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Brooklyn Nine-Nine 1×04 “M.E. Time” Recap


In the fourth installment of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) is being forced to ride shotgun as Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) is the primary on the case this week. We also see Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) working to try and cheer up the Captain (Andre Braugher) who, as we learn, no one can possibly read.

The episode started with a great cold open. Amy is out on a date and Jake is calling in a suspect of a murder trial… with the exact description of the guys she’s with. Then we see Peralta’s date leave. “Worth it!”.

Once at the crime scene, Jake can’t help but take the lead and immediately steamrolls Boyle to the backseat. No matter how hard he tries, he just can’t perform the role of “secondary”.

Back at the station, everyone is having a hard time getting a read on the Captain. No matter if he’s had a great time or the worst time, he’s just totally stone-faced. Now, in order for Amy to get to work on her case, she has to enlist Terry (Terry Crews) to do the drawings since their sketch artist is out.

Back at the scene of the crime, which everyone is seeing as a death by natural causes (“Open and shut just like his mouth over and over again.”) Jake is taking a time out, until the medical examiner walks in and Jake is back in action.

After the break, Jake is discussing his weird sexual encounter with the M.E. It involved a lot of death-related role-play, until Jake is literally pretending to be a dead body and the M.E. is asking him questions about his death. Even Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) found it weird. Unfortunately for Boyle, this notch on Jake’s bedpost came at the cost of the autopsy reports. Again, Jake is keeping Boyle from doing his job.

Terry’s amazing drawing brings in the perp on a purse snatching case. Still, despite all of Amy’s hard work, she can’t crack the Captain’s stone-faceness. That’s when she gets her big idea – to have Terry paint a picture of the Captain to replace the photo he hates.

Boyle continues working on the case and is finding some clues that this may not be as open and shut as everyone thinks. The wife of the victim only bought one ticket for the upcoming cruise… so she must have known that she’d be going alone, right? Boyle goes down to get the autopsy results since Jake is taking so long.

Down there, we see a disheveled M.E. and Jake lying in a body locker. In order to make up for his discretion, Jake has to assist in the autopsy and is thoroughly grossed out. After the removal of all of his organs, the autopsy reveals that the cause of death was poison. Bingo.

Amy takes the painting of the Captain to the Captain and he goes off on her. The reason he didn’t like the picture was because he felt he hadn’t earned a spot on the wall. That and he wasn’t a “Korean dictator”.

Jake finally gets the results to Boyle and helps him nail the perp for murder. Case closed, now just to solve the case of making Captain crack a smile. Amy gets the crime stats for the month since the Captain has been in charge. No change. Which is a first! Usually there is a drop in arrests during a change in management (awww). Finally, the Captain’s exterior is cracked.

Unfortunately, out of the four episodes so far, this has been the weakest. The story lines felt underdeveloped, and the guest starring role of Mary Elizabeth Ellis (aka The Waitress from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) felt underused.

Obviously this isn’t cause for alarm. It’s a young show still trying to find its voice. I was a little surprised that they didn’t use their comedic ace in the hold, Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti). She is an instant show-stealer.

Rating: B-

Written by: Tim O’Halloran