In the season premiere of one of the best comedies on television, Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 2 Episode 1 returns with an understated triumph that only it could pull off.
This episode was like my favorite winter jacket. I may not have worn it for six months, but it fits like a glove, it's comfortable and familiar, and does the job it's designed to do.
Six months have passed since we've last seen the crazy precinct; so much has happened, but somehow it still feels like no time at all. When Jake walked into the precinct, the chemistry among the group was unmistakable and comfortable.
It felt even more familiar because the ending of this week's episode pretty much mirrored the ending of the finale. Let's start with the most important cliffhanger from last season: Jake and Amy.
JAKE AND AMY
When we left them in Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 1 Episode 22, Jake had confessed to Amy that he was interested in being with her "romantic stylez", but left for his FBI assignment before she had a chance to react. So naturally, we're all wondering what Amy did with that information.
The answer: nothing. In the six months that Jake was away, Amy stayed with her boyfriend Teddy. I mean, who can blame her? Jake dropped a bombshell and disappeared, and it's not like she had a chance to evaluate her options and feelings with him around. I wouldn't have expected her to break up with Teddy and wait around for an indefinite period of time for Jake's return.
Jake's reaction to this news was expected, essentially taking back his words. I think he was both trying to save his pride and save them both from the awkwardness of working together with unrequited feelings in the middle. It's also typical Jake to deal with his emotional turmoil through the job, and he got the opportunity to do so when he found out that his FBI operation hit a snag.
Jake always uses the job as a proxy for his emotional state, and the idea that he had no control over the outcome of the FBI operation stung him as much as having no control over his relationship with Amy. When even the job didn't work out the way he wanted after going back undercover to find the missing mobster, Jake was understandably downcast.
It took the wisdom of Charles to make him realize that having control over the situation wasn't as important as knowing that he went all in and did his best. So we ended this episode pretty much the same way last season ended, with Jake re-confessing his feelings to Amy. Except this time, there won't be a six month period of silence to make it easier for them...
CHARLES AND GINA
At the end of this episode, Charles and Gina were in exactly the same position (pun intended) as they were in the season finale. Their secret one-night stand was easier to keep under wraps when Jake was away, but now that history has repeated itself and Jake's now here to complicate things, we'll have to see how this will work out.
I'm not sure how I feel about Charles and Gina quite yet. First of all, that was not a pairing I saw coming at all - I was totally surprised by it last season. It was really funny when it happened once, but I wasn't as amused by it when it happened again. I don't know if I like it as a recurring storyline.
That being said, there's something different about Charles now. Jake noticed it when Charles talked to him about "going all in", noting that Charles was more confident and forthright. Charles was also able to keep the tryst with Gina a secret from Jake; he normally can't keep ANY secrets from Jake.
Is this change in Charles a result of Gina? I think Gina's too insane to be in anything resembling a relationship, but if there's character development involved, I may be persuaded to like the concept a bit more. We shall see.
Most of the humor in this episode came from the rest of the precinct, as Captain Holt put the squad through a series of annoying role-playing drills. Well, at least annoying for them. Hilarious for us. The biggest man in the precinct playing an unattended backpack, little old lady and a 7-year-old kid? Comedy gold.
Captain Holt was trying to prepare his staff for the inevitable scrutiny they'll endure with the new commissioner, but his silence on the matter was frustrating to his staff. Terry helped him realize this later on.
This side-story brought a lot of the familiarity I loved about this episode; Holt's apparent yet invisible sense of humor, Terry's quiet wisdom but loud intimidation, Amy's obsequiousness and subsequent self-loathing, Rosa's rebelliousness. My only complaint - not enough Hitchcock and Scully!
This season didn't start off with a bang or bells and whistles, but it started with everything that I know and love about Brooklyn Nine-Nine. That makes it a win for me.
What did you think of the premiere?
- Is it just me, or was Jake's scene at the airport almost exactly like the airport scene in The Proposal?
- May we always have "name of your sex tape" jokes. It's the new "that's what she said".
- Charles' jealousy of Jake's mafia BFF was probably the funniest running joke of the episode.
- I sincerely hope that Gina's "naked mole rat" sweater does not actually exist - that is the ugliest piece of clothing I've ever seen.
- Not sure which was funnier - Terry having a lisp or Amy and Charles wearing the same outfit!
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