Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Safe House - Roundtable Review

    Enable Dark Mode!

  • What's HOT
  • Premiere Calendar
  • Ratings News
  • Movies
  • YouTube Channel
  • Submit Scoop
  • Contact Us
  • Search
  • Privacy Policy
Support SpoilerTV is now available ad-free to for all premium subscribers. Thank you for considering becoming a SpoilerTV premium member!

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Safe House - Roundtable Review

19 Mar 2018

Share on Reddit

Laura Markus: They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. Do you think that was the case with "Safe House"? I think it was the case with "Safe House".

Bradley Adams: Who am I to weigh in on great philosophical debates? But yes, it's fair to say "Safe House" was an episode much enhanced by the fact that it's been three months since we last saw these characters. It didn't quite have the same magnificence of the last handful before Christmas, but it was a strong way to kick off Brooklyn Nine-Nine's foray into 2018.

Laura: Indeed. With the knowledge in mind that they were going to experience another hiatus between "The Favour" and "Safe House", I think these writers brilliantly knew how to craft a truly satisfying outing for a story we've been clamouring to see the resolution for.

Bradley: The cliffhanger and its resolution worked nicely. Ending Seamus Murphy's story here made a lot of sense, particularly given that Jake and Amy's wedding will be the thread that connects the final ten episodes this season. It was typically impressive how the show weaved together that resolution as well as the potential marital difficulties between Holt and Kevin, all while maintaining that traditionally high level of comedy.

Laura: Oh yes. There's a lot to be uncovered with regards to Holt and Kevin, and I plan to do so, but I'd like to start by thanking this writing team for giving me an episode that totally revolved around them. And what an episode it was. Where do we even begin?

Bradley: Let's start with the eponymous safe house. I'll admit to being surprised at how little time was actually spent there, although I'm mindful of the fact that there is far less mileage to be gained from Jake and Kevin alone together in the safe house than, say, Jake and Holt or Jake and Boyle, simply because Kevin is so detached from the core group. He can have similar interactions as Holt, but not to the same extent. But it worked quite nicely, especially Kevin caving and watching the Nicholas Cage movies.

Laura: I loved the dynamic of these two ever since Kevin was so interested to hear Jake's pro-slavery stance on that New Yorker article. I'm elated the episode got this much mileage out of those two because they really do make a great pairing. I loved Jake wanting to bring Kevin to the library to try and help their marriage issues. I'm already jumping ahead, so let me back up - the brief montage where Holt allowed more and more people to visit Jake at the safe house was hilarious. Though I did wonder why Kevin wasn't allowed to have anyone visit. Maybe it was because Holt really did want to be ultra protective of the love of his life. Or maybe he worried that he would want to invite Margo.

Bradley: Margo would have made an unbearable setting even more unbearable. But yes, I think it was simply overprotection - or, as we eventually discover, just the right level of protection. During Holt's initial security protocol briefing, I kept thinking back to when Jake was protecting Holt and how over-the-top he went with everything. If not for the severity of the situation, I'd wonder if this wasn't Holt getting back at Jake for that on some level.

Laura: That's a point I hadn't even considered. Very good.

At least they could move around in Holt's safe house. Well...before Jake handcuffed him, anyway. Here, they were reduced to lying and crawling on the floor in order to move to a small square of safe space. That scene where the three of them were stuck in there and Holt listed off what would happen if Jake stuck his arm out? That was too much for me. So much happened in a short time. I'm very stressed at the idea of Holt committing suicide if Kevin were to be killed. Nuh uh. I want none of that.

Bradley: No one wants any of that. But I did like the concept of how Jake sticking his hand outside of the safe square would result in Kevin being killed. Overdramatic? Possibly. Funny? Certainly.

Laura: Can't really argue with its hilarity.

And, obviously, they weren't going to find Murphy when Terry's friend thought they would at that raid. I'm a bit surprised Holt went so overboard and put all his eggs in that basket so soon. I guess he really just wanted his husband back home safely. I did like the realization of how it was a bust and then they all had to immediately lie on the ground. And Scully's affinity for sitting on pies: priceless.

We also glossed over the cold open! Sure, we saw it a bit early thanks to the B99 YouTube channel, but it was fascinating and extremely well directed. In fact, this entire episode felt like it was a breath of fresh air in terms of its direction. Nisha Ganatra directed it, and she also directed "The 9-8", which had one of the most surprising sequences in the entire show (that of the brawl between the two precincts), and "Monster in the Closet" (the wedding that never was). I couldn't even tell it was her, though, because this outing felt wholly different. From the cold open shots to the entire bus sequence and, of course, Kevin and the car - it really was something special.

Bradley: There was logic in thinking the raid would work; it's easy to say from the outside looking in that it wasn't going to since there was still half an episode to fill, and nothing's that simple. Jake was right, too, Scully needs to sit in pie when they can all enjoy it.

The cold open was very clever. In my notes, I simply wrote down "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off." I'm not certain that there's much of a connection between the secret smuggling of Kevin and "The Italian Job", but it was the first thing that came to mind and I stand by it. Very different for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but it also felt entirely like something the show would do.

Laura: Let's get into the thick of Holt/Kevin, then. I wrote a post on my Tumblr about how happy I was to see the continuation of how this show normalizes their relationship. And, by doing so, this seemed to piss off quite a few people when Kevin threatened a divorce. I defended that move, too, by citing that it's completely understandable for a husband of a cop to have these worries and fears about his husband, for many years, mind you, final boil over when it's his turn to be in the hot seat. I hope they both understood the other side's view because both have clear reasons for acting the way they did. Holt had obviously never dealt with this big a threat to Kevin's life before, so he went overboard with the precautions. That's easy to get. But for Kevin, it must be harder for him to understand the weight and severity of his situation. He was taught basic self-defense training, sure, but this threat came seemingly out of nowhere and neither of them were really all that prepared. He was used to Holt having these threats against him. That's what being married to a cop comes with. And yes, maybe he went a bit too far with his comment. But it's not hard to sympathize with him when you simply stop to think about what he has gone through.

