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‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Season 2 Episode 9 Recap: “The Road Trip”

Jake (Andy Samberg) and Amy (Melissa Fumero) go on a road trip for work this week, and it gets a little bit romantic stylez.

Since Jake’s return, the feelings that he admitted having for Amy have been left relatively untouched. When he first came back, the whole thing was addressed as a fake-out – that he had been joking about the truth, stressed for his upcoming undercover operation, and that he really saw her as nothing more than a friend. But before long he admitted the truth again. Yes, he liked her; but no, it wasn’t an option and he knew that.

In many ways, “The Road Trip” is the direct sequel to that “romantic stylez” conversation from the season one finale. Jake invites Teddy (Kyle Bornheimer) to the fancy ghost mansion that he and Amy are spending the night at for work – with only the best of intentions. Sophia (Eva Longoria) is meeting him up there, and Amy was complaining about how un-spontaneous Teddy is, so he plans her a spectacular surprise with Teddy’s help. But what he doesn’t know is that Amy is in the midst of writing her break-up speech for Teddy – something that gets given a push-up due to Jake’s intervention. Jake and Sophia tell Amy to be normal and that they’ll help her get through the evening until the early morning perp pick-up, but Teddy starts talking about pilsner over dinner (he brought his home brew kit, you guys) and she just can’t handle it anymore. That’s when things get messy.

Captain Holt (Andre Braugher), meanwhile, is dealing with romantic issues of his own. It’s Kevin’s birthday and he wants to cook him something nice, despite the fact that he personally would prefer to live on tasteless smoothies with all of his nutritional needs packed into them. Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) looks horrified at the notion but he agrees to help, hoping for some bonding to occur while he does so. (At the moment, all Holt and Boyle have in common is their bank, which Holt has just left.)

At first the lessons go horrendously – and boy is it funny seeing Holt being so carelessly bad at something – but after walking out on their scrambled eggs lesson, Holt goes home to read Boyle’s food blog and finally understands what he was trying to say about food containing stories. He makes Kevin a French pastry dish, a croque monsieur, that he remembers from a trip to Paris they shared. He thanks Boyle by giving him the leftovers and goes back to his office while Boyle wistfully realizes that Holt, who couldn’t care less about food, is a natural chef.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is always a show that does its best work when it’s juggling three or four plot points in the air, while managing to keep them spinning, which is why the most delightful plot of the episode is Rosa’s (Stephanie Beatriz). She’s very sick and very unwilling to admit it, something that forces Gina (Chelsea Peretti) and Terry (Terry Crews) to help her against her will. She refuses to go home, which is why Gina locks her in and her germs away in an unused room, while Terry interrogates her suspect for her and Gina makes her up a box of flu supplies. Rosa doesn’t want to admit that she’s sick and needs help, but she doesn’t have to. She’s already got it, despite her arguments otherwise.

Everyone at the precinct is capable of riling up and frustrating the others from time to time – that’s the nature of a workplace – but they always get past it and appreciate each other and their differences more afterwards. That’s what happens with Jake and Amy this episode, too. Teddy, in his anger, accuses Jake of playing a role in his and Amy’s breakup, which happens (to Jake’s surprise) to be partially true. From what we’ve seen of the romantic aspect of Jake and Amy’s relationship, Amy hasn’t actually been involved all that much. We’ve mostly seen Jake’s side of things: his confessions, his feelings and his attempts to get over her.

But tonight it’s Amy that is forced, doe-eyed and unprepared, into commenting on their relationship, with Teddy insinuating that she did and maybe even still does like Jake back. Not that he likes her anymore, when he’s happily sitting across from her and Teddy with Sophia. But it’s clear, when he can’t help but ask her if what Teddy is saying is true, that there’s still something there for him. Amy says what we as the viewers have been assuming, but that Jake has had no notion or presumptions about: that she does like him. Or that, at the very least, she’s considered them as a couple – because of course she has, she’s Amy Santiago.

When Jake confessed his feelings to her, he sort of threw them at her before leaving to go undercover for months, and in “The Road Trip” he finally gets a reply. It’s one that’s been forced out of her due to circumstance and is still fairly muddled, but it’s a confirmation that he probably didn’t think he was going to get. Something in Amy considered and liked the idea of them together – enough to bring it up to Teddy, anyway – and Jake’s face when she confirms that was so wonderfully surprised, and a little hopeful, too.

He’s still with Sophia and Amy’s still unsure about her feelings, but unlike Amy and Teddy, Jake makes sure that he and Amy are still in sync at the end of the episode. He teases her about liking him, and they drive their perp back to Brooklyn. They like each other, maybe in a way that could one day be romantic stylez, but for right now, they’re just partners.

“The Road Trip” wasn’t about Amy and Jake becoming something more, but instead about letting Amy admit to the fact that she has considered the idea of them being something more. Before, Jake’s feelings were an issue just for him to deal with. Now, though, it’s an open debate for the both of them, their feelings simmering under the surface of their friendship.


Grade: A 


Notes

  • “I invited Sophia to join me upstate. The B&B we’re staying at looks really nice! It’s almost like it’s haunted by fancy ghosts.” She’s only a guest star, but I really do hope Eva Longoria somehow ends up sticking around for a little while longer. The fact that she thought a doll-themed hotel room would be funny (and it was, thanks to Jake’s reactions) makes her a pretty great character.
  • Boyle thinks washing your partner’s hair is the most intimate act of all – and it sounds wrong but I kind of agree with him.
  • Terry is the ultimate negotiator: “I just negotiated my babies down from a pony to a hamster. Little fools.”
  • Pairing Holt’s deadpan with Boyle’s undying passion for food was a genius idea: “Describe what you taste!” “…Cheese.”
  • Poor, sweet, stressed Amy trying to pretend to be normal: “I WANNA BREAK IT UP! US!”
  • Sick/sleeping/high on cough syrup Rosa makes me very excited for the prospect of a drunk Rosa: “I’m gonna rip your head off. I’m gonna rip your damn head off, grandma.”
  • Athena

    Great review! I like how you state Jake and Amy are in sync at the end. This show is amazing because in spite of the romantic tension, Jake and Amy are most importantly friends and work partners. Can’t deny I’m excited to see Amy reveal more about her feelings toward Jake… she’s been quite the reserved character in this show.
    As for Boyle and Holt, they were hilarious. That contrast between emotional Boyle and robotic Holt needs to continue happening.
    Medicated Rosa was too funny. This was such a wonderful episode.

    • Thanks! And yeah, I agree with you on the reserved point- I think she’s very good at organizing people into certain roles in her life. (Holt=mentor, Rosa=coworker that wouldn’t strive for a captaincy- remember the ep where she gets all jealous about rosa being offered one?) And I don’t think she’s got her head around the fact that jake, her work friend that is annoying and teases her all the time about her lack of a love life & lack of sexuality, actually likes her in a more serious way. And yes, oh my god, medicated Rosa was so, so funny.

  • Xtina

    Best review I’ve read of this episode. Insightful, and I agree with everything.

  • Great review.