Brooklyn Nine-Nine: A Mixed Bag of Comedy and Emotion
Although tonight’s episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine may not have been the funniest of the season, it still had its moments. The episode started off slow but gradually picked up the pace, culminating in an amusing third act that elevated the overall experience. Some elements worked well, while others fell flat or only partially succeeded. However, the episode did offer another fascinating glimpse into Jake’s character, particularly his time spent undercover.
Jason Mantzoukas Joins the Nine-Nine
This week, Jason Mantzoukas joined the long list of guest stars on the show as his character, Adrian Pimento, returned after spending twelve years undercover. During that time, Pimento witnessed and participated in unspeakable acts to maintain his cover. Understandably, he returned with a severely damaged psyche. Jake, eager to bond with Pimento over their shared undercover experiences, took it upon himself to work a case with him. As we’ve seen before, Jake often focuses on the perceived coolness of a situation, which initially led him to romanticize Pimento’s undercover work. However, he soon realized that the reality was far from glamorous.
Jake’s Realizations and Growth
Throughout the episode, Jake learned several valuable lessons. The most significant realization was that appearances can be deceiving, and the reality of a situation is often far from what one might imagine. Perhaps the episode’s strongest moment came when Jake finally opened up about his own undercover work. After acknowledging his mistake with Pimento, he placed his trust in him, admitting that his experiences were not as cool as he had portrayed them. In truth, Jake couldn’t fully understand what Pimento was going through, but he could offer support as Pimento navigated his way back to normalcy. These moments of vulnerability and honesty make Jake a compelling lead character, balancing out his goofy sense of humor and making him more relatable.
Mantzoukas’ Performance: Hits and Misses
Mantzoukas’ comedic moments were a mixed bag, with some landing better than others. While the graphic descriptions of violence from his undercover days were a bit too much for my taste, I enjoyed his more subtle moments, such as his entertaining portrayal of a bag boy. Overall, Mantzoukas effectively conveyed the arc of his character throughout the episode, eliciting sympathy when it was revealed that Jake had misjudged him. However, the subplot involving Rosa’s attraction to Pimento felt forced and served more as a weak punchline than a meaningful addition to the story.
Other Storylines: A Mixed Experience
The episode also featured other storylines with varying degrees of success. One such subplot involved Boyle, Terry, and Amy attempting to persuade the garbage crew, led by Kate Flannery, to clean up a mess they had made. This led to a standoff between the two groups, with the garbage crew refusing to clean up anything at the Nine-Nine until they felt respected. The conflict was eventually resolved when Boyle decided to name the break room in honor of Flannery’s character. Unfortunately, this storyline lacked any real comedic punch and left much to be desired in terms of entertainment value. Typically, Boyle and Amy can be counted on for a few laughs per episode, but this plot failed to provide any such opportunities. The involvement of Hitchcock and Scully was one of the few redeeming aspects of this subplot.
Gina’s Video: A Bright Spot
Gina’s video project for Holt fared better, as the deadpan comedic chemistry between Andre Braugher and Stephanie Beatriz never fails to amuse. With Chelsea Peretti directing them to act with pizzazz, the scene provided some of the episode’s biggest laughs. From Holt’s refusal to karate chop through fog to Rosa’s confusion about her wheelchair transforming into a horse via special effects, this subplot was a highlight of the episode. Rosa’s character would have benefited from more focus on this storyline. It might have been more effective if Charles, rather than Rosa, had been the one Jake confided in about Pimento. This would have allowed for more comedy in that storyline while also giving Rosa more opportunities to shine alongside Holt and Gina.
Despite a few missteps, the episode still had its moments and delivered a satisfying third act. It may not have lived up to the high standards set by previous episodes, but it was still an enjoyable ride.
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