Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 2 Episode 12: “Beach House”

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Often times when a show comes back from a hiatus, it takes them an episode or two to find their feet again. What clicked so well in the past just doesn’t seem to be clicking anymore and they need to rediscover what works. This was not the case with the winter premiere of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. They took what worked in the first half of the season–exploring the different friendships among the characters–and continued expanding on it. And it doesn’t hurt that this was one of their funniest episodes to date while also showing different sides to many of the characters. Amy was able to cut loose and have fun, Gina showed that maybe she actually does care about others, Rosa confronted some of her insecurities, and Holt finally found a squad where he fit in.

Let’s all agree right now that Amy was by far the best part of the episode. I have expressed concerns in the past about her remaining a one-dimensional character, set only on advancing in her career. But in this episode we got to see a completely different side of her, or perhaps six different sides. No version of drunk Amy cared about what Captain Holt thought, and it was actually other characters, such as Jake, who had to stop her from speaking her mind to him. She became much more interesting the more she drank, as we got to see the different layers to her character. It was entertaining to see what Amy was like under the influence of alcohol, when she wasn’t constantly worrying about what other people, specifically Holt, were thinking. For perhaps the first time, she became the funniest part of the episode.

Putting two characters who are seemingly opposites together works well for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, especially when it comes to the friendship between Amy and Gina. Amy is always so serious while Gina does not know how to speak a language other than sarcasm. But when you put them together, their friendship becomes something extremely compelling. Gina’s human side comes out and we see that beneath all the sarcasm is someone who cares, someone who is even capable of having a friendship with someone so different from her. In this episode, we see her encourage Amy to keep drinking, wanting to know what ‘six drink Amy’ is like. When it turns out that six drink Amy is lonely and sad, Gina ends up being there for her despite how out of character that is for her. They both bring out something positive in each other that was missing before.

The same can be said about Charles and Rosa, whose friendship has come a long way since the beginning of the series. It would have been easy but boring for the show to stick with the ‘Charles is in love with Rosa who finds him annoying’ arc. Instead, they’ve found a way to put these characters together without any of that lingering awkwardness and allowed them to help each other grow. In this episode, we see Rosa confront some of her insecurities about relationships. Now that she’s dating someone that she really cares about, there’s been a change in her character. Behind her hard exterior, she is just like the rest of us, afraid that the person she likes will lose interest in her or, in this case, won’t respond to her texts. Charles is there to help her through these insecurities and show her how texting in relationships works. And she’s willing to let him help, showing how far they’ve come over the last season and a half.

From the start, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has recognized the gold they’ve struck with the relationship between Jake and Holt. Another dichotomy, Holt incredibly serious while Jake is extremely laid back, these two have also been able to help each other and bond in unexpected ways. With a character like Jake, you almost expect him to be a jerk, only caring about himself, but the show once again proved how wrong this expectation is, as Jake went so far as to invite Holt to the detective get-away so that Holt could finally know what it’s like to ‘josh around’ with the detectives. Jake spent much of the episode ensuring that Holt wouldn’t feel left out, sacrificing most of his weekend away to do so. In the end, however, it was Holt who came to realize that he needed to be less uptight and serious if we wanted to fit in with the group and allow them to have a fun getaway.

Throughout all this, there were many hilarious group interactions, from “Vacation Terry” having everything they need to Hitchcock and Scully attempting to pitch their newest idea to Holt. Brooklyn Nine-Nine works best when the whole group is together, allowing all the different personalities to mix and play off each other. The juxtaposition of all the personalities always leads to hilarity and this episode was no exception. If the show can keep this up, then it looks like we’re in for a great second half of the season.

Photo via FOX

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