So, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is officially over. After making us laugh, cry, and wish that the Jimmy Jab Games was a real-life sport, the final season of the show was the most dramatic and weighty one yet. The creators promised to include more insight into the police brutality that was a hot button topic for a select period of time. Unfortunately, the inclusion of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s political themes felt clunky and often uninspired, as the whole Frank O’Sullivan story just never meshed well with the entire show. However, it wasn’t just the writers tackling the political nature of the series that made the final season a disappointment. It was also the surprising breakup of Captain Holt and Kevin.
Here’s the thing, there’s nothing wrong with making such a drastic change to the life of Captain Holt. His character was one of the best things going about Brooklyn Nine-Nine so giving him a major plot in the final season was never the issue. The issue lies with the fact that the moment was out-of-the-blue. In fact, it would be a shock if it was revealed that this storyline was originally penned prior to season five. There was never any indication that Holt and Kevin were having issues in their home life. I even rewatched season seven just to make sure that I didn’t notably miss any details. There are barely any hints throughout the season that indicated their marriage was on the rocks. There’s no word on what the original season eight was going to be before the writers opted to include more of the political aspects, but it’s baffling that they didn’t tease this notion that finally resulted in Kevin and Holt’s temporary break-up. Even worse, we actually never see the moment that reaches a breaking point between the two lovebirds.
The show goes for the “tell, don’t show” approach by having Holt acting weird towards Amy until he finally spills the beans on his relationship with Kevin. Admittedly, Holt’s out of character moments were funny because it’s always clever when the writers give him moments that go beyond his personality, but his clunky exposition didn’t exactly set the story arc in motion. We needed to see the deterioration of Kevin and Holt’s relationship because those intimate moments help us connect with the story and characters more. That’s why it’s always better to “show, don’t tell”. We needed to feel the anguish, frustration, and sadness of the relationship to truly be invested in their break-up. To be told that they’ve broken up just doesn’t have that same impact and quite honestly, it diminishes the story because it started out flat from the beginning. The sudden break-up was also stunning due to the fact that it had nothing to do with the issue surrounding the political topic that was introduced in the final season.
In context, it wouldn’t have made sense for the two to break-up for that notion because Kevin has detailed the struggles that Holt has gone through in the academy and how he’s been by his side from the beginning. It was wise that the writers didn’t try to force their break-up based on that reasoning because it actually betrays the character of Kevin. Now, I won’t deny that there weren’t fun moments that came out of their break-up. The Lake House episode was actually pretty great. Watching Kevin and Holt continuously announce their arrival or exit from a room was a hilariously clever gag and the chemistry between the two actors remains off the charts good. Given that the final season was such a short one, we weren’t able to really dig deep into the root of their issues nor was their sudden beak-up given much chance to simmer in the first place. The overall story felt rushed despite the fun moments, which makes you question why they needed to be separated in the first place if the story wasn’t going to take it’s time truly explore the issues of their marriage. They did to a certain extent, but the show wasn’t allowed to do so fully because there are so many moving parts that need to be focused on in an ensemble cast. Was this the worst story in the final season? Not even close. As I previously stated, the story had its fun moments and it was sweet to see Kevin and Holt get back together, but the emotional impact of the plot just didn’t have the same punch because it was a rushed arc from beginning to end.