You have to love a show that makes you forget it was off the air for four months. Picking up right after the cliffhanger, Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 3 Episode 1 got right back into the swing of things without missing a step.
This fantastic season premiere touched on all the things that were left hanging before; the new captain in the elevator, Captain Holt's new position at the Public Relations department, and most importantly, Jake and Amy's kiss.
JAKE AND AMY
"Light and breezy" was the theme as Jake and Amy tried to figure out their new status. Their first attempt was quite a whirlwind. Rules got made, rules got broken. They broke up, they made up. I've loved the pace at which this pairing is progressing.
There are way too many shows that don't give viewers enough credit, that string us along with contrived tension, obstacles and angst. Too many shows assume that the only way to keep people invested in a relationship is to keep the will-they-won't-they madness going for as long as possible. Thankfully, Brooklyn Nine-Nine thinks more highly of their viewers and more highly of their characters.
In one episode, this show expertly did what most shows take an entire season to do. They successfully paired a couple, allowed them to face obstacles and move forward. They know that their characters have more than just relationship potential to draw us, and they trust that we see that.
Which brings me to Charles, the ultimate shipper-on-deck. If there was any doubt that this show knows its audience, you have no further to look than at Charles Boyle.
When Jake and Amy were still keeping it secret, Charles was still rooting for them, as we would have. When they went public, Charles was happy for them, as were we. When they broke up, Charles was there to tell Jake everything we would have. I have no worries about Jake and Amy making it work, as long as Charles is there as their cheerleader and voice of reason.
THE NEW CAPTAIN
One of the obstacles that Jake and Amy had to face was their heart-attack-prone new captain, Seth Dozerman, played brilliantly by Bill Hader. Dozerman was hilarious, and I particularly loved his penchant for making portmanteaus with his name.
Dozerman, being an efficiency maniac, brought a soul-crushing work demand in to the precinct. This new dynamic had repercussions among the unit, and brought out both the strongest and weakest parts of the installment.
In the strengths, we have Terry. While no character can really be fully called the "straight man" of this show, Terry comes very close. He is responsible and does his job well. Though his part was relatively small, it was apparent how seriously he took his job, and how important it was to him to keep things afloat in the absence of Captain Holt.
Also strong was the interaction between Dozerman and Peralta. Jake's attempts to charm his superiors often falls flat, but he was somehow able to do this with Dozerman. While I'm happy that Dozerman was a one-episode character, it would have been interesting to see if that could have continued.
The weakness was with Rosa. Her rebellion against Dozerman's tyranny was in character, but it felt unnecessary and petty where there was already so much going on. I appreciate that it allowed Terry to shine a bit, but I honestly could have lived without it.
It turned out that Dozerman was only around for "New Captain," which I love. The conflict he brought was great, but it would have gotten old quick. I LOVE the idea of The Vulture being their new captain. The rivalry between him and the 99 is deep-seeded, and I can't wait to see how this new relationship plays out.
HOLT vs WUNTCH
As the 99 adjusted to life without him, Captain Holt adjusted to an oppressed life as head of the Public Relations department. Holt and Gina had barely stepped into the door before having a confrontation with Madeline Wuntch.
Wuntch: Hello Raymond. You're looking old and sickly.
Holt: So nice of you to greet us, Madeline. I thought surely you'd be crushed under that house in Munchkin land.
Wuntch: Sticks and stones, Raymond.
Holt: Describing your breakfast?
I've enjoyed their rivalry in the past, but I feel like Wuntch has gone too far now. She's actively inhibiting him from doing any useful work just to see him squirm.
I was really hoping that Gina was recording the conversation when Holt asked for a truce. As much as I enjoy them trading barbs, it's about time for Wuntch to get a workplace harassment suit filed against her. It's not much fun watching someone get bullied with no chance of self-defense. Holt better get his soon.
It was hard to watch Holt feel so defeated, especially knowing is is actually a very strong a man. That said, I love that we're getting to see another side of him. Character development for the win.
Another good thing about Holt's new position is getting to see the relationship between him and Gina. Holt's straight-laced seriousness is a fantastic contrast to Gina's narcissism and condescension, but they each bring out a little of themselves in the other. They are so fun to watch.
I laughed so much at Holt actually remembering the "Gina-in-a-bottle" name of her reality show fragrance line, and it was great seeing Gina stand up for him and encourage him.
My only complaint besides Rosa's role was the lack of Hitchcock and Scully. I really, really missed them, and I would have loved to see how they managed with Dozerman and the Dozerpads! That said, I appreciated knowing they weren't forgotten:
Dozerman: Also, someone named Norm Scully has been in the bathroom for 72 minutes.
Jake: Yeah, that means he's about halfway.
This was a great season premiere. It's obvious that Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a show that knows exactly what it wants to be, since it has managed to shake things up and still remain true to its core. The season has started with a lot of promise, and I look forward to what's in store.
If you would like to relive the best moments, remember you can always watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine online.