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‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Season 2 Episode 19 Recap: “Sabotage”

brooklyn nine nine sabotage

Uh-oh. Jake’s past catches up to him in this week’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and not in a good way, either.

After the return of his father, Jake gets another visitor this episode: Sophia’s boss, Geoffrey Hoytsman (Chris Parnell), the lawyer that he arrested for cocaine possession at the legal party that he crashed. Geoffrey’s life has gone a little downhill since Jake’s arrest (he lives in an ice cream truck now, which, all things considered isn’t terrible — in mine or Jake’s opinion) and so his drug-addled mind (something tells me he got a prescription from Dr. Leo Spaceman) decides that the best idea to get out of his situation is to kidnap Jake and get him to confess to Hoytsman’s own crimes.

Oh boy.

So while the plan works at first (Jake is suspended after his urine — Hoytsman’s own, of course — tests positive for drugs), it soon crumbles after Rosa and Amy, assigned to figure out the truth of the situation, bust Hoytsman and free Jake.

But the real point of Jake’s kidnapping is to show his trust issues. After the visit from his father in last week’s “Captain Peralta,” Jake finally admits that he does in fact have issues, and that they stem from Roger’s departure when he was a kid. Jake’s an extrovert and a generally friendly guy, but when it comes to handing over his work and any open cases — ceding any kind of control over the things that he cares about the most — he struggles.

And as he’s tied up in Hoytsman’s ice cream van, he realizes what a real problem that is. He begins to wonder if his friends will even come for him (of course they do, he hadn’t bothered them for a few hours so naturally, they knew something was up). But rescue aside, the thoughts popped up, and now Jake has to deal with the consequences. He jokes about therapy, but I wonder if he — and the show — are really considering it.

Boyle also deals with issues of control in “Sabotage,” when Scully and Hitchcock are assigned to him as his new partners, replacing Jake on an ongoing case. It takes a lot to break Boyle’s good temper, but if anyone can do it, Hitchcock and Scully can. Hitchcock and Scully are impossible, but somehow, they still have their methods — of a sort — and despite it all, they’re cops for a reason. Not highly ranked cops, but still, they’re cops. They get the bad guy (Boyle’s frustrated and impressed response is a perfect reaction) and make him promise not to tell anyone. They didn’t work all these years to keep working! They want to do paperwork and fish cashew nuts out of each other’s ears.

And who is Boyle to ruin that.

Holt, meanwhile, gets Terry into trouble after he refuses to comply with a white lie that the Sergeant tells Gina. The two were supposed to go to her dance group’s recital, and while Terry is a supporter of adjusting the truth — they were there! And they loved her moves! — Holt refuses to commit to the lie. Yes, it hurts Gina’s feelings, but she’s not in danger, nor is she a child under the age of eight that Holt is discussing Santa with. Gina gets hit with the truth: neither of her bosses came to her performance, and Holt sees her dancing as just a hobby. Nothing less and nothing more.

There’s a lot of tension between precinct members in “Sabotage,” mostly because of what always causes conflict: the differences between people. Gina’s dancing is a hobby, but to her, saying that means admitting defeat. She gives up the dancing — until, of course, Holt hires her for two future performances. Boyle offends Hitchcock and Scully by underestimating them completely, while Jake gets on Rosa and Amy’s nerves by not trusting them to do their jobs when the case becomes personal.

Everyone is on edge in “Sabotage,” and while that tension makes for a good episode, it isn’t a great one.


  • “Kidnapping is 90% crafting.”
  • Terry got his girls to eat lettuce by telling them that there were little bunnies in their tummies! But then they wouldn’t drink their milk because they didn’t want to drown them!! So he bought two bunnies, said they snuck out through their mouths during their sleep, and now he’s stuck with two new pets!!! This might just be my all-time favourite sitcom parenting story.
  • “If we’re away from our desks for too long they’ll update our computers and we’ll lose Minesweeper!” Hitchcock and Scully. True American heroes.