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Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Cop-Con/Chasing Amy - Review + POLL

Where “The Fugitive”, Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s first double header, was intended as a two-part episode with something of a connecting thread between the two half-hours, tonight’s instalments clearly were not. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it is, however, indicative of the way FOX are running the show at this late stage as opposed to paying much attention to it creatively.

Much like the New Year’s Day double, the first half of the hour was superior, though that’s not to demean the second. “Cop-Con” mostly abandoned the aspect of the show where the crew are detectives and instead turned to goofiness, like Terry accidentally setting Jake’s shirt ablaze with a firework. It doesn’t entirely forget - they use their police skills to work out what happened, while Holt is vying for a seat on the convention’s board of directors - but uses their day job sparingly and in a way that fits the humour more than the humour fitting into the job.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is no stranger to Jake and co. doing something and trying to keep it secret from Holt, and the antics are generally great, as they were here. So Jake covers their initial party plans by pretending to have been discussing the conference (he likes his Q&A’s unmoderated because he’s sick of bias; so does Holt), then uses Amy’s “regular” librarian shushing skills to keep him in the dark, and finally claims Amy to be naked to stall him further. It’s all very fun, and Andy Samberg’s near-desperate expression at every turn contrasts wonderfully with Andre Braugher’s permanently stern look.

Andy Daly’s cameo as Captain Jeffrey Bouche, “the living embodiment of evil” as Holt calls him, was similarly fantastic, Daly’s friendly guise fooling even Terry before sucker-punching the man whom he has beaten to promotions six times. After such a rough year for the precinct, it might be somewhat tragic that the team’s drunken behaviour is what leads to Holt missing out on the promotion but, by the end, he is regretful at having missed out on socialising with his colleagues. Though he often shows the tough, no-nonsense exterior he brought to the precinct upon his first arrival, being around the group has eased him up slightly and so it’s not a stretch to believe he felt left out.

The two subplots involving Boyle and Scully were also done well, with Boyle’s rage at being ‘replaced’ by K-13 especially hysterical. That poor robot got murdered for nothing. Scully’s pursuit of love was a nice way to integrate him, Amy, and Gina into an episode where they otherwise had little purpose, and it’s refreshingly different for him to be interested in a woman - and for them to be helping him succeed.

“Chasing Amy” leant more on the sweet, emotional side of the show than it did fun, but it certainly wasn’t lacking in fine moments: Jake ‘Die Hard-ing’ off the roof was probably the funniest scene of the night, and his role-playing was terrific. But the episode’s quality came from its heart as it took something of a deep dive into Jake and Amy’s relationship, calling back to season one and showing how much the pair have come and how much they mean to each other. The absurdities of the series tend to leave little room for this much seriousness but writer Matt Lawton, in only his second Brooklyn credit, finds a strong balance.

It’s a particularly standout moment when Jake tracks Amy to the rooftop from “The Bet” and she reveals the true reason for her freak out: that their relationship might change if she becomes a sergeant. It seems unlikely that any major changes to the structure of the show would take effect, and even if she were to be moved to another precinct it wouldn’t be long before some contrivance had her working alongside the rest of the cast on a regular basis. But having her fear addressed is a smart move and goes a long way to furthering their relationship.

Terry and Holt’s B-story marked a nice change in tone from their dynamic last week, as the pair showed how out of touch they are with the modern-day world. Still, that didn’t prevent their petty arguments over the model trains from being great entertainment, especially Holt’s disgust at Jeffords’ Junction - which seemed at least slightly more appealing to a child. Unless, of course, that child is Raymond Holt (*). The kid being instantly dismissive of both train sets, followed by the two detectives embracing their love of model trains despite their differences, was a fitting end, and it’s always good to see Holt come around to a different way of thinking.

(*) It isn’t that young Holt had the train wait in the station for 45 minutes that makes the flashback so funny; it’s that he waited there doing nothing else for that time.

Gina and Boyle’s family problems provided a solid but mostly unmemorable C-plot. Gina deciding to extort $10,000 from him for the mother dough was very her, and her annoyance at his reminder of their brief fling was the highlight of that story, but it was generally just a time-filler than much else.

Some other thoughts:

The two teasers were strong yet again, first with Hitchcock somehow nearly drowning after Jake put his hand in warm water to make him pee himself; then Amy taking out her rage on the microwave for being too slow with her oatmeal.

“Eight-drink Amy is an equestrian. And she’s really bad at it.”

Jake drank a whole bottle of shampoo and, presumably, won 50 cents from doing so. That is disgusting.

People who will get, and find hilarious, Jake’s quip about watching shows on Epix: TV critics and enthusiasts (me). Literally no one else.

Jake’s in-depth knowledge of Transformers is unsurprising but embarrassing. Also, I know people who would likely legitimately think the Serengeti is a type of pasta, so Jake being unable to handle the “trivia presh” is tame by comparison.

“Love has made you dumb.” “I disagree, if anything, love has made me smarter. Remember last week, when I boiled that egg?”

Gina, responding to Jake’s question about where Amy might be: “Boring pantsuit store, a crossword factory, a museum of retainers and headgear. Is it possible to enter the colour beige?”

In fairness to Holt, his criticism of the sombrero was reasonable, even if he didn’t know that it never rains in Jeffords’ Junction.

I’ll be reviewing the last few episodes of the show while Laura’s away. Please be nice.

What did everyone think of “Cop-Con” and “Chasing Amy”? Leave your thoughts in the comments and be sure to vote in the poll below!

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