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Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Episode 1.08 - Old School - Review

This week’s episode was all about the glory of the “good old days,” when cops spent their days and night chasing mobsters and swilling scotch while dressed in flammable orange outfits. Or at least that was Jake’s romanticized view of life in the precinct in the 70s, from his favorite out of all 15 books he’s read - The Squad. Written by Jimmy Brogan, the crime novel details the rough and tumble lives of Brooklyn’s finest, back when men were “men” and you only sat around all day if a mobster took off both your kneecaps.

Jake, clearly a bit of a romantic at heart, is overwhelmed when Jimmy Brogan comes into the precinct to write an article about police work today versus in the 70s, and constantly goes out of his way to try and impress him (including rubbing the contents of an ashtray on his neck). Although Holt tries to tell Jake that the 70s were a time full of racism, sexism and corruption in the police, Jake continues his quest until he finds himself downing two (BOTTLES of) scotch with his new best friend Brogan. Unfortunately for Jake, Brogan can hold his “brown” (ew) much better, and Jake spews a whole lot of negative quotes on the record about Captain Holt.

To clear up matters Jake joins Brogan in the schvitz, and after taunting Jake’s manliness, Brogan finally agrees not to print the quotes. But before a peaceful goodbye, Brogan doles out this gem: “You don’t have to stick up for that homo,” in regards to the Captain - and so Jake punches him in the face.

For the second time in two weeks, Brooklyn Nine-Nine had interactions between partners Amy and Jake, and once again I’d like to commend the show for continuing their partnership, as Amy is much more interesting and Jake more sympathetic when they interact. This story was also a nice way to get a little more background on Captain Holt, and some of the reasons behind his stoicism, presumably as a result of the various prejudices he faced in the past 30+ years on the force.

While Jake is running around like an ash-covered puppy behind Brogan, Terry and Charles try to prepare Rosa for court. Her past appearances didn’t go over so well (aka, threatening the court stenographer), and they want to ensure her testimony won’t hinder the case. Although some of their coaching was a little predictable, as they gave her too much conflicting advice which resulted in her smiling while recounting a gruesome incident and twitching one eye as she apparently forgot how to blink, there were some nice moments in there as well. Charles, eternally pining for the fearsome detective, helps her out in the end once he realizes her problem is just nerves. He recommends she goes to her “happy place” - his is slurping an infinite piece of linguini, which sauce changes every 20 ft. Hers, as it turns out later, is much more frightening, and causes the Sergeant to order her a psych eval. For Charles’ help, Rosa invites him out to a thank you dinner (Hooray!) which her boyfriend will also attend (oh). So close Charles, so close. Don’t give up on the wooing the “terrifying human being with a short fuse” - she may never come around, but it’s certainly fun to watch to watch you try.

This episode was a fun reminder that the “good old days” can easily be romanticized to the point of being a desired ideal, when in reality they probably had at least as many problems as now. While life in the Nine-Nine might not be as “glamorous” as it once was, the new “boring” technology helps them to solve more crimes, which sounds like a decent trade-off.

A good 1/3* of TV probably involves some sort of law enforcement or government agents solving various crimes (*made-up statistic, but come on, we all know it’s a lot), and this episode points out that perhaps it’s not always as thrilling as television makes it appear. Sometimes it’s just tracking IP addresses, or testifying in court.

But sometimes, it’s blowing up shoes and books behind the precinct. Now that certainly seems like fun.

Bits from the Police Scanner
- Scully doesn’t drink, but he was into cocaine for most of 1986.
- “Turn off your mouth siren” - a very hungover Jake to Amy
- “You go through doors normally and everyone calls you Pineapple.” - Amy, re: Jake’s “nickname” Death Wish.
- “Is the sky just a big blue hat that the world wears?” - Jake
- Amy knowingly falling for Holt’s manipulation, because she loves the idea that they’re close.
- “I know how to blink.” - Rosa

What did you think of the episode?  No school like the old school?  Or do you prefer sober, efficient police work?

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