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Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Return to Skyfire - Roundtable Review

5 Dec 2017

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Bradley Adams: So, last year we were introduced to Skyfire. This year, we returned, and it was a step down, I'd say.

Laura Markus: Indeed. However it seems like it would be an impossible feat to ever have an episode that could match what "Skyfire Cycle" achieved, even if its best moments were outside of the Skyfire lore.

Bradley: That's true. I suppose it's worth noting that this was probably the weakest episode of season five so far. That isn't to say it wasn't good, but I felt like this didn't quite hit the mark throughout.

Laura: I would agree for the most part. Though I fear my expectations might've been a bit too high since I loved the first one so much.
Bradley: That's fair. Shall we start with the A plot? I think the general idea of it was pretty interesting, but largely the narrative quality of it was a big let down. And although the story isn't always important with this show - most of the best stories are completely nonsensical - I didn't feel as though the humour was quite as good as it needed to be to carry the episode as it has so often in the past.

Laura: Good points. Though I must say I enjoyed the humour from these beats. Jake and Terry linking arms, skipping down the halls singing a nerdy song together, not once, but twice? You can't put a price on that. You also cannot put a price on the diversity panel bit. That was everything.

Bradley: I can't deny there were some really great moments in there. What did you think of Terry having written a book - that is, by all accounts, unreadable?

Laura: Well, the man has to have something he's not incredible at, doesn't he? We've seen him have a talent for nearly everything. The only thing we learned about his writing beforehand is that he likes writing Madam Secretary fanfiction. Clearly this genre is different from that show, and this is supposed to be seen as a legitimate novel. So I totally bought this.

Bradley: Ha, that was a high point. I bought it too. I quite like the idea of him trying it out, though, and it was nice to see Jake try and encourage him to keep at it in spite of being terrible at it. In terms of that side of things within the A plot, it was certainly a joy to see Jake and Terry's glee surrounding Skyfire.

Laura: Absolutely. I loved their storyline from the first one because Jake didn't quite understand what there was to love about it but he was so invested in helping Terry due to how close they are. And this time, Rosa got to be in that seat and she ending up falling for this world all the same, in yet another fantastic scene. I'm so happy this show just lets everyone fangirl over whatever the heck they want and doesn't judge them for it. It's such a wholesome environment to be in. No wonder they all have so many interests. There's no limits. (Don't say it.)

Bradley: Was it surprising that Rosa was eventually interested? We've been seeing a very changed Rosa since she emerged from prison. I just don't know that I necessarily expected her to become interested - although, given her rekindled relationship with her family, this probably isn't too much a stretch.

Laura: It's not surprising when you take into account what got her to try the series in the first place. The protagonist was someone she could relate to, and then she stayed with it because it was actually good. But finding characters that look and act like you is something I think a lot of people find with Brooklyn itself. Funny little tidbit they pulled in there. And if the 99th does what some of us think it will do, Rosa might just become one of the more relatable people around. Now I'm getting off topic. Oh dear. But I'm glad you brought up her family since we're supposed to see more of them coming up. This is very exciting; we haven't seen this much Rosa in a long time!

Bradley: That's true. Even aside from the characterisation of it, the idea that, essentially, this character is Rosa in book form and even more badass is incredible. I noted after the double premiere that the show needed to explore Rosa a lot more, and I'm very grateful that they've opted to do it. It's immensely valuable material.

Laura: No doubt about that.

Shall we move onto the B-plot, then? What did you think?

Bradley: It was as Brooklyn is when it's on form - utterly, stupendously ridiculous. But it was so remarkably funny.

Laura: Yes. I quite enjoyed it myself, as all actors involved were on fire with jokes and stupendous stories, but, as per usual, Andre Braugher stole the damn show. Citing how anyone who sings in English constitutes as someone who makes rock music, and wondering why Boyle would want to escape the windowless prison they left him in had me struggling to breathe from laughing so hard. Being a writer on this show is the most rewarding job there is simply because you can get this cast to say the wackiest things.

Bradley: Again, it's worth remembering that if Andre Braugher was to sit in front of a camera and read the Apple terms and conditions, it would be both thrilling and hilarious. But this, it would seem, is the bread and butter of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. In doing something like messing up the cast on Boyle's face, there is so much comedy value for quite literally anyone involved. Scully dragging Holt away secretly by saying Kevin wants to know how long they'll kiss for tonight? Side-splitting.

Laura: Haha, thank you for bringing that up, since that's a scene I'll never get out of my head. "Sorry, I don't know what gay couples do." You sure about that, Scully? There's a reason why people think that he's married to Hitchcock.

Anyway, yep, it was another case of comfort food-Brooklyn. And I dug it and ate it all up. Even if things could've been a bit tighter, there was still plenty to love, wasn't there?

Bradley: At this stage, a laugh a minute is pretty much guaranteed with Brooklyn. It's just a case of most episodes since the start of season four having greatly exceeded that.

Laura: Very much so.

Anything else left to mention? This seems to be a short review.

Bradley: Terry being broken and having "a big-time tone" was great. I feel like with just two plots, both of which weren't exactly the meatiest, there wasn't a whole lot to discuss. To me, this felt like comfort food Brooklyn: nothing really off-kilter or spectacular, but plenty of fun nonetheless.

Laura: You stole my phrase! And, personally, I'm just happy that they remember that Parlov puuuuuuulls. He puuuuuuulls.

Bradley: That, I maintain, is weirder to me than him tackling elf molestation.

Laura: So diverse.

Let's leave off with some sort of wishes for the 99th tomorrow, I guess?

Bradley: I'm going in completely blind, so I have absolutely no idea what to expect nor wish for. Recurring jokes to make a return along with Gina are quite possibly the only things I can think of.

Laura: Those would be great. Everyone should already know what I want, and many are already doing prayer circles for them. Let us hope it meets our wild expectations. NINE-NINE!

What did YOU think of "Return to Skyfire"? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments below. Thanks for reading, and we'll see you next week with our very special review for "99"! Get hype!