a moment it seems that Jake’s plan has worked, until he finds Sophia’s boss in the bathroom and hovering over a line of cocaine and is forced to arrest him on the spot.
Sophia stops by the precinct later to take on her boss as her client and to tell Jake off for intervening. Having laid out his emotions and telling her he loved her accidentally earlier in the night, he misses the undertones in her voice until she tells him that they’re done. He attempts a romantic gesture but is shut down. She tells him that they weren’t that serious (he thought they were) and that she doesn’t love him back and that due to their jobs their relationship was just too hard.
The relationship ends in a nice and simplistic manner where two adults simply aren’t on the same page, but I think I would have cared more if Sophia hadn’t appeared so briefly in the show up until this point.
Jake ends up at the bar with Terry and Holt as Holt gives him his auto-correct revenge advice, and Terry tells him that he made all the right choices despite it all ending poorly. Then they drink.
I laughed a lot and it was a good episode, but with the guest stars taking up time and the show’s short running time I ended it wanting more of the Nine-Nine crew.