A quick review of tonight’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” coming up just as soon as I stop eating the islanders…
Even stripped down to two stories instead of the show’s usual three, “Captain Peralta” bit off more than it could reasonably chew in terms of its title plot. Jake’s abandonment by his father Roger is one of the defining events of his life, so the idea of Roger trying to patch things up is a big deal – even though it turned out, as Charles assumed, that he was just going to let Jake down yet again. The whole thing needed more build-up than it got, whether as part of a multi-episode arc (assuming Bradley Whitford was up for doing more than one), or simply pacing this story differently. it felt like we got dropped in on the idea that the Peralta men were communicating again, and then we got caught up in the case that was the real reason Roger had contacted Jake, and the inevitable disappointment felt quick and perfunctory. There were some funny moments (particularly anything having to do with the Hungarian sausage restaurant, or the reprise of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” for Scully’s mad dash to the men’s room), and the emotional payoff of Holt acting like a father to Jake was nice, but on the whole this played out in a more empty and predictable fashion than this story about the main character should have.
As for the brain teaser subplot, I liked the pairing of Terry and Amy as the brains versus the more instinctual team of Gina, Rosa and (to their chagrin) Hitchcock. The show is always very smart about what makes each character combination distinct and funny, and seeing the two allegedly smarter characters get on each other’s nerves was fun, as was having Gina figure out that Holt was using them to help him cheat. I’m told, by the way, that there is a solution to the puzzle, but I’ll be damned if I can figure it out, and I’ve been trying since I first saw the episode a few weeks ago.
What did everybody else think? And how would you best use the see-saw?