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‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Season 2 Episode 10 Recap: “The Pontiac Bandit Returns”

We’re reunited with Craig Robinson’s Pontiac Bandit this week, and yes, it does feel so good.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine has tried its hand at extended plot arcs this season (Wunch, the gigglepig taskforce and the fallout of Boyle and Gina’s ill-fated ‘romance’ at a stretch) all of which have lent purpose to the episodes joined together by these plots, as well as giving a sense of purpose to the characters that have been involved themselves. Over the gigglepig taskforce plot, Rosa has been able to exercise her authority and potential as a leader, and at the end of “The Pontiac Bandit Returns” we finally get to see her joy at succeeding in this job.

She and Jake catch the Pontiac Bandit (otherwise known as Doug Judy) at the start of the episode, but end up making a deal to cut down his jail sentence in exchange for an arranged meet-up with the man behind the gigglepig drug and its spread, Tito Ruiz.

After Doug negotiates a four-star hotel and for Rosa to call him “Big Sugar” before the meetup takes place and he has to relinquish his freedom, he worms his way back into Jake’s good graces, and the two genuinely are reunited again. Robinson and Samburg are so, so great together, which makes me excited for both Robinson’s 2015 NBC comedy “Mr. Robinson,” and for his return to the show again, whenever it may eventually come.

He’s the most charming criminal that’s been on the show — and the most infuriating to Jake, because of how his genuine affinity for Doug gets in the way of him being able incarcerating him. The pair get Rosa’s man in the end (courtesy of some stellar undercover work, including Samburg dressing up like a white rapper from the early 2000s and breaking into a car, while Rosa plays herself — but married), but at the expense of losing Jake’s. Doug Judy gets away because Jake makes the decision to let him go in favour of catching up to Tito when Doug’s getaway man crashes into the building. He does what’s best for the precinct and its task force, even though it means letting go of the man that he’s been obsessively searching for for years now.

And it was all worth it, just to see that smile on Rosa’s face.

Gina and Boyle, meanwhile, plot together to ruin their parents’ relationship (and it must be serious, if not even a digital scale can stop their love) after they tell their children that they’re moving in together. All of which leads to Gina’s happiness at the end of the episode, because finally, she’s got a purpose. A purpose to destroy her mother’s happiness.

Whatever it is and wherever it may lead, I’m all for it. Gina and Boyle have a wonderfully twisted dynamic, one that usually ends with Gina being disgruntled and Boyle getting slapped. (Seriously, how many times is that now?) And speaking of dynamics, Santiago’s unrequited love for Holt gets another play this week as Amy tries to get around his rule of no holiday season gifts. So she spends no money on the scrapbook of his achievements (hilariously named From Ray to Z; formerly known as Keep Holting On) but in the end it’s her inadvertent gift to him that he honestly appreciates. When searching up his former glories, Amy noticed that the arsonist he arrested back in the ’80s only committed around three quarters of the crimes that Holt caught and arrested him for. It’s not enough to get the man out of his three life sentences, but it is enough for Holt to reopen the case — and to ask Amy to join him on the reinvestigation.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is on fire this season (terrible pun intended), and I hope it continues next week and into the new year.

Grade: A-


  • “You’re like a son to me. A white, crispy son.” “How would that even work?! Am I adopted?” “No your mother’s just really pale. Almost invisible.” I already miss Doug Judy.
  • Boyle and his dad do mimosa brunches! It’s their guy time!
  • Terry is a precious gift, you guys: “My time is worth nothing!” “Sounds like a brag but that’s just a sad statement.”
  • “Oh, yeah, the guy without a dadddy has ‘daddy issues’. Explain that logic.” I get the feeling that one day Jake’s father will turn up at the precinct and we really will see some daddy issues.
  • I think Gina got the best moment from the episode though, saying that she needed to leave dinner with her mother and Boyle’s father before stealing their neighboring table’s wine and leaving the building.
  • …Then again, it was hard to get past the magical moment of Jake and Doug robe-ing up and jumping on the bed while this played: