Here we are, at the season finale of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
I'm torn between applauding one of the best freshman seasons I've ever seen of a television comedy, and crying over the fact that the season is over already.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 1 Episode 22 was a fantastic finale, one worthy of closing out the excellence that we've enjoyed all year.
We start off the episode by hearing Jake say that he's been fired from the NYPD. Now, normally I'm not a fan of in medias res openings; they often only serve to elicit emotion through misdirection of the audience. I usually think it's a cheap way to get us to feel things.
However, the use of the trope was smart here. We've learned enough about Jake to know that he's good at his job enjoys his job, he's matured enough to not jeopardize it without cause and he's well supported by his peers.
So we know that there's more going on than Jake simply getting fired. I wasn't worried about Jake or indignant that he got fired; rather, I was dying to know how he got to that moment. I wanted to know the story. THAT'S how you do in medias res.
Which took us to the beginning of the story; Jake on a politically sensitive case. We got a continuity nod with the return of Commissioner Podalski, whose son Jake arrested earlier in the season. He wants Jake off a case, but Jake thankfully had the support of his team, especially that of Amy and Captain Holt.
Andy Samberg continues to prove his chops and this episode was a great showcase for him. He was the goofy man-child self-dismissing himself out of the office; the lovesick man dancing with the unavailable woman he's interested in; the determined cop eager to do whatever it takes to take down a criminal; the regretful man confessing his unrequited feelings in the face of an uncertain future.
Jake: I don't know what's gonna happen on this assignment, and if something bad goes down, I think I'd be pissed at myself if I didn't say this.
Jake confessing his feelings to Amy felt organic and right at that moment. He would rather not have regrets going into what could be a dangerous situation and felt compelled to share how he felt, even though he knew it would be for naught. I absolutely loved that moment.
Samberg was great, but even more incredible was Andre Braugher. I don't think there's anything he can't pull off. He was absolutely hilarious when he turned on the charm for the judge and did ballroom dancing, but also really moving as he watched with pride and paternal care as Peralta stormed out of the office into a dangerous case.
We started out the season with Jake and Holt completely at odds with each other; Jake rebelling against Holt's authority, and Holt irritated by Jake's immaturity. However, now they've grown to trust and rely on each other. It's a beautiful thing.
The B-story, with Charles having broken up with Vivian, was also very well executed by all involved. Watching Charles fumble his way through coping mechanisms was pretty hilarious. I knew that the rebound was a misdirect; this show knows its characters too well to have Rosa make such a misstep. So the people that woke up together at the end didn't surprise me one bit.
So Jake's on a dangerous undercover operation, Amy knows how he feels but can't talk to him for six months and Charles is in a bit of a pickle. Man, what a place to leave us for six months. It's not a cliffhanger, but they're definitely leaving us wanting more.
A great finale to a phenomenal season. See y'all in the fall!
- I leave you with the above picture: this show has the best flashback hair. Ever.
- Captain Holt could charm me any day. Or should we call him Captain Raymond Sex-Vibes?!
- Jake did a pretty good imitation of Captain Holt; "I will not."
- I sincerely, truly hope that Gina's Emoji speak does not catch on. That would make me Xs-for-eyes-smiley-face.
- I thought it was HILARIOUS that Jake had to take his badge and gun back. Way to subvert a trope, guys!