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Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Episode 1.01 - Pilot - Review

Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s cold open features an undercover operative who’s been in too deep, too long. Same old story, we've all heard it before.  Of course, this one’s just a fuzzy cuddle bear nanny cam, and its security footage is the key to solving an electronic store robbery. And with that, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is off.

With the new captain’s arrival imminent, it’s clear that the detectives are hoping for different things. Jake Peralta just wants someone who is laid back like the last captain; who doesn’t mind if they have fire extinguisher races. His partner Amy Santiago would prefer a mentor, someone to be her rabbi and who will hopefully train her to become a captain. What they get is Captain Ray Holt; a little stiff, very by-the-book, and with strong opinions on ties and manscaping.

Sergeant Jeffords, aka former Terry Titties, gives new Captain Holt the lowdown on the detectives in the precinct. There’s Charles Boyle, a clumsy detective who knows his way around an expensive ham; Rosa Diaz, a tough detective with lightning quick temper; Amy Santiago, Jake’s partner who is always trying to prove herself; Jake Peralta, a detective who has learned everything but how to grow up. In addition to these characters there is Terry himself, a former badass cop who lost his edge after having kids, and shot up a store mannequin, and administrator Gina Linetti, who has no reverence for anyone in the precinct, and seems to like to mess with them all equally.

The pilot sets up a few relationships to watch going forward. Dopey Detective Charles clearly has the hots for loose cannon Rosa, and tries to figure out how to ask her out. While he manages to wrangle a movie date with her, mentioning her opinionated nature leads to a brisk cancellation. She does, however, reimburse him for the plethora of movie tickets he purchased, and admit she likes his company. Jake and Amy have a back and forth as partners, and everything becomes a competition - especially their crime-solving competition, which Jake is currently winning. Jake also has an interesting relationship with Captain Holt, first ignoring his authority, then gradually coming to respect him more, especially as he learns the challenges he’s put up with as a gay police officer. And then of course, there’s Gina vs. everyone else.

Door duty serves as a brief glimpse into the quirky characters that inhabit the city, including a young weed-smoker pretending that someone broke into his apartment and left both the weed smell and a bong, Fred Armisen as an accented man who spells his name with the letter “clay,” and an old man whom Amy bet was going to be a bachelor. Another victory for Jake.

Although Jake is clearly one of the best at his job, he still has room to grow emotionally. And that he does as he’s standing face to face with a murderer in a storage unit, realizing that the reason Holt demanded a tie was as part of a uniform, because they’re a “team.” And then together as a team, they all take down the bad guy.

But rarely can a comedy just end on such a straight note, and following the arrest of the ham thief/murderer, Jake informs Holt that the Speedo is now inside of him. Note to all you detectives out there: remove the speedo BEFORE going to catch the bad guy. Alright, now that’s all sorted.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine started off the series with a bang; murder, casual stake-outs, secret ties, crime scene gelato, maintenance workers that couldn’t care less about cops, “ten tie situations,” bad robot voices, and more.

Best crime-comedy bit of the episode? The “Disco Strangler” who used to kill his victims with yo-yos.

What do you think of the series premiere? Do the pilot “arrest” your attention? Or would you hold it on the charge of murder…of comedy?

I apologize whole-heartedly for the puns.

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