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‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Season 2 Episode 7 Recap: “Lockdown”

Jake takes control of the precinct over turkey day in what turns out to be a lackluster sequel to last year’s “Thanksgiving.”

Unlike last week’s masterful balancing act of plots, Brooklyn Nine-Nine only really has two main plots this week, and it’s Terry and Holt that have all the fun, eating pie at Terry’s house, having left the precinct before any drama began. And the drama? Jake and everyone else stuck at work (including civilians and those in holding cells) are put into lockdown (or as Jake would prefer to put it: a pop-and-lockdown), after Boyle knocks a package over, spreading a mysterious powder throughout the room. Is it anthrax? Gina certainly thinks so.

What’s good about this episode is Terry and Holt’s plot, with the two using Terry’s office to try and contact the precinct. Terry uses Holt as a figure that he says he ‘hates’ so as to get close to his brother-in-law — remember Zeek (guest star Jamal Duff)? — while Holt bounces up and down on a yoga ball, being his usual, serious self.

But what’s bad is nearly everything else going on at the office. The talent show is fun, and bits and pieces — like Jake sitting at the captain’s desk and Jake and Amy searching for fur coats — are good, too. But overall, the momentum falls a little slack. Jake screws up because he wants to be cool, not serious, and apparently no one else is competent enough to deal with this crisis, either. Well, Amy is, but Jake was put in charge as captain. As she reminds him at the end of the episode (in a redeeming scene for the both of them), Jake has the responsibility here, and she believes that he’s capable of welding it, too.

It’s understandable for the show to try and put Jake in a position of power so as to force his hand at being responsible. They got to show his underlying flaws while they did so, but this plot just didn’t quite work.

Alan Sepinwell over at Hitfix commented on how the whole thing felt like a flashback to some of the more frustrating episodes from season one, and I agree with him. “Lockdown” just turned Jake into the fool and Amy his nag. Until, of course, the end scene where she refuses to do his job for him. Jake never settles into self-pity (and Amy doesn’t let him), and for that, they’re both impressive characters. But this episode was less than impressive.

Grade: B-

 Emoji Notes

  • “As you all know, I hate Thanksgiving. The pilgrims were murderers, and Turkey tastes like napkins.”
  • “Peralta seems to think that things are under control. He said things were… ‘dope’. I want to monitor the situation.”
  • Things I wish we saw more of: Gina’s will, and Holt yelling at Terry. Crumb me up!
  • “It’s not that weird to say: ‘may I have some cocaine’!” Yes it is, Amy. And adorable.
  • “I’m glad I gave them the megaphone! It helps me hear their concerns!”
  • “You can’t let them gang up on you, you need to man up.” “’Man Up’? Sexist. I’m sorry, but I don’t see gender, sir.” Thank you for making this man a primetime lead, Mike Schur and Dan Goor.