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Brooklyn Nine-Nine - The Negotiation - Roundtable Review

27 Mar 2018

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Bradley Adams: I'm going to give you a piece of advice: Doug Judy is back!

Laura Markus: I think you need to google what advice means! But yes, he is indeed back, and better than ever, some might say?

Bradley: I think that would be fair. We're at a strange stage now where the relationship he and Jake have is an actual relationship, despite the latter's attempts to convince people otherwise. I was critical last season of how quickly Jake suggested giving Judy immunity, and this episode avoided that issue nicely. Craig Robinson is playing what I like to assume is an over-extended version of himself, and even in his sixth appearance he still makes the character so fun.

Laura: Craig is a national treasure. From the writer who brought us "Moo Moo", it seemed as though almost every character wasn't written properly except Judy. He was excellent and I loved his arc in this episode. It didn't feel like any other one we've seen before, since Judy really came through in the end for Jake like never before. Their dynamic is bordering on slash fanfic and I loved every second of it.
Bradley: I don't know that I'd agree with that, almost solely from the perspective of the fact that Jake and Judy took up most of the episode. But we'll come to that. Turning tv or film into fanfic is never a good idea, but there is a real charm to their interactions that make this work. It isn't particularly surprising that he left Jake the diamonds, if purely from the perspective that he's betrayed him twice before — season three's "The Cruise" doesn't count here — and to leave Jake in such a bad situation at the NYPD would be cruel.

Laura: Says you, fanfic is beautiful and need I remind you that our own Terry Jeffords indulges in Madam Secretary fanfic? It wasn't just about the diamonds though, he also bought him the perfect engagement gift and they had one last sing-a-long. It was so beautiful.

Bradley: In light of that conclusion, it's difficult not to wonder whether the writers are expecting this to be the final season and wanted to wrap up this friendship. Irrespective of the show's continued existence beyond May, this surely closes a door on Doug Judy.

Laura: That seems to be the popular train of thought, however some have theorized that he could easily be back any time they could have him again. I'm sure this is the case; any time you can get Craig Robinson on your show you take it. And B99 knows this.

It was also really sweet to see Judy care so much about his mom. You could really feel that he was genuinely worried about her. Jake cares about her too, and obviously Rosa does too in some small way for her to agree to help them. And Judy respecting that Rosa isn't single but still singing for her? Priceless.

Bradley: He could very much return, certainly, but whether or not that becomes necessary is a different question for a different day. We always knew that Judy's one weak spot was his mom, so his commitment to saving her wasn't particularly surprising, and nor was Jake's. He may deny his friendship with Judy but this is also an innocent civilian being targeted, and he isn't going to let that happen. But there is also an element of him genuinely caring about her, which was nice. As for Judy and Rosa, that interaction at the door couldn't have been more perfect.

Laura: Doesn't have to be surprising to be beautiful! Just like their song choice, a friend to those Sense8 fans out there.

I liked the addition of Dennis the negotiator. Wasn't really fond of him referrnig to people who are suicidal as "crazy", nor was I fond of the other jokes referring to people who are mentally ill in a bad light. That was my main problem with the episode. From the man who gave us one of the most inspiring and respectful 22 minutes of television came this, which felt anything but at times. But like I said, it was still funny to see Dennis finally get what what he wanted in the end. It does seem to ring true on this show that all that really matters is a promotion/big collar. Happened in "The Oolong Slayer", which allowed Holt to come back to the precinct, too.

Bradley: That was a little strange, although I did enjoy him attempting to somehow boast about how all 50 of the jumpers he's negotiated with did actually jump — quite how he believes that paints him in a good light, I don't know. Dennis getting a big collar seemed in keeping with the character although not entirely necessary, but it isn't really a concern for me.

Laura: It's necessary to the overarching themes of the show, is all I'm saying.

What about the other two plots? They both had their charms about them, didn't they.

Bradley: Well, let's go to Boyle. His vitriol towards Amy, Gina, and his previous two employees is entirely in keeping with his character when it comes to food. It was over the top, for sure, but only in the way that Boyle is always over the top.

Laura: Absolutely true. The obvious comparisons to Gordon Ramsay are warranted, and Gina being able to slice perfectly didn't surprise me either. This episode made me hungry.

Bradley: There was a lot of food, and surprisingly none of it involved Hitchcock and Scully. Well, it partly involved Scully. But Hitchcock spent some time as a normal human being here, and it was weird.

Laura: Oh, good thing to bring back, Hitchcock and Scully's seamless integration, once again. Scully taking in all of that takeout, being able to stop his heart, his pulse being "super weak". Hitchcock being able to be a decent person! I'm really glad he had it in him to help Holt out with this interview. I only want the best for that man, always. We established last week he's actually a pretty awful person when he wants to be, but knowing he is capable of having a good side is nice.

Bradley: Again, it didn't feel like it could go any way other than success for Hitchcock, but it was still nice to see. Of course, he was straight back to the slimy man of old as soon as he could be.

Laura: Yep. And what brought me back into the episode was when Holt and Terry were being spotted, so they tried to act natural by saying, "spreadsheet, spreadsheet, crime, crime, precinct, precinct". That was good enough to make me forget everything else. It also reminded me of "coat, coat, jacket, coat", which is never a bad thing.

Bradley: In an episode where Terry and Holt had very little to do, that was a refreshing moment.

Laura: Indeed, as well as Holt's fake smiling, which is always welcome with me.

Anything else to discuss?

Bradley: Once again, another mention of the wider television world, which I'm always appreciative of. Jake spends a lot of time watching television. And it was interesting to see the credits held back until after the episode has ended, a good way to avoid stealing focus from the final scene.

Laura: Indeed. To be Jake, and to have so much time to save the world, be woke as all hell, be a great fiancée, and still have time to watch loads of media content. What a life.

And next week is the exciting take on Homicide's "Three Men and Adena" - the standalone piece starring Sterling K Brown and Jake and Holt only. On a scale from 1 to 'I'm going to ascend to heaven', how excited are you?

Bradley: Sterling K. Brown is one of the best dramatic actors on television in 2018, and Andre Braugher is one of the best actors on television in 2018. I have high expectations.

Laura: We are all going to ascend to heaven.

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