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‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Season 2 Episode 13 Recap: “Payback”

brooklyn nine nine payback

Brooklyn Nine-Nine didn’t get any love from the Golden Globes tonight, but it sure showed us why it should have in this week’s episode, “Payback.”

Jake’s (Andy Samberg) a good cop, in part because of how he follows his instincts instead of hanging back, but while that attribute is good sometimes, it’s also something that’s gotten him into a lot of trouble financially. Over the years, he’s added up thousands of dollars in debt to the squad, owing Terry (Terry Crews) over two-thousand dollars, Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) four-thousand, and the rest of the gang hundreds as well.

And now, they’re collecting.

Jake realizes that Terry’s wife is pregnant — hence why he’s demanding the money that Jake owes him — and while that finally means he settles his debts with the Sergeant, it only leads to more problems for Jake, who soon finds the rest of the squad demanding their money back too.

Or in Charles’ case, demanding to know what secret Jake and Terry are clearly hiding from him. (Is it bowling related? Boyle is convinced that it’s bowling related.) Terry and his wife have only just found out about the pregnancy and want to keep it on the down-low, something that seems impossible for a loud-mouth like Jake, and in the end, it is. But not because he gives in like a sweaty Nick Miller, but instead because of an accidental email that he sends to all of the Detectives. Oh, reply all. The most evil email function of them all.

Jake’s impulses make him a good detective — he finds out the truth about Terry — but it also means that he’s someone that’s deeply in debt, and a person that can’t necessarily be trusted with secrets. He can’t resist sending Terry an email about what he could potentially name his baby — how does Hurricane Jeffords sound? — and in doing so, he betrays Terry’s trust. Carelessly, at that. As a result, Jake is taken out of the running for godfather.

brooklyn99 payback

Santiago (Melissa Fumero) also gets herself into trouble when excitement gets the better of her this week. She’s working with Holt (Andre Braugher) on his case that she found the mistake in, and is so excited to be his partner. Finally, their relationship is evolving! They get coffee, stake-out the bad guy, tell stories, and even eat street meat! Until they find that their perp has died, and that the street meat is bad. Really bad. Really, really bad. I’m surprised that this opportunity is being dealt with so quickly — I thought that maybe this case might run a little longer, with more time for Amy and Holt to bond — but what we get is still great as it is, and it opens up the opportunity for more of Amy and Holt working together going forward.

Jake and Amy both ruin things that they’re so excited for — Jake getting a chance at being a godfather, and Amy finally getting closer to her hero — but in the end, their mistakes are redeemed. Amy, because of how this accident actually made Holt laugh — uproariously! — and Jake because of how he makes another impulsive decision: he sells his car in order to pay Terry back in full.

To earn back Terry’s trust, Jake sells his most treasured possession of all, something that Terry decides will make him a great godfather. Terrible impression of The Godfather, and all.

“Payback” wasn’t an especially outstanding episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but on any other show it probably would have been. This show is so great week-to-week, with a pitch perfect cast that deserves all of the Golden Globes that they weren’t nominated for.

Sometimes, award shows are pretty dumb. Brooklyn Nine-Nine was definitely the better viewing option tonight.


  • I can’t describe the beauty that Holt’s deadpan lends to this rhyme: “Huh. Meat. From the street. Sounds like a fun treat. I’m a poet!”
  • Jake pays the gang back however he can: “Gina made me call people and tell them she was dead to see how they’d react!” (“You should be wailing you stone cold bitch! Now call my other grandma.”)
  • Holt’s ex-partner was great. “Smart, loyal, homophobic but not racist… In those days that was pretty good.”
  • I’m worried for Jake and his finances — he only had a grand in his checking account — but he’s got a wealth of life advice, thanks to Yahoo! Answers.