By Tim O’Halloran
I don’t usually like to start these things by making grand claims, but this past Tuesday’s episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine was great! I know, not really the most analytical way to talk about an episode of television, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. You know what, let’s just get into it. Enough of me fangirling.
The episode centered around Jimmy Brogan (Stacy Keach) coming back to do another profile on the Brooklyn precinct. Brogan wrote a book, “The Squad”, back in the 70’s. Peralta is psyched. This guy is his hero. The book, one of the 15 he’s read, was what made him want to become a detective. Brogan is old-school through and through. Captain Holt assigns him to Amy and Jake to shadow them while they work on a credit card numbers stealing case. Brogan couldn’t be more bored.
Brogan refers to all this computer work as “hairbag”. Jake is doing his best to get on Brogan’s good side. He is trying to get good stories out of him. Amy is rightfully annoyed. Brogan then falls instantly asleep. Even Amy can’t help but be impressed.
Meanwhile, Terry and Charles have to help Diaz become more people friendly. Diaz has to testify in court and her track record isn’t so hot. She usually berates the jury, gives too much detail, or is threatening someone. It doesn’t help her close out cases to say the least. Charles and Terry start coaching her on how to handle giving testimony. Most of the advice is blinking based.
At the bar after work, Jake and Brogan start drinking. Like, really drinking. Brogan gets them each a bottle of scotch and that is how the night began.
Needless to say, the next morning Jake is insanely hungover. He and Amy continue working on the case and Jake figures out how to find the IP address of the guy who uploaded all the credit numbers. Now they can make the collar.
The next step in Diaz’s process of becoming people friendly is to soften up the look. As Charles describes her, she looks “like a motorcycle”. Terry and Charles both bring in outfits for her to try on. They finally find her the perfect outfit. Diaz is ready to go.
Amy and Jake get to the perps house. They buzz him and ask him to let them inside. The perp busts out the window and takes off. Amy is close behind, Jake much further behind. The hangover is really keeping him down. After they make the arrest, Brogan informs Jake that he is truly old school, and ballsy to talk a lot of crap about his Captain. Not good news for Jake.
Diaz is on the stand and all of the advice is backfiring. She’s smiling while describing terribly gruesome things, blinking like she’s having a stroke, and it is almost scarier than Diaz being herself. During the recess Terry and Charles realize that she’s nervous. They didn’t know. Charles gives her the advice to find her happy place and go there when the nerves start setting in. The advice works and she hits it out of the park! Diaz tells Charles she’s taking him out to dinner…with her boyfriend.
Jake now has to grovel to Brogan and pray he doesn’t run the quotes. Jake does his best, but once Brogan calls Captain Holt a homo, Jake decks him. Amy tells the Captain why Jake assaulted Brogan and doesn’t think anything of the quotes that Brogan ran.
Okay, again, this episode was phenomenal. It had the perfect mix of heart and comedy. I think what helped the episode was keeping to two storylines. Most of the episodes up until this point have gone for three, but that really hampered the ability to tell each story effectively. Paring it down to just two, allowed them to tell more satisfying stories. Nothing felt rushed, and everything felt complete at the end.
Now, I was worried when they launched into yet another Charles/Diaz story, and I know I railed on the one last week, but this one worked. The reason being, it moved the story ahead. Even though it was just a tiny bit, we learned there is another obstacle in the way of Charles getting to Diaz. It was great storytelling, and just as we thought Charles might actually get in, he was knocked back.
Holt: “You look like a body we pulled out of the river.”
Jake: “No. I look like a rockstar who OD’d in his pool.”
Terry to Diaz: “We just assumed you were a terrifying human being with a short fuse.”
Jake: “My whole body has dry mouth”.
The entirety of The Hurt Locker-esque cold open.