And it sure worked because, "I'm not abandoning my husband. I love him." He did what he had to do to keep him safe. Even if it meant ramming a car into a warehouse and punching Murphy in the throat. That bit actually reminded me of Finch using the eye-poking technique that Reese taught him (from Person of Interest.) I've jumped ahead, again, but I really needed to get that point across.

Bradley: And I think also it's worth remembering how little notice Holt took when he was "lightly stabbed," telling no one. These are two very different things, clearly, but his desire to protect Kevin at all costs very much outweighs anything else. Like you say, this threat is entirely meaningless to Kevin until something actually happens on the bus. I could see it from both perspectives, which I imagine was the point.

It was of little surprise that Kevin was the one to save Jake and Holt; it was a wonderfully badass moment. Professor by day, crime-fighting vigilante by night?

Laura: Yes, good thing to bring up here. And another that ties into what Jake says later. They're perfect for each other. They really are. They're similar people - petty and sassy beyond belief, stoic almost to a fault, but also fiercely loyal - both of them would be willing to die for the other. This is why they work. Even on a show that never lets them be physically intimate to any degree, you can buy their relationship because it's so beautifully written and acted. If it was just about any other couple I'd be shouting from the rooftops, screaming bloody murder.

That is no surprise. After the library perverts fiasco, and then the realization of what life is actually like for cops, Kevin realizes what Holt did for him. He saw the gun. God only knows if this was the very first time Kevin saw someone point a gun at his husband. It's such a wonder Chuck Bartowski-esque moment of being asked to stay in the car where it's safe only to do the exact opposite and manage to save the day. And Lord, would I be here for vigilante Kevin. Give me that series. Right now!

There was so much goodness in that final confrontation. Jake coming alone - title of his sextape. Holt thinking about the fact that if he were to die, Kevin's last memory would be of how miserable he made him (which, obviously did not turn out to be the case, but was still heartbreaking nonetheless. That, to me, stung worse than the divorce threat). And, of course, Jake listing off all the couples who have divorced around him, and thus his reason for trying to ensure that they make it out. I've always related to Jake on so many weird levels, but this? This was peak 'I Am Jake' for me.

Bradley: Those last couple of minutes worked very well in switching between Holt's fear of losing Kevin and Jake's fear of losing Holt and Kevin. The whole thing was pretty miserable by any standards, but certainly by Brooklyn Nine-Nine's frequently jovial tone - that may actually sum up this season pretty accurately, too. Yet it reinforced everything we know about these three characters and had plenty of fun doing it. And that's fine by me.

What would usually be B- and C-plots weren't so much those as they were extensions of the main story, which was unusual. It's surprising that Amy doesn't revel in putting together hundreds of thousands of segments of shredded paper, but Scully's miraculous ability to do it was far, far funnier than if this was another organisational heaven for Amy.

Laura: That's a great way to put it. And I must reiterate, this was a completely normal situation for the two (three?) of them to be in. It's very customary for straight couples to have an experience like this on screen. It's very rare for same sex couples to. What's even rarer is to have a show never actually acknowledge that weirdness and instead make it feel like anything else. I'm so thankful for this. I really am. Even if I still want Fox to #LetThemKiss.

He was The One, Bradley. The One! This season continues to utilize Hitchcock and Scully very well; this episode was no different. Melissa also noted, on her Twitter, that she was a bit upset that Amy was stuck being the truck driver in the cold open because she would've died for the chance to play a professor!

And how can you not mention Rosa going undercover, and having to find increasingly more ridiculous things to do to her hair in order to keep Murphy's mistress talking? I love the Rosa/Gina here, and the Charles/Gina was great, and before that the Gina/Terry. Most of that needn't be mentioned anymore, since we both know that every dynamic on this show is wonderful, but I did it anyway. Oops.

Bradley: Brooklyn knows exactly what it's doing with these two, that's for sure.

Given how deep-seated within this precinct Hitchcock and Scully are, it's a good thing that the show is using them a lot more and in such great ways. It's always funny when they do something dumb but perhaps even funnier when they are successful.

In terms of Rosa getting a blonde perm, all it was crying out for was to let us hear Gina tell that slightly misleading gossip story for nearly an hour rather than skipping for time. But hey, there isn't much better than watching Stephanie Beatriz restrain anger.

Laura: If we weren't going to get to hear Holt rant about the word "bone" for the full 40 minutes, we don't deserve to hear anything else. Though it was hilarious and Stephanie is brilliant as always showing that she can voice just about anything.

Bradley: Both of these things are true.

Anything else to discuss? I do want to know your favourite TV series reference. Mine is Kevin Can Wait, simply because of Jake's awareness both of that show but also Epix as a network.

Laura: I regarded, in my notes, that everyone was in the right to boo Jake for that one. My favourite reference had to be Everybody Loves Raymond, though. Both for it being my mom's favourite show, and because that moment simply killed me.

I want to quickly mention that ending, because it was perfect. Jake hiding the movies Kevin would've actually wanted to see, and then Kevin's rage-fueled reaction? It was everything. Kevin and Holt are one in the same, as I said earlier. They really got some great use of Marc Evan Jackson for this event, and I'm definitely rooting for him in this month's POTM.

Bradley: It's not fair to hide movies, Jake! It's not fair!