Mar 27, 2014

TV Recap: Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Charges and Specs"

Andy Samberg
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: Peralta (Andy Samberg) is trying to bust a drug case involving people with political powers only to have it backfire.

Left to right: Melissa Fumero, Samberg, and Andre Braugher
Peralta Problem: Due to his involvement in the case, he is forced to attend a trial and give his reasons for why he shouldn't be dismissed for disobeying orders.

Joe Lo Truglio
Subplot of the Week: Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) breaks up with Vivian (Marilu Henner) and suffers from a sever case of depression as a result that involves being lethargic, eating eggs, and burning his hand.

Best Joke: When Jeffords (Terry Crews) has enough of Boyle's sulking, he decides to help him vent frustration by smashing plates. This backfires when Boyle enthusiastically grabs a plate and it ricochet and hits him in the crotch without breaking. 

Culprit: Peralta takes the fall and dismisses his evidence in order to help the F.B.I. work on the case by going undercover to take down a mafia family.

Left to right: Chelsea Peretti and Truglio
Resolution: By Holt's (Andre Braugher) request, Peralta takes the fall and decides to make a buffoon of himself in order to get fired and join the F.B.I. in their quest to take down the drug syndicate and the involved mafia family. This involves leaving the precinct for six months, but he is fine with it. Boyle somehow gets over Vivian, but upon a night of drinking, he somehow ends up having sex with Gina (Chelsea Peretti). The season ends with Peralta starting the case at a bar about to talk to a member of the mafia family.

Terry Crews

Verdict: A solid ending to a season that defied a lot of odds and became a delightful ensemble comedy. There was some concern with Andy Samberg transitioning from Saturday Night Live into his post-career that things could have backfired. The show was never all that weak, but it took awhile to perfect the idea of an ensemble, but when it did, it became one of the most unique and enjoyable ensembles in TV. Everyone was specific without being mere tropes. Everyone  had their own plots at varying points throughout the season, and we began to understand how they worked as a dynamic. Characters that may have been problematic, such as Boyle and Jeffords, had a source of humanity that came into them somewhere down the line that made their offbeat nature make sense. The benefit of it all is that it has caused Brooklyn Nine-Nine to feel fresh and unique. It wasn't always about the crimes or satirizing procedurals. It was about the people who worked on them.

In the closing episode, it ends on a very strong note that results in a lot of compelling future changes. For starters, there is a possibility that this ending is to help Peralta transition out of the show, even if that would be offensive. We also get a strong mix of cutaway gags including Jeffords speaking Japanese. This episode also had a great structure involving the punchline at the beginning of the episode only to unravel how they got there. The show's writing has been proven to be rather strong, especially for a sitcom on a major network. While it does slide a little on endearing characters, it is also just plain fun to see everyone have their weird journeys. If there is one thing that could work next season, it is that Peralta's absence allows a better exploration of the other characters working without the looming presence of a pro. However, if there is one thing that I don't want to see, it is that Boyle/Gina relationship that was hinted at. Separately, they aren't that problematic, but a sense that things could easily go too twee makes it hard to not expect some form of diminishing returns.

See you this fall for hopefully recaps of season two.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 

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