Nov 21, 2013

TV Recap: Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Sal's Pizzeria"

Left to right: Andy Samberg and Patton Oswalt
Welcome to a weekly recap of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which is one of the funniest and freshest new comedies currently airing on TV. Follow us every Thursday as we break down the episode into all of the important beats from the plot to character moments that are worth giving another shout-out. With an all-star comedy cast, this recap series will hopefully give you the information you need as well as reason to watch Fox on Tuesdays.

Crime of the Week: Beloved institution Sal's Pizzeria is burned down and there is a need to know who committed the arson.

Left to right: Joe Lo Truglio and Samberg
Peralta Problem: When Peralta (Andy Samberg) finds out that firefighter Boone (Patton Oswalt) is in charge of solving a case, he must solve it to prove he is superior.

Left to right: Melissa Fumero and Stephanie Beatriz
Subplot of the Week: When Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) reveals that she was offered a job at a different district, Santiago (Melissa Fumero) inquires why she didn't take the job.

Terry Crews
Best Joke: Upon discovering that his effort to find a new assistant resulted in the position going to a hacker who broke into the department's computers, Jeffords (Terry Crews) picks up an 8-Ball only to crush it with one hand. In a sight gag of repressed rage, he answers his frustration by reading the block inside with his answer.

Patrick Robert Smith
Culprit: Gino (Patrick Robert Smith) burned down Sal's Pizzeria on the account that his pizzeria was low in quality and he needed to steal his supplies to make the food better.

Chelsea Peretti
Resolution: Peralta beats Boone and getting Gino arrested, though they continue to prank each other. The hacker (Allen Evangelista) ends up working for the department despite Jeffords and Gina's (Chelsea Peretti) laborious quest to find a competent employee. Diaz and Santiago bond over the realization that Diaz didn't take the job at a different district because it wasn't fulfilling or challenging in any interesting way.

Verdict: Despite an all-star cast and guest appearances by the likes of Patton Oswalt and Joey Diaz, this is probably the show's weakest episode to date. it isn't because the jokes were bad or the plots were weak, but it did feel like a lot of filler. Even if the Diaz/Santiago subplot gave us time to see the two female characters bond, that was more than the Jeffords/Gina subplot. In fact, there is this strange sense that while Gina in small doses works as a weird, comedic incarnation, she doesn't seem to work as anything but. Her interrogation scenes were probably the show's weakest and unfortunately didn't capture the magic from the Jeffords incident where he overcame his fear of firearms. It didn't even make sense, as she flossed and asked people what their favorite Jay-Z song was. Usually her antics are funny, but here they become questionable and actually take away from the comedy. While it is nice to see that Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) is an expert on food and it comes in handy to solve crime, I felt like the Boone/Peralta feud was a little weak. Even if the crime ended up being a fascinating resolution, thanks largely to Boyle, this felt more like an episode with very little to offer in ways of interesting character moments. Even then, there isn't too much to argue against, as the episode still holds some merit for at least not being boring.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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