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Brooklyn Nine-Nine - The Last Ride - Review: "Beautiful"

Holy moly. As I watch this episode for the second time I have many more thoughts going through my head. Can we just take a moment to consider all that the 99th precinct has been through? Jake going undercover, a risky task force, Holt having to leave for so many awful reasons, the entire squad threatened by rival stations, mice, car thieves, oh my. And let's not forget the recent time Jake and Holt spent in Wit Sec. So, when approached with this episode and the circumstances it presented - the squad is shutting down after the audit that was sent was scathing - I think it's safe to assume that it's a pretty big possibility. It's not out of the question for this to be the end coming near. Let's forget, for a moment, that the fate of the show has yet to be revealed. With all that this team has been through, could the end of the precinct be upon us? Maybe not literally, but people could certainly get new jobs elsewhere, or retire. That's always possible. Though it's certainly a somber note to start my review on. What can I say? I'm a pessimist who suffered through Limitless's future going from a safe bet to nothingsville. But let's get back to the episode at hand, because it was truly magnificent.

I think it goes without saying that I'm probably going to enjoy each cold open on this show thoroughly. This one was a bit more serious than normal, but not without its jokes. Holt used "Vis-à-vis" in his sentence, which you can recall Kevin used in "The Party" (1.16). That made me smile. Amy has a work colleague, Hitchcock needs to close his legs. Everything would seem fine if not for the future of the precinct looking grim. There's a shot of Rosa and Boyle looking sad and it reminded me of their faces when Holt told everyone he was leaving. See the parallels? Obviously I have to then mention the "inner circle" joke, with Carl/Mark being like the first person to notice that these individuals seem to be the only people who speak at these meetings or get anything done at all. Hilarious. Jake's usage of "s'ed in the b" also leaves something to be desired. Sexed in the butt? Surely Holt had something to say about that, but we will never know since it cut to the theme song. Afterwards, Jake and Boyle are gonna take on this stolen bike case, with matching leather jackets, of course. I'll get back to this storyline later. Gina is doing a thing with her followers where she pranks people in the precinct. To think that she was hit by a bus not long ago - she seems fully back to health and her sprits are up like never before. Though making them eat cement was probably not the best idea. That would kill them. Gina didn't really have much else to do until the end, but it was still funny to see her go around and prank everyone.

Elsewhere, Hitchcock, having worked at the precinct for 20 more years than Terry, is surprisingly Mr. Nine-Nine. He has solved the most crimes. I guess I could believe that. After all, he solved the stolen phone case by bolting out of the bathroom stall with his pants down, with Scully following. The tattoo was too funny and his "pasghetti" just too much. But Rosa and Terry teaming up again? That's a dynamic I am always here for. She was trying to boost his spirits the entire time and ended up giving him the win by revisiting all of her solved crimes that he helped her with. That scene at the bar was one of many perfect scenes from this outing. Speaking of dynamics I loved, let's get back to Jake and Boyle. While the notion of the stolen bike turning into something bigger was nothing new for the show, it's followed way, way later that impressed me. There's a bike chase and Jake fails, miserably. They figure out where the drug happenings are, but staking them out would mean missing the hearing that decides their fate. But Jake and Boyle sit there and wait anyway. Nothing is happening on the drug front, but these two men have been through so much. They both start crying. Yep, these two grown men aren't afraid to show their emotions to each other. It's actually so beautiful that you can't help but cry along with them. They use the binoculars to hide some of the awkwardness but later relent and handshake it out. What a great scene.

They return later to the bar but I must go back one more time and mention Holt and Amy in this episode. Their dynamic is so fantastic and it's even more interesting when you think about how similar these two people really are. They were both in clubs and were made president because they were the only member. Most of the things Holt was mentoring Amy about Amy probably already knew. Then there was the binder, of course, and so many other things they share. Those two together have had some of the best scenes in the show. This was no different. I learned a lot of advice from Holt, but I also got to watch Amy live out her dreams of having Holt mentor her. The fact that this isn't the end makes it even better. This is only Volume 1. Amy's reaction at the end was priceless. I would've done the same thing. It brought me back to when Holt read her toast and she was so happy she could die. But now back to the build up. Before going to the bar, Holt announces to everyone that the precinct will shut down. It's his speech that really got to me. That's probably my scene of the week because, well, remember how I started this review? Think about all Holt especially has been through. To have this be the end for him? That would be a tragedy. I imagine earlier on in the episode when he was on the phone he was talking to Kevin and sharing his 'sadness' about the fate of the station. Holt is proud of Jake. He is proud of everyone under his command. They really have done great work for themselves, for each other, and for the community. But most of which would not be possible without Holt breaking down barriers. To end it off with, "Let's go get drunk", was just...perfect.

And then they meet up at the bar, where Holt tells everyone that the 7-4 will be shut down instead. The Man Sprinkler vs. Bullet Tornado joke will never not be funny, and Jake's moral compass is on fire. Good to know. But what really saved the precinct, so to speak, was Gina and her vocal, online presence and followers, and another great Gina Linetti entrance. Hmmm...could that be life imitating real life? Is FOX looking to save the shows that, despite not doing too well in the ratings, have impressive followings on social media and the like? Isn't that what saved Scream Queens last year? Well, if it happened to them it could happen to us. Tell your friends. Tell your neighbours. Tell your work colleagues. Tell anyone you know how they could benefit from watching this show. The precinct may be saved, for now, but there's still so much work to be done before that finale will hit. I don't know how much more I can beg and plead that people watch this show. This all feels so familiar for me. But I will continue trying because - at the end of the day - this show is seriously worth it.

So what did YOU think of "The Last Ride"? Did it fill you with a sense of both hope and dread like me? Are you happy that we get to see the precinct survive for another week (at least)? How about each pairing they chose to go with - how did those emotional punches make you feel? Please leave a comment down below!