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Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Your Honor/The Slaughterhouse - Review + POLL

FOX’s airing of the final handful of this season’s episodes is, on the one hand, rather frustrating, since it can be very easily viewed as a burnoff intended solely because the network ran out of space to show it earlier. And yet the pairing of “Your Honor” and “The Slaughterhouse” actually works to the show’s benefit, because although the second half-hour was once again devoid of connections to the first, it was aided by the sheer hilarity of its predecessor and thus the impact of the formulaic and predictable nature of it was lessened.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and the majority of comedies on network television, is usually made up of individual instalments that have little connection to one another - co-creator Mike Schur’s other show, The Good Place, one of a few exceptions. The last couple of seasons have seen Brooklyn opt for slightly more serialised story arcs, whether it be the Adrian Pimento plot of the end of season three/beginning of season four, Holt’s temporary transfer early last season, the night shift earlier this season, etc. So, by this stage in the show’s run, I’m perhaps conditioned to now expect that the final few episodes will be in some way more interconnected than usual.

As a result, it seemed abundantly obvious from minute one that Lieutenant Hawkins (Gina Gershon), Jake and Rosa’s policing idol, would turn out to be dirty.

Admittedly, on a show that gets by being as silly as is humanly possible, it’s perhaps somewhat pointless to think too hard about the plot, but “The Slaughterhouse” loses a lot of its impact because of how predictable it is. Neither Jake nor Rosa are going to leave the Nine-Nine - they certainly won’t be given the job two episodes before the finale - and so there was always going to have to be some contrivance to keep that from happening. And given the show’s sheer admiration for the idea of ‘never meet your heroes’, it meant only one explanation was possible.

It’s a shame, too, because the competition between Jake and Rosa was great to watch, with each detective’s antics seemingly more ridiculous than the last - Jake removing the gasoline from her motorcycle by using his mouth somehow managed to top him being dosed with the caffeine pill equivalent of 960 cups of coffee (*), and that’s simply wonderful. His eventual decision to let her have the glory and the promotion was admirable (**) and marked a heartwarming end to a typically crazy A-plot.

(*) Supposedly, if you were to drink 70 cups of coffee at once, you’d overdose and die. I guess we should be thankful that Jake only suffered dilated pupils.

(**) This was similarly predictable but, unlike the ending, its obviousness didn’t detract from the quality of the story. I’m far more invested in Jake being a good person than the machinations of a plot that will last just a few episodes.

The remainder of the second half was great, though, between Holt’s desperation to coaxing Amy into yelling at him for losing her pen - “I was toying with the idea of using hand gestures… for emphasis” - and the childlike feud between Hitchcock and Scully because the latter went to dinner with Cindy instead of his best friend. There was some great material for all involved, with Terry Crews and Joe Lo Truglio particularly fun with their attempt at parenting their fellow detectives.

Earlier, “Your Honor” featured an A-plot with the best combination of characters, Jake and Holt, and threw in Holt’s mother to really up the quality. Jake’s unsurprising quest for photos or stories of his boss as a child produced some fun moments - bearing in mind that we all “love laughing and laughter” - but his desire to brag that he and Laverne (perfectly portrayed by L. Scott Caldwell, LOST's Rose) became good friends after such a short period was especially terrific. Even though Jake has a great deal of respect for Holt, he can’t help but push his buttons when presented with the opportunity. Meeting Laverne is like one great big giant red button with the word “PUSH” in block capitals, so of course, he’s going to make the most of the opportunity. Of course, he’s going to use the address of 100 Charming Avenue just to make Holt mad. Having somewhat broken their relationship by exposing her secret boyfriend, Jake at least has the decency to help patch things up, as expected.

And, also as expected, their patching up was joyfully sincere: “From now on I'm going to be 15% more forthcoming on personal details and 5% more physically affectionate,” she says.

“And I will adjust in kind while also implementing a 12% increase in impromptu communication,” he replies.

Scully and Hitchcock have been used in larger amounts in recent weeks than for much of the run, featuring heavily in the episode’s B-plot as they express their utter disdain for the “improved” break room. Despite Terry, Rosa, and Boyle’s insistence that their changes were great and that they should have their own home renovation show, they were clearly very wrong. Even if their work made the room look more presentable than when the pair of detectives turn the new couch into something that probably needs burning, it didn’t exactly scream ‘relax’.

Meanwhile, Amy teaching Gina to fix a tyre was so scarce to really even call it a C-plot, but it was fun nonetheless. I wonder how long it took Amy to fix her car.

Some other thoughts:

Brooklyn Nine-Nine got renewed! Also, it’s moving to 9.30pm on Tuesday nights from September... where it will air at the same time as The Good Place. Two really great shows going head-to-head.

I’d probably be quite annoyed if someone lost my pen, but Holt’s suggestion that it would make her angrier than when they added YOLO to the dictionary? Nonsense. That was a crime.

The teaser in “Your Honor” was another very strong one, with Jake panicking from being trapped in the interrogation room getting Terry’s suspect to confess. And it was also nice to see the broken handle point carry over into the rest of the episode.

Everything about Hitchcock’s suggestion of a “spot the difference arcade game with naked ladies” is simultaneously amazing and awful.

Jake’s disgust at drinking water was fun - “I swear I would rather drink ginger ale, Rosa. Ginger ale!” - although I’d argue it pales slightly in comparison to Brockmire’s execution of a similar joke three weeks ago.

Anyone know how Rosa spiked Jake’s gum with caffeine?

Boyle learned parenting from Lorelai on Gilmore Girls. I wonder what his thoughts on the revival were.

Jake’s description of himself after drinking the caffeine-tainted water, as I assumed it would, made Laura (still on holiday) very happy: “I’m Limitlessing.”

What did everyone think? Leave your thoughts in the comments and be sure to vote in our poll below!

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