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Brooklyn Nine-Nine Review: The Unsolvable Case of Jake Peralta

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine continued a streak of great episodes with this week's Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 1 Episode 21.

It's getting harder and harder to critique this show without sounding like a broken record, but it really is that good.

As usual, we have parallel stories: Jake takes on the precinct's hardest case with Terry's help, Amy has a date and tries to get out of an obligation to Captain Holt and Gina and Rosa share a secret with Boyle.

Hilarity ensues, heartfelt moments abound and we get a few good surprises.

Before I get to the stories, though, I have to talk about that cold open. This week's had me in stitches, with Holt showing Jake pictures of how he sprained his wrist hula-hooping - but only after telling the rest of the precinct that he tripped.

Jake: Why are you telling me this?
Holt: Because no one will ever believe you.

The brilliant thing about these opening scenes is that they tell you everything you need to know about these characters in about 90 seconds. In every cold open, there's enough to let you know who these people are and why they're so funny. We saw Captain Holt's no-nonsense face, but we also saw the pleasure he took in torturing Jake.  Brilliant.

Now on to the stories:

Jake and the Unsolvable Case:

Jake was on a roll, having broken the precinct record for the most closed cases in a month. Unfortunately for him, his joy of victory was short-lived as soon as he found out that Amy was going on a weekend date with her new boyfriend, Terry, who we met in Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 1 Episode 19

He immediately gave up his well-earned weekend off, dragging Terry along with him to work on an unsolvable case; an eight-year-old homicide with minimal evidence. All they really needed was a new lead and perspective. They had to deal with the case differently to crack it. 

There's a parallel to be drawn between Jake's situation and the case itself. Jake himself was dealing with "unsolvables" in his life. His unsolvable (yes, I'm going to use that as a noun) was how to handle the discomfort of seeing Amy with another man. Unfortunately, as he was doing with the case, he was trying to deal with that in the same way over and over. 

In "Tactical Village," he aimed to break the record time. This week, he went for the record arrests at the Nine-Nine, THEN he went to solve the hardest case. In the end, none of those accomplishments made him feel any better.

It took Terry to show him that talking to a friend (and a little alcohol) might work better than the temporary fix of victory.

Andy Samberg had some really, really strong scenes this week. From the sleep-deprived cop to the obvious pain looking at Amy - he deserves that Golden Globe.

Amy and the Wisdom Tooth:

While Jake was busy drowning his sorrows in work, Amy was trying to get out of an obligation she made to Captain Holt. However, rather than risking disappointing him and bailing on him, she lied about her wisdom teeth. Not very wise, Amy.

Not only did she get caught in the lie right on the dentist chair, it turned out that she actually had terrible teeth that she was unaware of. Cavities and a disappointed Captain Holt. Definitely not Amy's best day. 

The Secret of Babylon:

This story is worth mentioning for one thing and one thing only: the rise of Hitchcock and Scully. For all of us who ever wondered how on earth they became detectives, this episode was the answer. 

Deducing that Charles now knew where Rosa and Gina's secret bathroom (a.k.a Babylon) was, Hitchcock and Scully went all bad-ass cop. I mean, like Murtaugh-Riggs-Lethal-Weapon bad-ass.

They gathered evidence, they interrogated and scared the heck out of Charles, AND they basically got Gina to bargain with them with one of her more prized belongings.

I did not see those two coming at all.  That was the best surprise!

Again, another stellar episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 1. Keep it coming, guys!

Other Notes:

  • Oh my goodness, the hair in those flashbacks. Peralta had frosted tips!
  • We need to start compiling a Brooklyn Nine-Nine soundtrack.  Let's add "Beat-Down Boulevard" to the list with last week's Cantaloupe song.
  • I'm pretty sure dancing to Salt N' Pepa's "Whatta Man" always makes you feel better.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (23 Votes)
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Great review to go along with another great episode! I am just loving Andy Samberg, the whole cast really. But leaving SNL and doing this show was definitely his calling! I just hope they don't try to force this whole him and Amy thing before the end of the season. I am really like the slow build in this one. Because of his personality and his not wanting to grow up really, I just don't think he's ready for that yet. I want to continue to see him have some more fun. I loved Boyle's comment about trying to talk to Vivian with the prisoners telling him what to say and her no liking it very much. I can't remember the exact line, so I won't even try, but his delivery of that scene was hilarious. I also enjoy the growing relationship between him and Rosa, whether it remains friendly or turns romantic. It'll be fun to watch! The flashback scene was hilarious! And yes, I was just as shocked when Scully and Hitchcock solved that case! Impressive! Sad that next week's show is the last episode :(

Joyeful
@ Amy Lynn

Thanks, Amy Lynn! I'm really pleased about the pacing of the Jake/Amy pairing. It feels natural and not forced either way. I'm sad that the season finale is so soon, but at least we have next season to look forward to!

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